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The City Lying on Two Continents・2つの大陸にまたがる都市・坐落在两个大陆上的城市

Updated: May 18, 2023

@Istanbul, Turkey

My next stop after Athens, Greece was Istanbul, Turkey.

When I say the word “Turkey”, what do you think of? Perhaps it’s Narnia and Turkish Delight or some Turkish coffee or tea. It’s also likely that you might think of the stretchy sweetness combined with a little trick that is Turkish ice cream.

Istanbul, also known as the city of palaces, is the gateway to both Asia and Europe, as it sits on both continents. As the Bosphorus strait divides it, people call one side the “Asia side” and the other, the “Europe side”.

“Welcome to Istanbul”, my taxi driver from the airport spoke some English as well as a few words in Japanese and was very kind. But after arriving at my hotel, he kept the meter running and tried to make more through that. He said 153TRY (~$8.4) when I arrived, then said 157TRY when I was about to pay (all his credit card machines conveniently didn't work). I said no and ended up negotiating 150TRY in cash.

Be careful when taxi drivers don't stop the meter when you arrive at your destination; it actually happens a lot. You also shouldn't have to pay more for a driver not knowing how to use the credit card machine. But as always, only negotiate with a taxi driver when you feel safe doing so. I was standing outside my hotel with hotel staff nearby who could’ve helped me if needed. Just remember, avoiding being ripped off is never worth your life.

I stayed on the Europe side, where Taksim Square is the main hub along with İstiklal Caddesi, an elegant pedestrian street lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes.

After visiting the Sent Antuan Kilisesi (Sant'Antonio di Padova Church), I then enjoyed Su Borek with Malas Cheese (cheese puff pastry), Ayran (a yogurt-based beverage that is mixed with salt and ice cubes), and some chocolate baklava with pistachios for dessert. Ayran can be considered the Turkish national drink since the discovery of yogurt and is the most popular drink in Turkey and other Turkish Nations.

The next day, I ventured out to go across the Bosphorus strait to visit the Asia side of Istanbul. The machine selling the Turkey transportation card wasn’t working, so I decided to get a single ticket since that was easier. My one-way ticket was 6TRY (~0.63¢), but you can only pay in cash, so remember to have small bills with you.

I went on yet another free walking tour (don’t forget to tip) and the first place we visited was the Hagia Sophia (means “Holy Wisdom”). The famous Blue Mosque is just across the way, so it is very easy to visit both in one day. Just keep note that women will need to cover their hair and wear long sleeves when entering any mosque.

According to my tour guide, with 99% of the population being Muslim, there are over 3000 mosques.

Dogs and cats greeted me on almost every corner, and they were all very well taken care of. Turkish people apparently love animals very much.

It was nice that all transportation charged a set price for each ride regardless of if it was a boat, bus, or tram.

For lunch, I ate at this wonderful restaurant called Şirvan Sofrası and had hummus and pita bread, lentil soup, freshly grilled kebabs, and Turkish coffee. Then for dessert, I had Baklava with walnuts and Chai (Turkish black tea). The staff was very friendly and I would definitely go back if I find myself in Turkey again.

Fun fact: Turkey is the cheapest place in the world to get hair implants, so while walking around the streets, if you see people with red hats on, they're keeping their hair safe from the sun's rays while it grows.

Later on, I visited the Little Hagia Sophia and then hopped on a ferry that cruised the Bosporus strait which was 15TRY (~$2). The sunset view was gorgeous and a boat was the perfect way to end my day.

It takes about 150TRY (~$8) for a taxi to the IST airport from the city center. Something to note about Istanbul Airport / İstanbul Havalimanı (IST): It is probably the biggest airport I have visited in my entire life. The locals are very proud that it is now the world’s largest airport.

You must go through general security right after entering the airport as well, so make sure you arrive with ample time before your flight. You don't want to be the annoying person shoving people because you're stressed out that you won't make your flight.

It is a gorgeous airport, but other than its looks, it is the most inefficient airport in terms of how hard it is to find your way through it as well as the check-in process. They basically have state-of-the-art facilities but don't have enough staff to check people in and there are not ample signs to guide you to where you are going. If you get the chance to transfer through this airport, make sure you have ample time allotted.

I was able to find comfort at a newly opened Starbucks by drinking a Tall Pumpkin Spice Latte that only cost 35.5TRY (~$3.7). You could even choose from dark or light roast, rather than espresso.

Turkey is very well known for its Turkish ice cream (5TRY~7TRY for a scoop of ice cream), but as tempted as I was to try some, it didn’t seem much fun eating it alone, so it is definitely on my to-eat list for my next visit.

Random thoughts:

Look up the public transportation you plan to take in a city. There are almost always day passes or transportation cards you can buy as a tourist.

Bring a scarf, especially if you are a woman. Regardless of the season, make sure you bring one with you. In countries like Turkey that have a heavy Muslim influence, women will need to cover their hair/head when visiting a mosque. Scarves can also dub as a fashion accessory, so might as well pack one.

Next stop: Amman, Jordan







私は、タクシム広場のあるヨーロッパ側に滞在し、İstiklal Caddesiというショップやレストラン、カフェが立ち並ぶ優雅な歩行者天国を訪れました。








昼食は、Şirvan Sofrası というとても美味しいレストランで、フムスとピタパン、レンズ豆のスープ、焼きたてのケバブ、そしてトルコ・コーヒーを頂きました。そしてデザートは、クルミ入りバクラヴァとチャイ(トルコの紅茶)でした。スタッフはとても親切で、またトルコに行く機会があれば是非再訪したいと思います。



イスタンブールの中心部からIST空港まではタクシーで150TRY(~$8)でした。イスタンブール空港/İstanbul Havalimanı (IST)について特筆すべきことは、私が今まで行った中で一番大きな空港だという事です。地元の人たちは、この空港が世界最大の空港であることをとても誇りに思っています。



新しくオープンしたスターバックスで、35.5TRY(~$3.7)のTall Pumpkin Spice Latteを飲んで一息をつくことができました。エスプレッソではなく、ダーク・ローストとライト・ローストからも選ぶ事ができます。








当我说到 "土耳其 "这个词时,你会想到什么?也许是纳尼亚和土耳其软糖,或者一些土耳其咖啡或茶。也很可能你会想到伸缩自如的甜味与这个小把戏相结合的土耳其冰激凌。

伊斯坦布尔,也被称为宫殿之城,是通往亚洲和欧洲的门户,因为它坐落在两个大陆上。由于博斯普鲁斯海峡将其分割开来,人们称一侧为 "亚洲边",另一侧为 "欧洲边"。

"欢迎来到伊斯坦布尔",我在机场的出租车司机会说一些英语,也会说几句日语,非常亲切。但在到达我的酒店后,他一直在打表,并试图通过这个赚取更多的钱。当我到达时,他说153TRY (土耳其里拉)(约8.4美元),然后在我准备付款时说157TRY(他所有的信用卡机器都不工作)。我说不行,最后谈成了150TRY的现金。


我住在欧洲一侧,那里的塔克西姆广场是主要中心,还有伊斯蒂克拉尔卡德西(İstiklal Caddesi),这是一条优雅的步行街,两旁是商店、餐馆和咖啡馆。

我参观了Sent Antuan Kilisesi(Sant'Antonio di Padova教堂),然后享受了Su Borek跟Malas Cheese(奶酪千层饼)、Ayran(一种以酸奶为基础的饮料,与盐和冰块混合),以及一些巧克力和开心果的巴克拉瓦作为甜点。自从发现酸奶以来,Ayran可以说是土耳其的国饮,是土耳其和其他土耳其国家最受欢迎的饮料。


我又参加了一次免费的步行之旅(别忘了给小费),我们参观的第一个地方是圣索菲亚大教堂(意为 "神圣的智慧")。著名的蓝色清真寺就在对面,所以在一天之内参观这两个地方非常容易。只是要注意,女性在进入任何清真寺时都需要遮住头发,并穿上长袖。




午餐时,我在一家名为 Sirvan Sofrası 的美妙餐厅吃饭,吃了鹰嘴豆泥和皮塔饼、喝了扁豆汤、吃了新鲜烤肉串和喝了土耳其咖啡。然后,我的甜点是核桃巴克拉瓦和茶(土耳其红茶)。工作人员非常友好,如果我发现自己再次来到土耳其,我一定会再去。











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