Best picture spots in Istanbul you need to know about
The days have come where taking beautiful pictures and focusing on visual exprience when travelling is just as important if not more than getting to the history and the culture of the destination you are in. Do you agree?
One might say this is a sad perspective but isn't it true? We all have been on that tour that's rushing through the must see objects just making sure you can just about squeeze in a picture or two, otherwise have you been, if you didn't take the picture?
He said, show them instagrammers how it's done, I said watch me
This is where I must myself admit I can't imagine going to a beautiful place and not taking pictures. It's like programmed in me that I have to take a picture otherwise...otherwise what? I don't know but feels like the experience wouldn't be as complete and I am sure many of you feel the same way.
Therefore I have put a list of places I think are worth the picture in Istanbul. Istanbul is truly every photographer's dream with Sultans palace, grand mosques, amazing skyline, cobbled streets and cute shops.
1. Topkapi palace - top thing to see in Istanbul
Power centre of Ottoman empire and sultans residence from 15th century
Going to Istanbul and not seeing Topkapi palace is like going to Paris and not visiting Louvre.
What seems like a rather boring looking building on the outside, inside is an enormous and majestic Sultans palace built in 15th century. Area of the palace is huge and with that many beautiful courtyards, pavilions, houses, different function rooms taking pictures just becomes effortless. This place breathes history and opportunities for pictures are endless.
TIP: No tripods are allowed and they will put it in a locker should you have one. However, cameras are allowed outside, in the gardens, courtyards and on the viewing platform.
2. Best view over Istanbul - Bosphorus and 15 July Martyrs bridge
Visiting Topkapi palace you kill more than two birds with one stone. You get to see beautiful sultans palace, learn history and also you will have access to a beautiful viewing terrace from which amazing views over Bosphorus and 15 July Martyrs bridge open up. Have a look!
TIP: if you are a sunset lover, it could be a great idea to go towards the end of the day and visit the palace and it's rooms leaving the view for the last ;)
3. Cool things to do in Istanbul - Beyoglu and Karakoy areas
Istanbul being a city where the waters of Europe and Asia meet, it inevitably becomes a city that has many different faces. On one side of the water you have European or so called touristic Istanbul with all the mosques, old town shops, parks, museums, kebab houses and traditional Turkish restaurants.
And then there is so called modern part of old Istanbul where Galata tower, bank district, modern art galleries, museums, trendy cafes and eateries are located. This is also the part of the city where back in the days foreign residents started moving in and created multicultural communities.
Photo spot - Colourful umbrella street , Levanten, Karakoy
Cobbled streets in Karakoy have some serious charm. We came across this narrow street with colourful umbrellas just accidentally wondering through the area so if you fancy checking this out, put in Levanten cafe on your maps to direct you and umbrellas are just in front of the cafe.
4. Galata tower and bank street
Galata Tower is the reason most tourists come to Karakoy area and it's becoming increasingly popular. This medevial stone tower dominates the skyline of Istanbul and was built in 14th century by genoese colony who settled in the city as traders. There are quite a few legends revolving around the tower one of them saying that a famous Turk aviator flew from the top of the tower over the Bosphorus sea using artificial wings and landed 6km further.
Photo spot - Luleci Hendek street opposite Galata Tower
TIP: try to avoid weekends and afternoons if possible. When we went, it was off season, January, a weekday and the afternoon however the queue to get up was around 45 min wait so we didn't wait and instead continued to explore the tiny streets of Galata and found great spots for photos like Kamondo stairs and bank street.
Photo spot - Kamondo stairs and bank street
Take a lovely walk from the tower towards Kamondo stairs and you are guaranteed to find some pretty spots to shoot.
TIP: come either before morning peak times or after but before lunch time if you want to take crowd free pictures as it gets really busy with stairs serving as a shortcut between the old town and bank street.