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3.22.2010

24 hours in Istanbul

24 hours in Istanbul

We left Rome on the morning of the first real snowfall in 26 years! Missing all that fun and heading toward Cape Town for a week in the summer sunshine.


We had so little time, just over 24 hours, so this was a trip to hit the main spots and do what we like best which is wander and explore with only a vague idea of a plan in mind.



Wander - Wonder - Eat


These are my recommendations for if you only have a few daylight hours of what not to miss

The Blue Mosque - we thought it was just a quick escape from the driving rain...but don't miss this crowed but beautiful sight.

Salep  -  young men with steaming brass cisterns are set up around the blue mosque and hagia sofia...dont miss this winter warming treat.

Gran bazaar  - It is almost impossible to choose which ceramic/scarf/carpet stall to shop in. Just wander, stop for tea and a snack and let your heart decide.  If you really need price tags, right next door to Fes Cafe is Abdulla where they will beautifully gift wrap individual bars of hamam soap.

Spice market - We bought orchid root (to make salep back home) and jasmine tea flowers, something called ottoman spice - which is delicious mixed with yogurt on roasted chicken, and iranian caviar.

An Asian diner lunch and baklava with prayer call


The driving rain had stopped, the sun broke through the clouds, so we found the docks near the Galata bridge and hopped on a ferry to asia. We picked Uskadar because that was the first boat leaving. We had no map and no plan so we just followed the crowd off the ferry and liked the looks of this place especially when we saw a big table of local policeman finishing their lunch. 

There is a branch of the famous and expansive gulluoglu here so as prayer called bounced off the minarets we had hot glasses of  tea and a plate of sticky sweet baklava 

Hammam. Dear Husband decided the best way to prepare for the overnight flight to the bottom of Africa was to stop at the hammam. He chose this hassle free, though touristy option. 

Practicalities 
Where to stay - What to eat - What to read


Hotel Empress Zoe charming and eclectic. We loved it here!  This rambling spot reminded me of the Hotel Tabard Inn, an old favorite.  The room was a chic mix of old school Turkish and new school modern. The hotel bar (with free wireless) always had a fire going and a never ending supply of cherry juice. 

book a walking tour with context travel
good reads here and here
good advice here and here
watch anthony bourdain eat his way through town
stylecity - istanbul
wallpaper guide

luxe guide



24 hours in Istanbul

24 hours in Istanbul

24 hours in Istanbul

24 hours in Istanbul


24 hours in Istanbul

24 hours in Istanbul





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