For our annual getaway, Cat and I headed to the Far East for a weekend. The far East of the West, that is.

Istanbul is a perfect city break. It’s far enough from the comfort zone, but close enough to warrant an extended weekend trip. After all, who doesn’t like popping over to Asia for the weekend? Or for a couple of hours, as was the case with us since we were staying on the European side of the Bosphorus.

IstanbulI’d been to Turkey before, but never to the former capital of the Ottomans and Romans. The relevance of this city across histories of empires is what initially attracted me to Istanbul. But this sprawling metropolis is as cool as it is historical.

We set up camp in the history district of Sultanahmet, but spent most of our time exploring the other side of the Golden Horn.

Hotel Ibrahim Pasha is where we stayed for the weekend, and it deserves a special mention before we go any further. Located steps away form the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, this boutique hotel is the perfect home base for exploring the old town. Not to mention the stunning decor, and the dreamy rooftop terrace. And the staff is super friendly and kind.

Istanbul Ibrahim Pasha Hotel Istanbul Ibrahim Pasha Hotel Istanbul Ibrahim Pasha HotelObviously, the first item on everyone’s agenda in Istanbul is visit some of the beautiful mosques. We headed straight to the nearby Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia as soon as we settled in. Then walked over to the Galata Bridge via the Grand Bazar.

Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Grand bazaar IstanbulArguably my favourite neighbourhood in Istanbul was Galata. The steep streets are worth the climb for this charming bit of town. Cat and I settled for an afternoon snack at the newly opened Banker Han hotel.

Istanbul Galata Istanbul Galata Istanbul Galata Istanbul GalataSo there you have it – some highlights from our East meets West tour.

Cat and I are also planning a local or short haul adventure in November. Any suggestions? x

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  1. Pingback: Dubrovnik « roopgill

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