Happy Thursday KG Killas! Kindness Gems has just returned from the Turkey Takeover and we couldn’t be more hyped about how it all went down!! Experiencing the culture of the country and being able to bring our jewelry and our mission to such an incredible place was truly magical! If you’ve been following the takeover, you should have seen our Instagram Story that covered a full day of travel through Istanbul! I wanted to recap on that and talk about the importance of each stop we recommended along the way and what to expect if you travel there yourself!
The first thing you must do is feast on a Turkish breakfast! One of the best places to stop is Sutis – you can find one in both the Bebek and Taksim areas! Traditional Turkish breakfast comes with a variety of breads, cheeses, eggs, olives, jams, and so much more – it the perfect morning fuel for a full day of travel!
The next place that is a 100% must see is Topkapi Palace. THIS PALACE IS MAJESTIC. In the 15thcentury, it served as the main residence of the Ottoman sultans. Built in 1459, this palace is made up of beautiful chambers lined with unique handcrafted tiles and gold trim everywhere you look! The architecture of the buildings is unmatched and around each corner there is another golden sight to see!! It now acts as a museum that is open to the public everyday and holds many sacred items included the sword of the prophet Muhammad!
Stop No. 3: Hagia Sophia! For sure one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever stepped foot in! The Hagia Sophia is a former Greek Orthodox Christian cathedral that was later converted to an Ottoman imperial mosque and now serves as an Istanbul museum. The inside of this building is like no other as it combines these two religions and customs in one. It was amazing to see both aspects come together and witness the mosaics of two religions unite into one beautiful artistic masterpiece. Fun Fact! Istanbul, the city itself, is home to over 3,000 mosques. And Turkey – this country has over 82,000 practicing mosques in its borders!
Now onto my favorite stops: the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar!! The Spice Bazaar, the smaller of the two, is a long hallway stuffed with endless amounts of spices, teas, and Turkish delights!! It is so much fun to walk around while tasting and seeing all the best foods the culture has to offer!! I highly recommend trying the Turkish delights – they are gooey, nutty snacks that truly satisfy your sweet tooth! After indulging on the sweets, treat yourself to some goodies at the Grand Bazaar! I have never seen anything like the Grand Bazaar in my life!! It is endless tunnels of merchants selling beautiful Turkish scarfs, rugs, lanterns, purses, and souvenirs, practically anything you could imagine!! Get lost in the tunnels for hours and I’m sure you’ll find some of the coolest souvenirs no one else would ever have!
Our final recommendation for the absolute best day in Istanbul would be to have dinner overlooking the Bosphorus. There are so many cute dining places in Bebek where you can enjoy a traditional Turkish dinner while overlooking the water and the beautiful view of the bridges, hills, and Turkish flags throughout the city!!
More general travel recommendations!
- Start your days early! It is so worth it to be up when the suns up and to fit as much in a day as you can! You never know if you will visit the country or city you are in again so make the most of it!
- Pack light! I recommend packing scarfs and clothing items that can be worn in multiple ways in order to save space! I love using scarfs in different ways – as tops, skirts, bathing suit cover ups, head pieces – it’s a fun way to be fashionable and practical at the same time!
- Camera! It is extremely worth it to invest in a DSLR camera for travel!! The sights are something that cannot typically be justified through a picture, but good cameras can come close!! These are memories and moments I’m sure you want to remember forever so it is worth making the photos quality ones!!
- Pack a cute pair of sunglasses! It is super important when traveling in the summer sun to protect your eyes!! Lots of pictures are going to be taken so be sure to have on a pair of sunglasses that are a stylish addition to every outfit!
- Shopping! Who doesn’t want to come back from a trip with new pieces that are unique to different cultures? But we can be smart when doing so ladies! Do research on countries you might be interested in traveling to before you go to see how the economy is! I found it very beneficial to shop a lot while in Turkey because the Turkish dollar is worth less than the US dollar today, therefore I was able to buy a bunch of cute Turkish clothes and bags that no one else is going to have!! You can totally travel while balling on a budget!
Well my dears that is all my travel recommendations for you!! I hope many of you plan to see the beautiful city of Istanbul someday! My favorite stones to wear while traveling are Smokey Quartz, as it is a very protective stone, and Carnelian, because it is a stone of passion and travel is my number one passion, thus I feel fired up and excited to explore throughout the whole trip!!
Have a good weekend:)