Turkey

Posts on Turkey  by Kyle the Vagabond:

Overview:

Haggia Sofia, Istanbul

Haggia Sofia, Istanbul

The bridge between the European and Asian continents, both physically as well as politically and ideologically, Turkey is as varied as the vast terrain it sprawls across. Notable attractions are the metropolis of Istanbul, home to nearly 15 million people and businessmen who rush around the streets as the daily call to prayer bellows in the distance, and the islands and coastline of the Aegean sea where warm summer waters make for pristine beaches and warm summer cruising. Inland, areas such as Capodochia and Kurdistan give insight into Turkey’s middle eastern heritage, and resort towns can be found along the shores of the Black Sea as well. And the food is the best I have ever experienced anywhere in the world.

Currency:

Lira; Exchange Rate: $1 = 1.49 Turkish Lira (August 6, 2010). For currency conversion info visit xe.com

When to Go:

Turkey basically has two climatic zones when it comes to the weather for visiting: areas along the coast and areas inland. Along the coasts, where lie Istanbul, and many of the Aegean beaches, winters are mild and the summers are hot and humid. Inland areas, especially the further east you move, receive heavy snowfall and bitter cold in the winters, and unbearably hot temperatures in the peak summer months. The towns around the Black Sea receive more rainfall than the rest of the country. Tourism-wise, everywhere except Istanbul basically shuts down for the winter. Beach areas along the Mediterranean and Black Sea come alive from April-September, and overall the shoulder seasons of spring and early fall are the best times to be visiting Turkey.map_turkey_resized

The Vagabond’s Personal Top Picks:

1. Haggia Sophia, Istanbul

Once the world’s largest Cathedral for over 1000 years, it was acquired by the Ottomans in 1493 and served as a massive mosque for 500 years. In 1935 it was turned into a museum by the Republic of Turkey.

2. Shop the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

One of the world’s largest covered markets, the Bazaar has been in existence since the 15th century, covers 58 streets, has over 1200 shops, and attracts over 300,000 people a day. Intense.

3. Get a doner kebab at every available street corner

Seriously the best food ever. Super cheap, super good, just do it. You’ll be glad you did.

4. Watch the world rush by in bustling Taksim Square, Istanbul

Considered to be the heart of modern Istanbul, this teeming district on the European side of the city is home to restaurants, shops, and fantastic people watching.

5. Watch the sunset over the Sea of Marmara

This small sea not only separates two massive continents–Europe and Asia–but it bisects the massive city of Istanbul and is the conduit between the Aegean and Black Sea

6. Tour inside the Blue Mosque, Istanbul

The national mosque of Turkey, this massive mosque (officially known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque) is adorned with blue tiles on the interior and contains cavernous grounds for worship

Posts on Turkey  by Kyle the Vagabond:

Straddling Worlds in Istanbul (2004)

Google Map

Leave a Comment