Afterwards we hopped onto a tram towards Old City and visited the Basilica Cistern – so stunning. This was built in the 5th century during the Byzantine Empire. We rented walking audio guides – well worth the $5.
Next was the Grand Bazaar – one of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets (61 streets and about 3000 shops). You can buy scarves, clothing, textiles, rugs… just about everything. I was a bit naive and did not know this was a covered market – I imagined it to be open air. We spent a couple hours in there, but I have heard others could spend all day there! Travel tip – the salesman, while nice, can be aggressive, just keep on moving.
The next day we were suppose to go on a biking tour of the Asian side of Turkey (the country is in Europe and Asia), but the booking agency we used made a scheduling error. Instead, we took a ferry ride along the Bosphorus River. Travel tip – if you want to go on a ferry cruise, try the commuter boats, do not follow the people with signs.
We also stopped by the Egyptian Spice Market – I wasn’t too impressed, smaller than I imagined, but snagged some cool pictures.
And of course taking pictures with statues. Those round circles are the Turkish version of bagels, they are pretty good.
Next up: Last day in Istanbul…
Do you have a favorite spice? Least favorite spice?
Do you like shopping at markets?