Walking across the City of 2 Continents-Istanbul

A country which can give a European experience at half the cost
A country which can satiate all types- beach person, mountain person,Culture person,City person...
A country which can fulfill all kinds- Foodie, Trekker, Luxury traveler, Biker…
A country which can be visited in any season of the year
A country which can give you the flavor of 2 continents in 1

Yes, its’ Turkey- And these are just 5 out of the million reasons to make it your next vacation destination

This series is an ode to some unique experiences in Turkey that I was lucky to experience & would recommend every traveler to Turkey include in their itinerary.

What better place to start this ode with than The City of 2 continents-“Istanbul”

Istanbul is one city which is best enjoyed by leisurely walking trails soaking in the vibrancy & chaos of this cultural delight and stopping by for some fabulous food along the way to keep you refreshed for your next walk. Below are some must do Walking Trails:

  • Walking trail of Old Istanbul Sultanahmet Area: 3-4 Kms

No better way to see the top attractions of Old Istanbul area than by a walking trail over a day along the cobbled stoned streets of Sultanahmet area. Almost all the key attractions are within a 3 km radius with the added incentive of beautiful cafes and restaurants to experience along the way.

Basilica Cistern, Tokapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Sofia Hagia , Hippodrome & Grand Bazaar

Ideal would be to split this over 2 days such that you get to spend an entire half in the world’s largest Bazaar- The Grand Bazaar and still wish you had more time.

  • Night trail of Sultanahmet after dinner at one of the panorama restaurants near blue mosque: 2 Kms

The entire old city of Istanbul looks & feels different at night. The light from the beautifully lit cafes mingled with the moon light dances on the cobble stone streets, enticing you to never go back to your hotel. Take a relaxed walk around the blue mosque area and enjoy a sumptuous dinner at one of the high rise panorama restaurants to get an even more spectacular view of the old city.

  • Walking trail on the Galata bridge over sunset to catch the night life at Taksim Square – 5 Kms

The vibrancy of the masses at Galata tower area can only be completed by the sophistication of the elite at Taksim square. With plenty of street music & some niche cafes, Iftiklal Street at Taksim square is the place to head to if you are young and wish to be with the young.

Do a short Bosporus cruise, get down at Eminonu’ and start your 30-40 minute walk to Taksim square. You can stop where you want as there is no dearth of café’s and don’t forget to pick up the latest fashion trends at the boutiques of Iftiklal Street.

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  • The Bebek sea facing trail along the Bosporus

A beautiful village along the European side of Bosporus, Bebek has a lovely promenade along the Bosporus Sea that makes it an ideal walk & relax location at any time of the day & night. You can either take a cruise to reach here, have breakfast and take a leisurely walk or even better get here to watch the sun set which you walk along the sea. This place also boasts of some posh bars catering to the Istanbul elite’s night life.

Bosporus promenade

  • Shopping trail at Grand Bazaar: 2-3 Kms

The world’s largest closed market, The Grand Bazaar has to be seen to be believed. Spread over few Kms and housing 40000+ stores, this covered market is a shopper’s delight. The fact that it is covered makes it an all-weather destination for shoppers. With its multiple alley ways it is very easy to get lost in this bazaar but every turn opens up a new set of colorful stores. Lamps, Porcelain, clothes, carpets, antiques, spices…You name it and you will find it. Please bargain like hell!

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