Okay, once you have visited the different districts and their attractions – historic sights, museums and all, what is there to do next? Well, there are a lot of things you can do in this marvelous city, many things that will keep you busy and at the same time give you some of the greatest vacation you will ever have.
Now, how shall we get to know and love this city? Let us count the ways:
Go on a food trip. One way to get to know a city is to know how the people eat. Istanbul is filled with cafes and restaurants that serve a wide variety of eats. One great place to visit is behind the Ortakoy Mosque – there is a food fair that specializes in Turkish food. Or, you can go with your nose – just follow the delectable aromas of cooking food. Kebabs or fish sandwiches, anyone?
Take a dip on a Turkish Bath. Of course, a holiday in Istanbul is never that unless you go to a hamam. The traditional Turkish bath is one great way to relax – imagine yourself surrounded by mist and hot, hot water. You can almost feel your pores opening up, sweat dripping from your brow and the hot water doing its job of cleansing and relaxing you. And since you’re there anyway, try getting a massage.
Ride the ferry and go on a tour of the Bosphorus. The Bosphorus Strait is one of the finest treasures of this city. This bustling waterway is lined with palatial homes and pashas. The Bosphorus divides the city’s European and Asian sides.
Soaking up nature’s bounty. Istanbul is full of wide-open spaces – parks, squares and tea gardens where you can appreciate the peace and quiet as well as the chance to take a breath of fresh air. One great place would be the Pierre Loti Café, which sits up a hilltop.
Shop! Need we say more? Istanbul has shops covering every spectrum. From chic designer boutiques to street markets to markets dedicated to spices, fresh produce and a host of other merchandise, Istanbul has ‘em all! Of course, one should not miss the gigantic Grand Bazaar, where you can spend hours and hours just poring over the different products. You can even try to do some haggling – there is no better feeling than to be able to make a bargain.
Watch live performances Turkey’s colorful culture is shown in many interesting ways – whirling dervishes going round and round, belly dancing at the club and yes, so many more! You can even try watching the performance of the troops at the Military Museum, who, by way of their Ottoman Mehter Band, offer glimpses of how formidable the Ottoman Empire was.
Other interesting activities include getting hooked on hookah, going out on walking tours to explore the rabbit warren of streets that may offer a surprise (architectural or cultural) and watching the sun set over the Golden Horn.