Post-Covid Travel Destination: Istanbul

Image by Şinasi Müldür from Pixabay

One of the things everyone longs for is traveling, visiting new cities, countries… If you are one of the people who are already motivated to do some post-COVID traveling plans, this article is for you!

Attracting thousands of tourists everyday with its historical places, beautiful sights and entertaining streets which allows shopping lovers to have a fun shopping experience, Istanbul is one of the best cities you can travel to fill your soul with nostalgia but modern fashion at the same time. When you land there, no matter where you are coming from, you will most certainly be amazed at the crowded city vibe at first sight. In order to enjoy this city to the fullest, you must forget about all the rumours, how awful it is because of the crowd and how the traffic drives you crazy but be without prejudice, open to new experiences and get ready to enjoy.

You can start with a touristic visit to the famous mosques, palaces and squares. If you are a really outgoing person and is not really fond of historical background and all the “boring” details of the country, you will still enjoy touring around the historical places. There are many other things apart from history you can enjoy during a visit to these historical places. For example, when you go to the Topkapı Palace, you will not only witness the architectural magnificence of the palace and see where the most famous people in the history lived, but also get to enjoy the beautiful view of Istanbul’s landscape. The room at the very top of the palace has a very soothing view of the Bosphorus Bridge and Anatolian side of the country. Cool for a “historical” tour, right? 

Besiktas – Photo by the author

At night, if you wish for a fancy dinner of traditional Turkish cuisine, you can have dinner in Matbah Ottoman Palace Cuisine with the company of a beautiful view of the Bosphorus and the city lights of Istanbul at night. However, if you wish to have a humble dinner. I highly recommend you sit down at the small restaurants in Eminonü and enjoy a fresh fish sandwich with şalgam (Turnip juice) with the company of the beautiful sea.

If you are a shopping kind of person, there is no better city for you to shop in. If you are into famous brands there are many shopping malls that include the finest quality brands. Nonetheless, the outlet malls are the center of attention when it comes to shopping in Istanbul. If you are lucky, you can get about 80% off from the most known brands and I am not even counting tax free. You will have a very satisfying shopping experience. 

Ortakoy – Photo by the author

Hence, if you want to shop more traditionally and purchase unique things with humble prices, Istanbul is still the best place for you to enjoy this kind of experience. Grand Bazaar of Istanbul is the best place to buy traditionally weaved carpets, silver engraved trays and Turkish coffee cups. If I start to list all the things you can buy from there, I will have to write a whole book about it. I suggest you spare a whole day for this place as it is really big and you would not want to leave without tasting the famous Turkish Coffee and fill your empty stomach with köfte sandwich. Other places I would recommend you visit for this kind of shopping would be the Eminönü and Bakırköy bazaars. In advance, you can tour around Kadıköy shopping in more modern shops and when you are tired, you can sit down and have a beer in one of the pubs you will see along the streets.

Dolmabahce Palace – Photo by the author

For you to experience the best kind of breakfast ever. Like, ever, I highly recommend you go to Çatalca which is at the very outer corner of the European side of Istanbul. It is about an hour away from the airport but it most certainly worths the time and the patience. Wherever you go within this district, they present you with the richest Turkish breakfast you can ever witness. With its “far away from the city” vibe, you will enjoy a soothing morning with your cup of tea accompanied by the voices of farm animals at a very reasonable price. My favorite place in Çatalca for breakfast is a restaurant/farm named Antik Köy. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

For you to enjoy the places I recommended and even discover some other places of your own, the first thing you should do is to overcome the prejudice in your mind and not listen to the people who only talk to you about how crowded the city is. After overcoming this point of view, there is no reason for you not to enjoy this exquisite city. İyi tatiller!

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