Travel the world on a budget with "Rizwan & Nazneen”
Meet Rizwan Abdulla and Nazneen Najeeb. The couple who believes in: “work.save.travel.repeat”. The stars of popular social media channel ‘boardingpassports’ have collaborated with Weekender to present their interesting travel stories in a way to allow the wanderlust in you to set your travel plans in motion. Its practical and it can happen. This week, let’s set our exploration sights on:
TURKEY- AN EPIC WONDER!
The initial spark that triggered the love for travel in us, was in 2016, when we got to see a beautiful picture of a street in Istanbul, on the internet. That’s it! We started planning! This time, we take you on a “Turkey Travelogue” of 5 episodes! Continuing from the last episode and moving closer to the conclusion of this epic spread on a wondrous place, episode three highlights:
When in Istanbul, a sense of calmness automatically grows in. All you would want to do is, sip a cup of Cay and watch the world happening around. But, do not forget to do what you can, while you are in one of the most beautiful cities in the world! In this episode, we list out the things to do in Istanbul, and when you are there, get ready to strike off the list- in style!
A memorable stay at ‘Sultanahmet Square’
The nearness of various touristic attractions from this place makes it a busy center. We recommend you to stay in a hotel in Sultanhmet Square, as most of the hotels there have a roof top with the Bosphoros Sea view and almost all touristic attractions are walking distance from this sight. Sit at the square, and admire the beauty of the blue mosque and ayasofia, with a cup of Cay, as you listen to the beautiful call to prayer.
A Walk in Arasta Bazaar
As we had mentioned in the previous episode, this is a mini version of the Grand Bazar and thus less touristy but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have all the exciting Turkish goodies you wouldn’t want to grab! Shop here with ease and you will also get to sharpen your bargaining skills.
Getting The Absolute Turkish Thrill of Wonders…Things you must do before leaving:
Visit SultanahmetCamii (The Blue Mosque): spend some lone time inside the mosque and try to indulge in the vibe, while gazing at the amazing Ottoman art and architecture.
Visit Aya Sofia: time travel to the historic era where 2 religions dwell in peace.
Visit Topkapi Palace: learn about the sultan line of rulers, their lifestyle, their collections of wealth, armor and various items.
Visit YerebatanSarnici (Basilica Cistern): See the underground water storage facility of the historic era. If a fan of Dan Brown’s Inferno, this place is a must visit!
Visit The Grand Bazaar: Regarded as one of the first shopping malls in the world, this is a must visit place when in Istanbul. It is also one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. Engage in a delightful shopping experience and you might even get invited for a cup of Cay!
Take a pic in the Ottoman attire: This is a unique and memorable experience you can have when in Istanbul. There are stalls often seen, where you can be photographed in Royal Ottoman attire. Those pictures can you take you back to Istanbul, where ever you are, whenever you want! (approx 20-25 Turkish Lira)
Dine from the open restaurants at Sultanahmet square and witness the Whirling Dervish Show, with the traditional Turkish music played live.
Take day trip to Princess Island: enjoy a horse cart ride, cycling and hiking when in this beautiful island.
Cross off Bosphorous cruise from the list: There are 2 options for this cruise- the lunch cruise and dinner cruise. Cruise along the Bosphoros Sea, with traditional Turkish music and meals, while halting at various points for sightseeing. The dinner cruise is preferred for the lights, music and view.
Buy a souvenir: yes, buy a souvenir. Take a part of Istanbul with you.
Walk along the festive Taksim Street: Taksim street is full of color, music and happiness. Take a walk along the street with your favorite drink
Hop on the nostalgic tram train: a ride through the streets of Istanbul in this nostalgic tram gives you a different feel of the city.
Experience Turkish Hamam: feel light and fresh like never before after a Turkish bath. It is available right next to Ayasofia and many other places in Turkey.
A Delectable Serving of Culture
While you travel and find yourself completely immersed in the history, architecture, culture and beauty of this city, visiting Turkey isn’t complete if you don’t indulge in the absolutely lip-smacking delicious cuisines and snacks. Our top recommendations are:
Simit: Circular bread with sesame seeds; it is available in abundance and fresh from the oven! Turkey is full of Simits! Try it with different flavors like Nutella, jam and plain simit. Have it while you walk along the bazaar, relax at the square, or whenever your hearts craves for!
Dondurma ice creams: these are thick ice creams sold everywhere where the seller throws a show of his skills, quick as the blink of an eye and you stay confused! Tell a friend to take a video! Worth saving and sharing!
Lemonade: Ah! This was the life saver, during our visit to beat the summer heat. A glass of lemonade will refresh you like you just walked out of a cold shower. You need it to keep it cool and energized.
Pomegranate juice: Istanbul is famous for its freshly squeezed pomegranate juice. Since it is a seasonal fruit, it might not be available throughout the year. But never miss the chance whenever you get it.
Corn and Chestnuts: They are easily available as the earlier mentioned Simit. The hot chestnuts and corn are wonderful to beat the winter chill.
Porsion meat and Donerkebap: the best meat we’ve ever had till date…its something we crave heavily every now and then.
Kumpir: vegetables stuffed in a big baked potato. One kumpir is enough feast for 2! Its huge!
AdaneKebap: a different type of kebap, with spices and ingredients from a different part of Turkey- Adane. It tastes indeed different and of course, it is equally delicious!
Kunafa and baklava: for those with a sweeth tooth, this is a must try. Never ever leave the city without tasting this delicacy! To the others, don’t even think about not including this on the list!
Turkish Delights: Do not buy the readymade ones sold in boxes. Go for the freshly made ones after tasting them. Get some for your loved ones too… these are the best gifts indeed.
Turkish coffee: This coffee is finely ground and added on to the boiling water. Served without stirring, allow a while for the coffee to settle and take a sip.It goes very well with Turkish delight, kunafa or baklava.
With all the loving memories and with an extreme desire to visit this beautiful city again, we hop on an overnight bus to a fairy tale land, Cappadocia.