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Day 9: Istanbul, Turkey - This was a day of sightseeing at some of the most famous attractions in Istanbul that I’ve wanted to visit my entire life including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. And the read highlight of the day for me was the incredible Turkish food, especially the kebabs.
Museum Pass Istanbul - 85 TRY ($28.88) - Before getting started with the things we did in this video, I purchased a Museum Pass for Istanbul, which granted me access to a few of the attractions without having to stand in line. I’m not sure if I really saved much money, but it did save time.
2:00 Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque) - Our first stop of the day in this attractions in Istanbul video was the Sultan Ahmet Camii, which is commonly known as the Blue Mosque due to its blue tiles on the inside. We actually arrived a little too early in the morning, so they were not open yet, so we walked around the Hippodrome of Constantinople for a few minutes. When the Blue Mosque opened, we went inside. Both inside and outside are incredible to see.
5:37 Hagia Sophia - One of the most famous pieces of architecture in all of Istanbul and one of the most famous attractions is Hagia Sophia. It started off as a church, later became a mosque, and now it’s an official museum. After entering, you can walk around the main room, but the highlight of visiting Hagia Sophia for me was walking up to the upper galleries for some amazing views from above.
8:24 Topkapi Palace - Finally, one more of the most famous attractions in Istanbul, and located right in the same area as Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque is Topkapi Palace, which was an Ottoman Palace. You can walk around the gardens and palace structures, which are now galleries. I especially enjoyed the Imperial Harem, which was a section of the palace reserved for women, and the best preserved area of the palace.
11:25 Sehzade Erzurum Cag Kebab (Şehzade Cağ Kebap) - There are many different types of Turkish food, and cag kebab is a type of kebab from Erzurum in Eastern Turkey. According some some men I met while eating the amazing kebabs, this is the best restaurant for cag kebab in all of Istanbul. The type of kebab is made from lamb, and instead of being on a vertical skewer like other types of kebabs, it’s grilled on a horizontal skewer. The meat is cooked with wood fire, and slice off onto smaller skewers to be served. If you get a chance to try cag kebab, it’s an absolutely stunning Turkish food. The entire meal was delicious, but the best part was meeting the owner of Sehzade Erzurum Cag Kebab and eating a slice of the meat right off the roll hot and fresh. Out entire meal cost 85 TL ($28.88).
20:34 Basilica Cistern - 20 TRY ($6.80) - Arter the amazing Turkish food lunch, we headed over to see the Basilica cistern, one of many underground cisterns in Istanbul. It was interesting to see. We then headed to the hotel for a rest, and then went out again for dinner.
23:27 Dinner at Balkan Lokantasi - Beşiktaş is a neighborhood in Istanbul and we walked over to a restaurant for dinner in that neighborhood called Balkan Lokantasi. It was an extremely busy restaurant serving all sorts of different Turkish food in a cafeteria like style. You walk through the line, choose whatever dishes you want, and pay for what you get. You can eat a serious feast for a pretty good price. I got a little confused and didn’t really know what I was doing, so ended up ordering what was way too much food. But that’s alright, it was all really delicious.
It was fantastic day of Turkish food and visiting some attractions in Istanbul that I had wanted to visit my entire life.
Disclaimer and Thank You:
This trip was made possible by Star Alliance and their Round The World tickets (http://www.staralliance.com/en/round-the-world) who sponsored my business class flights.
The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul sponsored my stay in Istanbul. Thank you to Star Alliance, Marriott Hotels, and Turkish Airlines for making this trip happen.
I personally paid for all food and attractions in this video, and decided what to do.
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Loved this vlog Mark. Time to take it to the next level and do some research before and after to add facts like when these historical sites were built, the primary materiLs and their source, by whom, how long it took, previous uses etc. And on the food it would be good to know what you are actually eating , at least the main ingredients and the name of the dish. Probably a good idea to connect with a local guide in these locations and get them to fill in what you don't know--take a look at Mike Cheng's various vlogs and at Sonny Side's Best Ever Food Review Show He has now earned himself a Travel Network spot. They aren't perfect either but but can at least tell subscribers what they are eating--important if you want to be seen as a foodie rather a tourist who likes to eat any food with a lot of chilis.
Mark this food journey was very tasty. Tell me few more .I am planning to visit turky this yr .I am an indian where from I should strat and how to proceed to see imprtant cities...you have great screen presence.
Mark: I have discovered your videos just a week ago. My husband and I are glued to the TV watching your work, if we can say this is work. Excellent production, your comments very good. Now you have two new followers. Currently, we are watching the Istanbul series. Wonderful. You make us hungry all the time, craving for these amazing foods. Keep going, my greeting to your wife.
Mark you are like killing it man making me so jelous with all these videos i loved the bangkok vid yuma mama i think it was seemed inviting stop making me hate you!!😉😅😅 honestly love your vids god bless you brother keep uniting the world!! We need it
As a recent viewer of your videos, I gotta say it's such a pleasure to watch this around the world series. I'm so envious! Istanbul looks amazing (OMG the food and the sights!) and is one of the places I've always wanted to go to! Now I know so much more after watching this series...Btw I know you're not big on sweets but I'd really love to see more of those in your videos.
I think nowadays u r more to travel blogger instead of food blogger..... Just wanted to see ur face after tasting delicious food closing ur eyes and tilting ur head towards right shoulder and telling ummmm .....tat is epic
Dear Mr Wiens you should be aware that Hagia Sophia was never in the past a Roman Catholic Cathedral, it was an Eastern Christian Orthodox Basilica and after the siege and conquer of Constantinople by the Seltzuks it was made a Mosque
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