All posts by Thomas Martin

Best Scenic Places to Travel in 2018

Are you a travel enthusiast? Let your mind drift to the most scenic places of the world. Explore some of the most beautiful places on the planet as we help you unfold the tropical paradise, stunning architectural feats, and small towns that drive thousands of tourists from all the corners of the world.

The world is a beautiful place. If you are looking forward to exploring some of the most scenic locations around the world, browse through our list of the best places to travel 2018:

  • Neuschwanstein, Germany: Wish to escape into the real Narnia world? Visit this classic 19th-century castle location in Southern Germany –drawing its inspiration from the real-world Sleeping Beauty Castle of Disneyland. This beautiful, serene German retreat is a top tourist destination during the summer months –symbolizing peace & refuge all over.

 

  • Iceland: Would love to witness the breathtaking Aurora Borealis –also referred to as the Northern Lights once in your life? Experience the natural display of euphoric display of varying shades of all-natural sky colors across the Arctic Sky in Iceland –every year. The Northern Lights in Iceland happen to be one of the most sought-after sights by worldwide tourists –especially during the months of August-September. However, the lights are highly unpredictable. Therefore, make sure that you have plenty of time to explore the unparalleled natural beauty of the universe.

 

  • The Rainbow Mountains, China: Wondering whether this might be true or not? Well, the Rainbow Mountains do exist, and yes, they are colored splendidly –just like a rainbow. The Rainbow Mountains of Zhangye Danxia in China is a sight that you must witness at least once in life. Showing off the potential signs of weathering & erosion explicitly, the Rainbow Mountains are the true instances of pure natural beauty. The dramatic colors & shades across the mountain range are the results of the traces of various minerals in association with the sandstone found in the region.

 

  • Victoria Falls: Look up to the heavenly beauty of the Victoria Falls –located between Zambia & Zimbabwe. The Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world when compared in terms of the total area. The mesmerizing fall is capable of transporting an overwhelming amount of 1,088 cubic meters per second of fresh, milky water down the steep 350-foot

 

  • Bora Bora: This is a pristine island that was once an active volcano. The volcano has now subsequently subsided and resulted in the formation of a barrier reef. The natural reef ecosystem enables the display of pristine, sparkling clear waters. The coral reef ecosystem also provides limit waves –allowing for the protected sanctuary.

Mark the top, scenic locations in your to-visit list!

Essential Travel Tips Before Visiting Europe

Are you planning a trip to Europe? Amongst all the places on Earth, Europe is one such place that is the most sought-after traveling destinations in the travel look-book of the world travelers. Europe is one of the most beautiful locations known for its spectacular offering of the best-ever tourist-friendly locations that you would love to explore at least once in life.

As beautiful as it might sound, it is equally essential to take care of a few travel tips in order to enjoy your vacation to the maximum. If you are visiting Europe as a first-timer, here are some of the essential travel tips that you must know about:

  • Make Sure You Have a Valid Passport: Before planning to visit any country abroad, make sure that you have a valid passport of the country that you reside in. A valid passport is a mandatory document that you require for authentication purposes while traveling abroad. In addition to a valid passport, you might also need to apply for a proper tourist visa while traveling to specific countries abroad. Do your research well and be prepared with all the documents before visiting your dream country.

 

  • Make Reservations in Advance: As a traveler, if you wish to save some significant amounts of money, you can consider making reservations in advance. Especially if you are traveling in the peak season, it is important to go for planning out your vacation and making reservations much before your trip. This turns out to be a smart way of traveling and can help you in saving some big amounts on hotel & flight reservations.

 

  • Do Not Avoid the Famous Sites & Activities: When you are visiting any place, the famous sites exist there for a reason. You do not simply go to Paris and skip visiting the Eiffel Tower. Though it might appear cliché, visiting & exploring famous sites & doing activities that the place is well-known for make up for a memorable trip. These offer a unique way to enhance your overall experience of going on any trip abroad.

 

  • Do Not Only Visit the Popular Places: Though it is quite a touristy thing to visit the famous places and do activities that are well-known in a particular place, it is recommended to go out of the scene and not limit yourself to only popular places in Europe. Hit for some overlooked and rarely-visited areas wherein you can get some local experience. Once you are able to obtain the real local culture & traditions of a place, this calls up for a true traveling experience.

 

  • Try Packing Light: If you are looking up for some shopping spree while in Europe, try packing light as you start your trip. Keep ample space to fill up with new things & items that you purchase from the famous local markets in Europe.

Make the best of your Europe trip by giving thought to these points.

Top Summer Holiday Destinations in the World

As soon as the term “summer” comes up in your mind, you think about long, beach vacations. The world is filled with top summer holiday destinations that might entice you to turn your vacation mode on. A perfect summer holiday destination calls for unlimited fun and relaxation with your close ones. Thankfully, there are several leading destinations in the world wherein you can experience a truly heavenly and unwinding experience.

If you are looking forward to putting up your vacation boots this summer, here is out list of the best summer holiday destinations in the world for you:

  • Zermatt, Switzerland: Undeniably, as the summer season heat up the environment around, you would like to escape into some cool settings. Switzerland is the perfect summer holiday destination offering the coolest sensations and the best vacation experience to the tourists. Every year, thousands of tourists from across the corners of the world head out to different areas of Switzerland to experience an ethereal holiday atmosphere. You can consider visiting Zermatt in Switzerland that is nestled between the famous Swiss Alps. A vacationing haven for hiking, mountain climbing, and skiing enthusiasts, Zermatt in Switzerland is your go-to summer destination.

 

  • Paros, Greece: Located in the center of the Aegean Sea, Paros in Greece turns out to be the most beautiful and serene island in the country. Famous for its rural villages and pristine beaches, Paros attracts several tourists from across the corners of the world during the summer season. The whole small town is painted in pure white that aims at striking a perfect balance with the crystal, clear blue skies and turquoise waters of the sea.

 

  • Seychelles, East Africa: Being synonymous with flawless beach haven, Seychelles in East Africa is yet another famous summer holidays vacationing destination in the world. With smooth, sandy beaches, shimmery coastline, crystal clear sea waters, and palm-lined sea shores, Seychelles in East Africa is definitely one of the most beautiful and serene destinations for spending your summer vacation.

 

  • Amalfi Coast, Italy: Regarded as one of the most precious gems of Italy, the Amalfi Coast represents the true manifestation of the immense natural beauty of the given landscape. The place offers picturesque views, dense forests, coastal peaks, pastel structures on the cliff –the Amalfi Coast in Italy shines like a bright star during nights and comes alive with the sun’s first rays. The Amalfi Coast is aimed at offering a unique combination of adventure and nature delivering the best-in-class summer holidaying experiences.

 

  • Bali, Indonesia: The perfect honeymooning haven and the paradise for the backpackers, Bali in Indonesia is one of the most sought-after travel destinations in the world. Offering a perfect blend of high-rise mountains, pristine sea beaches, reefs, temples, volcanoes, and so more, Bali is a great summer retreat that you would not like to miss out. Bali is also famous for its amazing nightlife and yoga centers.

 

Take your bag out and plan out the most happening summer vacation this year!

BEST HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS IN 2018

  1. MALTA:

Located in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast, this archipelago for you, has the best range of islands that you can choose from for your vacations trip. From eating fish at the Marsaxlokk (a traditional fishing village) to exploring the Gozo Island, do what satiates you more. With a large number of attractions for the tourists in Malta, you can always go for a full-day excursion plan.  The paradise for water-lovers, must go and see the Comin’s Blue Lagoon. The serenity of that water is not at all what we see in pictures. It is a beauty to behold with your own eyes.

  1. RUSSIA:

For art lovers, one’s best choice to visit this year should be Russia. The country is known for its artistic history and culture. The all-time famous, Academy of Fine Arts, has produced some of the greatest country artists, sculptors, and creators.  They exhibit all kinds of paintings of the students and faculty there. The museum displays the work of famous artists as well, but on temporary bases.  Another arty attraction could be the Amber Room. It was brought together in Berlin and sent to Russia as a gift for Peter the Great. At the time of World War II, the Nazis canned the room and took most of it to Germany. Amber Room of this age was completed in 2003, to retain the magic of its old times.

  1. MALDIVES:

“Sea, Serenity and Satisfaction.”  All of these is not very far if you are near the Maldives. The country is famous for its beaches, blue lagoons and reefs can serve as a real breath of fresh air (literally) when you set the Maldives as your holiday destination. The underwater wildlife is a beautiful experience for those who love nature in all its styles. The bioluminescent phytoplankton (again, what?? Okay, read, BIO-LUMI-NES-CENT PHYTO-PLANK-TONS) in the waters at Vaadhoo Island, which emits blue glow naturally are just a miracle to behold. They are also known as fireflies of the shore. Other magical experiences include swimming with the whale sharks (YES, NO KIDDING!), impeccable shopping street at the Maafushi, one of the country’s biggest islands, flying on the seaplanes to reach your favorite beach resorts and what not?!

  1. DUBAI:

There are a few preferable destinations in the world that offer so much in one banquet. Dubai is the most luxurious destination and an amusement itself for its history. Choosing Dubai over other Holiday destinations would be decent because it has a great deal of entertainment, fun, shopping, adventures and other festivities all-round the year.  Formerly known as the hub of exquisite malls and shopping centers is now offering much more than that. Only naming the most spectacular places of Dubai would take a whole month because the list is too long.  Palm Jumeirah (the artificial island), The Dubai Fountain, Warner Brothers World, Al Bastakiya and the Old Fort, Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa, The Mall of Emirates, Desert Safari, Old Souk (the famous gold-jewel market), etc., to mention just but a few.

 

All you need to know about Burj Al Arab

If we want to talk about luxurious places, we must speak about the Burj Al Arab. The hotel is the only one with seven starts of the earth. From its unique appearance to its expensive services, this place has been cataloged as the best hotel in the world by far. To mention one of its particular characteristics, this place was built on its artificial island, 280 meters from the coast and it has a height of 321 meters.

As you might imagine, a night here costs a lot of money, just a selected group of people have the opportunity to be a guest in this Hotel. This place is well-known for its expensive facilities, amenities, and of course, its world-class food. If you’re one of those that can go to enjoy a unique and luxurious experience, here you have some facts about the place you may consider interesting.

  1. Burj Al Arab was designed to imitate the sail of a ship
  2. The architect of the hotel is Tom Wright and he was working on this project since 1994. He worked hard to make an edification that was the icon of Dubai.
  3. The construction began in 1994 and ends in 1999 where the hotel opened its doors the first of December. They needed 250 designers and 3000 companies to carry out this project successfully.
  4. The total cost of the construction was only $650 million. What do you think?
  5. The smallest suites have 170meters and the largest covers 780 meters.
  6. The restaurants of the hotel use at least 10 tons of chocolate per year and they’re exclusively made from raw cocoa beans.
  7. The building possesses the highest tennis court in the world.
  8. All over the construction, you might find gold that they used to embellish the structure because there are 1790 meters with 24-carat gold leaf to enhance the interior.
  9. Apart from the gold, they also used 29000 Swarovski crystals to decorate the ceiling of the Junsui lounge.
  10. The Al Muntaha restaurant is ubicated 200 meters high, on the top of the building. If you’re having a luxurious dinner here, you’ll be blown away by the view of Dubai.
  11. Another of its restaurants, the Al Mahara, has a seawater aquarium that holds 990000 liters of water.
  12. 70,000 cubic meters of concrete and approximately 9,000 tons of steel were used during the construction process.
  13. Some of the famous people that have been enjoyed this luxurious place are Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Lewis Hamilton, Claudia Schiffer, and more.
  14. How many lights has this building? Around 28000 light fixtures around the hotel.
  15. And for the pools, they used millions of mosaics to decorate.
  16. The spa of the hotel was awarded the most luxury Spa in the world.
  17. Are you looking for the reception? Don’t worry, you can find one on each floor, for a total of 60 reception desks.
  18. All the female team that works on the greeting desks uses gold accessories in the shape of Burj Al Arab.

Most luxurious hotels you’ll want to book this 2018

We’re in March already, and you may be wondering where to go this summer and where you’ll stay. If your new year’s resolution was to travel more, we have for you an exceptional list of the most luxurious hotels of the year. Some of them haven’t opened yet; you can be the first guest!

1. Rosewood Miramar Beach Hotel (Montecito, Santa Barbara). A place with an outstanding setting in the heart of California. By summer, you could enjoy this fascinating place with a stunning landscape, unique climate, and remarkable residential architecture. With approximately sixteen acres of beachfront real state, Rosewood will offer 124 guestrooms and 37 elegant suites. You’ll be in one of the most beautiful beaches in Santa Barbara, what do you say?

2. Como Uma Canggu (Bali). For this one you don’t have to wait, it opened the past February 1st and is waiting for you. Situated on Bali’s south coast, you’ll enjoy of a panoramic view of the beautiful beach and its rolling waves. Exceptional cuisine, services, wellness, and luxury everywhere.

3. The Dixon (London, England). A new hotel in the heart of London where all the creativity and art take place. It’s the latest accommodation in London that focused on offering unique aesthetics and amenities services that will be pure art, culture, and heritage of the local history.

4. Viceroy (Cartagena, Colombia). If you’re looking an outstanding place in South America, you should go to Viceroy, a whole new space full of glamour, sun, ad unique views. Their opulence will amaze from the moment you enter the lobby and appreciate cascading waterfalls.

5. Sheldon Chalet (Denali, Alaska). “Magnificence Manifest” is the first thing you can read on their website. If you stay here, you’ll be at 6000 feet in elevation with a view like no other, luxury accommodations and exquisite services. And as if it was not enough, you can watch the aurora borealis dancing around the sky. Is a unique opportunity in a place that you’ll remember forever.

6. Jewel Grande Resort and Spa (Montego Bay, Jamaica). Opened in January, this Caribbean resort can offer all you need. Astonishing villas with all the services included, could be the perfect place for you this summer (or now). If you want to be away wholly, check this fantastic hotel paradise that is one of the best this year.

7. Amanyangyun (Shanghai, China). To conclude the list, we’ll give you the newest and most luxurious hotel in Shanghai, China. Is already open, so, you can go there now. With an ancient touch, this resort count with 26 houses with private pools, yards, and more. You’ll have the opportunity to explore China’s heritage of arts, philosophy, and culture. Also, you’ll have the most exquisite international and local cuisine.

Traveling is a unique experience that everybody should experience. If you have the resources to go wherever you want, don’t doubt it and plan your next adventure! If you pick one of the listed above, you’ll not regret it, on the contrary, can be a trip that you’ll never forget.

Countries To Consider Visiting In 2018

We are still in the first months of 2018 and the year is looking up to be a great one. If part of your resolutions this year is to travel more and explore the world, then chances are you have been thinking of great destinations to visit, if you already haven’t settled for a couple. In this article, we’ll be mentioning two or three destinations that we think are worth visiting this year.

Let’s go.

Chile

Chile is a long and thin country on the west coast of South America that’s separated from the rest by the soaring Andes mountains to the east, the Atacama Desert (the driest desert in the world) to the north, the Pacific Ocean to its west, and the impassable wilds of Patagonia to the south. Though a small nation, Chile, which celebrates 200-years of independence this year, has so much to offer.

From volcanoes, massive glaciers, fjords, and ancient forests, to fertile valleys and parched dunes, the nation is considered a land of high contrasts. There is so much to see and do in Chile.

Though not a very common destination, Chile is quickly becoming the traveler’s haven. If you are looking for a beautiful and scenic travel destination in the southern hemisphere, then try Chile.

South Korea

This Asian nation is a small playground for Asian modernity. Neighboring the dreaded North Korea, South Korea is separated from its northerly neighbor by a fearsome border. However, it is, by all means, a safe, exciting and a rather fun nation that offers a range of dazzling experiences, over 5,000 years of history and culture, and forward-thinking ways.

South Korea is also known for its hilly, green countryside that’s dotted with centuries-old Buddhist temples and cheery trees, plus it sub-tropical islands, coastal fishing villages, and high tech metropolises like Seoul which make it one of the top Asian destinations to visit in 2018.

Over the recent years, South Korea has proven itself as a dream destination – a welcoming and engaging place where all the benefits of a high-tech country are perfectly balanced with a reverence for Asian old ways and traditions.

However, do not be fooled by their seemingly traditional ways, South Koreans know how to rock. Their calendar is packed with tons of events and festivals, meaning that there is a celebration almost every other day to attend during your stay.

Djibouti

Djibouti is an African nation that is ideally located for that dramatic effect. This somewhat lean country is currently going through the process of being ripped apart into three by diverging tectonic plates. This, as a result, creates some spectacular geological sights and landscapes.

From the sunken lake shores that gleam with huge salt crystals to Martian-like deserts spewing tons of steam from fumaroles to magma seething beneath an ever-thinning crust, there is just so much to experience here.

Geologically speaking, these are a sprint finish sign – but to us, humans, all this is in spectacular slow motion – a good reason why you should consider making plans to visit Djibouti before the year ends.

Apart from the unique geological wonders to see in Djibouti, the nation also has an intoxicating culture and his home to some of the most spectacular beaches in the North Eastern part of Africa where you can even go whale shark diving. If you want to see Mother Nature at her best, then visit Djibouti.

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Japan is a truly beautiful place. I know it may sound a bit odd but the very air of the Kyoto prefecture is different. There’s a quiet and sweetness in the air that whispers to your soul. Talking about Ryokans with the last post rekindled fond memories of Fushimi Inari Taisha.

You may not be familiar with its name but I’m pretty darn sure you’ve seen in it several films, TV, and game appearances. Personally, my favorite is in Memoirs of a Geisha–seeing Chiyo  Sakamoto run through the Torii Gates is always a cinematography treasure. That scene, incidentally, is the reason why I wanted to see Fushimi Inari Taisha to begin with.

The Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head shrine of Inari. For those unfamiliar with their Japanese Deities, Inari is the Japanese God of foxes, fertility, rice, tea and sake, agriculture and industry, of worldly success, and is one of the principal Gods of Shinto. This shrine takes quite a bit of exertion to get to. Its seat is at the base of Mt. Inari–233 meters above sea level–and it would take approximately around 2 hours to walk to.

Truly though, it is worth it. Depending on the time of year, crowds can be pretty thin or crazy heavy. This shrine apparently draws in several millions of worshipers and tourists per year. The busiest would be during the Japanese New Year which clocks in a minimum of around 2.70 million people over a three day period.

When the team and I were there, we were lucky enough to catch the place when crowds were pretty thin on the grounds. We were all able to truly bask in the quiet serenity of the shrine. You have to try it. When you get there, just close your eyes and listen. There is something utterly other worldly about the place that it’s pretty seductive.

While there, I got to talk to one of the locals and I learned a lot more about the place. Turns out the Fushimi Inari Taisha was the focus of imperial patronage during the early Heian period–when Emperor Murakami was in power. He had ordered messengers to carry written accounts of important events to the guardian deity of Japan.

In the years of 1871 to 1946, this shrine was declared as one of the Kanpei Taisha (官幣大社). This meant that the Fushimi Inari Taisha had the proud claim of being in the first rank of government supported shrines.

One of the features I particularly enjoyed were all the fixtures of foxes on the ground. Foxes are generally considered to be messengers to deities, particularly Inari’s.

Do you see how lovely those red orange gates are? Those structures are called the Torii gates. They date back to 711 AD and there’s over 10,000 of them. What’s really lovely about these gates is that each and every single one is donated by a company or an organization. It symbolizes their prayers for good fortune in the future and their way of giving thanks and reverence for their prosperity.

Here’s a bonus tip for you all. When you exit the shine, find a little side street nearby (to the right, specifically). There isn’t any information about this online but this street is the best place to buy food and souvenirs. It’s a sort of local market put together by the family-owned shops to help the shrine guests and their way of keeping the place alive. So not only is it quite industrious but it also reflects the inherent respect and love the Japanese have for their shrines and history.

Old World Excellence: Ryokan

We got some messages asking if there was any place we visited in the Pacific Rim that was pretty memorable. So, as usual, ask and you shall receive! The team and I were fortunate enough to visit the lovely country of Japan–specifically, it’s Kyoto prefecture.

As much as possible, we try to stay in places that are pretty rife with history. If there was any country that going to be really rich in fully documented history, it would be Japan. We wanted a truly old world experience and we’ve read so much about the traditional inn (ryokan) experience and we wanted to experience that as well. Because really, if you had a choice between a cut-and-dry hotel experience and a place that offered both comfort and cultural immersion, the latter would win each time.

For the unfamiliar, a ryokan (旅館) is a  traditional Japanese inn that started during the Edo period. The Edo period introduced the boom of travelling for leisure and commerce so ryokans started popping up along Japan’s highways.

The first ryokans were pretty humble featuring tatami-matted rooms and communal baths. Tatami is a mat that was popularly used as flooring material in traditional Japanese homes. Its materials are rice straw and wood chip boards–then covered with woven soft rush straw. (Tip: Always take off your shoes and slippers before stepping on tatami) Ryokans also had communal areas where visitors could gather (much like modern day hostels).

What was particularly lovely about the ryokan experience is that the owner will always be present to get to know the guests. Finding out where they’re going, picking up news, current events, or trends), and getting first-hand feedback on how they could morph their business into something better. Ryokan owners are pretty shrewd people and this type of business is usually inherited in the family. So you can bet that the established ryokans of today have the hard-earned experience that comes from generational knowledge.  Pretty exciting right?

Apparently, ryokans are pretty hard to find in large cities as they can be pretty pricey so other opt for the budget friendly hostels or hotels. However, if you really want to experience tradition, going to  prefectures known for scenery is a good idea. Older and well-established ryokans will be present in the area. An added bonus to look out for is if a ryokan has access to a hot spring (Onsen). Normally, an area that has hot springs will have a 100% probability of ryokans.

We scoured the web until we came across Arashiyama Benkei. It was in a perfect location in Kyoto and it turns out it wasn’t just any sort of Ryokan.  We had the pleasure of staying at a ryokan that was started in 1969. It was pretty convenient–being around 15 minutes away from major stations in the area. It’s a short walk but if you have quite a bit of luggage with you, contact your ryokan for a shuttle ride. Arashiyama Benkei is located along the Katsura River so the views are pretty amazing.

They offer indoor and outdoor natural hot spring baths and much like most ryokans, they offer in-room dinner so guests can leisurely enjoy their delicately prepared meals. The presentation is something else and you can just feel the quiet dignity in the air. It was a bit intimidating at first, having to speak softly and be mindful of the mannerisms that might be construed as rude. But eventually, the calmness of the general area seeps into your bones. It’s pretty hard not to be charmed by services that taken decades to perfect. Plus, the yukata they let you use is pretty comfortable and roomy. So if you’re ever going to Japan, please do not pass up a chance to stay at a ryokan. Your travel-weary bones will thank you.

Grand Bazaar of Istanbul

We’re still not quite over our love affair with Istanbul! Who could blame us, really? Istanbul is a beautiful country that comes with centuries of established culture, heritage, and history. Our previous post garnered some responses and most of them were asking about the grand bazaar! Never let it be said that we don’t respond to our readers, so today, we’ll have an in-depth discussion about the Grand Bazaar.

Details

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is arguable one of the largest covered markets in the world. It boasts over 59 streets and more than 5,000 shops that garner the interest of over 300,000 visitors daily. So, like us, you’ll probably spend the first several minutes gawking at the sheer rush of people present.

This market is best known for their jewelry, carpets, hand-painted ceramics, embroideries, spices, and antique shops. If you’re concerned about getting confused with all the type of wares available, don’t be–the stalls are grouped by the type of goods they sell. So if you’re looking for leather goods or gold, they’ll all be in one place.  What you need to arm yourself with is your bargaining skills and a firm but polite “no”. The salesmen are quite pushy but just bring along your good humor and you’ll be fine.

Bargain Tip: If you ever try to buy anything and the seller gives you a price, knock off 50% in your counter-offer. Most of them will laugh and come with a story of having to feed a family but keep bringing up a lower price than their initial one until you both land on a price you’re both happy with.

History

The foundation to, what the Grand Bazaar’s core is today, started during the winter of 1455 after the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople. The Sultan at the time, Mehmet II, had wanted a location devoted solely to the trade of textiles. It was named Cevâhir Bedestan or “Bedesten of Gems”. The word ‘bedested’ is taked from the Persian word bezestan which means “bazaar of cloth sellers”.

The bazaar grew in size in the 16th century, under Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. It also underwent massive restoration efforts after a rather strong quake.

Design

The entirety of the complex contains two mosques, two hamams, four fountains, and various cafes and restaurants. At the heart of the bazaar is the high domed hall which kept the original name of the bazaar Cevâhir Bedestan.  In the past, the dome only housed the most valuable and unique of antiques–this tradition is continues today albeit with the addition of copperware, amber prayer beads, old coins, inlaid weapons, furniture, etc. There are four main gates placed at the ends of two major streets that intersect at the southwestern corner of the bazaar.

How To Get There

We were rather spoiled since from our hotel, it only took a 10-minute walk to get to the grand bazaar. For others, the usual way is to take a tram to Beyazit or Sirkeci. The bazaar will be around 15 minutes away on foot from the Blue  Mosque area. You can always ask the concierge of your hotel for details about any buses that pass in that direction.

The bazaar is open from Monday to Saturday at 9 in the morning to 7 in the evening. They happen to be closed on Sundays and bank holidays–something to remember if you’re ever planning on going.

If you ever find yourself there, gander a visit to Develi Baklava to have *the* best tasting Baklava we’ve ever had. There will be a lot of stalls claiming that boast but the locals will tell you that Develi Baklava is the one to beat!