What is it like to visit Istanbul and cross between Europe and Asia?

By Abi King | East Europe

Dec 06

About the Author

Hi, I'm Abi, a doctor turned writer who's worked with Lonely Planet, the BBC, UNESCO and more. Let's travel more and think more.

  • I absolutely love the way you talk about Istanbul. It brings back my memories of the Spice Market, the vendors outside, the ferry (and the jellies) … plus, it’s educational. Really fascinating. :)

    • Abi says:

      Thanks. I absolutely love Istanbul. Could write about it forever…

  • Angela says:

    Wonderful Istanbul, I’ve only been once and absolutely loved it. Great write up, Context tours are always excellent!

    • Abi says:

      Becoming a huge fan of the Context Tours. Went on a couple in Berlin as well – such a pleasure to meet intelligent, well-educated guides who are happy to answer almost any question you throw at them ;)

  • Kirsten Alana says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever longed to visit Istanbul as much as I do now. After reading this. Thank you, as always, Abi for both sating and fueling my wanderlust all at once.

    • Abi says:

      Go Kirsten, go! And then we can all enjoy your photos :)

  • Although people had already been moving north/west from Turkey to Germany in the 1950s, the two countries signed an official agreement in 1961 to allow Gästarbeiter (guest workers) : http://bit.ly/rpio45 (Spiegel English). The conversation about the status of long-time Turkish immigrants in Germany continues to be awkward in any language.

    Thanks again for your post, Abi. Your story and photos have only added to my ever growing desire to visit Istanbul. My hope is that I can convince my Turkish friends in Germany to accompany me and show me their version of Istanbul.

    • Abi says:

      That’s a fantastic article – thank you. On a side note, I chuckled when I read the comments about the border crossing between Turkey and Bulgaria. It was still the most difficult by far on my own trip between Istanbul and Berlin in 2011!

      I hope that you make it to Istanbul one day – with your Turkish German friends.

      • You’re welcome, Abi! As I mentioned it to them this past October in Frankfurt and I’m heading back “home” to Germany this coming (northern) autumn as part of this year’s RTW, I hope they’ve some time off work for a weekend in Istanbul. :)

  • Broderick Meola says:

    Hiya! Nice Artikel.thanks for share..more wait .. …

  • Maddy @ I'm Not Home says:

    Lovely sentiments on the city I happen to be in right now! How long were you in Istanbul for?

    • Abi says:

      On this occasion, just a few days. I’d been lucky enough to spend a little longer there a few years ago. Fascinating city – I love it! Hope you’re having a good time.

  • Kelly says:

    What a lovely post ! So descriptive! We loved Istanbul and going to the Asian side was a lot of fun for us! I really hope we get to go back to Istanbul again because I feel it’s a city you could explore for a very long time!

    • Abi says:

      I’d certainly love to go back as well. So much to see and so much to experience. Thank you for the comment – I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  • Jonathan Simmons says:

    This is a great little introduction to the city thank you for posting it! I’ve been living in Istanbul for a year now and I always find that there is so much to discover, because of its sheer size and inclusion of such a vast array of traditions.

    • Abi says:

      I love Istanbul – always good to hear from others who do too!

  • Paul says:

    Great article. I’m always fascinated by cities that exist as a crossroads between two worlds. Lots of great topics for further exploration too.

  • Kent says:

    I love this entry — you really capture the feel of Istanbul. And the history is so interesting and important. It’s kind of pathetic how little Turkey/The Ottoman Empire was covered in my high school history classes (in the US). But in retrospect the fact that the Ottoman Empire chose the wrong side in WW I is probably one of the most significant historical events in the 20th century. (I read something a while ago where some historian said that WW I has never really ended — they consider a lot of the current conflicts in the mideast a continuation of WW I because of the fact that WW I resulted in the breakup of the Ottman Empre.)

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