9 Things We Love To Do At Istanbul (PART 1)

It’s been awhile since my last post, 60 days to be exactly (two moths?!). I know, I made promise to upload at least one post every week. Other bloggers could draft One Day One Post, so how hard to draft one post per week? Moreover, I already made an editorial calendar, so it should be more organize and makes easier for me to post on schedule right?

In my limited free time, mostly at night after Najwa sleep, I spent my time to wrote and read journal for my freelance project. Usually, I could steal a short time to draft a blog when najwa took a nap, but for this last 3 weeks I’ve been obsessed with KDrama(*grin). Although it’s hard to find some peaceful time watching KDrama, but I managed to watch them during brainless activities like; washing the dishes, ironing the clothes, or cooking.

Honestly, there are two addictive things that I’ve avoided since having Najwa ; Games, and KDrama (Bubble Tea didn’t count). However, i-just-can’t-say-no to “Descendants of The Sun”, the latest BIG THING in KDrama that always pop in my IG feed. I don’t know who that always “like” every single post about DOS in IG, but it provokes me to watch their 16 episodes. It didn’t stop there, after finished watch DOS, I’m digging more and more older KDrama with great reviews (I can mention; Cheese In The Trap, Kill Me Heal Me, You Who Come From The Star, and more more more).

Well, enough for that, it’s been 3 weeks escape to the KDrama paradise, now it’s time to back on track. So, here I am finished my second #latepost about trip from Istanbul (^_^)

THE LIST

At first, I was planning to share my itinerary, but then I realized that we spent five full (LAZY) days in Istanbul. We only visited not more than 11 sites back there, because we always started after 10 pm (Najwa woke up at 9 pm). Ooh well, from the beginning we know that this trip won’t be an amazing race adventure, but we still had a great time!

So, I recap things that we love to do, and there are NINE. Let’s start the counting (^_^)

#1 Pray from Mosque to Mosque

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Every big mosque in Istanbul has similar architecture; they have square enclosed courtyard

As a Muslim, and currently live in a country where Muslims become minority, I really miss the sound of azan (the Muslim call to ritual prayer). So, it feels really comforting to hear again the azan, and we didn’t waste the luxury to be able pray in the mosque. There are many beautiful and historic mosques in the Istanbul, in one area itself (around Blue Mosque) not less than six mosques open 24/7 for us to pray inside.

In our trip, Alhamdulillah we’re able to pray at Blue Mosque, Yeni Jami, Little Hagia Sophia, Sulaymaniye Mosque, and several mosque and mushollas at the tourist sites.

#2 Witness the holy relic at Topkapi Palace

Visited this place really blew my mind, just thinking about that could give me goosebumps! How couldn’t I, the real pieces of history that I’ve been told, read for my entire life, were right there in front my eyes! The beard hair of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), The robe of Prophet Yusuf (P.B.U.H), Staff of Prophet Musa (P.B.U.H), The sword of Prophet Daud (P.B.U.H) and many more. A most visit!

Note : Every exhibition room in Topkapi Palace weren’t stroller friendly, so either you carry your baby/toddler and leave the stroller outside, or play tag team with your partner. Don’t forget to bring lot of snacks for your little one (and you), because you will spend a day here and they only sells pastry and meal at the café/resto. Quite pricey but you will get an outstanding view (bosphorus strait) for bonus.

#3 Museum of Turkish & Islamic Art

We visited this museum on the last day, and we love how they exhibit their collections per period of time (milestone) from 8th to 19th century. Although we can’t have a proper visit, since Najwa SO-NOT-INTERESTED walk around every room, but this Museum intrigue us to learn more about Islamic History.

For me, most impressive collections are the beautiful calligraphied manuscripts of the Al-Quran in every era, and the handwritten poem about Prophet Muhammad’s appearance and his “heart”. Masya Allah.

Museum Islamic Art.jpg

They provide English version as well

 

#4 Shopping at Eminuno Market

Forget Grand Bazaar, just walk thru the Spice Bazaar and you can find The Eminuno Market. This is where local people or domestic tourists buy anything, not just Turkish Delight, Turkish Towel, but everything because it is the main market in Istanbul, right beside Eminuno Harbour.

It felt intimidating when walking in Grand Bazaar and do some window shopping, but this wont happen in Eminuno Market. We can join the crowd to see, choose and haggling items we like, without any pressure or have to dealing with aggressive seller (if you know how it feels).

Note : Because it is so crowded, make sure you put your baby/toddler on the stroller or with baby carrier.

eminuno market.jpg

Seller at Eminuno Market, nice but not aggressive. We can choose three kind of Turkish Delight to fit one medium box for only 10 liras (cheaper than others) 

 

#5 Visit Hagia Sophia

Amazing architecture, although they’re doing major reconstruction (half of the building interior) when we get there. I think this is the only place where you can find symbol of Allah, Prophet Muhammad and image of Maryam (Christian version) on the same roof. First build as church then become mosque, but now it becomes Museum. We went to the second floor, and found more mosaic wall from the Christian period.

Note : Please don’t go to the second floor with the stroller, even when some people encourage you to do so, it’s narrow and bumpy to get there. Just leave your stroller if it safe (make sure to ask the officer is it ok to leave them there).

More list on my next post (^_^)

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Inside Hagia Sophia 2016, when half interior being under reconstruction.

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