Experience New Changes While Your Istanbul Tour

Istanbul has passed through diverse changes; it is not the same city as I noticed it in my early visit during the late 80’s. During that period, the city was unaccustomed with the passage of tourists that the inhabitants would stop in the middle of street for a hand shake. Surely, it has imbibed varied changes in itself, but it still remains to be a part of one of my favorite European mega-city.

Avoid the “East meets West” notion and let’s meander in the streets of Istanbul. While walking in Istanbul, you could erroneously feel that you have toured to Cairo or Damascus or any other great city of Arab world. The aroma of spices flowing in the atmosphere from the heavily rushed markets, the formidable atmosphere set around you while the evening call to prayer is announced and the prepotency of men in the streets. All these notions convey that you have left the conventional Europe and stepped altogether into an unconventional and distinct arena. Visit the in-depths of the city and you will discover that there is much more antiquity and resonance reclining in this city.

Istanbul’s bizarre and distinctive identity had allured me when I first visited this city during the late 80’s. Since then, it has been my favorite European city and takes me to a visit down the memory lane. I remember the heydays when I toured in this unique city for the first time with my bunch of friends, when all of us arrived in the city, people who met in between the streets stopped us to shake hands and then greeted us by saying ‘welcome’, even the policemen stopped us and greeted us. This was such a welcoming and friendly gesture by the inhabitants. After that we took a break and went in the restaurant for consuming breakfast, the waiter there couldn’t get menu in any language and therefore he took all of us to kitchen and we picked up things we would like to eat. All the diversity in the city was exhilarating; we went on the streets to soak up things that the city offered. We moved in the streets, bazaars, mosques, native cuisines and the most delighting was the scenic views across the Bosporus in Asia.

My re-visit after almost 15 years in Istanbul rendered the impression that the city has grown up during my absence. Similar scent and voices were there to welcome us, however the streets appeared to serve more population, the city had become well-structured and looked classier. The restaurants had prepared themselves to attract the tourists and the prices experienced rise. The rising number of travelers conveyed that we were no longer new to the city and therefore we did not needed to be greeted and shown the way. Taxi drivers had learnt the art of deceiving and exploiting money from the tourists skillfully.

During this visit, the city presented a new facet before me, I found it much easier to discover and unveil the sights, I thought the reason behind this and came to a confusing decision that might be my perception of a destination was built up by the journey I made to reach it. My former journey in Istanbul had taken four days to reach, however this time I reached in this city just by four hours from London Heathrow. But I truly feel that “Variety is the spice of life.” I enjoyed this distinct facet of Istanbul it presented. I visited the Topkapi Palace and Museum, and Dolmabahce Palace. This time I approached to explore the outer part of city and savored the Turkish meals in posh restaurants.


After this, I returned the city again in 2006 for a business trip. And surprisingly, this time again I experienced a new Istanbul. I dwelt at a five star hotel and relished Turkish baths. Further, I visited the financial district and discovered a new energetic and self-assured Istanbul. Here, Istanbul was challenging as a thriving force on the global business platform. This time I enjoyed the best sea food of my life and spent my evening in a night club where I heard to the lively Turkish music. The thing that didn’t changed was the taxi drivers deceiving tricks.

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During my different visits, I was able to explore new facets of Istanbul every time. It is a city which affords enchanting and thrilling experiences. There are people who I know which just do not like to visit Istanbul as they have faced the hustle bustle, fast-pacer life and trickery. But however it does not affect me, as I enjoy the hassle, pace and noise of this city, all of them combine together to stay unforgettable memories for me.

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