What a sad day. I just read there has been a bombing right outside Hagia Sophia. It looks like it's in the small area between Hagia and the Blue Mosque. One of my absolute favorite places on earth.
Recommending Hagia Soghia in Istanbul is like recommending the Louvre in Paris but it as absolutely a must see. It was built as a christian church, converted in to a mosque and is now a museum.
I have an absolute obsession with fish markets. If a city has one I will be there before sunrise to see what’s going on. Istanbul was no exception and I ended up here 3 days in a row.
If you have ever parked a boat before you will understand how amazing the captains are in Istanbul.
Again, low lying fruit as far as exotic goes but the smells, chaos,variety and quality of food is not to be missed. It is surprisingly hard to find as it is not well labeled or as large looking from the outside as one would expect.4
The area surrounding both side of the Galata Bridge is one of the most amazing people watching places I have ever encounted. On the south side you have the mosques, markets and bazaars and across the Bosphorus you have Galata Tower in a neighborhood much like the East Village of New York. As well, an amazing little street of nothing but hardware stores.
On every corner is someone selling Simitci, a third cousin to the pretzel.
There are so many Mosques in Istanbul it’s hard to pick one. All seemed to be very open to westerners visiting but please check up on local customs before entering to save you and them embarrassment(no shorts, etc).