Beating The Istan-Bustle: Avoiding The Crowds In Turkey
The Grand Bazaar in the very heart of Istanbul is the most visited tourist attraction on the planet. It welcomes over 91 million people every year into its 61 covered streets.
Needless to say the country of Turkey can be quite busy, from the historical city of Istanbul to the beaches of Marmaris people flock to the country to soak up the Mediterranean sun and have an unforgettable holiday. Although you do need to make sure it’s unforgettable for the right reasons, and not for the wrong one – queueing.
There are plenty of ways to beat the crowds in Turkey, not only by visiting the quieter spots, but also visiting the busy ones at the right time. Here are our top tips to not getting stuck in the giant crowds.
Heading to Marmaris? Try Selimiye…
If you’re heading on holiday to Turkey, particularly for a beach holiday then it’s likely you’ll look at Marmaris. With its hot climate and gorgeous beaches, it’s the perfect place to sit back, relax, and spend a week forgetting about the world back home.
However, during peak seasons it can be incredibly busy. The restaurants get crowded, and your beach towel will naturally be in close proximity to another. A little further down the coast is Selimiye, a coastal town which is just as beautiful, but a lot less crowded.
The tiny village is the real Turkey, and is set to a backdrop of glorious pines, and rolling mountains. Quaint restaurants line the coast, allowing you to shelter from the shade and enjoy some great food before heading back to your spot to enjoy the sun. And more often than not, there won’t be a soul in sight.
An Early Rise is Grand at the Bazaar
On any trip to Istanbul, the Grand Bazaar is a must visit. 91 million people a year visit the market for a reason; because it’s a truly iconic place and the heartbeat of Turkey’s biggest city.
There are shops in every nook and cranny worth discovering, and it is well worth giving yourself a few hours to experience every part of the market. The best time to visit is without a doubt just after opening. Whilst the tourists are still tucking into their breakfast, you can enjoy the market which dates back to 1455.
Open from 8.30am on Monday to Saturday, you can find all sorts of bargains to take home, and of course, don’t forget to try your hand at the art of bartering.
Winter in Istanbul
From November to March, the city of Istanbul falls a little quieter than usual, which is perfect time for avoiding the overcrowded streets. The boutique hotels have lowered their prices and the best restaurants in the city are happy to fit you in.
Yes, you may have to pack a coat, and you’ll more than likely need your umbrella, but Istanbul is a truly beautiful city all year round. Plus, with the Grand Bazaar covering 61 streets of the city, you’ll find yourself enjoying its wonders under shelter for the most part anyway.
Elsewhere in the mountains, you can also experience Turkey in a totally new light, under snow. The likes of Cappaadocia in Central Anatolia are truly inspiring with crisp snow underfoot and a hot air balloon ride to capture it all is an unforgettable experience, most definitely for all the right reasons.
Eyüp, on the shore of the Black Sea is just a short trip away from Istanbul and even pre-dates the city. Perhaps its biggest draw is the Eyüp Sultan Mosque, which was completed in 1458 by the Ottoman Turks just five years after the conquest of Constantinople.
It’s one of the more sacred places in the city of Istanbul and a great spot to get away from the city and still enjoy historic places that have deeply contributed to Turkey’s history.
The Asian side of Istanbul is largely ignored by tourists but has a wealth of sites on offer. Beylerbeyi Palace is a small palace a stone’s through from the Bosphorus Bridge. Admission is a snip at 10TL, and it’s generally crowd free. It’s a real hidden gem.
There’s so much to see and do in Turkey that it’s easy to avoid the crowds provided you visit the right places at the right time. Don’t let the crowded destinations at high season put you off, there’s an entire country waiting to give you an unforgettable holiday.