Three days in Istanbul
We had spent a total of three days in Istanbul which included a trip to Sultanahmet area & Eyup.
Whenever I plan on visiting a foriegn country, I make sure that I do the required research on that destination W.R.T the transportation, the tourist scams, the currency, the tours and places to visit, the food to eat and a lot more. So when I got back from Egypt six months earlier I had started researching on my next travel destination which was supposed to be Tokyo, Japan but I couldn’t get the visa so the next option was so visit Berlin, Germany but that effort went in vain too so the last savior for me was Turkey. I and my mother left for the Jinnah International Airport Karachi four hours before our flight because on our vacation to Egypt, we were the last to board the airplane 😀
I would have chosen Turkish Airlines since it flies straight from Karachi to Istanbul but since it was costing me 15 thousand expensive, so I opted for the Oman Air. The flight had a layover of 2 hours at Muscat, Oman and from there onward it was a 4 hour flight straight to Istanbul, Turkey.
Arrival at IST airport
I had a fixed plan in mind, once I got off the airplane, I went straight to fetch some cash out of the several ATM machines at Istanbul, Airport, from there I proceeded to buy a SIM card from the airport which had enough call balance and data in it to cover my trip of 8 days. Make sure you buy the plan accordingly as the dealers there may try to push you to get a the bigger package, hence the more price. I already had the IstanbulKart borrowed from a friend so I only had to went up to the Yellow machines right outside the airport terminal, just in front of Hava-ist stop and get it topped up. I have made a tutorial video of How to charge your Istanbulkart, head over to the link to find out the procedure of charging your Istanbulkart which can be used in all kinds of transports, all over the Istanbul. After charging your Istanbulkart head over straight to bus designated to your area, step onto the bus, place the card on the scanner inside to pay your fare and the enjoy the free wifi throughout your journey to the city center.
The best places to stay in Istanbul is either Taksim or Sultanahmet. The only drawback of Sultanahmet is that it closes down at 8 clock at night so I chose Taksim, which stays up all night long with Istaqlal street just around the corner. The hotel I chose was Riva Hotel a mid range hotel right next to Takim square and the best part about this hotel is that the Hava-ist bus drops you just across the street so you can away your way to the hotel. I choose Booking.com to book this hotel from since it is the most reliable hotel booking website in the world.
Day 1: Eyup Sultan & Galata tower
As planned we had to pay our visit to the companion of Prophet Muhammad PBUH, Abu Ayyub Ansari. So we took the bus from right underneath Taksim square and went to our designated place. You can see my travel vlog of Eyup Sultan & Galata tower by clicking HERE. I and my mother got off at the designated area of Eyup. After paying our homages to Abu Ayyub Ansari we hopped on the bus across the street en-route to Galata tower. We went to Galata took some pictures had our lunch at the restaurant across and got back to our hotel. Click HERE to watch the short travel vlog of Eyup and Galata tower.
Day: 2 TRAVEL DIARRHEA 🙁
We had planned on going to the spice bazaar and the grand bazaar of Istanbul, but I and my mother both had a severe travel diarrhea :(. We had to resort to the antibiotics to fix out stomachs up. This all happened because of the burgers we ate near the Galata tower. So sadly the second day we both remained at our hotel room resting and praying that we get better 🙁
Day 3: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque & Topkapi Palace
The third day we had to step out, so we did. Petrified to the core, but we took the risk. We took F1 Funicular from the Taksim Metro station. It is a small underground train which takes you to Kabatas station in 10 minutes. From there we took the T1 tram to Sultanahmet. There are several routes through which you can travel from Taksim to Sultanahmet but this route seemed to be the most feasible one to us so we took this one. The T1 tram will leave you right across Hagia Sophia museum barely 5 mints of walk away. There you can easily walk to Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, but since we wanted to go straight to Topkapi palace to see the sacred relics room, where lies the belongings of Prophet Muhammad PBUH, Ali Ibn-Abi Talib RA, Fatima RA, Prophet Musa (Moses) PBUH and many more we went straight to that room, which lies in the third courtyard of Topkapi Palace. You can see my small travel Vlog by clicking HERE
We also had planned to visit Turkish Museum to see the Alexander’s sarcophagus but since out stomachs were not feeling completely alright, we dropped the idea of taking the risk and went back to the Taksim square via the same route we came from.
Had the mishap of diahareea not happened, we would have travelled to the Asian side and the grand/spice bazaar of Istanbul and had taken the Bosphorus cruise too. But sadly we lost a whole day to that :(.
I hope this blog brings value to your Istanbul, Turkey vacation planning from Karachi, Pakistan or from anywhere in the world. If you have any comments or questions then leave them in the box below and ill be glad to help you with your trip.