translated from Spanish: The route of Istanbul – El Mostrador

Recorriend or the old continent we have many different places, from cultures, landscapes, people and food. A foie gras in Paris is quite different to a few croquettes in Spain or a fresh fettuccinis in Italy. Under that premise, of the most diverse places I’ve had fortunate within what is Europe without being in Europe, it is Turkey.
Many people have prejudices about the Middle East and their countries. Well, in the case of Turkey is the most westernized in terms of religion and culture in the Arab countries. Also worth considering its Western and eastern side of which we will discuss later.
Istanbul is a city that can ward off or fall in love with. Very intense and with a lot to see, hear, smell, feel. Its main street, touristically speaking, is Taksim, where you will find the «Taksim Square»: there you can find many bars, restaurants, shops and hotels.
It is not very «local» so to speak in any way, since it is very westernized in his kind of shops and restaurants, yet you can still find one to another bar to sit on the floor and take and eat Turkey delicatessen.
As for clothing, not to worry, many people go with jeans, blouses, shirts without sleeves, shorts, etc. They are very open in this regard. Only for the entering mosques you should cover, but for day to day you can walk as you want.

Places to visit 07:00 am the alarm is sounding. And it is that although you’re probably on vacation, there is no minute to lose in this place. Go to the Sultanahmet Square, which is where all the «nitty gritty» tourist pure and simple.
1 santa Sofia, also known as «Ayasofya» by the Turks: a Catholic church built during the reign of Justinian in the 500 years and is one of the most incredible masterpieces of Byzantine art. Then in the 15th century was transformed in mosque by the Ottoman Empire, which is why the Church, originally Christian, has 4 minarets to your around – the classical pillars that have mosques. And then in the 1930s, Ataturk turned it into a museum.
Everything in this sector is very close so I recommend walking from one place to another to also feel vibes them of the city and people, lots of music on the streets, eating chestnuts in the street carts or a corn, or simply sit and watch.
2. Blue Mosque: it is the most important mosque in Istanbul. Very controversial when it was built, not by its size that is half of Santa Sofia, but for its number of minarets: has 6 like Mecca. But to reassure the faithful, built a seventh minaret in Mecca.
Here as useful data, it is necessary for women to go with the shoulders, hair and legs covered, but if it’s summer and you’re uncovered, don’t worry because the input you provide all to enter. And we must also organize themselves according to the schedules of prayer because there close to tourism.
Currently they are restoring it and not seen much, so, if they are planning to visit the city, I recommend you to go when this famous monument is ready.
3 Palace Topkapi: really enormous, is to devote a full day if you are a fan of such places. If not, I recommend that they will only see «treasure» and the view of the place. They are 700 thousand square meters, with 4 courtyards and buildings of all kinds. Treasury has some of the most valuable objects of the world, such as diamond grandiflorus (88-carat diamond that belonged to Letizia Ramolino, mother of Napoleon) or the dagger topkapi (gun more expensive in the world, built in gold with emeralds embedded).
Another popular attraction is the «harem» which was the place where lived the Sultan, his family and a group of between 500 and 800 women of high cultural level trained in certain skills.
4. If you like museums, visit the archaeological museum and the Museum of Turkish and Islamic art.
5 and if you’re more than those who prefers to relax, I leave two of the most visited Turkish baths: Hamam Cemberlitas and Hamam Suleymaniye – only Hammam Istanbul – mixed, ideal for couples and families.
6 the Bosphorus tour: here I recommend hiring a private tour or semi private, because if taken the classics that come out of the port, in high season van so full that often plays to go stand, and is a walk of about an hour where obviously it is more comfortable i assume r. In addition, with a private guide the history of the place can be understood well.
7. Grand Bazaar: the great Temple of everything. Clothing, shoes, mostly imitations, sweet, (exquisite) soaps, Apple tea very typical of them, famous Turkish sweets, etc. I ahondaré not here because I think that you have to experience it.
8 market of species: ideal to buy the most varied species to cook.
9. Pierreloti: it is a very famous coffee in the city which has a ralamente incredible view. It is worth going to take a break from the chaos of the city and relax.

Where to eat?
1 eat + stunning view + party… What more you can ask? Well, if reached ever to go to Reina, Sortie is its successor. Queen was the place of fashion and more «top» to go in Istanbul. You could reach by taxi, as well as in your boat directly by the Bosphorus restaurant, ideal, right? That makes up about 4 years ago that there was an assassination attempt of a man who entered shooting burning clothes and they had to shut down it.
Now he took his Sortie place. I recommend going at night to see the city and the illuminated Blue Mosque. Yes or Yes have to ask local food, is too rich, tasty and prepare it as gods.
After eating, he gets more bar wave and if you’re wanting to move the bobbin, then you can stay to dance in the discotheque.
2. 360 Istanbul: is a restaurant that is in a 10th floor if I remember correctly, with a 360 degree view of the city. I also recommend going at night and enjoy its terrace and very rich food. Personally I recommend the beef roast-style Strip, accompanied by mote, a marvel.
3 hotels are also generally a good choice for eating rich: my most recommended is the Soho House, which if you are not a member, you can eat in the restaurant below, is a former Turkish Palace restored, really cute.
Recommendation a very important recommendation that I had to live it, not contracted travel agencies to make them this type of travel. Usually the agencies serve to make you plans easy to handle as it may be an «all inclusive» or the classic trip to Europe where in two weeks touring 20 countries (tiring). I think that today all the tools are online to create a trip to suit you.
I the first time I went to Turkey it organized all I and it was great, reading references and informing me on the internet and some recommendations from people that had gone. It was all perfect.
Now the second time, I mistakenly hired a bank Travel Club and it was a disaster, bad hotels, poor recommendations and even worse customer service.
Information and organize it yourself. They are countries as it is Morocco, very cheap that can do a lot with little.
Pack your most comfortable shoes and prepare to move to another culture and really fascinating reality.

Original source in Spanish

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