Category Archives: Travel Stories

Top 3 Things to do/see in Istanbul

(Ideal for first-time visitors or those on a quick trip).

For my first visit, Istanbul might be my favourite destination. If I could describe this place in 4 words – it would be:

Cultural

Dynamic

Eventful

Crazy, and in that order too. 

Crazy being good because the last thing anybody would want is to travel to another country only for it to be boring, right? If you haven’t been, you’d be glad to know it’s anything but boring as much as I wanted nothing but a serene, beach break. There’s always a part two!

So, here are my Top 3 things to do/see in Istanbul.

1) Visit Sultanahmet Square. 

You’ll find all the key landmarks and sites in this area, such as Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, with an 8-9 minute walk to Topkapi Palace. Or if you prefer, take in the views and more on The Hop on Hop off Bus tour.

2) Grand Bazaar! 

From clothes to accessories, kitchenware, cafe’s/restaurants, perfumes and so much more, this walk-through outdoor market comes alive from the moment it opens. You can also find currency exchange or Atm’s if you’re short of cash, just make sure to haggle well and don’t get lost. Oh and Turkish delight; (down the stairs & through the tunnel’s indoor-type bazaar) thank me later! 

3) Taskim Square

Big, like the rest of Istanbul. They sell everything from souvenirs to clothing, and if you want a break after taking walking tour on Istiklal Avenue, relax at the square on a bench or the nearby park, and watch the world go by.

Ps. Taskim Square is not Istiklal Street, (i.e. neighbouring shops, ice-cream or the odd street performer) however it’s close by, so don’t miss it! 

(Honorable Mentions)

Vadistanbul.

For a Shopping Mall, I found some of the stores were not that expensive. For that reason, it’s a favourite of mine. 

VADISTANBUL

Hope these Top 3 Things to do/see in Istanbul get you off to a good start!

In summary:

‘Travel defeats prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.’ Mark Twain.

Not even Covid-19 could stop me from my wanderlust, even with being the most careful person I know. Well, after seven months into the pandemic still with borders slowly opening up, I’ve decided… now’s the time to get back out there!

Want to hear more about my travel journey?

I’m working on something – (capturing the real essence of my travels & the beauty that many cultures, have to offer). I just need the equipment!

:)

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Travel Egypt

Located in North Africa and bordering the Arab world, Egypt is known for its pyramids, hot climate, and all things ancient in between. When I think of Egypt, I think of pyramids and truth be told, the Mummy-returns. For the wider movie fans out there, it all started with Indiana Jones and now that I’m on memory lane; does anyone (besides the older generation in my family) remember Cleopatra

It’s safe to say my thoughts on Egypt before I visited, wasn’t far from a tourist. Ancient Egypt, The Nile, pharaohs’ and so much more, take me back to my school days. In terms of expectations and even sights, the country has so much culture – you’ll need more than a few days to get a feel of the place.

Then there’s the great Moses himself, who freed the slaves and parted the red sea. If that’s not history or a memorable part of it then I don’t know what is! Still, I went to Egypt (opportunity strikes), and it pains me to say I didn’t visit the red sea. However, with all things being calm, there’s more than enough reason to return.

Who can forget Nefertiti the Queen herself? There’s something about ancient royalty when it comes to Egypt. It’s although Nefertiti imposes you to reminisce about something, though, you were never a part of. ‘You are going to feel my presence’ is the impression I get from her or if she was alive today.

As you can see, a part 2 trip to Egypt is set to happen!


Egypt is beautiful; in essence, in culture, and is the cradle of civilization. Need I say more?

Whilst there are many cities including Alexandria, Luxor, Giza and Cairo, there is New Cairo and Old Cairo. I tried my luck asking a Uber driver day’s into my trip about the Old Cairo since Giza pyramids were the first on my to-do list, but he didn’t have a clue. English was a bit of a barrier, and I later realized this from the minute I left the airport. 

As the saying goes: ‘When there’s life there’s hope’ but I went from this to being told, about places I should avoid. However, I soon realized that some of what I was hearing was either a myth, or the uber driver wasn’t Egyptian. According to the second driver, the amount of “fine” and playful laughter responses I received, outnumbered the few expats who advised me to avoid point a to c.

‘Where are these places you wonder?’ Khan El Khalili (the horror) and anywhere that I soon realized was in/near old Cairo; the main pyramids’ being one. 

 

Pit stop!

It’s important to take precautions anywhere in the world, and as a tourist, care, and as a young woman – you do your research. Take tips from those that know, stay up to date with the news and have your mobile data ready for that uber! The ‘places to avoid’ is less about protests, (heard mainly around “downtown” but double-check first) and more about ‘men grabbing women in some markets.’ Still, I heard a lot about protests in and around town and either managed to navigate around it or just didn’t see one myself. 

There is a rich and poor gap particularly with Cairo, which seemed to be the theme of what I would hear with places like Madinaty, Maddi, and my recent stay in Garden City. Some places in Egypt are seen as a big deal, and Madinaty was one of them. The scenery was nice, but pockets of the new city were reminiscent to some people’s conditions I eventually saw in the Old Cairo.

With the hustle & bustle visit, winding down was all I needed. Overall, it was a good eye-opener in exploring the opportunities to come. Garden City, I was surrounded by hotels with easy access to The Four Seasons.

Can’t think of a better way than to enjoy a nice drink. 

Being away from home can be a little exhausting but the more I travel, the more I want to see. As for Egypt, we got some unfinished business!