PHOTOWALK: Roaming Around the Streets of Istanbul, Turkey

During our holiday in Turkey, we did a lot of walking to get to the different tourist attractions in Istanbul from our chosen hotel. All the time while we explored, I amused by the sights and sounds of the city.  It was a busy area (we stayed in Fatih District) and it felt nice because, after all the pandemic problems we all faced, we felt a sense of normalcy.

Our trip to Turkey was the first destination we’ve travelled for a vacation in a long time. So let me give you a photo dump of our trip to this colorful city.

Travelling from Dubai to Istanbul

We got our Turkey tourist visa via VFS Global in WAFI Mall and we booked an Emirates flight from Dubai to Istanbul. Only 4.5 hours away, this was a great place to visit as the city features a rich history and culture.

We arrived at the immensely huge IST airport. We were pleasantly surprised by how big and modern it was.

arriving in Turkey airport
arriving in Turkey airport

IST Airport
IST Airport

Istanbul Airport
Istanbul Airport

taking the taxi in Istanbul to our hotel
taking the public taxi from Istanbul airport to our hotel in Fatih

Arriving at our Hotel in Fatih District

We took a taxi outside the airport headed straight to our hotel. We stayed at SKALION Hotel & Spa in Fatih district, which is in the Old District area of the city. Take note that if you wish to stay and explore Istanbul, you will do a lot of walking. This is even more true if you go to the older districts such as in our case.

SKALION Hotel & Spa
SKALION Hotel & Spa – BOOK HERE

our simple room in SKALION Hotel & Spa
our simple room in SKALION Hotel & Spa

typical breakfast buffet in Turkey
typical breakfast buffet in Turkey

breakfast at SKALION Hotel & Spa
breakfast at SKALION Hotel & Spa

terrace view during breakfast at our hotel
terrace view during breakfast at our hotel

Food Photos in Istanbul

Istanbul had a variety of cuisine and we mostly ate local food. We dined in local eateries and alfresco and wanted to save money by avoiding the more touristy places.

In Turkey there is also a fusion between Middle Eastern cuisine, especially from Lebanon, Syria and Greece which you can find in several eateries in Istanbul. In general, there are lots of shawarma shops all over Istanbul, but what we discovered was it is possible to get either chicken or beef shawarma.

We also had a serving of Pide (Turkish pizza). You should try their pottery kebab and don’t forget Turkish sweets, baklava, and dondurma (Turkish ice cream).

Check out these photos of our foodie experiences in Istanbul:

cheap food in an eatery
cheap food in an eatery

Bread with Hummus
Bread with Hummus

affordable food in an eatery
affordable food in an eatery

variety of cakes!
variety of cakes!

Turkish pastry - watermelon slices
Turkish pastry – watermelon slices

baklava! You should try the baklava in Turkey - they're the best
baklava! You should try the baklava in Turkey – they’re the best

Pottery Kebab - popular dish with chicken, bell peppers and tomatoes cooked inside a clay pot
Pottery Kebab – popular dish with chicken, bell peppers and tomatoes cooked inside a clay pot

Pide - Turkish Pizza
Pide – Turkish Pizza – Pide in Dubai Turksih restaurants costs AED 60, this one cost us only AED 10!

shawarma stand
shawarma stand

MADO ice cream - MADO is a Turkish brand
MADO ice cream – MADO is a Turkish brand

Tourist Attractions in Istanbul

We visited the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar as our main attractions during the holiday. Like I mentioned, we chose to stay in a hotel near the district so we could just walk towards these destinations.

Hagia Sophia Mosque - a church turned into a mosque into a museum and now back into a mosque
Hagia Sophia Mosque – a church turned into a mosque into a museum and now back into a mosque

inside the beautiful Hagia Sophia
inside the beautiful Hagia Sophia

beautiful lights in this mosque built in AD 537
beautiful lights in this mosque built in AD 537

 

Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia

Blue Mosque - this was under renovation
Blue Mosque – this was under renovation

going inside the lue Mosque
going inside the Blue Mosque

inside the Blue Mosque
inside the Blue Mosque

inside the blue mosque in istanbul
inside the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

inside one of the smaller mosques - Turkey has plenty of mosques all around
inside one of the smaller mosques – Turkey has plenty of mosques all around

huge dog on the street
huge dog on the street

Hagia Hophia mosque
Hagia Hophia mosque

Sultanahmet Square
Sultanahmet Square

Grand Bazaar Istanbul

The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest indoor/covered markets in the world. For me, apart from the Hagia Sophia Mosque, this was the main highlight during our Istanbul trip.

I think it’s because we were able to find some good bargains on a variety of items (carpets, pillowcases, bedsheet set, etc.) for us to take home to our house in Dubai. The prices are quite cheaper and they have a variety of designs available. We didn’t expect that we’d have much fun just browsing and shopping for good finds in this market.

As an additional tip, I recommend going outside the Grand Bazaar building where you can find many more shops that handle wholesale merchandise. These prices are much cheaper compared to the ones inside the Grand Bazaar. So take your time and enjoy the experience.

Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar

souvenirs at Grand Bazzaar - sample sweets
souvenirs at Grand Bazzaar – sample sweets

Turkish delights at Grand Bazaar
Turkish delights at Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

ceramic plates
ceramic plates

Salt Bae (Nusret) has a restaurant inside the Grand Bazaar.
Salt Bae (Nusret) has a restaurant inside the Grand Bazaar. Nusret is from Turkey. We didn’t eat here though as prices were still a bit expensive.

gowns for women - outside the Grand Bazaaar
gowns for women – outside the Grand Bazaaar

bath towels
bath towels

whole scarves in Istanbul
whole scarves in Istanbul

outside the Grand Bazaar
outside the Grand Bazaar

Random Street Photos in Istanbul

Walking around is also a good way to explore and go to the places you’ve always wanted to visit. Istanbul has its own charm and different sides that will keep your eyes busy walking across the streets. It was really nice to go around and explore life in Istanbul.

Istanbul is a city where you can walk around and explore the streets so it’s very important that you wear comfortable shoes. In some cases, you will climb a hill so do take note of this factor.

Here are some images of our vacation as we explored Istanbul and hope this might give you a virtual tour of what you can expect from this city.

passing along the streets
passing along the streets

Fatih wholesale shopping district
Fatih wholesale shopping district

Kumkapi
Kumkapi

Kumkapi - famous for restaurants selling fish
Kumkapi – famous for restaurants selling fish

Turkish bagel and food cart selling grilled corn and chestnuts
Turkish bagel and food cart selling grilled corn and chestnuts

freshly squeezed juices
freshly squeezed juices

fruit stand
fruit stand

rice and chicken
rice and chicken

ref magnets and other souvenirs
ref magnets and other souvenirs

Turkish ice cream - coffee and kunafa
Turkish ice cream – coffee and kunafa

Turkish ice cream
Turkish ice cream

Summary

Istanbul is an ever-sprawling metropolis where you can walk around and enjoy the sights. This city has so much to offer, with bustling bazaars perfect for shopping or just window-shopping; it’s also home many important historical sites like Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Cistern Basilica, and many more

Check out our other Turkey Adventure articles here:


We're on YouTube!
Please subscribe to the Dubai OFW YouTube Channel for updates and tips!

ALSO READ