Introduction. Since I feel the need to express my love for travel more often, I decided to publish articles about it here on theonlyfashionprincess.com too. The articles will feature - among other things - travel stories of myself and/or others, travel destinations that are on my bucket list, places that you have to visit, tips for travelling, and travel inspiration. For this article, I want you to introduce to the city where Europe meets Asia: Istanbul. The capital of Turkey makes it to many hot lists and that is definitely not surprisingly. There are mosques, bazaars and other beautiful buildings all over the city and even though it is relatively close to The Netherlands - it is only a three and a half hour flight -, you will explore a totally different culture.
Shopping. Istanbul is a shopper's paradise. If you know where to look, the city satisfies the fashion-taste of literally everyone. There are so many different type of shops, from antique shops and chic boutiques to huge shopping malls. You can go from purchasing high-end antiques to bargaining a scarf with a street vendor within just a couple of minutes. Obviously, Istanbul offers a wide range of Oriental clothing (so I dare you to go get your belly-dancing costume when you are over there and show me some moves in a youtube video), but also a lot of designer fashion is sold in the city. Most people consider their shopping done after they visited the Grand Bazaar, but that is definitely not the only place for catching the clothes you want! I personally love the lavander cross body bag by Istanbul designer Mehry Mu, but the designs of so many Turkish designers are absolutely unique and definitely worth the investment.
Food. For all foodies among you, the Egyptian market is a must-visit. I go crazy when I am on a market where an insane amount of different herbs, (dried) fruits and nuts is sold, and you will definitely succeed in purchasing at least one thing that satisfies your sweet tooth. With the many types of fresh village cheeses, the great amount of vegetables and all of the other foods that are sold over there, you are ensured that you will not leave empty-handed when you are searching for ingredients for your next meal.
Hotels. As in most cities, there are places to sleep for all budgets. If you decide to make a reservation at one of the many luxurious hotels with amazing facilities like a Turkish Hamam, a vitamin bar and a pool, you are ensured of a royal treatment. These hotels have got huge suites, delicious champaign breakfasts and you are able to enjoy a breathtaking view if you look outside of the windows of your room. However, if you want to sleep at a place that has a lower price tag, you can find rooms that are only twenty euros a night!
Sightseeing. You will definitely not get bored during your stay in Istanbul. The city covers a great amount of gorgeous mosques, museums, and other places and buildings that are worth a visit. Take the Basilica Cistern, which is pictured above. It is the largest of several hundred cisterns located underneath Istanbul and it has been said that more than 7000 slaves were involved in the construction of it. If you visit this popular tourist attraction, make sure you walk all the way to the left-hand corner of this ancient cistern. Two Medusa heads carved in column bases are located over there and both the positioning (one is positioned upside down) as their origin remains a mystery up till now. Following the myth, Medusa was the sea nimph that was turned into a monstrous beast with snakes instead of hair, whose face could turn onlookers into stone. Eventually she was beheaded. In classical antiquity and today, the head of Medusa finds expression in the evil-averting device.
Conclusion. Hopefully I could give you some inspiration to go visit Istanbul, the city where you can find basically anything. There are so many buildings steeped in history that culture-lovers definitely should visit, but on the other hand the modern nightlife is also amazing. For either fashion, food and interior, the shopping is like a dream and on top of that, you will be spoiled for choice with Istanbul's varied gastro scene when it comes to food. So.... Put 'visiting Istanbul' on your bucket list right now!!!!