If you want to experience time travelling, that is the city which will bring you from the past to the present and the present to the past. There are the ruins of magnificent history everywhere. Skyscrapers touch the sky while saluting old palaces. A sea divides the city and seperates Asia from Europe. You need to decide one thing before you visit the Istanbul; What would you like to be in this trip? A king, sultan, mystic, princess, fairytale hero or star of the night?

As a Turkish student in Ireland, I face with this question frequently and I decided to create an Istanbul guide. Here we go!

Bosphorus Bridge - Photo Credit Murat Yigit68 (Flickr)

Bosphorus Bridge – Photo Credit Murat Yigit68 (Flickr)

Historical Places

If you want to see history, here is 5 recommendations;

1. Basilica Cistern / Yerebatan Sarnıcı

Basilica Cistern - Photo Credit Burcu Akyol (flickr)

Basilica Cistern – Photo Credit Burcu Akyol (flickr)

2. Topkapı Palace / Topkapı Sarayı

Here is the magnificent history!

Topkapi Palace - Photo Credit commons Wikimedia

Topkapi Palace – Photo Credit commons Wikimedia

 

3. The Blue Mosque / Sultanahmet Camii

It is more than a mosque with its special blue ceramics and 6 minarets.

Sultanahmet Camii - Photo Credit Riccardo (Flickr)

Sultanahmet Camii – Photo Credit Riccardo (Flickr)

4. Beylerbeyi Palace / Beylerbeyi Sarayı

An Ottoman Sultans’ palace from 1860s in the Asian side of Istanbul.

Beylerbeyi Palace - Photo Credit Badly Drawn Dad (Flickr)

Beylerbeyi Palace – Photo Credit Badly Drawn Dad (Flickr)

 

5. Dolmabahçe Palace

The Gate - Photo Credit Dan (Flickr)

The Gate – Photo Credit Dan (Flickr)

Night Life in Istanbul

Istanbul has every kind of pubs, clubs and restaurants. Here are some recommendations;

Reina Bar&Restaurant&Club

If you like posh style entertainment this club and restaurant is for you! Jennifer Lopez, Bon Jovi, Gisele Bündchen, Uma Thurman, Kevin Kostner, Sting, Lional Richie, John Cusack, Kobe Bryant, Paris Hilton, Salma Hayek, Axl Rose, Zidane  and even Bono visited here before. Also, it is possible to visit the place with a yacht.

Reina Kuruçeşme - Photo Credit Reina

Reina Kuruçeşme – Photo Credit Reina

Sunset Grill&Bar

An amazing view, sushi, steaks, quality wines…

Sunset Grill&Bar - Photo Credit Sunset

Sunset Grill&Bar – Photo Credit Sunset

Nevizade Taksim

This is a street where you can find all the fish restaurants.

Taksim Nevizade - Photo Credit Niki Atashfaraz (Flickr)

Taksim Nevizade – Photo Credit Niki Atashfaraz (Flickr)

3. Arnavutkoy Fish&Raki Restaurants

Atlas Fish Restaurant, Arnavutkoy Balikcisi, Eftalya are the best fish restaurants in Arnavutkoy. Arnavutkoy is a town at the European seaside of Istanbul. Turkish people called this area ‘Bosphorus’. Bosphorus has famous towns such as Rumelihisari, Bebek, Tarabya, Yenikoy. All these places have famous fish restaurants and you can taste Turkish traditional alcohol ‘Raki’ in these places.

Raki - Photo Credit Rob (Flickr)

Raki – Photo Credit Rob (Flickr)

Arnavutkoy Istanbul - Photo Credit Cihan Arabul (Flickr)

Arnavutkoy Istanbul – Photo Credit Cihan Arabul (Flickr)

Rumelian Castle where Fatih Sultan Mehmed conquered Istanbul with it.

Rumeli Hisari - Photo Credit Stijn Nieuwendijk (Flickr)

Rumeli Hisari – Photo Credit Stijn Nieuwendijk (Flickr)

Tarabya - Photo Credit Alper Orus (Flickr)

Tarabya – Photo Credit Alper Orus (Flickr)

Food Recommendations  

 

Iskender Kebap - Photo Credit Serdar Gurbuz Photography (Flickr)

Iskender Kebap – Photo Credit Serdar Gurbuz Photography (Flickr)

 

Lahmacun - Photo Credit Robyn Lee (Flickr)

Lahmacun – Photo Credit Robyn Lee (Flickr)

Fried Anchovy / Hamsi Tava - Photo Credit Robyn Lee (flickr)

Fried Anchovy / Hamsi Tava – Photo Credit Robyn Lee (flickr)

Leaf Roll / Yaprak Sarma - Photo Credit Coal Miki (Flickr)

Leaf Roll / Yaprak Sarma – Photo Credit Coal Miki (Flickr)

Manti - Photo Credit Felipe Tofani (flickr)

Manti – Photo Credit Felipe Tofani (flickr)

Cig Kofte - Photo Credit leyla.a (Flickr)

Cig Kofte – Photo Credit leyla.a (Flickr)

Balik Kokorec - Photo Credit Cagda Erzincan

Balik Kokorec – Photo Credit Cagda Erzincan

Something special 

Belly Dancer Dora - Photo Credit Cagda Erzincan

Belly Dancer Dora – Photo Credit Cagda Erzincan

 

Sufi Dervishes - Photo Credit michael_swan (Flickr)

Sufi Dervishes – Photo Credit michael_swan (Flickr)