Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and constitutes Turkey’s country’s economic, cultural, and historical heart. It is also the fifth largest city in the world. Istanbul straddles the Bosphorus strait in northwestern Turkey, between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. For nearly sixteen centuries following its reestablishment as Constantinople in 330 AD, Istanbul served as an imperial capital for the Roman and Byzantine, the Latin, and the Ottoman empires. Istanbul is the fifth-most-popular tourist destination in the world.
This Istanbul Walkabout takes you through the Süleymaniye Mosque where Sezer Unal and I hunt for some spicy food in Istanbul. Previously I had tired Kebap, Köfte, Iskender, Pide and Döner which didn’t stimulate my tastebuds much. I was looking for a bit more spice in life here. On Sezer’s suggestion we visited Alibaba in the Süleymaniye Mosque annexe. Alibaba has been serving their customers since 1939. The steward at Alibaba was pretty sure that I’ll have smoke coming out of my ears once I ate their beans with two varieties of chillies – red and a green one. They didn’t move much in me and the steward went “Masha’Allah“.
After the Süleymaniye Mosque eating jaunt, we relaxed on the top of Mimar Sinan Teras Cafe where Sezer introduced me to Dibek Turkish Coffee. Dibek coffee is made by pounding coffee beans with some gums which makes the final product a bit thicker than the usual Turkish coffee. Another unique thing about Dibek coffee is that it is made in cups that are put directly on hot coals.
On Istanbul walkabout, we next walked from to Süleymaniye Mosque via Istanbul University to Sultan Ahmet Mosque and Hagia Sofia and then onwards to Eminönü. At Eminönü we embarked on the Funicular to Taksim Square. Sezer abandoned the Istanbul walkabout here.
Taksim Square took me to Istiklal Street which is a great place for shopping for both branded as well as local goods. It’s a street soaked in history and offers some great eating spaces. Istiklal street also has some amazing street performances.
Evening Istanbul walkabout took us to The Golden Horn where the Bosphorus meets the Sea of Marmara. Here, we savoured some of the freshest food available while cherishing the well lit Istanbul skyline. Karaköy, which is being touted as the most happening area for clubbing in Istanbul was deserted at 11:30 PM as we passed through it.
Hope you enjoy the video and the pictures.