Back To Istanbul’s Sultanahmet

We’re here at last. Now, the idea was that I would take a photo of our bus in the otogar in Fethiye, showing that it said Istanbul on it. However, we went for a pide (very nice) for our tea and a pretty big flash storm came.

We ended staying in there till the last minute – the road in front and some of the kebab shops opposite were badly flooded. Luckily, there was a break in the weather and we made a dash for it. By the time we reached the otogar, we just jumped on the bus and we were off.

Istanbul Taksim Square

Flower sellers in Taksim Square

And so here we are in Sultanahmet. Not a lot has changed since we were last here. The metal work on top of the mosques has been very noticeably polished up, probably for the European Capital of Culture stuff and a few of the döner kebab stalls in Eminönü have been replaced by balık ekmek (fish in bread) stalls.

Nothing too desperate. We can still eat on a shoestring and our mackerel half-bread was absolutely lovely.

Istanbul Galata Bridge

The famous fishermen of Galata Bridge

Our service bus dropped us off in Taksim so we walked from there, down the lovely Istiklal Caddesi, through Tünel and across the Galata Bridge to our hostel in Sultanahmet.

We could have got the tram or a taxi but we wanted to see everything again. Sultanahmet is where all the classic Istanbul ‘must sees’ are such as Aya Sofya and it’s very touristy but it’s also cheap for us to stay here (always a winner for us) and central for the people we need to see while we’re here.

Got to say, if you’re planning on coming to Istanbul for European Capital of Culture year, book your accommodation. It’s busy busy busy around here and that’s on a cold, dull February day. Our hostel is fully booked.

Okay, so we’re off to Kadıköy on the Asian side now. Getting the ferry across. It’s all go. There’s a restaurant that I really want to go to. We’ve got a rough idea where it is but if we don’t find it, I’m sure somewhere else will suffice.

Photos are the first couple I took today. A very cloudy and damp day today so I loved all these flower stalls in Taksim Square…and Galata Bridge, well, it’s Galata Bridge isn’t it. Perfect. Hoping for a bit of sun tomorrow.

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  1. Christine Flanagan says

    despite the grey skies – it looks fab and brings back so many happy memories of our time their last year. What a brilliant city! Think I might look for some cheap flights.
    Enjoy yourselves and take lots and lots of pix

  2. Thanks Christine. No idea where you are based but Easy Jet have some really cheap flights to Istanbul from Gatwick and Luton. I took lots of pics (probably too many) and am going to put them on Flickr when I get time.

  3. I love Istanbul! Its one of my favourite city to visit. In fact, I’ve one listed it as one of 3 cities I wouldn’t mind visiting again and again. Its that unique. Anyway, Sultanahmet is such an amazing place with lots of history. I was very happy to find Basilica Cistern which I haven’t heard of before!

  4. @ Amer: I think a lot of people have Istanbul in their favourite city lists – and sop they should. 🙂 The Basilica Cistern is interesting, isn’t it?

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