Updated: Feb 3, 2019
So tonight is the last of three nights in Istanbul and I am pretty pleased with what I have seen.
We paid a little under £100 each for flights and some hotels offer reasonable charges for a bed. I reckon this place makes for quite an attractive and different long weekend away. Let me take you through it.
Arrive Friday, no idea what time as flights vary, and head straight towards the Blue Mosque which is next to an amazing square full of very green gardens, sparkling clean benches and bustling restaurants all around. Wander aimlessly and sit people watching for a couple of hours whilst taking in the calm surroundings.
You meander through the alleyways where there is a mix of classy restaurants and up-market cafes. Choose an outdoor table or terrace view to eat a delightfully posh kebab you will eat. A couple of wines later and you might wonder whether you are in Paris or in fact the very edge of Asia. All around Istanbul you will find a lovely mix of cultures. Just avoid Golden Arches.
Day 2 can be spent actually going inside a couple of mosques (for free), followed by a very busy and exciting couple of hours in the Grand Bazaar. This is indoors, offering you the very enticing opportunity to escape the sun and grab some bargains, if you like to barter. Afterwards head to the Palace, which is said to be a top highlight for those who can afford it. Otherwise their free, very lush gardens offer a tranquil place to read a Dan Brown or Katie Price autobiography. Go nuts for dinner and grab yourself a real street kebab, followed by corn on the cob, ice cream and then some watermelon.
On day 3 you should go to the famous Spice Market. Walk over the Galata Bridge and up the hill to the Galata Tower. As you walk up, you should get some glimpses of the magical skyline for a quick photo. Grab some Turkish delight at the airport and job done!