Our 1st day in Istanbul!

Istanbul Travel Blog

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Hagia Sophia

We arrived in Istanbul in the evening of April 26th, went through customs and as Canadians had to pay way more than I think all other countries at $60 US! What the heck. Anyway, relatively painless. We get to our hotel, Agora Guesthouse, and crash for the night

The next day, April 27th, my daughter and I meet up with our friends, Don and Debbie, right after breakfast on the rooftop, overlooking the sea! What a view! Then off we go for our jam-packed day! We head off to visit Hagia Sophia which is absolutely stunning. Hagia Sophia was built in 537AD and was the greatest church in Christiandom until 1453 when Mehmet the Conqueror converted it into a mosque. In 1935 it was proclaimed a museum, and a stunning one at that! Many of the walls are graced with beautiful mosaics! It's definately worth an hour or two! Cost was 25TL when we were there.

Breakfast overlooking the sea!

Next is the Basilica Cistern , built in 532. It's 65m wide and 143m long with 336 columns. It once held 80,000 cu meters of water. The place is absolutely amazing.. with some mood lighting and atmospheric music for added ambience. There are a couple of interesting medusa heads also in the cistern. I believe it cost 15TL to get in. 

We visited the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar. Please see the attached reviews for photos and more information on them!

And finally the Blue Mosque. Very beautiful and intricate. Shoes must be removed and hair scarves worn for women. Also see the attached reviews for pics Please. :) 

We had lunch at a local place just outside the Grand Bazaar, feasting on green salad, chicken kebabs, chicken wraps and rice. 

At supper we had lamb pork chops ( my 1st time having lamb.. very tasty!), and several mezzes. Beware that even if you did not order any mezzes , several places will offer you them but  not tell you that you will be charged for them, so if you don't want them, be sure to send them back! 

In the evening we went for a walk into the Beyogu district and had a drink at a local bar. Then off to bed! 

cotton_foam says:
10 TL for the cistern entrance fee; I still have the tickets that's why I remember :))
Posted on: Sep 15, 2014
WILLML says:
Always wanted to go here. Looks fantastic!
Posted on: Aug 06, 2013
luv2travel43 says:
Beautiful pictures! I can't wait to see in August.
Posted on: Jun 23, 2013
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Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Breakfast overlooking the sea!
Breakfast overlooking the sea!
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Basilica Cistern
Basilica Cistern
Basilica Cistern
Basilica Cistern
Basilica Cistern
Basilica Cistern
Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque
Cheye and I
Cheye and I
Eygptian column
Eygptian column
Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar
Lunch at a local restaurant outsid…
Lunch at a local restaurant outsi…
Turkish coffee
Turkish coffee
Spice Bazaar
Spice Bazaar
Spice Bazaar
Spice Bazaar
Vendor near the Galata bridge
Vendor near the Galata bridge
Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque
Cheye and Don
Cheye and Don
Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque
Istanbul Hotels & Accommodations review
Perfectly situated, excellent guesthouse with great private rooms
We stayed in the deluxe ensuite twin room. It was a decent size and clean and comfortable. The shower had lots of hot water and great water pressure. … read entire review
Istanbul Sights & Attractions review
Great fun!
The Grand Bazaar is a massive covered bazaar with over 2000 shops and 64 lanes. When we first entered we tried to do the LP walking tour but quickly g… read entire review
Istanbul Sights & Attractions review
Stunning!
The Blue Mosque is both stunning on the outside as well as the inside. It was built in 1603-1617 by Sultan Ahmet. It is a working mosque so during pra… read entire review
Istanbul
photo by: Memo