A Turkish Delight

Salmah Chopdat on 18 April 2016

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“If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul “A famous quote by Alphonso De Lamartine and is so true in every way.

I was fortunate enough to visit this beautiful city of Istanbul in March 2016. On arrival at the Istanbul airport we were met by amazing ground staff. We were transported to our hotel in an 8 seater air conditioned vehicle and the transfer guide told us all the do's and don'ts of Istanbul and provided us with a list of useful information.

This proved to be really helpful especially as we were first time travellers to the city.

Our hotel, the Best Western Plus the President was a 4 Star property situated in a prime location, and just minutes away from the tram line which was our main form of transportation. With 2 kids and 2 prams, it all worked out quite perfectly.

On our first day, we enjoyed a beautiful city tour which involved the popular sites namely, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, The Basilica Cistern and the Grand Bazaar.

The Blue Mosque, is famous for the 20,000 Iznik tiles decorating its interior walls and it is unique for its 6 minarets, which was built in the name of Sultan Ahmet. It is a marvel to gaze at!

The Blue Mosque is adjacent to the Hagia Sophia which is a great architectural beauty and was an important monument for the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires. Once a church, later a mosque and now a museum. Hagia Sophia has always been a precious jewel of its time.

Other sites that we visited that day included the Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace which is a wonder of its own and the Grand Bazaar which boasts over 4,000 shops that will entice any traveller with its delicacies including Turkish delight and baklava.

The great thing about Istanbul is the affordability. You should pay approximately 20 – 30 lira for entry into the main tourist attractions and some are free.

Other great attractions in Istanbul include Miniaturk (A mini town of the city) and this is a marvel to all visitors especially those with kids.

The dolphinarium is a must visit – especially for families with toddlers and another popular museum is the transport museum featuring the world’s vintage modes of transport.

Cruising the Bosphorous is a must do, for a mere 10 lira per person, and if you have the time I would highly recommend a cruise across to the Princess Islands. This is a full day excursion and is so worth it especially during the summer months.

If not for anything else, the Turkish cuisine is a reason that I would visit Turkey again. From falafels to doners to Turkish delight, baklava and the acquired taste for Turkish coffee. Turkish cuisine is definitely something to try.

But what I loved most about Istanbul is the people, the culture, the hospitality and the warmth of the people.

The Turkish people truly show a sense of ownership of the history and the culture in this beautiful city of Istanbul.

If you would like any further information then please get in touch.

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