Exploring around Instanbul, Turkey

It's been a whilrlwhind since returning from Turkey a week ago.  I cannot but help scroll through all the wonderous photos I took whilst abroad in Instanbul.  If you have never been to Instanbul, it is definitely a city that I highly recommend.  In this article I will introduce you to the sites of Turkey that recommend when visiting such a large and prosperous city. 

The city is certainly a busy one and full of life, splendor, smells, people and incredible food that will tantalize your tastebuds to return for more.

I was lucky to travel to Instanbul, Turkey with a friend who knows the city fairly well, it didn't go unnoticed that this city is a busy one.  Often many complain about Los Angeles traffic, but I now come to realize nothing compares to the traffic jams in Instanbul.  One evening we left one side of town two hours before our dinner and it literally took us two hours to get across town to a place that was maybe 15 miles away.  So, now my appreciation for Los angeles traffic is still daunting but nothing nearly as daunting as Instanbul roads.

When arriving into Instanbul, you wiill whisk through the airport to exit, but buyers beware the local taxi drivers are not the most gentle and they will rob you blind of your monies, if you don't organize prices in advance. This often proved difficult as I found that the majority of taxi drivers do not speak a lick of English, okay maybe the word hello and goodbye, but that is about it.  As told by the locals, the taxi drivers even pull the wool over their eyes and they speak the language and know their own city very well.  I am not one to promote such services on my site, but if you have the uber app, it is worth saving the aggravation and money to use the uber app whilst in Istanbul. Uber X is the main vehicle that will be found on the app whilst in Turkey and each and every time, we had a lovely driver, who greeted us and dropped us off without taking extra loops around the city, along with arrival was always a nice VW wagon lined with leather seats.

The shopping in Instabul is outfitted by the amazing fashion sense of the locals who dress up for evenings out or just leisurely strolls throughout the city mid-day. Seeing as we were visiting during Ramadan the nights were mellow and the locals would all pour out onto the streets in the later evenings. Shops were bustling, along with Restaurants alike.  Some things that I recommend doing while in Instanbul, include but are not limited to are: The Bazaar for any shopping needs for local souvenirs, lamps, turkish towels, jewelry, or the infamous turkish rugs.  You certainly will find many great items in all of these categories and more. 

mikal

Additionally, I brought home the most amazing spices from the Spice Bazaar which is on the Karakoy side of Instanbul.  Make sure you allow yourself time for this and don't show up an hour before closing or you may miss getting a taste of all the spices, saffron and turkish deilghts that your little heart may desire. Not only are the bazaar's amazing, but the most amazing baklava can be found in Karakoy.  

baklava

So much to see, here and smell, including my infamous obsession with baklava whilst in Turkey.  As I write this article I just discovered that the famous baklava shop, ships internationally, so here it is for you all to experience, no matter where you live. The name of the shop is karakoygulluoglu.  Here you can find all different types of baklava including one I had never tried, chocolate baklava.

There are so many hidden gems throughout Instanbul, that you must take time to explore the streets, shops and cafes.  Another hidden gem is a Restaurant a friend recommended. Turns out it is also a favorite of many US celebrities too.  The food and service was fantastic and you must check out Mikla for amazing food, pairings, wine and service and an incredible view doesn't hurt either.

wine