Ahh, Istanbul – city of beauty, charm and more than its fair share of history.
Experience these 10 Turkish Delights in Istanbul (well, some aren’t exactly what you’d call delightful) for the complete Bosphorus adventure.
Served hot or cold this could possibly be the best tea flavour on the market. Turkey is huge on their tea, my one regret was not buying a suitcase full of their tea selection.
2. Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
At 1tl this juice in the beating hot Istanbul sun is a steal. Look out for the juice carts around Turkey they also serve pomegranate juice at a slightly more pricier cost.
3. Istanbul Spice Bazaar
Also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, the city’s Spice Bazaar is a lane way with stores either side displaying pyramids of spices, loose tea in the form of dried flowers and hundreds of sweet Turkish treats dusted with icing sugar.
Turkish for ‘Kebabs’ kebaps are everywhere as expected, although lacking the european twist of filling and sauce options. The kebap rotisseries vary in sizes but some are beyond HUGE. Forget any side thoughts of food poisoning, just consider the time that goes into putting one of these neatly crafted meat stacks together – we even witnessed a man standing on a ladder to layer his rotisserie!
The drink of the locals. This aniseed flavoured spirit is usually mixed with water giving it a murky grey colour – think vodka licorice! Raki is definitely an acquired taste however the Turks manage to consume around 60 million litres each year!
Sweet, pastry, honey, goodness often with crunchy pistachio. Be warned you will need baby wipes on hand to clean up afterwards.
7. Bus Transport
Move over Easyjet! Taking a long bus ride in Turkey could potentially be better than taking a budget flight to another country. Turkish buses provide their own ‘service attendant’ who serve food, tea and coffee (as well as juice and fizzy) on a little isle trolley throughout the ride.
8. Squat Toilets
Who needs a plush toilet when you can experience doing your business over a ceramic hole in the ground. Don’t forget to take your own toilet paper, if forgotten there is often an optional hose and bucket for your use.
9. Name Calling
In Istanbul men can be seen working the streets in the tourist areas and if you aren’t accompanied by a male the chances of being targeted increase significantly. Blonde or not, be prepared for sales pitches such as “Baby Spice, Baby Spice come on my bus ride” and “Excuse me I think you dropped something …. my baby.” I often wonder how these charming Turkish men put these pickup lines together!
10. Turkish Delight
There is something magical about tasting food from it’s country of origin and the same goes for Turkish Delight (Türk lokumu to the locals)! This jelly sweet comes in all sorts of sizes and textures, wrapped in chopped up nuts and fruits it is a chewy goodness not to miss. The best thing – nearly every sweet shop will offer samples and are more than happy to barter a deal when purchasing!
Featured image by LASZLO ILYES