Perhaps you’ve come across it in another post of ours and know it already. Or maybe this is the first time you hear about it: we love bridges. Not only in terms of architecture. We first and foremost love bridges for their superpower, which is their ability to connect. Places, people, cultures. This is why we find Istanbul so fascinating. The entire city is itself a bridge. It connects two continents. Europe and Asia. In fact, it connects two different worlds. The East and the West. All along our 5 days in Istanbul itinerary, it was mostly this blend of cultures that we tried to explore. Ultimately, this was also what made us fall unconditionally in love with this unique and beyond words charming global city.
Who wouldn’t love to spend a day at the sea? Planning a Princes Islands day trip from Istanbul is an excellent idea for a relaxing escape from the city. The Princes Islands, or simply The Islands (Adalar) as locals call them, are an archipelago of nine islands in the Sea of Marmara of which only four are inhabited and open to visitors: Kınalıada, Burgazada, Heybeliada and Büyükada. Since cars and motorbikes are not allowed on any of them, the Princes Islands provide a peaceful haven away from the hustle and bustle of busy Istanbul.
During our travels, we always do our best not to miss out on unique experiences. In a strange way, while travelling, we are also more open to trying things that we wouldn’t easily try back home. I wouldn’t know how to explain this but it’s the truth. So, although there are very good hamams in Athens, we never thought of visiting one. However, making reservations for a traditional Turkish bath was among the very first things we did in view of our recent trip to Istanbul. But what happens in a Turkish bath anyway? We are assuming that many of you are sceptical about the idea of being bathed in public. We know we were. This is why we decided to write a useful guide with everything you need to know so as to enjoy your first Turkish hamam as much as we did.
Perhaps the most enchanting city we have ever visited, Istanbul is one of the largest and most populated ones too. We know from personal experience that choosing where to stay in cities of that size can be rather difficult. Even though we spent only 5 days in the city, we managed to get a clear picture of the best places to stay in Istanbul. Therefore, we decided to write this guide so as to help all of you who plan a trip to this city of magic make the right choice. Both in terms of neighbourhoods and hotels.
The hardest thing about being part-time travellers is not missing out on major sightseeing while at the same time staying true to our love for slow travel. Finding the right balance between sightseeing and leisurely taking in the local feel of the destinations we visit is really important to us. We have come to understand that the best way to achieve this balance and save ourselves loads of valuable time is by leaving most of the sightseeing to the hands of experts. This is why we are happy to have come across the best sightseeing tours in Istanbul during our recent trip to Turkey.
Sitting on two continents, Istanbul is an utterly magical and literally unique place. One could argue that Europe and Asia alike claim the Turkish city for her charms. It is a melting pot of cultures like no other. Therefore, Istanbul food couldn’t be any less fascinating. A mixture of tastes from both East and West, food in Istanbul is a vital part of the city itself. A touch of spice here, a sprinkle of sugar there and the mesmerising scent of butter make the Turkish cuisine one of the most diverse in the world.
Tasting a country’s food is definitely among the best ways to connect with its culture. Though it seems simple and mundane, food has the power to initiate us into a whole different world. Food is one of the most vital parts of any given society and it reflects aspects of a people’s history, traditions and lifestyle in the most striking way. At the end of the day, food is life itself. But food is also great fun. For all those reasons, we love tasting the world’s cuisines. This is why we decided to take a food tour in Istanbul. The meeting point of Europe and Asia couldn’t possibly have boring food. Therefore, we were determined to learn as much about the secrets of Turkish cuisine and the food culture of Istanbul as possible.