For this city-trip to Istanbul, Turkey I took my mother with me. She is 81 and loves to travel. We had a hotel in Sirkeci, which is right next to the Topkapi Palace. It also meant al the other sights in old Istanbul were within walking distance. Did I already tell you my mother is a trooper. As long as regularly stopped for coffee or food she walks everywhere.
There are so many great things to see in Istanbul. And most of them are very close together which is a good thing as the city is huge. But we wanted to stick to the historical sights. Like the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia en Blue Mosque, which are all close together. Don’t forget to cross the street from the Hagia Sifia and visit the underground cisterns, the ols watersupply of the city. It is impressive.
If you go from these landmarks up the hill you will come across the Big Bazar. A huge covered permanent market that has been there for ages. Around it are narrow, very busy streets. Each street has its own trade. On top of the hill is the big Sehzade Mosque, the big landmark of old Istanbul. If you walk down the hill to the ferry harbour, you will come across the Egyptian (or Spice) Market. Also a covered and very old market. Lots of locals so it is a real working market but tourists are welcome ‘victims’ of the slewed salemen.
Walk across the Galatabridge, chockfull of men fishing, to the Galata Tower. Don’t fall, like we almost did, for the shoeshiners trick of ‘losing’ a brush and walking on. When you bring them the brush, before you know it the start shining your shoes. Even canvas ones and demand money for their work.
Take a ferry to see Istanbul from the water. Take the one to the Asian side of town. Deadcheap, way cheaper than the tourist boats and you will see the same things. We noticed a distinct difference once we came of the very on the Asian side. Old public transport, whereas on the European side it was all brandnew buses and trams.
We didn’t see all the sites as some a pretty far from the old center. But Istanbul is a magnificent city.