Istanbul in Two Days
Istanbul is a very big city, old and colorful. The beauty of Istanbul is the perfect mix between the pretty fresh soul healing nature, and the ancient history behind the districts and statues which open our minds to the rich Turkish and Ottoman cultures. Visiting Istanbul can take a day, a week or even a month. Even locals say that Istanbul never ends, but what if you have only short amount of time and want to spend it perfectly. In this article I am going to escort you through Istanbul recommending what to do and where to go in two days plan.
The First Day
Everyone likes to start its day from Taksim in Beyoğlu, maybe you considered to book the hotel there too, in the morning after having the Turkish breakfast in the hotel, and you get prepared, first to do is going down to Taksim Square and then walking through Istiklal Street. In Istiklal street you find a lot of small restaurants and shops. After you finish the Istiklal street, which may take around 1-2 hours, you will arrive to Galata Tower, I strongly recommend visiting it. It takes only one hour to spend up on the tower with its amazing panoramic view, you will perfect shots on the European and Anatolian Bosphorus from the cruise trip. After you finish and ready to go, it is the time to go for another place, and hunt for some place to have our lunch there. After you go down from Beyoğlu walking towards Karaköy tramway station, and you head directly to Sultan Ahmet tramway station. The first thing to do is heading to Sultanahmet Köfterci, he has one of the best Turkish grilled Meatballs (Izgara Köfte) in Istanbul. After finish eating you head directly to the Sultan Ahmet Square which is amazing with the parallel of the Blue Mosque with Hagia Sofia Basilica. You can enter the blue mosque and see the amazing columns and arches, it has 5 main domes, six minarets and 8 secondary domes. It is considered one of the classical period’s last great mosque. After that head up directly towards Hagia Sofia Basilica and visit its amazing building and museum. These small journey in Sultan Ahmet Square is going to take 3-4 hours of your time but believe me it is going to be worth it. After that it is time to have some fresh air, head to the tramway and then to Kabataş, after arriving there walk towards Beşiktaş. In Beşiktaş you can some Waffle or Kumpirs, and then finish your day resting in a rooftop bar in Beşiktaş enjoyıng the sea breeze and the amazing view.
The Second Day
In the second day you will start your day from your hotel in Taksim Square again, I recommend visiting the Grand bazaar in Beyazit, it will take a lot of your time but it is really worth it. You will find everything that you might need for you or for some gifts to bring back home with you. There are Calligraphy shops to write something on a cup or some special papers to hang on the wall. Also, you can pick some amazing gifts like Lokum (Turkish Delights), which comes in special cozy boxes flavored with amazing fresh flavors especially the rose lokum, pistachio lokum etc. also, they have a lot of small memorial gifts which refers to Istanbul in specific, like the mini Galata tower, the mini Blue mosque and also the famous Maiden Tower. They have a lot of kinds of the artifacts to purchase as gifts and also you can buy it as stickers to hang on the fridge. If you find some time to fill in your day you can take to M2 metro line to Yenikapı and then you can get a ride in the Marmaray train line and head to Üsküdar metro station. You will enjoy the beauty of the sea and the look of the old Maiden Tower. In front of the Maiden Tower they have a lot of wooden chairs and tables to enjoy the classic Turkish Tea while looking and breathing the nature. In Üsküdar, you can head to Kanaat restaurant and I recommend having and tasting the famous Iskender Kebab meal. It is a very famous Turkish dish made from meat and tomato sauce, and add cold yogurt then they pour the tasty hot butter on it once you taste it is my pleasure to tell you “welcome to the Turkish ottoman cuisine”.