Explore Istanbul, Turkey

Explore Istanbul, Turkey
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Spice Bazaar

Following on from my trip to Istanbul, Turkey. My day two consisted of a full-on experience exploring the city again. This time we visited some of the other hot spots in Istanbul for sightseeing. Many would recognise the tall round tower from the TV or YouTube videos, which oversees the whole city. Known as the Galata Tower and the Galata Bridge.

Day 2 Exploring Istanbul

After our morning Turkish breakfast, we first took the Metro tram from Sirkeci, where we stayed at Kabatas. Therefore we had to take an underground train to Taksim Square. A modern city that holds concert festivals, parades and New Year celebrations near Istiklal Avenue, which is also known to be Oxford Street in London. As you arrive you can see the ‘Monument of Republic’ statue.

When we arrived at Taskim Square, there was a festival setup, with live performances being played later that day. Plenty of small stalls as you walk up, we also got demonstrated with live art by a lady, which was pretty amazing how she created flower posters.

You can catch the full video of the beautiful art creation in my vlog at the end of this blog post.

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Metro train at Istanbul
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Adil Musa at Taskim Square
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Taskim Square
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Festival at Taskim Square
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Art display at the festival

Istiklal Avenue

Known to be the ‘Oxford Street’ of London, where you’re entertained by local musicians and surrounded by various huge brand retailers like ‘Zara’, ‘Mango’, ‘H&M’ and many others. I certainly loved this part of the area as it was filled with lots of local people and with the shops I really like from London. There were also stores for some delicious desserts and sweets, there usually let you have a try of each sweet before opting to buy any. As well as ‘Madame Tussauds’ down the road, a smaller version of the one you have here in London.

There were also stores for some delicious desserts and sweets, there usually let you have a try of each sweet before opting to buy any. As well as ‘Madame Tussauds’ down the road, a smaller version of the one you have here in London.

As we walked down this street I was craving for some Ice Cream and Turkey is well known for their ‘Dondurma’. I had the Vanilla and Strawberry mix. Although these are not your normal kind of Ice Cream, as they’re pretty sticky, worth a try when you visit Turkey.

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Madame Tussauds Istanbul
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Entertainment on the streets of Istiklal Avenue
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Hafiz Mustafa Sweets
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Hafiz Mustafa Sweets
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Dondurma Turkish Ice Cream
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Dondurma from Istiklal Avenue

Galata Tower

The Galata Tower, Galata Kulesi in Turkish, is one of the highest and oldest towers in Istanbul. 63 meters (206 feet) high tower provides a panoramic view of the old town. It was built in the 14th century by the Genoese colony as part of the defense wall surrounding their district at Galata directly opposite ancient Constantinopolis.

As you walk through Istiklal Avenue you will stroll past the famous Galata Tower. When you arrive at the Galata Tower, you will tend to see people gathered outside having a cup of tea or coffee as there are small cafes around. However, inside the Galata Tower, there is usually a huge queue of people lining up outside, so expect to wait for some time.

After you’ve paid for your ticket for the balcony view, there is an elevator, which takes you to the top of Galata Tower but you are still required to walk some steps to get to the top for the balcony view. If you’re a brunch and a food lover then there is a restaurant inside if you wish to eat with family or friends with a really nice view.

Opens: 9 am to 8:30 pm

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Galata Tower
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Views from the Galata Tower
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Adil Musa at the Galata Tower

Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Market)

The Spice Bazaar can be found towards the end of the Galata Bridge or near the Eminou Ferry docks.

Towards the end of our second day, we visited ‘Spice Bazaar’ known for its dried fruits and nuts. seeds, spices, and Turkish Delight. This was literally 10-15mins away from where we stayed. As we shopped around each store you could smell the fragrance of those spices, one thing to mention always tries to haggle with shopkeepers regarding pricing as they tend to vary their prices accordingly where you’re from.

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Spice Bazaar
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Mix of spices at the Spice Bazaar
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Turkish sweets
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Turkish pick and mix sweets
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which spice do you use?

Turkish sweets and dried fruits were certainly mouth-watering, you could practically be full up by having a taste of each fruit and sweet. That was one good thing about these stalls as there allow you to try as many items as you want before purchasing a KG amount.

One thing that made me really chuckle was going to these spice stores at Spice Bazaar with my aunties and mother. Seeing them a lot haggling with the shopkeepers was hilarious, as they kept asking for the price to go down and the guy would not move from its original price until he finally gave in. However, the action and conversation between them was funny.

I have to say the experience in Spice Bazaar is a must and definitely one of the top places to visit along with the Grand Bazaar for shopping.

New Mosque

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New Mosque

When it was time for calls to prayer, it was time to pray. As this newly built and ongoing construction work at the mosque next to the Spice Bazaar was one stunning architecture. This had such a nice view to capture on camera as I loved the colourful flowers around which I could get enough when capturing the perfect shot.

Thanks for reading my second-day visit to Istanbul blog post. I hope you all have benefited, I shall be uploading the next part when I manage to squeeze some time to post.

Feel free to leave your comment below what you think of Istanbul and what you like to see more in my blog post.

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