Welcome back to part 2 of my post on Istanbul!
We were absolutely exhausted after my friend’s wedding so had a slightly later start the next day. I love walking in Istanbul – it feels very safe and there’s an interesting building or ruin around nearly every corner. We first headed to the Basilica Cistern, the largest surviving Byzantine cistern in Istanbul. It is a welcome retreat from the heat so definitely a must on a hot day. I couldn’t help snapping the oh so picturesque Blue Mosque on the way – I have way too many pics of this from every angle!
I loved the eerie feel of the Basilica Cistern, with its low lit pillars and numerous fish swimming in the shallow waters.
We next headed to the Dolmabahce Palace which used to be the administrative centre of the late Ottoman empire. It is really different to Topkapi palace which was very traditional in style – Dolmabahce palace is just like any other European palace. For me, it lacked character on the inside but you can’t help admire the building itself and the stunning views of the Bosphorus.
After the palace, we grabbed a bite to eat and headed to the Suleymaniya mosque. This was the only sight that I’d not seen on my last trip – it is definitely worth a visit! It is so peaceful and serene, – a lot less touristy than the Blue Mosque. The views of Istanbul from the mosque gardens are also beautiful!
On our last day, we ended up just exploring our local shops for last minute gifts before we rushed to the airport to catch our flight.
Istanbul is such an intriguing place – full of atmosphere and character. You can do as little or as much as you like here but one thing is for sure, you won’t get bored. My love affair with Istanbul continues 😛