You must go to the OLD town...
You must go to the OLD town and visit Agia Sofia,the Turkish MUseum 'topkapi', the Palace.
Don't miss for nothing in the word to enjoy a... ...massage at the Turkish Royal HAMAM!
Then I would suggest to make some bargaining and shopping at the some time at the GRAND BAZAAR(don't miss if you collect things).
Walk aroumd the Marmara and Tacksim square and taste delisious Kebab with lamp meat as well as, kokorets and fried Sea food on sticks.
Absolutely go to a BELLY Dancing show and to a Taverna.
You wonder how VT can be addictive? Here is the proof ....
Now none of the visits to another city or country can be completed without VT friends meeting...
And here we are....
Thanx to the efforts of Istanbul VTers (our "guarding angel" Mehmet in particular :))) for making it happen and for giving a chance to see you
(from the left)
Tukezban (my friend)
I was behind the camera :))
We gathered up in Dulcinea, a trendy but really loud spot not far from our hotel, which we missed every time we were in search of an dining place... 1st of all we looked for a perfect table, our 2nd try was much better :)) then we surfed the menu for the best pick, after that Erkmen and I figured out that we had a lot in common in our business ("small world" I said to myself agian :)).... all in all we ended up taking a lot of pics as usual :)
.... apart from that Gokce consulted Tukezban on the knowledge of Turkish/Azeri/Russian language telling us funny stories, men talked about business a lot (we had to stop them afterall :)) and we simly spent a good time
Simit....the Turkish fast-food
All over Istanbul, you'll see small carts with circles of bread covered in sesame seeds for sale...this is simit. Although it doesn't really taste of much, just bread that's almost stale, it is surprisingly addictive...and if you don't like it, you can always throw it to the pigeons in Taksim Square, or to the seagulls as they follow the ferries. The man who seels simit is called a simitci, and simitciler are found on practically every street corner, especially around breakfast time.
Recently, a number of cafes have taken simit on a step further, removing the hole and adding fillings such as cheese, olives and spicy sausage. Look out for Simit Sarayi, which has branches all over the city, and its copycats Simithane and Istanbul Simit. They are always popular with students, as you can get a cheap and filling breakfast here at any time of the day. The one next to Burger King at the top of Istiklal Caddesi has a particularly nice rooftop terrace overlooking Taksim Square, and many a heated discussion went on there over a simit and a steaming glass of cay.
Along Kennedy Caddesi, on the south shore of the old city, and next to the tracks of the suburban train line going to Sirkeci are the ruins of the once-great Byzantine Bucoleon Palace. Significant potions of wall remain, with some arches and windows. However, at night the area is sometimes used by drunks and other unsavoury elements. It is thus one of the few places in Istanbul (othewise an incredibly safe city) which I would not feel safe visiting at night.
This is the Super Bowl of shopping and all under one roof! Although perhaps not as rustic and romantic as the image one might have built up in their own minds, the Grand Bazaar is a place to be experienced and not to be missed even for the reputed non-shopper. Culturally it is fascinating: The banter from the shopkeepers to get you to look at their wares; walking along lanes that have housed shoppers since the 15th century; the sport of bargaining with a shopkeeper over a potential purchase; and the ever-present tea waiters, taking all types of tea on metal trays to shops who order them for their customers (and themselves).
Definitely take the time to visit the older section of the Bazaar, the Cevahir Bedesteni. Dating from the 15th century you can see the exposed brick domed ceiling. It houses many small high quality jewelery, antique, and ceramic shops.
I think we spent time in the Grand Bazaar on 3 of the 5 days we were in town. I think that's the key to surviving the Grand Bazaar...to do it in small doses. To try to do it in one outing would be mind-numbing for all but the most intense and serious of shopper. What can you buy here? With over 4000 shops, just about everything! Jewelery, antiques, football kits, ceramics, lamps, carpets, leather goods, tourist chotchke, food stuff, clothes, luggage, shoes, belly dancing outfits, watches. You name it! Varies; be sure to use your bargaining skills!