Published on February 10th, 2014 | by Geckos Tales Team
24 HOURS IN ISTANBUL
Istanbul’s east-meets-west vibe gets us every time. It’s the best of both worlds with rich culture, ancient sites, food that makes you drool and a really vibrant look-we’re-going-places vibe. The arts scene is taking off and there are bars everywhere. But you can still just take it slow with an apple tea and a game of backgammon. Culture vultures will love Aya Sofia, the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome, while the cool cats can find jazz bars and handmade crafts. Istanbul, you had us at selam.
8am Start the day with eggs, tomatoes, pita, olives and tea at a rooftop café. This is the definition of civilized.
10am Explore the Blue Mosque. In our very humble opinion it’s one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. It is also blue.
12pm Go in to the Grand Bazaar with a shopping list, then expect to double it when you see what’s on offer. Invest in an extra backpack to carry your rug, leather jacket, tea set and backgammon board.
3pm Sweat off all that shopping buzz at a traditional hammam. Expect to be naked in front of your friends. We recommend not making eye contact.
5pm It’s still too soon to make eye contact so look at the Bosphorous instead on a ferry trip down the river. A great insight into the real Istanbul, away from the tourist sites.
7pm Back on dry land, take a walk along the waterfront and eat as the locals do. With enthusiasm for food from street vendors. Our favourite is the Içli Köfte. Little fired parcels of meaty goodness.