One Sunday evening I was watching a travel channel where a guy was eating a great looking fish sandwich made in such a cool Chinese dragon-looking boat. Both the food and city looked amazing. Once I figured out which city it was, just out of curiosity I checked flight tickets and after 5 minutes I and my girlfriend had a trip booked to Istanbul.
After arriving to a flat offered by couchsurfer Nastaran, we unpacked and headed out to a beautiful city of Istanbul. Without really knowing where to go we were just walking and exploring. Usually I love to make plans but in this case the best decision was just walk and see.
Istanbul = mosques. They are everywhere and I don’t mean like a small village church in Slovakia, but really big ones. We have visited Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Suleymaniye Mosque and some others. All of them looked huge from outside and inside as well as quite similar. Before entering any of them you just wish u had changed your socks because everybody has to take of the shoes.
But mosques are not only turists atractions to see in Istanbul. City of 13 million inhabitants has much more to offer.
One of my favorite places to hang out was Galata bridge with its fishermen lined up near each other and catching fish like it was some kind of a race. Once we crossed the bridge and I took some cool pictures I saw them. There were those 3 cool chinesee dragon-looking boats I saw 6 days ago on tv in my room and which actually made me to check flights to Istanbul and finally buying a tickets. This was a very special feeling for me which made me even happier than I already was. It was on Saturday and that place was so crowded by locals that it was quite difficult to spot a real tourists like us. Everybody was just eating a fish sandwich, drinking a tea and enjoying good weather and time well spent with family.
Really long and the most famous Istiklal street really got our attention but it probably got an attention of half of population of Istanbul since it is crowded no matter what time it was. Shoping during day is changing for a wild party life in the night. I was really surprised about the nightlife there. I guess people there like to party a lot especialy local girls, which I saw being really ‘tired’ after midnight 😀
A must-do thing while visiting Istanbul is a boat ride which takes approx. 2 hours and costs ridiculous 4 euros. Stuff in Istanbul is actually very cheap just alcohol is expensive. Anyway, the boat left pier and immediately there was a lot to see. There are a lot of nice palaces on the coast as well as beautiful and for sure very expensive houses with amazing views. We underrun 2 very similar if not the same bridges which change color of lights during night. It can get a bit windy and cold on the boat but its worth staying upstairs for better pictures.
Once we were done with sightseeing we had decided to start shoping as always…In my country very few people wear New Balance shoes, but in Istanbul it seemed like shoes of bartenders. Everybody wears them. As you might know Turkey, you can get a Dolce Gabana shoes, Polo T-shirt, Ray-ban sunglasses and a iPhone 5s all together for a cost of cinema ticket. We got none of those things but wrist bracelet and magnet for my fridge are things I always have to buy as a souvenir.
To wrap it up I must say I am really satisfied with this trip to Istanbul. We got to see “saturday night fever” in Istanbul, tried a lot of typical turkish food, saw a lot of beautiful places and monuments, got to know a new culture, met a lot of great people and made new friends.