The next day it was time for more exploring. This time we visited the modern part of the city. It was cloudy and rainy day, but that’s never an obstacle when you have a limited time and unlimited desire to soak up everything new city has to offer.
Firstly we went to visit an Orthodox church of St. George with fragment of the cross of Jesus Christ crucifixion.
After visiting the church we went on → Bosphorus cruise.
The Bosphorus coastline both on the Asian and the European side is a wonderful mixture of the grandeur past and modern present. As we cruised by, we could see the grand splendor of palaces, mansions and fortresses.
The Bosphorus cruise is highly recommended for all visitors because you can admire this majestic city from the whole different perspective. Take one and you won’t regret it.
When we hopped off the boat we continued to our next stop → Dolmabahçe Palace, which was only a few minutes away.
Dolmabahçe was the Ottoman imperial palace during the 19th century. It was a residence of late Ottoman Sultans. This imposing and beautiful piece of architecture along the Bosphorus is turned into museum in 1952.
Interior of the palace is absolutely breathtaking. I was mesmerized by the amount of gold, crystals and chandeliers. Did you know, 14 tons of gold were used to decorate ceilings in gold leaves? How amazing is that?
The biggest impression on me left the last ballroom we visited. It’s the highest palace ballroom in the world with a 36 m high ceilings, 56 columns and the English made crystal chandelier weighing 4,5 tons which is illuminated with 750 lights. How spectacular that chandelier is words can’t even describe. Unfortunately, same goes with the photos because taking pictures inside the palace is not allowed.
The outside of the palace is equally impressive as the inside. Here you can see a few pictures of it, but to grasp how magnificent the whole place is you will have to see it with your own eyes.
I hardly left this gorgeous palace, but it was time for more exploring. The other half of the day was reserved for exploring central part of modern Istanbul. Starting point was Taksim square, the largest and liveliest public square in the city. We continued down the Istiklal street, the most famous street in Istanbul.
Popular symbol of this street is the nostalgic streetcar called the Tramway. Every 15 minutes you can hop on this train and drive through the whole Istiklal street.
After wandering through the streets of the Galata area, we reached to one of the most iconic symbols of this part of the city → Galata Tower.
The 60 m high Tower offers 360 – degree panoramic view of the heart of Istanbul. An hour long wait in the line was totally worth the view I got to enjoy on the top. We also managed to see the sunset, so it was perfect.
Afterwards we headed to Galata bridge. We crossed that bridge which connects old and modern parts of the city.
On the other side of the bridge straight ahead is The Spice Market known as Egyptian Bazaar where you can get Turkish delight and other sweets, jewelry, souvenirs, dried fruits and nuts, and of course, spices.
The day of exploring reached the end. It was late at night so we decided to round up our Istanbul experience with delicious Turkish meal.
It was a short but definitely worth trip. No wonder why Istanbul is one of the most visited cities in the world. It is such an impressive city with it’s unique charm. It offers a lot to see and do, and makes you wanna come back for more.
Istanbul with its unique position that connects Asia and Europe is one of the most vibrant cities. You can read about it, you can see the pictures of this amazing city but nothing compares to actual visit.
Dear Istanbul, thank you for being marvelous! Can’t wait to see you again!