Istanbul is one of my favorite cities in the world. New and old, history and shopping, Europe and Asia, Istanbul offers something for everyone, especially for frugal travel.
The blue mosque
When I think of the Istanbul artwork, I think of the beautiful white and white tiles and where no traveler will find more beautiful examples of 17th-century Iznik Blue tiles than in the Blue Mosque. Admission is free, but since it is a religious site, women have to wear a headscarf (I always walk) and wear it.
This, one of the largest covered markets in the world, is where frugal travelers find souvenirs. Favorites include tiles, rugs and apple tea sets. Haggling is a must and traders are quite persistent (albeit cheerful). The concept of personal space is different than in North America, so you can expect it to be closer and personal. It’s part of the fun.
Hagia Sophia was first a basilica, then a mosque, and now a museum. Often when travelers see photos in Istanbul, this building appears. Admission is payable (around US $ 10), but worth the 9th and 10th century mosaic views. This site is pretty crowded, so time-wise.
Buying carpets in Turkey is an experience. Traders are served sweet apple tea in a beautiful set, with no rugs before them. In good carpet shops, travelers can see a kind of silk carpet from places like Hereke, each signed by the artist.
Beside the Bosphorus, under the Galata Bridge, are a few small restaurants that specialize in eating local delicacies in Istanbul. He only carries, fish and bread eaten by locals and travelers. And they are very cheap.
Istanbul, one of my favorite cities, is something that everyone is interested in. There are great cultural views, breathtaking shopping experiences and affordable dining options.