Istanbul. The city that conquered my heart. A mixture of culture and history that makes this place unique and wonderful.
When I have been in Istanbul, I have noticed little habits that I wasn’t used to, and I really enjoyed.
Here is the list of 21 little things you can only understand if you went to Istanbul.
1. You can find, everywhere and always, someone that sells the typical Turkish tea, the man repeating in loop ‘Çay, Çay, Çay‘.
2. As soon as you bite into Lokums and Baklava, you get addicted straightway. Goodbye diet!
3. When you step into the Blue Mosque you are amazed facing the beauty around you. No no, you’re not dreaming!
4. The Turkish coffee has nothing to envy to the Italian one.
5. Never – and I mean never – pick up the brush to a shoe-shiner in the middle of the street. It will be the most expensive shoe-shine that you’ve ever had.
6. Istanbul during Ramadan is just magic. After the sunset, you see all families breaking the fast and sharing food until late in the night. You would gladly join them!
7. For some reason this city makes you a compulsive shopper. For sure you fell in love with the Turkish lamps, kilim carpets, ceramic vases and the colorful spices! Poor wallet!
8. You have underestimated the delicious taste of Çig Köfte: It will be on your menu, along with Lahmacun, Börek, and Dürüm, until the end of your holidays.
9. The view from Galata Tower is stunning; if you haven’t gone yet, I’ve just given you the right excuse to go back!
10. After enjoying the sunset in Pierre-Loti, Eyup, something changed inside you. You are a happier person!
11. Turkish people are very nice… if they are not trying to sell you something 😉
12. You will always be amazed that, despite the fact Turkey is a secular country, different religions coexist and it seems that everyone respects each other.
13. At least once, you have tried in Eminönü the very typical sandwiches with fish – Balik Ekmek – sold by the fisherman boats. And you too you added the lemon juice over the top and accompanied it with pickle juice.
14. The kumpir. A huge potatoe filled with a lot of tasty stuff. The greatest invention of the last 500 years.
15. You have negotiated in the Gran Bazaar and after a sale you are convinced to have done the best deal ever… until you realize that the shops just outside have better price, even lower.
16. Walking through Istiklal Street, you get hypnotized by the amazing and talented buskers who perform local songs. And as a bonus, you get a free traditional Turkish dance performance hard to forget 😉
17. It takes you some time to get used to the Adhān, the Islamic call to the prayer, that you hear 5 times a day all over Istanbul. It gives an inexplicable atmosphere and a magic soundtrack to the city.
18. Walking through the Galata bridge, you are stopped by thousands of waiters who offer you the “best” menu in all Istanbul. It’s always the best one.
19. You realize that all the cats inside shops, pubs, restaurants are real and welcome. The merchants treat them like special guests.
20. At least for a moment, you have imagined yourself to be like a sultan living at Topkapi Palace with his Harem. 😉
21. Before leaving, you already know that you are going to miss Istanbul.
If you liked this post, you must also read 25 reasons why you should not visit Malta and 25 THINGS YOU CAN ONLY UNDERSTAND IF YOU CAME TO MALTA.