My Trip to Istanbul with Photos and Spending Report

I am now officially 30 years old!ย ๐Ÿ™‚ I came back from Istanbul yesterday where I had an amazing time celebrating my birthday. I spent 5 days/4 nights in this beautiful city. Today, I will share a couple of photos from my trip along with my Istanbul spending report.

Istanbul BudgetThese numbers are not conclusive. I had plenty of spending money while away (birthday gifts from family) but since I had quite an expensive birthday dinner to fund along with an after party at one of Istanbulโ€™s rooftop bars, I managed to not only spend but overspend. I mean, I had this money saved in my travel fund and all, but I am not entirely happy with spending it. I cannot be too upset though as my overall overspending during my trip to Istanbul was minimal.

Views over Istanbul from the Galata TowerThe Blue MosqueI had my birthday dinner at Lokanta Maya which is a fabulous high end restaurant serving the most amazing contemporary Turkish food. Their menu (both for lunch and dinner) changes daily. There are plenty of choices for your starter, main and desert. The wine list is quite extensive and they also have a cocktail menu which is pretty great. If you are ever in Istanbul celebrating a special occasion or simply want to treat yourself to a nice dinner, I cannot recommend this place enough. We loved everything about it: cozy atmosphere, incredible food, excellent serviceโ€ฆ everything!

I had mussels cooked in white wine for my starter at Lokanta MayaHagia Sophia

We were incredibly lucky with the weather the first two days โ€“ it was warm and sunny. On day three of our trip the weather changed completely โ€“ it was cold and raining non-stop. I would say that if you are planning a trip to Istanbul three full days is more than enough to see the main sights and neighbourhoods. Our hotel was in Sultanahmet within walking distance from the Grand Bazaar and the Blue Mosque. I got a great discount on our hotel stay which is definitely a bonus. We mainly walked and took taxis when it was raining (luckily, they are very reasonably priced in Istanbul) but you can also take trams to almost anywhere in the city.

Turkish SpicesTurkish Delight - I brought a big box of these goodies back home!

Overall, it was an amazing trip and I would definitely like to return to Istanbul one day in the future. I am spending this night in London (staying at an airport hotel) and flying out to Venice early tomorrow morning. My trip to Venice is going to be twice as expensive in comparison to my trip to Istanbul but honestly, I do not want to skimp on my 30th birthday celebrations. I will still make an overpayment on my debt in March and although it wonโ€™t be a lot, an overpayment is still an overpayment! Come March, itโ€™s โ€œback to basicsโ€ for me but I will save the details for another post.

Istanbul07Istanbul08

I hope you all have an amazing weekend when it finally arrives and I will see you when I get back from Venice. I want you to know that I might be away travelling but I try to keep on top of things in the PF world and read all your posts! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also hope you enjoyed the photos!

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