I traveled on Transaero Airlines, which was probably not the best compared to Virgin or Southwest. It took 11 hours to get to Moscow and then I had a layover in Moscow for about 2 hours. And 2 more hours until I reached Istanbul.
I stayed in the city center at The Celal Sultan Hotel in the city center which had a gorgeous view of the Hagia Sofia from the terrace.
Black hat – San Diego Hat Company
Blue patterned romper- Angl
White shoes- Steve Madden
White button-up dress- Forever 21
The Blue Mosque, which was absolutely stunning, was only about a 10 minute walk from our hotel room. On the way, we stopped in front of Hagia Sofia, which used to be a Christian basilica and then became a mosque and now is a museum. It was beautiful but the line was tremendously long so I settled for corn on the cob right outside
The blue mosque is also known as Sultanahmet Mosque and in Turkish, it’s called Camii. I had read numerous articles that mentioned that you had to cover your head and shoulders with a scarf and be covered up to your knees covered so I tried to dress accordingly by buying a super soft scarf from one of the vendors outside and wearing a long white button up dress on top of my romper. It really wasn’t enough because when I got to the entrance, they were handing out clothes to tourists and handed me a maxi skirt to wear.
From The Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar was only 15 minutes away walking distance so I made my way through the city center, past the hookah bars and the vendors walking on the road screaming “Selfies sticks!” We had to ask at least 3 people to make sure we were going to the right way but once we got closer, we could see the crowds of people starting to form.
There are about 61 streets and over 3000 shops inside the bazaar so its hard to cover all of it. There were a lot of knock-off designer bags and jewelry that looked very real, but also quite expensive. I found some cute evil eye jewelry and called it a day because we were hungry and running late to go Taksim Square. We ate inside the Grand Bazaar in a small local gyro place. I had a falafel wrap with hummus and pita bread. The hummus is so different and flavorful in Turkey, you can’t leave without trying it. Taksim Square was super poppin, filled with rooftop bars and clubs. I would recommend Raika, Mixo Terrace, and L’Tera.
When in Taksim the night before, I was recommended to check out Bosphorus, which is right by the Sea of Marmara. So I made reservations for brunch at Vogue, one of the highest terraces in Bosphorus across from the strait that connects the city center to Bosphorus across the sea.
But of course, since it was my last day in Istanbul, I had to have some tea on the terrace before we left.
White crochet crop top- Zara
White and blue wide challis pants- Mudd
Vogue Istanbul was beautiful but being vegetarian is always hard when you’re traveling so you kind of just have to be easy-going and be ready to eat appetizers for dinner. I had mint pea soup, veggie spring rolls, and quinoa croquettes with a spicy tomato sauce. The drink menu was phenomenal, I got a Flowered Lychee Martini with Tanqueray and Blue Curacao, and of course, lychee.
We had to catch a flight in the evening to Izmir, more south of Turkey because from there we would drive to the port city of Kusadasi from where ferries leave to the Greek islands. We used Pegasus Airlines to fly from Istanbul to Izmir, and it only took about an hour. Once we got to Izmir, we drove more south to Kusadasi which took about an hour also. We stayed at the DoubleTree by Hilton for one night and left in the morning to catch a ferry to Mykonos. The ferry company is called Meander Travel and we had to switch ferries from Kusadasi to Samos and then from Samos to Mykonos.
Thanks for reading!
-The Jetlag Queen
Travel blog featuring fashion, fun, and lifestyle