1. Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
How to get there – Take T1 or a taxi.
When to go – Go in the early morning to avoid big crowds!
2. Blue Mosque, Istanbul
How to get there – The Blue Mosque is located on the opposite side of the Hagia Sophia.
When to go – Go as early as possible, apparently you can already enter the area of the mosque before it’s official opening time and this way you won’t be obligated to cover up your shoulders and hair. Do take into account that at the moment they are renovating the place so there is a lot of scaffolding going on.
3. Dolmabahce Palace, Istanbul
How to get there – Take bus TB1 or TB2 and get of at Dolmabahce Sarayi – Google Maps
When to go – The palace opens at 9am, you only need to be there 15 minutes from before. Once you enter the area make sure to go look for the gates first cause this is where all of the tours will end. My guess is that you can have this place all to yourself for about 1 hour.
4. Ortakoy Mosque, Istanbul
How to get there – A lot of busses stop nearby at Kabatas Lisesi: from Taksim take bus 42T, from Kabatas take bus 22.
When to go – This place is at it’s most beautiful during sunset.
5. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
How to get there – Take T1, from there its only short walking distance.
When to go – This place is always crowded with people. I prefer going here during the daytime when it was really hot to walk outside in the sun!
Google Maps location – Click here
6. Galata Tower, Istanbul
How to get there – the easiest way is definitely by taxi/Uber, otherwise be prepared for a steep climb.
When to go – this place is surrounded by a lot of shops so it’s better to arrive before they go open.
Google Maps location – Click here
7. Maiden’s Tower, Istanbul
How to get there – Take the tram called Marmaray and get off at Uskudar station (on the Asian side of Istanbul), from there it’s only a 10 minute walking distance
When to go – Make sure you arrive 1 hour before sunset time!
Where to stay in Istanbul
- Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel – Located in the heart of Istanbul and overlooking both mosques.
- Georges Hotel Galata – A trendy boutique hotel with a rooftop restaurant offering an amazing view over the city.
- The House Hotel Karakoy – Located in the headquarters of a former glorious bank.
How to get there – a 1 hour plane ride from Istanbul away (there is a direct bus from the airport in Denizli to take you to Pamukkale) – Google Maps
When to go – go during sunset to get the most spectacular light!
Read my blogpost on Pamukkale here
Where to stay in Pamukkale
- Venus Hotel – Offers an outdoors pool and short walking distance to the site.
9. Rose Valley, Cappadocia
How to get there – The rose valley is located near Göreme. The easiest way to get there is by car!
When to go – This is the best spot for sunset!
10. Rooftop terrace Göreme, Cappadocia
How to get there – Mithra Cave Hotel has one of the best terraces there is.
When to go – You need to be up and ready before sunrise so you don’t miss the balloons taking off!
Google Maps Location – Click here
Click here for my review on Mithra Cave Hotel.
11. Evil Eye Tree, Pigeon Valley, Cappadocia
How to get there – If you choose to do a tour the green tour will take you here, otherwise this place is easy accessible by car.
When to go – This place tends to get very crowded during the day so I would try to get there as early as you can!
12. Galeri Ikman, Göreme, Cappadocia
How to get there – If you’re staying in Göreme the shop is walking distance from any hotel.
When to go – Try to go before noon otherwise the sun will divide the room into shade and brightness.
Where to stay in Cappadocia
- Museum Hotel – The most luxurious hotel in Cappadocia, offering views over the entire valley.
- Mithra Cave Hotel – My personal favourite in Cappadocia, offering a ton of amazing spots to take photos with the balloons.
- Sultan Cave Suites – One of the most popular hotels in the area.
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