I have so much to write about when it comes to Istanbul, Turkey. It's definitely one of the most dynamic and interesting big cities I think I've ever visited, and I packed as much as possible into my 2 days there.
But the tales of markets, mosques, and carpet salesmen will have to wait. Today, I just want to share my Istanbul experience with you via a collection of photos.
Here, then, is Istanbul through my eyes (or, I suppose my camera lens):
Istanbul in photos
Outside the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque) in the morning:
The ornate tiled dome of the Blue Mosque — easily the most popular place to visit in Istanbul:
The courtyard of the Suleymaniye Mosque, built by the famous architect Mimar Sinan in 1557. This mosque is the second-largest in Istanbul:
The carpeting inside the Suleymaniye Mosque – I love the bright orange!
Looking out over Istanbul from behind the Suleymaniye Mosque:
Some of the amazing blue-and-white Iznik tiles inside the Rustem Pasha Mosque, in Istanbul's Eminonu district. THIS mosque should be called the “blue mosque” if you ask me:
A pretty residential street in Istanbul:
A water view of the Bosporus:
In the Spice Bazaar (AKA Egyptian Bazaar):
In the square outside Hagia Sofia:
Inside the awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia. This basilica-turned-mosque-turned-museum nearly brought me to tears:
RELATED: In Photos: Inside Hagia Sophia
I don't think I could ever tire of Hagia Sophia:
Men fishing off the Galata Bridge:
Inside the maze-like Grand Bazaar, one of the world's oldest and largest covered markets:
Glass lanterns hanging in the Grand Bazaar:
A view out over Istanbul — check out all the satellite dishes:
With no minarets in the background, you probably would never guess this tranquil scene came from Turkey, am I right:
Istanbul's underground Basilica Cistern:
Cruising the Bosporus during the “golden hour”:
Rumeli Hisari, a fortress on a hill on the European side of the city:
Cruising on the Bosporus at dusk:
If you've never been to Istanbul, I highly recommend adding it to your list. It's unlike anywhere else I've visited in the world — in a good way.
If you're interested in seeing some of these spots for yourself in Istanbul, I managed to see them on a tour of “Hidden Istanbul,” combined with a ride on a hop-on, hop-off bus, and a Bosporus cruise.
Which Istanbul photo is your favorite?