4 days in Istanbul, Turkey | Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapki Palace

Easily done with a direct flight on Turkish Air from Los Angeles to Istanbul! Well, 14 some hours later anyway. 😉  It was my sister’s 40th birthday, and we decided to go somewhere fantastic for a quick trip without the kids. Istanbul is an absolutely amazing city with much to see and eat! The Turkish flag is everywhere. I love how pretty it is, and how proud the Turks are of their flag and their county. Rooftop views are all over Istanbul – you can eat and drink from many a rooftop! We were delighted with the street vendors at every corner, and sampled all the food. You can buy simit (similar to a bagel), nuts, pomegranate juice, honey donuts, just to name a few. I am going to split my Istanbul posts into several parts, as there is much to show!

Our first day we toured around the Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Basilica Cistern. My personal favorite was the Hagia Sophia – the inside of this building is just spectacular.

This is the view of the Blue Mosque from the Seven Seas restaurant – best place to watch the sun go down, listen to the call to prayer and then have a drink. They even bring you blankets to wrap around your shoulders if you get cold. Loved the blankets – I bought four off a street vendor, and wish I had bought more. The photos of us below show us on the rootop – one side you see the Blue Mosque, and the other you see the Hagia Sophia.

The Hagia Sophia at night. *Little history for you – The first church of Hagia Sophia at Constantinople was built in 360 AD!!!! Two fires destroyed this church, and in 415 the church was rebuilt.

Outside the Blue Mosque – men washing their feet before going into prayer.

The Basilica Cistern –

I don’t think you can get out of Turkey without somebody trying to sell you a rug! I think jetlag kept us from actually buying one. 😉




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  • rachel rioux - So fun to see the photos and read your notes!

  • Anna - Awesome photos! What camera do you recommend for traveling? Point & Shoot or dSLR? Any camera bag recommendations? Thanks!