On September 10, 2010, the Princes’ Islands Museum opened. It is the first museum to open on Büyükada Island, telling the story of the Prince’s islands from their early formation to the architecture, the history, the writers, poets and artists on the Prince’s Islands. If you are visiting Istanbul and enjoying the culture and art of the city this year, you should not miss a visit to the Princes’ Islands (Adalar) in the Sea of Marmara and the Prince’s Island Museum that has just opened.
The Princes' Islands Museum has opened
Getting to the Princes’ Islands is easy by ferry. There are plenty of hotels and bed & breakfast inns on the Islands for you to stay in. You must reserve a hotel room in advance, especially in the summer because the hotel rooms fill up fast. Watch out for tourist traps in the shops and restaurants because some tourists have been ripped off.
The Museum of the Princes’ Islands is located in the Adalar Müzesi Hangar Müze Binası, Aya Nikola Mevkii, Büyükada which is an old helicopter hangar. Exhibits include video installations, tours of the exquisite wooden houses and gardens of the Island and historical documents and objects from the varied and diverse cultural and ethnic peoples who emigrated to the Islands.
The Princes’ Islands are themselves some 600 million years old and the Museum presents an interesting geological history of the Islands. The name the Princes’ Islands originates from the islands history as a destination for exiled princes during Byzantine times.
Taking a break from the hustle and bustle of urban Istanbul, you will find a jaunt over to the Princes’ Islands will offer an enjoyable outing in a tranquil setting. Something more to do in Istanbul 2010.
Istanbul is cool this year, 2010. It is the “coolest” destination for everyone, from backpackers to jet setters. Istanbul has definitely become the hottest vacation destination this year and one of the reasons is the fact that Istanbul was voted the European Capital of Culture 2010 by the European Union. Istanbul is emerging as the “It” destination of the year for its unique situation and history, its architectural and cultural splendors. Istanbul is putting on her finest dress this year.
Istanbul for 24 hours: Where would you stay, what would you do if you only had 24 hours in Istanbul? The following is how to get the most out of a 24 hour stay in Istanbul.
Where to wake up? Wake up in the Hotel les Ottomans. Located close to the Bosphorus, you’ll wake up with the smell of the fresh air and the sea and stunning views of the Bosphorus. Hotel les Ottomans was once the stunning palace of an 18th century Pasha. The Hotel les Ottomans will treat you to the services of butlers and personal shoppers. The Hotel even has a yacht, just in case you need it and you have the time. More details on this stunning hotel can be found at lesottomans.com.
What about lunch? Lunch, that all important meal of the day, where to grab a bite when you’re on the go? The best donor and kebabs in Istanbul can be had at Bambi a stall, open 24 hours a day, the price is right and the atmosphere is cheerful.
Head on down to Saray for a break after some fast paced sightseeing in Istanbul. Put your feet up, sample some of their delicious desserts and Turkish coffee. Got to be had – Ladies’ Thighs Baklava. Mmmmmm. Find out more about Saray in Istanbul before you go at their website at saraymuhallebicisi.com.
Where to dine? The eclectic Mikla restaurant is the hot spot for night eats in Istanbul. Their fare is judged one of the most splendid in the city. The views of Topkapi Palace from Mikla’s rooftop location are magnificent. Mikla serves up lamb chops with a fine crust of crushed pistachios and other divine dishes for the main event and try the cheeseboard for dessert with wine. Every mouthful is orgasmic! More info at their website at miklarestaurant.com.
How to spend the night? Drop by 5Kat – you can’t miss its flashy exterior. The interior design is done in velvet and beads, candles and lamps, providing a unique ambiance to listen to the music of new and established musicians, featured every night of the week. Visit their website at 5kat.com for more info. After 5Kat, swing by Ghetto, a club that used to be a bakery, and hear out some jazz, rock or pop music over a cocktail or beer. More info at their website ghettoist.com.
Don’t miss some of the cultural events of Istanbul during your quick stop in the city. Yes, Istanbul has become the hottest vacation destination in the world because Istanbul is now cool. You will never run out of things to do in Turkey, just head to Istanbul – the ‘It’ destination, 2010.
Image courtesy of 5Kat.
The Church on the Prince's Islands
If you are planning to visit Istanbul 2010 to experience what Istanbul has to offer in cultural and artistic happenings, you will have the chance to visit some of the wonderful tourist attractions of the city as well. Istanbul is full of things to see that shouldn’t be missed because the city has so much to offer, so full of things to see and experience. There are markets, historical buildings, mosques, galleries, museums, and plenty of cafes, restaurants and hotels.
You may choose to take a taxi, or a bus tour of the city of Istanbul, but it is equally as easy to visit everything Istanbul has to offer by a simple walking tour. There are many tour companies in Istanbul that can assist you in seeing the city and taking you to the sights you won’t want to miss. You may also pick up a book from the many books available before you go, to help you plan what you want to see while visiting Istanbul this year.
The following is a brief summary of the tourist sights you won’t want to miss while you are in Istanbul (and this is a basic list). If you want to experience some of the wonderful markets in Istanbul, try the markets in the district of Eminonu, where you will find the Grand Bazaar, and the Egyptian Bazaar (also known as the Spice Market). You could possibly spend hours here, shopping for such items as spices, coffee, tea, Turkish Delight, colored glass lanterns, jewelery, textiles and just about anything else you would like to buy for souvenirs of your travels to Istanbul. The streets are busy, filled with the crazy traffic of Istanbul and the markets and pathways are full of pedestrians and everyone going about their business.
The New Mosque
Nearby the market you will find the New Mosque (Yeni Cami) which sits on the square with a lively street market beside it, many pigeons, tourists and locals. Also, in Eminonu, you will be able to walk over the Galata Bridge where cars and many fishermen can be found. You can take a nice walk through the Galata neighborhood and visit the Galata Tower where there is a restaurant at the top and you can look out over the skyline of Istanbul. The Galata Bridge crosses over the Golden Horn to Beyoğlu. You can catch a ferry in Eminonu at the docks and for a cheap price, take a boat up the Bosphorus and see the city of Istanbul from the water.
Other major tourist sights you should not miss when traveling to Istanbul include the Topkapi Palace, the magnificent architecture of the Hagia Sophia Church, the Blue Mosque, the Suleymaniye Mosque, the elegant Blue Mosque, Dolmabahce Palace, and ancient Hippodrome. Also be sure to include the Egyptian Obelisk, Serpentine Column and the Fountain of Wilhelm II. Istanbul is known for its lovely palaces and former residences of the Sultans where you will find many beautiful gardens and fountains.
For more of the tourist sights of Istanbul, you will find them in the old neighbourhood of Sultanahmet. Also be sure to take a cruise on the Bosphorus, the waterway which flows from the North Sea to the Sea of Marmara. In Beyoglu, you will find the Pera Palas Hotel and many cafes.
For a lovely day trip in Istanbul (you can always stay longer), take a ferry to the Prince’s Islands and rent a horse carriage and driver to take you around the island. The Prince’s Islands are beautiful with superb views of the coast, the lovely old wooden houses, the church at the top of the mountain you can hike to, some cafes and restaurants. There are also a few hotels on the Prince’s Islands if you think you would like to stay overnight.
There is lots to see and do in Istanbul 2010 for the Capital of Culture year as the city opens itself to visitors and lovers of art and culture.