A Walk around Istanbul’s Old Town | Sophie Mihell-Hale
What’s the best way to know a place?
Many people claim that the best way to get to know a place is to walk it and, having seen several cities this way, I could not agree more. Despite its size, Istanbul is without doubt one of the prime candidates for this.
While recent months have seen the Turkish city embroiled in unrest, it is unfair to focus solely on these occurrences; when it comes to it, Istanbul, spanning two continents and numerous centuries, has so much more on offer.
Turning the clock back two years sees us setting off from our hotel nestled in the shadow of the famed Blue Mosque. The day was spent exploring the surrounding Old Town of Sultanahmet and the morning dedicated to seeing all of its best-known historic attractions, from the stunning grounds and tiled rooms of Topkapi Palace to the cool, columned depths of Basilica Cistern, famous not just for its vast size but also for its part in the James Bond classic ‘From Russia with Love’.
The morning culminated with a tour of the magnificent Hagia Sophia and a traditional Turkish meze spread for lunch, after which, refreshed and rejuvenated, we turned our attentions to more trivial pursuits- exploring the local bazaar!
At the end I had two tired feet, it’s true, but there is definitely no better way to see a city!