Welcome to the post of the second day for our visit in Istanbul. After having a blast in the first day, we set ourselves for a second day of exciting adventures.
We did something we didn’t do previous day and had a proper Turkish breakfast this time with tea. Even though I am not big fan of breakfasts, it was delicious and set us for success.
Our first initial stop was the Fatih Memorial Park, where you can find a monument of Sultan Mehmed II. It’s cast in bronze, and the park offers couple nice places to sit and a playground for kids.
Close to the park you can find the Sehzade Mosque, which was built by Suleiman The Magnificent in honor of his son, Sehzade, which is why it’s also known as the Prince Mosque. It was probably one of the more impressive Mosques for me. It is interesting to note that this is the location that at least for a while was deemed to be the center of Istanbul.
As already noted there is a wall that crosses quite a huge part of Istanbul at least in Europian side with a lot of passages. We went through a different one today.
Next target… Suleimaniye Mosque.
After Suleyman was so impressed with the architect of the Prince Mosque, he decided to get one built for himself too. It was quite damaged throughout the years, but every time it was restored and today it’s definitely one of the main mosques that you have to visit in Istanbul.
An interesting tidbit about this Mosque is that from the backyard there is a pretty good view towards the other side of Istanbul. Obviously this place was full of people taking selfies.
Next was the Spice Bazaar or also known as the Egypt Bazaar. It’s one of the bigger markets and you can find crazy amount of things here, some of them pretty exotic. Great place to shop random things for gifts, however knowing how much we have to still cover, we decided against buying things now.
Just outside of it, we saw the next huge Mosque, but decided against going inside. It’s the New Mosque and is located just next to Galata Bridge.
Next huge target for the day was the Galata Tower. As you can see from the name it’s a high tower and offers pretty decent panoramic view of the city. You can get up to the top with the going up happening via elevators, while going down you use stairs, which on some parts are very tiny and if you are longer, might cause some bumps. Also on every floor there are different historical monuments like a museum of the area.
Next step –> Taksim Squre, which is the main center street of Istanbul. So many people… It was Sunday and it was absolutely crazy. It was also pretty long and full of shops. Towards of the end of the street we found the largest catholic church in Istanbul – Church of St. Anthony of Padua. Sadly at the time we reached there, there was a mass inside so we couldn’t visit inside and only saw it from outside, but it was interesting to see that there was an active church in the main center of Istanbul.
Just couple hundred meters after this is the actual Taksim Square with the monument i.e the Republic Monument, which symbolizes Ataturk and the modernization of Turkey as a country. One thing that was very surprising was how many police and soldiers were everywhere on Taksim, and in general in the city. You were never more than half a kilometer from some police and most of them were equipped with automatic rifles.
Got ourselves a Starbucks to boost some energy … had absolutely terrible experience which I am not going here… It was quite interesting because even though it had felt like such a long day… It was still like 13:00 and we were out for like 4hours and something at this point. And we had still important places to visit. But first we couldn’t say no to having a quick tea with this view.
Next target was Dolmabahce Palace. It was more or less the administrative center of Turkey from 1856 till 1922 with small period of time where Yildiz Palace was used, which was sadly not available for visitation(yes, I checked) The construction of the palace costed close to 2 billion USD in modern valuation. It costed so much that the building of the palace was one of the reasons why the country had to default in its debt.
It’s absolutely huge, with over 280+ rooms, 45+ halls and many hamams(baths). Over 14 tonnes of gold was used to decorate the palace… And you can now visit a lot of the bigger halls and places inside. However one thing I hated, is that you are not allowed to take photos inside, only outside. Well, obviously I made couple shots.. 🙂
Outside of the Palace, but still interconnected there was a Gallery Museum which hosted some pretty impressive art.
Again in theory you are not allowed to take pictures but well…
Next step was the harem part of the Palace. Sadly in this part the no picture rule was quite enforced… but here is one picture of a room of one of the wifes of the sultan.
Again I was a bit dissapointed with the no picture rule of the Palace. It was absolutely amazing but it was too big so you forget things.
And well, final peace of the puzzle… We wanted to visit the Yildiz Park, which is an absolute hidden gem. In the middle of Istanbul, a park that was so beautiful, escape from the crazy life outside, you could enjoy the serenity of the fresh, living, beating green heart of Istanbul.
It is a great place for walks and having a picnic. Sadly at this point it was getting late, so we had to get back to hotel, and we had to cut this place a bit short, but I can absolutely recommend taking couple hours and coming here to escape a bit from the crazy life outside of the bounds of the park. You can find lakes, waterfalls, rope bridges, great views towards the sea, open gym and so much more.
Got to hotel, washed and went out for a dinner. Nothing to share with public from that point onward 🙂