Our sisters-only trip to Istanbul was like an eye-opener for both of us. Pickyourtrail made our lives easier! – says the one who goes around the globe with her sister.
My sister actually went on her honeymoon via Pickyourtrail. She found it so good and that’s how I got to know about it. I and my sister were contemplating what place to choose when I suggested that I want to explore some architectural, Heritage oriented city. Since Turkey has always been in mind, we just zeroed on Istanbul and went ahead with our plan.
We had our Delhi to Istanbul flight with a fuel stopover in Doha. Finally, we arrived in Istanbul around 18:20 local time. The airport to hotel ride took approximately one and a half hours. The hotel was perfect the way it was and it had just the right amount of space that we needed for two people.
Day 1: SEA LIFE ISTANBUL
After relishing an amazing breakfast at the hotel we were out for our first activity. I and my sister are ardent likers of anything related to wildlife and sea life. So as per our wish, our trip started amazingly. My sister’s nickname is Sharks which is derived from her name itself. This drove us even crazy and apparently we were that people who go insane seeing underwater creatures!
The Sealife Aquarium is in the Forum Istanbul mall where we spent shopping later on. Do not forget the IKEA store. We went crazy hoarding the decors and other beautiful stuff there.
We had just one activity that day. So we went on a self-exploration session to Taksim square. This place was a pure shopping paradise. It was massive and majestic with locals in large numbers. We also tried the famous baklava sweet at Hafiz Mustafa. It was flavorful and so damn tasty.
Day 2: HAGIA SOPHIA, BLUE MOSQUE, BOSPHORUS SUNSET CRUISE
Our second day started off with an amazing walk to Hagia Sophia and blue mosque. It was a group walking tour. We were simply WOW-ed at the finest architectural mosque building. The history behind, and the breathtaking skyline adorning the museum left us speechless. Words can’t describe the beauty of this architectural marvel. Our half-day tour ended at the Grand Bazaar.
The Bosphorus sunset Cruise tour activity during sunset was really stunning and awe-inspiring. The Boat departed at a city called Kabatas, a central point at the Bosphorus. We hired a taxi to get to this place. It was really nice exploring the Bosphorus lane.
During the night, we had a self-discovery of quaint little Indian cafe to satisfy our home-sick cravings near the topi Kapi palace amidst hustling crowd due to Iftaar. In spite of the chaos, there was a feeling of serenity and satisfaction to visit this beautiful city.
Day 3: THE GRAND BAZAAR
It was a day off for us. We really wanted to explore grand Bazaar. So our day started early on a trip to the Spice Market. Beautiful, busy, and fragrant can be the three words to describe the spice Market. A great place for getting souvenirs, antiques, and whatnot. You name it, you find it.
Our lunch was at this amazing cafe – loti cafe and dining. The best place to have lunch at Sultanahmet. Then we started our trail to Grand Bazaar again where we really had our time having Turkish tea. It was the best way to end our day.
Day 4: PRINCESS’ ISLAND
Our last leg of the tour was a trip to Princes’ island in the Sea of Marmara. Heybeliada was just heaven. It is a must-visit place for all nature lovers. We went on an hour ride on horse carriage over the entire island. We enjoyed looking at all pretty old houses and the greens. The best part of this trip is the beautiful view of the sea at the very top. The carriage driver was so kind and gave us all the time to take our photos. Buyukada island was the biggest one out of all islands overwhelming with the crowd. We really had one helluva time getting to know our group and having lunch with them. Easily the best activity on our entire trip.
This was the day when we discovered an amazing cafe that stole our hearts. Ozi pizza – the cafe was right next to our hotel. I would recommend this place to anyone who wants to visit Istanbul. Our day was totally made.
Day 5: SULTANAHMET
It was our last day and we had no activity. We roamed around Sultanahmet for shopping. By the time we realized, it was already time to pack our bags and leave this beautiful city. We had our flight from Istanbul to Delhi. We landed around 8 am in the morning.
In the beginning, we had our own doubts about safety like we were just two girls exploring things on their own. But after experiencing right there I would say it’s safe and comforting. It wouldn’t have been possible without Pickyourtrail. I would choose a trip to Istanbul if given a chance again in a heartbeat. You can find everything you need. Romance, history, Excitement, Heritage, Kindness, Wonderful hotels, Alluring views, Just a perfect mix of everything.