One word for it: spectacular. Another two words for it: Grand Bazaar; that’s a very good synonym. Istanbul is a love it or not story, but a must-see nevertheless. You can never hate it, no matter how chaotic it may seem at times, but you will find there is a very thin line between loving it and simply visiting it off. I found that most people are thoroughly addicted to Istanbul, but thehappyfew will need this prose in order to feel the poetry. I have some of the best things in Istanbul, some snobbish advice and some personal tips. Here it goes.
Best things in Istanbul
- The whole world becomes a kaleidoscope of colors, vibes, languages and faces, rolling at a fast, mesmerizing pace. You are simply swept off your feet, tired yet always amazed, trying to keep up with the surprises popping from everywhere. Give into it, don’t try to make sense, and you’ll be happy and take an insane number of photos.
- The people are nice. Small local businesses owners are a blessing, and young men always offer their seat on the tram.
- Istanbul is much more than a city, it’s an entire planet. Two continents, a crossroad of seas, a one-of-a-kind skyline, the ever-changing coastline and the seven hills; it’s only after you’ve traveled it up and down, after you’ve taken the Bosphorus cruise and only after you’ve discovered the Asian side that you can begin to understand how large the city is, and how different its districts are. The zig-zag with the ferry between the various ports on the European and Asian sides is the coolest thing ever.
- The food is great. I mean all the food, even (or especially) the street food. I will not get into it, just enjoy everything that makes you drool, and ask for “not spicy” if you cannot hold your hot pepper
- The transport system is very good, and they have something like an oyster card, but better, because you don’t have to present it when exiting the station as well. Just charge it at any automatic point signed Istanbulkart / electronic ticket and you can use it all: metro, ferry, tram, tunnel, funicular – more than fine, great actually.