Every OUT Adventure takes you to top tourist sites, but Istanbul has some truly outstanding locales that you may not know about. Read on to learn about our five favourite smaller stops on our Gay Tour of Turkey.
5. Go underground in the Basilica Cistern
Deep beneath Istanbul lies hundreds of cisterns. This is the largest, and perhaps most famous one as its appeared in everything from Bond film To Russia With Love, video game Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, and Dan Brown’s novel Inferno.
4. Visit an Authentic Hammam
No Turkish tour is complete without being lathered up and scrubbed down. Lucky for you, our journey includes a stop at Istanbul’s finest bath: the Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamamı, which dates back to the sixteenth century (you can even splurge on a massage while you’re there).
3. Shop The Spice Bazaar
The spectacular sibling of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, and still the hub of the city’s spice trade, this is a perfect place to stock up on souvenirs, handfuls of Turkish delight, and – spoiler alert – a huge selection of spices.
2. Check out Chora Church
Born as a Byzantine Greek Orthodox Church, then converted into a mosque, the Chora Church is now a museum where you can see some of the area’s oldest, best-preserved mosaics and frescoes (in fact, most of the interior remains completely intact).
1. Wander the ruins of Hierapolis
OK, OK, this ancient city *is* the final stop of our tour, and definitely worth mentioning even though it’s nowhere near Istanbul. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hierapolis is famous for not only its ruins, but also its healing hot springs (which we’ll definitely take a dip in).
And that’s it – our top five lesser known places to visit in Istanbul, and Turkey. Now, what are you waiting for? Check out our Turkey Gay Tour, and join us on one of our scheduled departures this year!