Ilhem
4 min readFeb 2, 2023

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THINGS YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE VISITING ISTANBUL:

Hello there travel addicts who have been around the globe and want to see more. If Istanbul is one of your bucket list countries you plan to explore soon, this travel blog is for you.

I visited Istanbul for the first time the previous month. December is the month of holidays and vacations!

Today, I’m gonna share with you my travel experience to Turkey, everything you need to know about the country, the applications that were useful, and the dos and don’ts.

Galata Tower — Istanbul.

I. Istanbul — Turkey :

Istanbul is a dynamic city that straddles both Asia and Europe! Thus, it has both the European beauty of ancient architecture and Asian spirituality and flavors. It’s a modern city that still holds the past in her heart and the grace of Islam, magical landscapes, and mouth-watering Turkish cuisine.

II. Places that you need to see:

1 — Mosques: There are more than 3,000 of these places of worship in Turkey’s largest city, but the most stunning and the most anciently beautiful that you should not miss are:

  • Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) ·
  • Hagia Sophia Mosque (Ayasofya Camii) ·
  • Süleymaniye Mosque ·

2 — The Bosphorus: Spanning out between Asia and Europe, Bosphorus Bridge is the epitome of fantastic architecture. Make sure to take a Bosphorus cruise ( available day and night) to enjoy the view of the ocean and the birds flying over it. You can take amazing instgrammable pictures.

3 — Princess’s islands: is also one of the attractions spots, you can take a ferry from Istanbul which will probably take up to 2 hours to reach these islands. Even if they removed the carriages now, you can still take a bicycle ride around the island and have lunch in the view of the ocean.

Although it’s a magical place when it comes to sightseeing and nature but as a traveler, I pay more attention to the civilization of every country I go to and that is why Istanbul was a half-disappointment for me. This is what nobody else will tell you about Turkey.

III. What you need to know before visiting:

  1. Taxi drivers: or I must say, scammers. once they see that you’re a foreign or a tourist they will try to triple the price for you, and they will offer to take you to the wanted location only if you agree to their unbelievably high prices. If you ask them to use the counter then they will take a longer way. Always have your google maps open and follow the location.
  2. Language: Even if it’s a very touristic place in the world, most of the local people don’t speak English or any other language, they expect you to speak their mother tongue. Always have your google translate ready.
  3. Help: My experience in this subject could have been better, I tried to ask for help many times but I was only ignored or kept waiting. You will always find 1 or 2 people that are willing to help but my advice is to always be prepared and rely on yourself, have everything planned before going out!

IV- Useful Applications that you must have:

Throughout my journey in this city, I discovered many applications that were very useful.

1- Bitaxi: it’s the Turkish version of Uber. You can download this application if you want to order a taxi.

2- Booking.com: This application helped me choose the hotel I stayed in, it shows you the location, how far it is from the center, and the closest attractions. You can also use it to book tours or cruises.

3- Obilet: It’s the most popular tourism application in Turkey, it allows you to book a ferry, hotel, taxi, airplane ticket, rent a car, and many other services.

Yes, my lovely curious readers, that was my bittersweet experience visiting Istanbul for the first time, and for the record, I had a chance to visit a city called bursa which is 2 hours and a half by ferry away from Istanbul and I enjoyed the city way better, it’s nature, it’s mountains, waterfalls and snow in Uludag was a fantastic experience.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the end of the blog! I hope it was useful and helpful somehow. Don’t forget to share with us your experience in the comment section if you have visited these places before See you soon with another travel blog.

Disclaimer: All photos are taken by me ( all rights reserved)

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Ilhem

Poet, Author of " Soft Poetry" & " Ups And Downs", Traveler, Ecology and Environement Bachelor, freelancer, Art lover. IG: 90s.heart__