So what do you do when you have a day in Istanbul, but in the past you’ve already had many days sightseeing in the city?
When I made my travel bookings so as to have a day in Istanbul, I had no real plan for what to do. Of course I knew it would be easy to fill a day in the city.
In the end, I decided against any real sightseeing. I’d just relax and take it easy. Hang out. Chill out.
I enjoyed my Turkish breakfast, followed by a gossip with friend and guesthouse owner Doǧan. Then I walked from the guesthouse in Sultanahmet (very close to the Blue Mosque) to Taksim Square via the Galata Bridge and Istaklal Cadessi, stopping for a very welcome coffee and cake about halfway.
It’s a 2.7 mile (4.3 km) walk and I enjoyed it after a day on my travels. I walked all the way back too!
For the afternoon I decided on a short ferry trip up the Bosphorus. Şehir Hatları – one of the ferry companies – offers a 6 hour trip (almost as far as the Black Sea) or a 2 hour one – as far as Istinye. The short one sets you back a whopping 12 TL (just over £2).
Of course you can pay much more on a tourist boat.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d done the longer version many years ago, so I half remembered what to expect. Going out on the water really is a good way to see the city especially when you’ve had enough of walking.
The ship has comfortable seating inside, and plenty of open deck area too. It has a snack bar, but if you want more than crisps, chocolate or simit, bring it with you.
ⓒ iain taylor, 2018