7 Kasım 2015 Cumartesi

Bosphorus Cruise Tours in Istanbul

Bosphorus Cruise Tours In Istanbul

Bosphorus Cruise Tours

Bosphorus Cruise Tour is a very entertaining activity. You can hop on one of the boats and enjoy the view of palaces, houses, mosques, citadels all over the Bosphorus. I strongly recommend you to do it yourself! What I mean is: you do not have to pay lots of money to tour companies. There is a very cheap way to do it! If you catch one of the Turyol Bosphorus Boats, it will cost you only 12 Turkish Lira

I also recommend not to buy any audio guide. Those stupid boxes are really annoying. You miss the beauty of the houses while trying to push some numbers to listen to recorded mechanical voice. I saw many people have it and struggling with it. Finally leave it to aside and enjoy taking photos. Enjoy the nice breeze of the Bosphorus touching their face... Just feel it!

Rumeli Hisarı (Rumeli Fortress)

Bosphorus Tour Options

There are lots of stories to tell in Bosphorus, there are tens of legends created by the people lived in old Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul. It's best to have a tailor made private tour in Istanbul. Having your tour guide with you everystep so that you would be able to listen all those stories.

There are two popular companies to make Bosphorus Tours. Official Şehir Hatları Ferry (Istanbul Ferry Lines) or Turyol Bosphorus Tours

Most expensive house in the Bosphorus

Beautiful Ottoman Houses (Yalı)

I want to give you some information about all those beautiful houses located by the Bosphorus. There is a specific word to identify them: YALI. They are privately owned. Obviously super rich people of the city lives in those houses. Because cheapest one is around 20 million US Dollars. Yes it's true!  The most expensive one is 150 million dollars. It is hard to believe but it is listed in forbes magazine as one of the most expensive house of the world. Şehzade Burhaneddin Efendi Yalısı (Prince Burhaneddin) is sold to a qatari sheikh for 150 million dollars recently.

Beautiful view of Bosphorus villages.

If you like travel photos, Bosphorus Tours might be very useful for you. I took this shot during one of those long bosphorus tours. Segull is one of the symbols of the city by the way.

Bosphorus Tour is a good relief after walking all day long in Historic Istanbul.

Best regards,
Serhat Engül

Photos: Nikon D90 - 18-105mm VR 

6 Kasım 2015 Cuma

Topkapi Palace

Topkapı Palace

Topkapı Palace Museum in Istanbul

As a tour guide, i can easily say that Topkapi Palace Museum courtyards are most peaceful places in Istanbul. You need to spend at least 3 hours to visit this incredible palace. The old palace served to 25 Sultans for 400 years. Topkapi Palace is completely different from European Palaces. This place is like a fortified city!

Palace is built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1478. The Palace is located over the ruins of ancient Greek acropolis of the city: Byzantium

1st Courtyard

Once you get to the palace from the 1st gate (Bab-ı Humayun) you will see a huge garden and Hagia Eirene Church. You can purchase your tickets from the end of the 1st courtyard. Istanbul Archaeology Museums and Imperial Mint (Used as exhibition center today) is also reachable from 1st courtyard.

2nd Courtyard

This is my favorite place. There is the Imperial Council, Palace Kitchens, Arms Collection and Entrance of the Harem is also in this courtyard. There is a small cafe in this courtyard that you can have coffee or tea. It is fun to watch people walking around, talking about history, tourist groups while sipping your coffee.

Imperial Council of Topkapı Palace

3rd Courtyard

III. Courtyard is very busy area. There is Sultan's audience hall right at the entrance of the courtyard. There is jewellery section and holy relics section. These two sections are always busy. Unfortunately many people are not able to see Treasury room number: Four because there is the longest queue for that room. Mostly people give up when they see the line and they are actually right to do that. It takes at least half an hour to get inside if you are lucky.

The reason jewellery room is this much important is the Diamond and Dagger.

Famous Topkapı Dagger

Known as Topkapi Dagger. There was a Topkapi movie about this diamond in Hollywood. Called as "Topkapi" filmed at 1964,  Peter Ustinov was the actor.
Spoonmaker's Diamond (Kaşıkçı Elması)

4th Courtyard

You can see the most beautiful view of the Bosphorus from the last courtyard. It is one of the most beautiful view of the city. There is also view of the Golden Horn from the other side of the courtyard. IVth courtyard is designed as summer palace. There are lots of pavillions, kiosks in the same courtyard.
4th Courtyard in the Topkapı Palace

Private Guide Options

In order to get maximum pleasure out of your Topkapi Palace visit. You better have a private tour guide with you. A knowledgeable guide can tell you lots of things about this incredible building. A good guide can bring the palace life alive for you by telling you the legends and stories.

Best regards,
Serhat Engül

Mosques in Istanbul

Süleymaniye Mosque

New Mosque (Left) Süleymaniye Mosque (Right behind)

Süleymaniye is the largest mosque in Istanbul. It is also known as one of the most beautiful mosques in Istanbul. Most of the historians, archaeologist, tour guides think that it is better than the Blue Mosque for many ways.  Blue Mosque is located perfectly and it has beautiful interior decoration. However it does not give you the same feeling as Suleiman's Mosque.

Süleymaniye Mosque of Istanbul

A Great Architect of History: Mimar Sinan

Suleymaniye Mosque is dedicated to greatest Ottoman Sultan: Suleiman The Magnificent and build by the most famous architect of Ottoman Era: Mimar Sinan. Sinan served to 3 Ottoman Sultans. Sultan Suleiman I, Selim II and Murad III. He left many mosques, bridges, turkish baths and monumental fountains to the city of Istanbul.

Sultan Suleiman's time was the peak of the Ottoman Empire. He ruled the Empire from 1520 to 1566 - 46 years. There was a very popular TV show focusing on his life story. Muhteşem Yüzyıl (Magnificent Century) referring to his nickname Suleiman the Magnificent or Suleiman the lawmaker.

Magnificent Century or Muhteşem Yüzyıl

Muhteşem Yüzyıl - Magnificent Century

It is not surprising he ordered the largest and most beautiful mosque of Istanbul to be built for himself. He and his beloved wife Hurrem are buried in the courtyard of Suleymaniye Mosque. More and more people visiting their tombs every year. Because TV series Muhtesem Yuzyil is shown in entire Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia. Russians are very curious about this story because the beloved wife of Suleiman, Hurrem originated from Russia. Her original name was Roxelana.

Roxelana (Hürrem Sultan)
Suleymaniye Mosque is not only a mosque though. It is a complex. There is a school, public soup kitchen, asylum, school, turkish bath in the complex. Suleymaniye Hamami is also one of the most popular bath in Istanbul City.

Best regards,
Serhat Engül

Photos: Nikon D90 - Tokina 11-16mm Lens