Istanbul is unlike any city you will ever visit. It pains me to use a cliché to describe a city that isn’t one. Although I only explored about 5% of the city, that small portion was amazing. The history behind the buildings was amazing. Watching paths and streets unravel to new corners and views kept me wishing I had been there for more than 24 hours. Kinda wished I was going to school here.
Within our 24 hours there we visited some of the most popular sites. We visited the Hayia Sofya, the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, and parts of Kisilay. The most shocking thing about the Sultanahmet area was the vast amount of tourists. I hadn’t been during my travels in a tourist town. That’s not saying that Istanbul is a tourist city but there are plenty of tourist traps and tourist areas. That kind of environment doesn’t allow you to experience the underlying feel of the city, we then decided to head to the Asian side of Istanbul to see how Turks really party. We went to a small restaurant where we had a night of Raki and Balik. Raki is a Turkish liquor made from anis and balik is fish. After a few bottles all the students were having fun. We rode the ferry back towards the European side where we were staying and got to see the great monuments at night. It was truly a breath taking experience
Overall, the city is amazing. There are few nuances such as the large amount of tourists that are in the really beautiful and historic areas but who can blame them. I was there and knew exactly why they all wanted to travel to this wonderful city.