We started our third day in Istanbul with a visit to the world-famous Topkapi Palace (see here for day 1 and day 2). The city’s sultans lived in this magnificent array of parks, pavilions, and houses from the 15th up to the 19th century. Today, the entire complex is a huge museum with various collections including, for example, Chinese porcelain, Ottoman armour, or imperial carriages. Maybe most fascinating is the Imperial Treasury housing an incredible array of jewel-encrusted artefacts, including the famous Topkapi Dagger or the world’s fourth largest diamond (the so-called Spoonmaker’s Diamond)! Nevertheless, visitors should also watch out for the Sacred Safekeeping Rooms with a collection of sacred objects, for example hairs of the beard of the Prophet Muhammad.
Following on our tour throug the Topkapi Palace, we went down to the Golden Horn and took a ferry to the district of Kadiköy on the Asian side of the Bosporus (for a map see here). Apart from the lively markets in this area, the ferry cruise itself is worth the trip as it offers great views on some of the major sights of Istanbul.
This third day was New Year’s Eve and after spending the evening in a restaurant at the Golden Horn, we celebrated on nearby Galata Bridge. The coming day then saw us on a ferry tour all along the Bosporus, almost into the Black Sea – but to read and see something of this part of the journey, you have to click here for the next post! 🙂