Apparently many people think Istanbul is Turkey’s capital, which is completely wrong, that’s a common mistake though, I’ve seen a lot of people thinking L.A is the capital of U.S.A and Sydney as Australia’s capital. Well, let me correct you. Istanbul is not the capital of Turkey, but the biggest and most crowded city overall.
I don’t know the exact reasons why I became interested in Istanbul, mostly because of sports I assume, Turkey has been such a dark horse and investing a lot on sports, especially football and women’s volleyball. I’m pretty sure you have heard of at least a couple of turkish clubs.
Anyways, just landed up in Istanbul from Kapadokya. Istanbul is such a huge city with a big amount of populations. Basically this city is divided into two parts, European part and Asian part. Sabiha Gokcen airport which I landed up from is located in Asian part, I was kinda surprised to know how big Istanbul is and also about traffic jams! It’s crazy.
Busy, busy and busy.
I have a friend in Istanbul and thankfully his family and he invited me and let me stay at his house. I had no idea how far it is from the airport and it took around three hours, okay it was rush hour, no cars were able to move fast, people seemed quite stressed out, crying babies, vomiting people in the bus. I know it sounds creepy but that’s what it was.
What is so interesting about this city?
I value people’s own thoughts about one specific city, that’s why I always ask people who have already visited the city I’m planning to go. There was no one who said bad things about Istanbul, perhaps about traffic jams and some bad touts, apart from those, Istanbul was highly talked, at least by many people I asked to. I find it very interesting that there’s a huge bridge (or better a canal) that connects Istanbul’s european part and asian part. To me it looked a bit complicating, I wonder how people move around and come back from the other side every single day. There’s a lot of boats going on and coming back, in Istanbul ferries are as important transportation as metro and buses. I mean you wouldn’t easily find cities like Istanbul.
99% of turkish populations are muslims, hence it’s not so weird seeing a load of mosques everywhere you go. Blue mosque is definitely worth visiting, the architecture is really beautiful. There’s a quite famous museum called “Aya Sofia” just next to Blue mosque, also very interesting.
Sultan Ahmed square. Some weeks ago, A terrible tragedy happened here and many innocent people lost their their life 😦
Taksim is Istanbul’s heart. Anything can be done in this area, shopping, food, meeting local people, drinking out and hamam (Turkish bath) as well. I stayed at Tolga’s place for two days only and moved to a cheap hostel in Taksim area in order to be closer to city center and it was worthy.
I love traveling because nobody knows me and nobody cares what I do.
Taksim is full of energy, young people, artists and musicians. I remember when was 15, I had watched a documentary about Istanbul’s daily life and the background was Taksim. Quite hard to believe to be there in person.
Watching a volleyball match in Istanbul was on my bucket list before this trip, although I wasn’t really sure there would be a match on the same date of my stay, I was kinda lucky to find a very interesting match between two of best turkish clubs. Since Istanbul is huge and a lot of traffic jams going, it took me around 2 hours. Can you believe it? Moving around in the same city and taking two hours. It was kinda frustrating.
Speaking italian with a turkish guy?
Sometimes I get fed up with speaking english all the time, despite not being a native english speaker. I mean I feel appreciated that I speak it and english is used everywhere on the planet, but as I can speak some other languages as well I would like to practice them whenever I get given a chance. And this guy from Couchsurfing impressed me so much with the way he sees things. His name is Can, I had requested him to stay at his place, sadly he lives with his parents hence he’s not able to invite anyone. But still we wanted to meet up in one day of my stay and we did it.
We had so much fun walking around, talking, having dinner at his ex-university and finally we went to have some fondue. I know that’s not so common eating chocolate fondue in Turkey, why not Kebabs? 😀 But it was brilliant, according to him this place is always full of guests and I understand why.
And guess what? We have a couple of thing to share. We both speak pretty good italian and we have worked in the same company, of course not in the same branch but still I find it pretty rare. I’m not wondering why our conversations never ended 😉
Nice to meet you Can, I hope to see you back in Istanbul 🙂 I don’t know when though, but I will definitely come back and see you!
Two of my friends who have visited Istanbul before I did had told me to try Mackerel kebab in Istanbul, okay, to be honest I don’t really eat seafood that much, first off I don’t like the smell of them, second off I was getting tired of having kebabs. After suffering food poisoning I tried to avoid any kind of street food, well I know it’s sad because Istanbul is full of tasty food, I mean EVERYWHERE!
Having a tea time by myself never can be bad.
D a i l y I s t a n b u l .
Things that I miss from Istanbul
3.Ferry trip from European part to Asian part
4.People (They sometimes can be sly as hell but once you are open to them they will definitely like you)
5.Freedom (I loved walking through a park in Sultan Ahmed square)
6.The beautiful streetcar.
It wasn’t only me trying to take a pic next to a streetcar.
Nightlife in Istanbul
As being not so into drinking out, I can’t really give you nice advice about it but I think Istanbul can be extremely fun when you drink out, especially if you are in a group. I would definitely have gone out with my friends if I were with them, but for a solo traveler, it may be a bit hard. Many people I met told me that Istanbul’s nightlife can be either fun as hell or disastrous, well, it’s always up to you 😉