Visiting Topkapı Palace, Istanbul

Welcome to our massive post about one of Istanbul's (and the world's) most famous landmarks; the residence of the Ottoman sultans, Topkapı Palace. We're taking you on a tour of the palace's decadent interior, intricately designed tiles and stained glass windows. We're taking a peek at harem … [Read more...]

Basilica Cistern – Going Tourist In Istanbul

The thing is, when you've visited a city so many times, you get settled into wandering streets, previously unknown shops and markets, eateries and bars. Once you've visited all the main sights, that's when you start to really get to know a place, and for us, with Istanbul, that's definitely been the … [Read more...]

Hotel Nena, Sultanahmet – Our Posh Hotel Stay At Not-So-Posh Prices

When we were in Istanbul back in April, you may remember we got to stay in a very swanky apartment overlooking the Bosphorus; an apartment where we felt like we were living in the neighbourhood of Galata for a few days. We also looked around some of the other Istanbul Place Apartments and said we … [Read more...]

Istanbul: Küçük Ayasofya Camii – We Rather Liked You!

How many times have we stayed in Sultanahmet in Istanbul? Let us count... How many times have we been to Istanbul? (Picture a hand waving around in the air in an I've-lost-count-and-have-better-things-to-do-with-my-time-so-don't-ask kind of way.) And here we are, just over four years into our … [Read more...]

Our Istanbul Digs: Mangana Konak Suites, Sultanahmet

Anyone who doesn't know us and who has only read the last few posts of this blog would think we were intrepid travellers or something, because we seem to be writing often about Turkish hotels and hostels we've stayed in. Actually, it was a year of good hostel / hotel stays. We've had very few … [Read more...]

Finding Familiarity In Sultanahmet, Istanbul – Turkey Gets A Bit Smaller

So, where were we? A continuation of a tale from the last post. You may remember, we were at Meltem Pension in Kaş and singing its praises - deservedly so - but the story we want to continue with today is this running theme that has threaded its way through our ten years of living in Turkey: People … [Read more...]

Finding Calm In Autumnal Istanbul – Gülhane Park, Sultanahmet

Okay, we're having a mild autumn here in Fethiye, but it's autumn all the same. And it was exactly the same feeling when we were in Istanbul recently for the Istanbul Marathon. Obviously, it was cooler than the Fethiye temperatures but still warmer than we've known it previously (we always seem to … [Read more...]

Tarihi Sultanahmet Köfteci, Istanbul

Most tourists visiting Istanbul for the first time are likely to be staying in Sultanahmet - the area boasting Sultanahmet Camii (the Blue Mosque), Aya Sofya and Topkapı Palace. And, of course, wherever there is a glut of tourists, it naturally follows that there is a glut of expensive souvenir … [Read more...]

Istanbul: Sultanahmet’s Secret Underworld – Palatium

Howling wind, driving rain - and a huge floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall window radiating a warm, inviting glow to the outside world. It's little wonder that every time we walked past Palatium restaurant in Sultanahmet, it was a packed. We were two of its very regular customers whilst we were in … [Read more...]

More Aya Sofya Musings

Around three weeks ago, we did the Aya Sofya post for this blog. As we were in Istanbul, we wanted once more to see the majesty that the interior of this building commands - and again, we were amazed by its grand interior. But there's something innate in my being; something instilled in me from … [Read more...]