I’ve fallen behind, woops! Today let’s do a quick round up of what I wore, saw, and ate in Istanbul, Turkey! We were in Istanbul for 3 days and it was absolutely fantastic–here are my packing tips and can’t miss sites!
Once again, the academic conference and vacation packing list:
We went to Istanbul as our second stop after a week in Greece–it was an easy 1-hour flight from Athens. You do need a visa to get in as a US passport holder but you can easily apply online. There were no COVID entry restrictions in place.
The main thing about packing for Turkey, or anywhere else where religious sites are a big tourist draw, is packing enough clothes with coverage. To enter mosques, women needed to be wearing pants/dresses that went past the knee and something that covered your shoulders. Additionally, a head covering was required (many mosques that are big tourist sites rent them out but who doesn’t need a good travel scarf anyway!). We also had to remove our shoes, so it was a good day for socks.
I wore a screen tee and my ADAY pants because they’re lightweight. I paired them with these sneakers and a linen scarf. I got a bonus accessory that was a very friendly Istanbul cat 🙂 There are many excellent rooftop terraces in Istanbul and we loved climbing the steps to take in the views and drink a coffee.
It was almost too hot for this outfit, though, so we planned all the mosques for one day. Sultanahmet (the Blue Mosque) is under renovation but we enjoyed the Hagia Sophia and Süleymaniye and both were gorgeous (highly recommend the latter if you want to see a beautiful space with sparser crowds).
Otherwise, the best things to do in Istanbul are eating and buying things, so, I thrived. I can’t even give you restaurant recommendations–everything and everywhere we ate was amazing. I googled “top foods to try in Turkey” and we basically stopped whenever we saw something on the list!
This lightweight sundress was still the winner for the temperatures (here are some similar options: striped, most similar, and under $30)! I wore it with my linen sweater for when the winds picked up. I should also formally shoutout to this crossbody bag at this point because (now that I’m finally home I can declare) I was not pickpocketed in any of our destinations! Zippers ftw. And keeping a hand on top of the zipper in crowded areas. And always wearing it as a crossbody. But maybe I’ll save pickpocket tips for when we do the Paris post!
I also found out my lovely husband enjoys haggling (I do not!) and watching him score great deals at the Grand Bazaar was hilarious. We came home with several rugs and pillowcases for our house. There was also a great selection of tea and dried fruit. Another interesting feature was all the fake designer bags–there were soooo many stores full of them. I didn’t partake (it’s illegal to bring them through customs FYI).
I was very happy to have my new lightweight trousers after my little Greece shopping spree. This tee (similar cut) officially won most washed thing of the trip because it had good coverage for any situation (I washed things in the sink using this detergent when needed!).
Istanbul was lovely–I would definitely recommend it (and wish we had planned to go to a few more of the ruins outside of the city). Next, onto Paris!
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