DECEMBER 11, 2014, 12:06PM
BY: MARIE TELLING
1. Istanbul is so gorgeous it hurts.
2. There is beauty literally everywhere…
3. And delicious food at every corner!
Such as lokma – the divine Turkish donuts.
4. Where else in the world can you find cisterns that look like actual cathedrals?
This is the Basilica Cistern, built in the 6th century.
5. And palaces overlooking the Bosphorus?
Like Dolmabahçe Palace.
6. AND amazing Döner kebab?
7. Istanbul has an amazingly rich history.
This is the Maiden’s Tower. It’s been located on the Bosphorus since 1110. According to the legend, a Byzantine emperor had the tower built for his daughter. An oracle had predicted her death on her 18th birthday and he thought that if she lived in the middle of the Bosphorus, she would escape this fate. Obviously, she did not, because as far as legends go, when an oracle predicts your death, you’re doomed.
8. This beautiful monument is the Chora church. There’s been a church on this site since the 5th century.
9. And this is what the famous Hagia Sophia looks like from the inside. Have you ever seen anything so majestic?
The monument built in 537 used to be an Orthodox basilica until 1453, when it became a mosque. It was turned into a museum in 1935.
10. But the city doesn’t live in the past.
These fishermen are a usual sight on Galata Bridge.
11. It is incredibly lively and dynamic.
This is Taksim Square.
12. And did I mention beautiful?
13. Even the seagulls are majestic!
14. Istanbul has amazing cafés.
16. And play backgammon.
Or Okey, another really popular game in Turkey.
17. Istanbul is also populated by cute stray cats.
18. They’re everywhere and people take care of the ones in their neighborhood.
19. The city is home to beautiful and very diverse neighborhoods. Such as Arnavutköy…
20. And Fener…
21. With its cobblestone streets and colorful buildings.
22. And then, there is Gulhane Park, with all its pretty tulips.
23. Let me tell you about the food: from the spices market…
24. …to all the street food.
25. And the simit carts.
A bread topped with sesame seeds.
26. And Ayran!
An always refreshing yoghurt mixed with salt.
27. And the fish! From the dockside fish restaurants…
28. …to the fish markets.
29. The food in Istanbul is so good it’s mind-altering.
Here is a künefe, a cheese pastry soaked in syrup.
30. You’d need a whole book to cover it all.
Here is a Turkish breakfast (the croissant isn’t the most typical, but whatever), with some Turkish tea.
31. But let’s just say that once you’ve had a baklava, there is no coming back.
You’ll just never be the same anymore.
32. If you’re a coffee lover, Istanbul’s got you covered.