Trip to Istanbul during a holiday in Bulgaria
While you are on a holiday in a private rental villa with a swimming pool in Burgas, Bulgaria, grab the opportunity to visit one of the most famous and interesting cities in the world – Istanbul. Only 4 hours away with a car from your holiday rental villa, don’t miss that opportunity.
Visit Istanbul enjoying your holiday villa in Bulgaria
Most tourists that come to Bulgaria book a holiday that lasts a week, which is more than enough time to visit Bulgaria’s most memorable beaches, historical sites, and attractions. But for those who plan to spend a long holiday in Bulgaria, there is a really outstanding alternative. A trip to Istanbul can be one of the highlights of your holiday, the colorful and different experience that such a trip will bring to your holiday in Bulgaria is an opportunity you better not miss.
Normally it takes about 4 hours to travel the distance between our rental villas in Burgas, Bulgaria to Istanbul. The 340 kilometers can be traveled by car or by bus, but a car is definitely the best one. If you consider this option but have come to your holiday in Bulgaria without your car you can choose from the different rent a car deals that are on the market.
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Some things you better keep in mind if you decide on a spontaneous trip to Istanbul.
The currency in Turkey is the Turkish lira. You can exchange currency anywhere both in Bulgaria and Turkey, but it is a good idea to check the exchange rates in advance to be prepared what to expect.
The currency in Turkey is the Turkish lira
Once you reach the city you will find yourself submerged in a whole new type of atmosphere. The oriental look and spirit of the city will be the first thing to capture your attention. Do not forget to bring your camera because the city is considered one of the most beautiful and colorful in the entire world.
Speaking of world renown beauty – you definitely must visit Hagia Sofia! Nowadays it is a museum that attracts thousands and thousands of tourists each year. At some point back in time, it was originally a church and then a mosque. That interesting clash of two religions in the very same place has led to the final creation of a building that is so mesmerizing and different from anything you have ever seen. Since it is a museum nowadays, you can enter Hagia Sofia and admire the Sultans lodge, the numerous samples of art (mosaics, calligraphic artworks, and beautiful tiles) in classical oriental colors and styles.
The Blue Mosque is also known as Sultan Ahmed’s mosque and is one of the signature buildings in Istanbul. If you want to enter the beautiful site, you must come prepared. You should be wearing long pants and women should cover their heads and shoulders. Once you have all those requirements fulfilled you can enter and wander around the mosque, admiring all the beautiful tiles of both the floor and walls. They are in the signature Turkish-blue and are really a mesmerizing sight.
The Blue mosque
Another unique place in Istanbul is the Grand Bazaar. It has been a key trading center since the 15th century and has attracted merchants from all over the world. Nowadays the Bazaar once again attracts people from all over the world but it has significantly grown. It covers more than 60 streets and is home to over 5000 shops that sell anything you can possibly imagine. There are numerous cafeterias and hammams. Even if you are not looking for a day of shopping you must visit this outstanding place. Not only is it colorful, picturesque and full of life but it is also really so full of the typical oriental atmosphere. It is almost as if you are entering an absolutely brand new world. People are chattering all around you, bargaining loudly and vigorously about rugs, jewelry, souvenirs and much more. What you really need to remember is that, unlike in Bulgaria, here in Turkey it is considered important to bargain. You must bargain even if the thing you are about to buy is cheap. It is the greatest honor and pleasure for merchants to bargain and praise the high-quality and great value of their goods.
The Grand Bazaar – Kapali Carsi
Turkish cuisine may seem a lot similar to Bulgarian (visit our blog for more information about Bulgarian villa rentals and cuisine) but indeed it has a vast variety of unusual items to offer. Make sure you find yourself a local restaurant so you enjoy the true taste of Istanbul. And don’t miss the opportunity to grab ice-cream from the Internet-famous street shops. If you have not seen any video of people selling ice-cream on the streets of Turkey, you will probably be caught off-guard when your ice-cream vendor tries to trick you and makes you work hard for your cold treat by playing games and teasing you before he finally hands you your purchase.
If you are a food lover and enjoyed already the Bulgarian cuisine in your Bulgarian villa rentals, also there is nothing more typical about Turkey than high-quality Turkish coffee and the signature Turkish tea. Both drinks are revered in Turkey and drinking a cup of coffee in Istanbul is a true delight. There are many small cafeterias where you can order yourself a classic Turkish coffee or tea. Some of them are situated near the beautiful Bosporus and are a preferred place to stop for a drink or a snack.
Street ice cream show in Istanbul
If you are looking for a traditional Turkish experience you might want to play some backgammon and smoke a hookah while you are there. Just by walking around the streets of Istanbul you are likely to notice many elderly men who have gathered together for a classic game of backgammon. It is yet another thing that Turkey is famous for. If you are into board games, then you will surely enjoy that.
Hookah, on the other hand, is famous worldwide but believe me, you will find no place that offers a wider and better variety of flavors and scents to add to your hookah. Of course you can make and smoke your own hookah around the pool in your Bulgarian rental villa.
Hookah Shisha in Istanbul
Another great way to spend time in Istanbul is by taking a boat trip down the Bosporus. It is such a magnificent experience to sail around all the picturesque neighborhoods of Istanbul and capture the beauty of the charming houses and sites. The crystal-clear blue waters and the sun gently shining down upon you are really going to make this experience so relaxing and peaceful. To top all of that most trips on the Bosporus offer a walk around the Asian side of the country, so you actually end up visiting two completely different continents on the same trip. Awesome, indeed!
Bosporus trip in Istanbul
Princes Islands are another unique site that has no equivalent anywhere else. They are easily accessible by small boats that travel between the city and the islands regularly. The panoramic views and sites are really going to leave you breathless since they are considered some of the prettiest in Tukey.
Visiting Istanbul will be the perfect, colorful and interesting addition to your holiday in a private rental villa with a swimming pool in Bulgaria. After such a journey you will have a lot more to tell your friends back at home about not only about the beautiful places in Bulgaria but overall about the outstanding Balkan Peninsula and the charming mix of the western and oriental world that it is.
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