Istanbul has everything I want in a destination: history, culture, architectural marvels, excellent food, a nightlife scene, easy public transportation, great weather, a sense of style… the list goes on. Clearly I don’t ask much.
Aside from checking off nearly everything on my city wish list, Istanbul has the added bonus of straddling Europe and Asia. Where else will you find the clash and harmony of two continents, two worlds, and two cultures? I’ve yet to see any other place do it with the same grace and comfort that I found in Istanbul.
The ever-present çay, Turkish tea, in a tulip glass.
Pyramids of spices at the Spice Bazaar, where scents swirl together in the air and even perfume your clothes as you pass by.
Tiny tiles dress up the dramatic domed ceiling of Sultanahmet Mosque, also known as The Blue Mosque.
Waiting for a sale.
Kofte: Turkish meatballs cooked in a cast-iron skillet with a mix of local peppers. Amazing.
Quiet streets of Gulhane before the morning bustle. Modern and comfortable, yet only steps from ancient history.
Colorful Turkish lanterns at the Grand Bazaar.
Fresh orange juice is a city favorite.
A late night ice cream mission.
Beautiful chandeliers adorn the Aya Sofya, one of Istanbul’s most famous sites.
A stunning sunset puts Sultanahmet’s many minarets in silhouette.