Istanbul – the city of cats and contrasts

Istanbul - the city of cats and contrasts

“If the world were one country, then Istanbul would become its capital,” Napoleon said, and I agree with him. Travel in March 2021. Istanbul is a city of cats and contrasts.

My friends and I have long planned to go on a trip in the female team.

The question arose “WHERE CAN I GO?” The beginning of 2021 is in the yard, the pandemic is raging, most borders are closed. Since they planned to fly literally for a few days – the Maldives, Cuba and Zanzibar fell away due to a long flight and a large budget. Of the neighboring countries, in general, only Turkey remained.

Before that, I had already been to Turkey 2 times, but I came to Istanbul for the first time.

We landed at the new Istanbul airport, flew back from it. The old airport now operates only for domestic flights.Before the flight I already booked the airport transfer because didn’t want to get taxi in Istanbul airport.

We stayed at the luxurious Rixos Pera Istanbul* hotel in the best room (True, we got wildly cold the first night, but that’s another story – I’ll definitely write a review on the hotel a little later).

The trip was scheduled for International Women’s Day and related dates. We naively expected that we would at least warm ourselves a little in Istanbul. But it was not there!

A few days before the flight, I began to monitor the weather forecast and realized that Istanbul was far from being as warm as we thought, and just in case I took a light Uniqlo down jacket with me. As a result, I was forced to walk in it all day, pulling a warm woolen sweater inside.

On the day when we had a planned excursion, it was raining almost all the time.

The fact that Istanbul is still a southern city was only reminded by palm trees growing here and there.

It was warm only on the day of arrival and the day of departure. On other days – +8 – +10 degrees, while it is windy and chilly. The locals themselves say that it is usually warmer at this time of the year, but this year it was such a cold spring.

Unfortunate weather left an imprint on my impressions of the city, but did not spoil them. Although if I went to Istanbul again, I would choose another time of the year – late spring or autumn.

Despite the fact that I am a resident of the capital, Istanbul seemed to me a very big city. Its densely built-up outskirts are simply endless. During the 5 days of our stay in Istanbul, of course, we did not visit all of its districts, but by those in which we managed to visit, I can say that the city is very diverse.

Istanbul is located on a hilly area, so there are a lot of steep ascents, descents, stairs. So be sure to bring comfortable shoes!

The Bosphorus Strait divides the city into two parts – European and Asian. The historical part of the city and most of the sights are located on the European part. But for life, the people of Istanbul prefer the Asian part.

There are a lot of abandoned, graffiti-painted houses in Istanbul, and, oddly enough, they are located almost in the center of the city – on the shores of the Golden Horn at the foot of the Galata Tower.

At the same time, wandering around such areas is absolutely safe. No one bothers you, doesn’t examine you, doesn’t beg, all the locals passing by simply look away and pretend that they don’t notice you.
In general, safety is a fat plus of Istanbul. You can even walk around at night.

“And what, all of Istanbul is like this???” – you ask. Actually – no, I just want to show something that you may not see in other reviews.

Useful links for Istanbul travel