Merhaba or hello if you prefer … Are you a fan of James Bond and Istanbul? If so, we have the perfect combination of vacations waiting for you. Whether you are in the oldies or the newest movies, both were held in the charming city of Istanbul. Curious to know where? So let’s go…
# 1 Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnici)
The first James Bond film to be shot in Istanbul was « From Russia with Love » from 1963, featuring the beautiful Sean Connery. Scenes were recorded in the mysterious Basilica Cistern. This basilica is supported by various pillars of marble – 336 to be precise – with several compounds of writing and interesting drawings. In fact, some of the pillars have a Medusa head as a base. Legend has it that the head was placed on the side to prevent his death gaze! If that’s not cool, then I do not know what it is. In addition to its complex structure, this unique basilica is actually located underground and surrounded by water. Are you interested in visiting it? The Basilica Cistern is located on Sultanahmet Square and it is open from 09:00 to 17:30 in winter and until 18:30 in summer. Tickets cost 20 TL.
# 2 Saint Sophia (Ayasofya)
Another focal point of « From Russia with Love » was Hagia Sophia. From a church to a mosque to a museum, this exquisite landmark screams history. Not forgetting of course its beautiful interior composed of mosaics, marble structures, as well as a mixture of symbols of different cultures. Thanks to its unique infrastructure, Hagia Sophia has become a source of inspiration for various other mosques. Want to know more about the museum? This can be done in one click!
# 3 Old Quarter and Grand Bazaar
In the movie Skyfall, we see Daniel Craig speeding up with his motorcycle, pursuing the narrow, crowded streets. If you’re wondering where all this is going, the answer is Eminönü Square and the Grand Bazaar.
Eminönü Square is the heart of history and culture. Therefore, it is not surprising that the square is completely crowded with tourists and traders. In addition, you will discover that many of Istanbul’s sights are in this particular area, including the Yeni Mosque (also known as the New Mosque) and the Grand Bazaar.
Therefore, when you walk towards Eminönü, do not forget to stop at the bazaar. If you are looking for typical Turkish artifacts, the Grand Bazaar is the place to visit. You can find everything you need: food, carpets, lamps, handmade pottery. If you are looking to indulge yourself with some Baklava or if you are just looking for souvenirs, the Bazaar has everything to offer. So, take your wallet, your business skills and be ready to negotiate!
# 4 The Golden Horn (Haliç)
Finally, do not forget to take a boat trip in the Golden Horn, the main entrance to the Bosphorus. To fully enjoy the ferry experience, buy simit (Turkish Sesame Bread) and feed the groups of seagulls flying around. You’ll be impressed by how they manage to quickly catch small pieces in the air! Make sure not to be attacked by one of them … animals can be mean when it comes to food.
Istanbul peut être une ville très peuplée, mais cela ne signifie pas que vous ne pouvez pas atteindre ces belles destinations en vélo. Alors, profitez-en pour explorer paisiblement Istanbul sur deux roues! Des visites sont disponibles dans toute la vieille ville (place Eminönü) et autour de la Corne d’Or. Mais s’il vous plait, ne partez pas à la recherche de quelqu’un à travers le marché, bien que tentant, vous n’êtes pas encore James Bond.
Revivez les scènes de films, amusez-vous tout en profitant de l’hospitalité turque, de la nourriture et de l’atmosphère!
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