Istanbul: A City of Culture

Hagia Sofia and The Blue Mosque

“Culture is mix. Culture means a mix of things from other sources. And my town, Istanbul, was this kind of mix. Istanbul, in fact, and my work, is a testimony to the fact that East and West combine cultural gracefully, or sometimes in an anarchic way, came together, and that is what we should search for.”

This quote from Turkish novelist, Orhan Pamuk, perfectly sums up the beauty of Istanbul.

I had dreamt of visiting Istanbul for years. The idea of one city connecting two continents always amazed me. It felt magical crossing from Europe to Asia in a matter of minutes, being able to gaze in one direction knowing a whole different continent lie beyond. In Istanbul the eastern and western world are not divided, but united.

Istanbul has one of the longest recorded history and post upon post could be written about the historical significance of this city. It has been the cultural hub for centuries. A place that has seen many different empires, been dominated by different religions, and only in the last hundred years become part of a relatively new country, Turkey. Check out a brief history from the blog All About Turkey.

Highlights/ Sights to See:

1. Visit Hagia Sophia
2. Take a boat tour on the Bosphorus
3. Wander through the Grand Bazaar
4. Visit Dolmabahçe Palace


I’m a huge fan of airbnb, I think it is a great affordable option when traveling. The best thing about finding accommodation on airbnb is that I get to feel like I’m really living in the city with my own apartment. Given that I spent an entire week in Istanbul, airbnb let me have a great space with a kitchen so I could save a bit of money by eating in for some meals. The host was wonder and the location was very convenient to move about the city (I stayed on the European side near Taksim). Check it out here.


This is a topic I got lots of questions about, seeing as currently Turkey and the USA do not have the greatest relationship. The US Department of State has issued a travel warning to Turkey. However, I got my visa before my arrival and was able to enter the country (you can apply online). Personally, I did not have any major problems, except for a certain border official telling me I was not wanted in his country, however, most Turkish people I met were extremely welcoming and kind. Istanbul is like any big city and you need to be street smart, just as you would be in New York or Rome.

Happy Travels,



  1. Laurence

    March 2, 2018 at 1:18 PM

    Hi Aby! I’m glad to see you back! Thank you for sharing with us your journey in Istanbul. It’s a must go for me too! I wish I will find a pet sit there one day 😉 I hope Nyles was in good hands while your abscence. Have a great one!

    1. Abigail

      March 3, 2018 at 11:59 AM

      Thanks Laurence! It’s a city full of cats and dogs and animal lovers. So it shouldn’t be difficult to find a pet-sitting spot to stay 🙂

  2. Lauren

    March 3, 2018 at 11:20 AM

    What a beautiful post – I’m so glad you touched on the safety of travelling to Istanbul. It is a city I’d previous not considered due to reservations about the safety but it looks like you had the most wonderful trip. I think I would spend hours photographing the Grand Bazar!! Happy travels 🙂

    1. Abigail

      March 3, 2018 at 12:02 PM

      Before I went there safety was something I did a bit of research on, I was a bit nervous but traveling with my husband and just being street smart, it was absolutely a great trip. The Grand Bazaar was amazing! I could have stayed for days!

  3. Lisanne

    March 3, 2018 at 11:30 AM

    Lovely post Abigail! I’ve been to Istanbul a few times in the past, but really want to go back now!

    1. Abigail

      March 3, 2018 at 12:03 PM

      Thanks! It’s such a great city!

  4. tanya

    March 3, 2018 at 11:45 AM

    Some beautiful photos, and somewhere I would love to visit in the future. It’s always good to know how someone felt it was safety wise, so thanks for sharing.

  5. The Curious Sparrow

    March 3, 2018 at 11:56 AM

    I’ve never been to Istanbul – these photos are making me really want to visit 🙂 Thanks for sharing

  6. leanne

    March 3, 2018 at 12:11 PM

    Looks liek a fascinating place! I cant believe what the border official said to you though! How rude!

    1. Abigail

      March 3, 2018 at 1:34 PM

      I’m happy it was just a comment haha

  7. Inma

    March 3, 2018 at 12:11 PM

    Can’t wait to go back to Istanbul. For some time, I was having at least a few days there on my way to or from Asia and the city never failed to amaze me. Need to go back to those days 🙂

    1. Abigail

      March 3, 2018 at 1:33 PM

      It’s truly magical!

    2. Abigail

      March 3, 2018 at 1:34 PM

      It’s truly a magical place 🙂

  8. Nicky

    March 3, 2018 at 1:52 PM

    Istanbul looks amazing! Your photography really brings out the colours, and I love the angles you capture in the architecture. Great job!

  9. Emma

    March 6, 2018 at 7:33 PM

    Some absolutely beautiful shots of the city, I have never been to Istanbul and if I am honest I didn’t realise it held so much beauty especially in the architecture. I think i will have to add it to the list. x

    1. Abigail

      March 7, 2018 at 11:11 AM

      Around every corner there was something beautiful! It truly amazed me 🙂

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