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Turkey’s largest city is a huge, buzzing metropolis, an architectural wonder and without a doubt, a cultural gem.
The hustle and bustle of daily life will most definitely keep you entertained but as with all big cities, may also wear you out.
The good news is that Istanbul is ideally located nearby to some of the most enviable destinations in Turkey that are perfect for taking a break from city life.
From iconic architectural sites to idyllic beaches and historic towns, the area surrounding Istanbul is rich in culture and nature alike.
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops on a total area of 30,700 m, attracting between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. In 2014, it was listed No.1 among the world's most-visited tourist attractions with 91,250,000 annual visitors. The Grand Bazar at Istanbul is often regarded as one of the first shopping malls of the world.
We enter the gate and walk down the hall of one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. You can find here more than 3000 shops. The main hall is wide, the ceiling is beautifully decorated by yellow color with ornaments. Tourists from all over the world buy here various souvenirs like magnets, ceramics, soaps, leather products, lamps, spices and so on. We are trying to enjoy the rush atmosphere of this interesting place.
Turkish delight or lokum is a family of confections based on a gel of starch and sugar. Premium varieties consist largely of chopped dates, pistachios, and hazelnuts or walnuts bound by the gel; traditional varieties are often flavored with rosewater, mastic, Bergamot orange, or lemon.
The confection is often packaged and eaten in small cubes dusted with icing sugar, copra, or powdered cream of tartar, to prevent clinging. Other common flavors include cinnamon and mint. In the production process, soapwort may be used as an emulsifying additive.
The origin of the confection is not well established, but it is known to have been produced in Turkey as early as the late 1700s, hence its name.
There is nothing better to rejuvenate your body than getting scrubbed in a hamam. Just picture this after a long day of walking: wearing nothing but a cotton cloth, first relax in a steamy room laying on hot marble, listening to the echoes of running water. Then a brisk soapy body scrub, followed by a sultan’s massage until your skin is smooth and soft.
There are several hamams available in the city. Among the oldest are the (recently renovated) Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamam and K?l?ç Ali Pa?a Hamam. The first is right on Sultanahmet Square, the latter is in Tophane-Karaköy, not far from Istanbul Modern.
Another full day commitment that includes a flight, Pamukkale is around two hours away from Istanbul including a plane journey and overland transfer.
Without a doubt one of the country’s most popular attractions, Pamukkale is a series of startlingly white thermal pool terraces cascading onto one another in the gorgeous flats of Turkey’s southwest.
What’s more, it’s also the site of the Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis, which has been incredibly well-preserved and adds to the entire surreal experience.
The dramatic landscape is most definitely worth the trip, offering endless opportunities to relax, snap incredible pictures, and explore one of the most unique places in the world.
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