Istanbul Journals

A short week in Istanbul

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A travel journal to Istanbul by catsholiday

Orient Express Hotel Photo, Istanbul, Turkey More Photos
Quote: We spent about four days in Istanbul in April with our daughter and her husband. We explored the city and beyond. A truly fascinating place with much within walking distance

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)

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Attraction | "The Blue Mosque"

Hagia Sophia Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
THE BLUE MOSQUE OR SULTAN AHMED MOSQUE or SULTANMET CAMII:The Blue Mosque gets its name from the decorative tiles inside the mosque, prior to my visit I thought that it was from the grey blue stone from which it is built. This mosque was built between 1610 and 1617 and is the only mosque in Istanbul with six minarets. It can be seen rising up on the hill as you enter Istanbul from the Bosporus and is one of the many mosques seen on the skyline of the city at dusk. As you enter the mosque, covered as you need to be out of respect and shoe less, you are immediately aware of how much light is coming through the 260 windows. The wonderful blue tiles – 20,000 of them are decorated w...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 28, 2010

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)
Sultanahmet
Istanbul, Turkey
0212 458 0776

Orient Express Hotel

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Hotel | "Orient Express but not the Train"

Orient Express Hotel Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
The Orient Express Hotel , Hudavendigar Cad No: 34-34110www.orientexpresshotel.comThis hotel is part of the Sirkeci group which is a group of hotels and restaurants in Istanbul. Sirkeci is also an area of the old part of Istanbul and The Sirkeci Railway Station was the terminus of the famous Orient Express train and was just round the corner from the hotel.The hotel is in the old part of Istanbul and right on the street with the tram line along the street. We were slightly worried as we were driven along the tramline then the taxi stopped outside the hotel door on the tramline. We discovered that the trams do stop in traffic bit we were decidedly panicky as we were droppe...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 21, 2010

Orient Express Hotel
34 HUDAVENDIGAR ST
Istanbul, Turkey 34410
90 212 5207160

Sufi Music Concert

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Attraction | "Whirling Dervishes"

Sufi Music Concert Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
The event I am reviewing takes place in Istanbul TurkeySufi Music concert and Sema Ceremony – Sirkeci Train station – Event Hall IstanbulTuesday and Saturday 7.30 – 8.30 pmSETTING THE SCENE:When I was a child my mother would always say we were rushing around like ‘whirling dervishes’ and I had always thought they were mini Twisters or cyclones. As I grew up I had decided in my brain that ‘whirling dervishes’ were armed swordsmen who fought by whirling their weapons but i’d not really thought much more deeply about who or what they were until we saw an advert for ‘Whirling Dervishes’ near our hotel in Istanbul. They were advertising a ‘Sufi Music concert and Sema Ceremon...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 23, 2010

Sufi Music Concert
Sirkeci Train Station, Event Hall
Istanbul, Turkey

Hagia Sophia

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Attraction | "Church, Mosque then Museum"

Hagia Sophia Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
THE HAGIA SOPHIA:This wonderful building was known as the Church of the Holy Wisdom, but is also known as Hagia Sophia in Greek and Aya Sofya in Turkish. The Hagia Sophia was a Byzantine church then later it became an Ottoman mosque. Today this is a museum and the building of the Hagia Sophia is accepted by many as one of the great buildings of the world.This beautiful building faces the blue Mosque across the square and it has had a very up and down history. It was first built in 60AD and was burned in 404 and destroyed in 532 in the Nike riots. It was rebuilt between 532 and 537 as a church with a dome supported by 107 pillars. One of these pillars is known as the sweating ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 23, 2010

Hagia Sophia
Sultanahmet Square
Istanbul, Turkey
+90 212 528 4500

Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi)

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Attraction | "The "Not So New Really" Mosque"

New Mosque/Yeni Camii Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
YENI CAMII:the name means New Mosque but as it was built in the 1600s it is really no longer that new. It is a very attractive mosque right by the side of the Bosporus by the Galata Bridge.This mosque is similar in style to other mosques in Istanbul with a number of rounded domes and then two tall minarets sticking up into the air, the number of minarets varies but this is the style of mosque seen in Istanbul it seemed to me. Building began beside the Bosporus on the sight of a former slum area in 1597. There were many problems during the building, water seepage, the death of the Sultan and money problems but after 40 years it was finally completed. It is not as well known as t...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 23, 2010

Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi)
Kalpakcilarbasi Street
Istanbul, Turkey

New Mosque/Yeni Camii

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Attraction | "The "Not So New Really" Mosque"

New Mosque/Yeni Camii Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
YENI CAMII:the name means New Mosque but as it was built in the 1600s it is really no longer that new. It is a very attractive mosque right by the side of the Bosporus by the Galata Bridge.This mosque is similar in style to other mosques in Istanbul with a number of rounded domes and then two tall minarets sticking up into the air, the number of minarets varies but this is the style of mosque seen in Istanbul it seemed to me. Building began beside the Bosporus on the sight of a former slum area in 1597. There were many problems during the building, water seepage, the death of the Sultan and money problems but after 40 years it was finally completed. It is not as well known as t...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 23, 2010

New Mosque/Yeni Camii
Southern End of Galata Bridge
Istanbul, Turkey

A Boat Trip on the Bosporus

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Story/Tip

View of the Bosporus Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
THE BOSPORUS:We had planned a boat trip on the Bosporus and tried to select a day when the weather was warmer. The ferry called the Eminonu – Kavaklar Bosporus Special Touristic Excursion leaves from the Bogaz Hatti dock at Eminonu every day at 10.35. However if you want a good seat then it is advisable to get there at least half an hour early as everyone just rushes on and the seats with views are limited. Indeed even if you get a good seat people seem to walk almost on top of you when they want to take a photo. The trip is a real bargain at 12.50 Turkish lira per person return for a trip which takes an hour and three quarters each way.This is a ferry which carries passengers not just tourists...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 23, 2010

Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir

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Attraction | "Turkish Delight"

Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Before we went for our city break to Istanbul we did a lot of research as to what we would like to see and do. A lot of the things were obvious like the Blue Mosque, The Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi palace but there were other places such as the Misir Çarsisi or Egyptian Spice Market and the Original Turkish delight Shop or the cafe of Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir which is in the same area as the Egyptian Spice market so a perfect place for a coffee after a walk through the market.We walked on through this market area and on a couple of streets to further to Hamidiye caddesi 81 where we visited the original Turkish delight shop of Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir. Initially we thought we would just h...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 23, 2010

Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir
Hamidiye Caddesi 81
Istanbul, Turkey

Topkapi Palace

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Attraction | "Do you Want to See John The Baptist's Arm?"

Orient Express Hotel Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
TOPKAPI PALACE:We planned to get to the Palace as it opened in order to avoid the crowds so we headed on turning left out of our hotel towards Gulhane Parki and then on up the drive towards the Palace entrance. The tickets were 20Turkish Lira for the Palace and another 15 Turkish Lira for the Harem. We were there early so we headed straight for the Harem as queues build up quickly as numbers allowed to enter are limited.Originally the Palace was built for Mehmet the conqueror not long after he took over the city of Constantinople in 1459. The Palace is a huge complex of several courts and living quarters and in its heyday it held a population of over 3,000 people from servants to con...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 23, 2010

Topkapi Palace
Sultanahmet Square
Istanbul, Turkey
90 212 5224422