I went to Istanbul on a business trip to visits some consumers. This means that my perspective was some how twisted in terms of tourist places and budget expectations. Anyway I think it is worth sharing some of my experiences.
- Location: Istanbul is located on top of the Bosphoros which is the channel that connects the Europen side of Turkey and the Asian side. The historic city and the airport are both in the European side. To cross from one side to the other the best way is to use the boats in Eminonou station. The bridges are a nightmare
- Where to stay : I would say to stay in the historic city. There is a very easy tram system to take you around anywhere. We stayed at the Eresin Crown that was nice. Old style but with a lovely roof terrace.
- What to visit: There are a few tourist places that people can't miss such as Agia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazar and Spice Bazar. The last two are the typical Arabic Bazar but don't go expecting a Damascus. It is much smaller and with much less impressive things. I didn't have a chance but apparently the Palace is really nice as well.
- Agia Sophia
- Blue Mosque
- Where to eat:there are loads of lovely places around the historic centre. I recommend a couple of very fancy restaurants that were incredible because of the food and atmosphere. On the expensive side but really nice.
- Reina: it is by the Bosphoros and it has different restaurants around a dance floor/ bar. The Turkish restaurant is very nice. Stay for a drink if you can.
- Leby Deria: it is in Taksim which is a supposedly good area to visit but to me it was just a busy shopping street. Restaurant had amazing food and an incredible view.
- Highlight:I would say the historic centre.
- Good for: one weekend when you want a sight seeing city break with a lot of chaos
- Return ability:10%