My 4 First Impressions of Istanbul, Turkey


We’ve been in Istanbul, Turkey for about 12 hours now, and I am full of wonderful first impressions.

  1.  This city is beautiful. The streets, the water, the art, the buildings, its all beautiful. We’re staying in the Sultanate district for our first few days, and this area is so pretty. The winding curving streets makes it have an old town, quaint feel.
  2. The people here are friendly. Like incredibly friendly. Sam and I are trying (mildly) to stay on a budget, so we decided to take the subway in from the airport rather than a taxi. Once we got off the train, we had a little bit to walk. Not even kidding 4 different people stopped us to ask if we needed help getting to our hotel and offered us directions even though we already have them. Once the bags were dropped off and we wandered the neighborhood, people were smiling at us, stopping us to see if we wanted dinner and kindly and graciously accepting when we declined.
  3. This city is diverse and has a “clash of culture”, so to say. You see all kinds of different people on the streets, from Western Europeans to women in full burqas. I love it! It brings such a vibrancy and unique feeling to wandering the streets. You can also feel the history and different influences in the design of the buildings and streets.
  4. I will be doing lots and lots of eating and drinking. There are so many delicious things I am dying to try. Street vendors, restaurants, cafes, I don’t care. I want it all! Tonight, we simply stopped at a nearby restaurant that had a beautiful rooftop terrace. Overlooking the sultanahmet square and the two mosques, we enjoyed a delicious meal of lamb, naan and veggies.


Author: Megan Arz

I am a travel and food obsessed Midwesterner living in Chicago and dreaming of the world. I work as a full-time program manager for Greenheart Travel, but I am also committed to integrating the travel lifestyle into my every day routines. I am passionate about ethical travel, meeting new people, creating unique memories and eating local cuisine!

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