I have been waiting for many years to visit. The visit is upon me. What to see and do? How about these for a start?
I want to try the famous street food, particularly the Döner kabab, which is famous throughout Europe, and parts of Asia. A few I have tasted in Europe were quite tasty, and go quite well with a cold beer. Some other dishes to try: dolmas, koftas, and of course, the ubiquitous baklava.
The Hagia Sophia is the only place in the world to serve three religions.
Uniquely, have breakfast in Europe with a view of Asia, then lunch in Asia with a view of Europe. In other words, a trip on the Bosphorus, often called the heart of the city.
Witness a unique form of meditation, the whirling dervishes with their Sama ritual.
Visit the Blue Mosque by morning, party on the Bosphorus by evening. Experts say, “Istanbul is the new Berlin!”
Go shopping in the most visited tourist attraction in the world, the famous Grand Bazaar. I can’t wait. I love this concept the world over, whether Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market, Honolulu’s Aloha Stadium Flea Market, or the famous Night Markets throughout SE Asia.
Topkapi Palace was home to the Ottoman sultans for 400 years. Today it is a museum, holding, among other things, Muhammed’s cloak and sword.
Stroll down Istiklal street, with streetcars, Ottoman era buildings, nightlife, and Cicek Pasaji (drinking raki and eating fish).
While we are trying new food, how about the famous kumpir, Istanbul’s preferred street food. It is a baked potato loaded with appetizers (olives, hotdogs, pickles, corn and secret sauce).
Another one is tasting the palm ( a type of dessert) of Buyukada Island.
The islands can be toured by bicycle. Sounds right up my alley.
They say that I need to wrap a rag around a tree near Aya Yorgi Church to make a wish.
Tasting the lemon ice-cream in the Ice-Cream Maker Prinkapos’ place which is on the right-hand side while climbing the Büyükada Dock.
Having a Turkish coffee at Bebek cafe.
Try more desserts like keskul (almond pudding), ekmek kadayifi (bread), ayva tatlisi (quince dessert), and more baklava, of course.
I will let you know what I enjoyed the most.