A weekend in Istanbul is ideal for a city getaway! There's plenty to do in two or three days, and it's far enough east of Europe to be intriguing and a bit of a cultural shock. Earlier this year, I returned to Istanbul, one of my favorite cities in Europe...or Asia, depending on which side of the city you choose to visit. Because the city straddles two continents, you're bound to be astonished by the mingling of cultures, history, and craziness of this unexpectedly cosmopolitan metropolis.
The Bosphorus is a massive river that runs through the city, supplying most of the city's transportation, commercial, and fishing networks. While you're here, you must take a boat trip on the Bosphorus; it's an unforgettable experience. If you're heading down to Eminonu, start by getting a local fish sandwich called Balik Ekmek from one of the fishing boats on the port.
Turkey has a vast range of sweets, and they are all excellent. It is unquestionably one of the things to do in Istanbul as part of the Istanbul experience. There are so many sweets to consume after a meal or between meals that you might fancy yourself in dessert heaven.
Traditional hammams, also known as Turkish baths in Turkey, are wet steam baths that evolved in the Ottoman Empire following the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. The hammam, which was inspired by Roman baths, spread throughout the Ottoman Empire, the Maghreb, and as far as the Middle East. A hammam is a place of body and mind cleansing and cleanliness. There are over sixty baths in Istanbul; it would be a shame to miss out on this experience.
Köfte (meatballs) are a traditional yet wonderful Turkish meal, and içli köfte features a delightful crispy bulgur shell filled with seasoned minced meat, onions, parsley, and pine nuts. The world of meze (appetizers) is vast and varied, and some of our favorites are fava (mashed broad beans), köpolu (stuffed grape leaves), and köpolu (stuffed grape leaves) (fried eggplant cubes with a yogurt and tomato sauce).