Sultanahmet in Istanbul

The Sultanahment area or what they call “Istanbul Old City” is where you will find everything from ancient Egyptian monuments, the beautiful Blue Mosque, Topaki Palace and the endless Grand Bazaar.  I highly recommend hiring a tour guide, as Mr. Tolga showed me some hidden gems I wouldn’t have found on my own. I put aside 2 days to see this historical district, and you will have plenty of choices to dine, shop and see all the best tourist attractions Istanbul has to offer.

old town istanbul

Aside from seeing the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, the Grand Bazaar is a must see.  If you are going to treat yourself to anything, Turkey has some of the best leather, jewelry and silks in the world, so I treated myself to some gorgeous silk scarves and leather shoes.   Yoruk Collection was a super chic shop with colourful edgy bracelets , rings and carpets. Each piece is a work of art and simply stunning!  It was my favorite store.

grand bazaar istanbul

If you are a foody like me, you have to make sure you buy some Turkish Spices, because you won’t find anything like it at home. The Spice Market will have everything you could ask for, so my top three are the Ottoman mix for kebabs, Sultan Spice for Rice, and Zahter spice for soup.  I am also a tea fanatic, so make sure you drop by one of the Tea Spice Markets. My favorite was at the very end of the Arasta Bazaar.  Its a nice place to chill and try their different tea flavors.

egyptian monument in istanbul
the blue mosque

End your day by visiting the Panoramic Restaurant in the Adamar Hotel. You can view all the historical sights from a birds eye view, while dining in an elegant location and lastly if you are a meat eater – you can’t leave Turkey without trying one of their Kebabs.