Turkey’s People and Culture: A Warm Welcome Awaits

Twenty-Eight Days in Turkey: August 2023

My twenty-eight-day journey through Turkey in August 2023 was filled with unforgettable experiences, both high and low. Here are the highlights and insights from my trip.

Exploring Istanbul’s Hidden Gems

Gulhane Park: An Oasis in Istanbul During my extended stay in Istanbul, I discovered Gulhane Park, a serene spot hidden in plain sight amidst the bustling city. It’s a perfect place for a quiet moment away from the tourist crowds.

Historic Marvels of Istanbul Istanbul is a city rich in history, from the ancient walls of Constantine to the magnificent Blue Mosque. The Hagia Sophia, with its fascinating history as a church, mosque, and museum, now stands as a mosque once again. Don’t miss the two underground cisterns and the grand bazaar, all adding to the city’s historic allure.

The Vibrant Life of Istanbul I spent many days exploring downtown Istanbul, meeting friendly locals and fellow travelers. The city’s main tourist area, though crowded, offers a deep dive into its medieval to modern history.

The Low Points: Tourist Crowds While Istanbul is a must-visit, the weekend crowds in the central tourist areas can be overwhelming. Navigating through these throngs for three weeks was a challenge, prompting me to seek quieter spots.

Discovering Selcuk and Ephesus

Selcuk: A Historic Treasure One of the highlights of my trip was visiting Selcuk, home to the ancient city of Ephesus. This archaeological site is Turkey’s most visited and offers a glimpse into the country’s rich past.

Charming Selcuk Selcuk itself is a warm and inviting town, with historic sites, a bustling farmers market, and the picturesque hilltop wine village of Sirince nearby.

The People and Culture of Turkey

Friendly Locals Throughout my travels, I found the people of Turkey to be incredibly welcoming and helpful. Their hospitality added a personal touch to my journey.

Affordable Travel Turkey offers an affordable cost of living, making it an attractive destination for budget-conscious travelers.

Culinary Delights Turkish cuisine is diverse and delicious, with something to satisfy every palate.

Diverse Geography and Architecture Turkey’s diverse landscapes and historic architecture provide endless opportunities for exploration and adventure.

Reflecting on My Journey

Too Much Time in Central Istanbul Spending 23 days primarily in the central tourist area of Istanbul was more than I needed. Future visits will include more time exploring other parts of Turkey.

Planning Future Trips Next time, I plan to spend 5-7 days in Istanbul and dedicate more weeks to visiting other regions of Turkey and discovering new towns and experiences.

Turkey remains my most visited country, and Istanbul continues to fascinate me with its blend of mystery, history, and culture. For those planning a trip to Turkey, I hope this article provides useful insights and ideas to enhance your travel experience.

Till next time, enjoy lifes journey.

Joseph O’Brien

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