Istanbul by Instagram

I won’t lie- I kind of love Instagram. And I definitely loved Istanbul. So why not feature a post that combines the two?

Here are my favorite shots from my recent trip to Istanbul, a complicated, exotic and stunning city I got to know over a too-short span of five days.


Istanbul Instagram

A simit is essentially a Turkish bagel: dense, crunchy and coated with sesame seeds. Simit very quickly turned into my go-to snack because they’re filling, delicious, dirt-cheap and sold on every street corner.



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Turkey is overflowing with spices– from smoky, dark red sumac to pül biberi, or spicy red pepper flakes. I brought back tons to gift to friends as well as add to my own personal stash.

(Side-note- I’m kind of obsessed with spices.)


Dried fruits and nuts.

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The food.

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Turkish food and Turkish hospitality are equally amazing- did I mention how much lamb I had in Istanbul? I tasted everything from lamb loin to lamb chops to lamb heart (which, by the way, is so flavorful and tender).

All I can say is it would be very hard to be a vegetarian in Turkey.


Turkish coffee.

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Turkish coffee in four words is uber-thick, bitter, grainy and strangely addictive.


The Blue Mosque.

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Unlike the Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque is still a working mosque, meaning we took off our shoes and women covered their hair.

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I loved the cobalt blue paint paired with the intricate gold script.


The Hagia Sofia.

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Though I thought the Blue Mosque was absolutely magnificent, it pales in comparison to the ethereally beautiful Hagia Sofia.

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I could’ve taken a thousand pictures of the Hagia Sofia- it was truly magnificent.

So, which Istanbul Instagram did you like best?  And let’s connect on Instagram! My account is naturally @AshleyAbroad.

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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel blogger and freelance writer who moved to Paris at 21, traveled the world for a year and now lives in Denver. She's usually in pursuit of skiing, languages and perfectly ripe cheese. Her writing has been featured in National Geographic, Viator and Jetstar Australia.
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    • The mezze (like little appetizers before the meal) are mostly vegetarian and absolutely delicious! And of course all of the desserts and honey are vegetarian- and they’re AMAZING.

  1. This brings back some good memories!

    I had such a good time there. I did the Turkish bath right between the blue mosque & Hagia Sofia, but the latter gets my vote. It’s stunning.

    Did you cross the Bosphorus Bridge? I recommend cross the top instead of the bottom unless you like being UBER harrassed by the hosts of every restaurant, lol.

    • Oh I so wanted to do the Turkish bath! Oh well, next time. And I did walk across it, there were lots of people fishing haha.

  2. One of my favorite places in the world. Made me feel like I was really in a foreign land. I loved the call to prayer too!!
    Thanks for taking me back to Turkey, for a minute anyway.
    Dena Barrie recently posted..Was this on the bucket list?My Profile

    • The call to prayer was so cool- the first time I heard it I was surprised by how loud it was.

  3. Amazing pictures! Instagram is deftly a great way to take and share gorgeous pics! Love your blog, looking forward to reading u more! Count me as a new follower :) xx

    • Hi, Emma, I’m glad to hear it! Your photos are amazing by the way :)

  4. Hi Ashley,

    I’ve heard so many good things about Istanbul especially the food that I promised myself that when I’m truly able, it’s the first place I’m going to visit and the whole of Turkey as well!
    CreditDonkey recently posted..How to Save Money on Power BillMy Profile

    • I will follow you too! And Istanbul was truly incredible.

  5. mmm turkish coffee

    • I had so much of it! As well as black tea, also delicious.

  6. Lamb. Is there anything better? I don’t think so.
    Lou just made a divine lamb stew. I never get
    enough of it. Photos amazing. How you experience
    other countries is fantastic.

    Love, Gamma

    • Oh, yum! Anything Papa makes is absolutely amazing. Lamb is my favorite too. Love you, Ashley.

  7. I have heard good things about Turkish hospitality and food so many times it makes me wanna go there today. Thanks for a little pass into the sights (through your photos).
    Cez recently posted..You Know You’re on Khao San Road When…My Profile

    • Yes Turkish people are the best- as is the food!

    • Instagram is surprisingly quite fun! Look forward to adding you once you’re up there :)

  8. I also love instagram and am now following you. Love everything about travel but with two school age kids I don’t get to go as often as I would like. Glad I found your blog!
    Andrea Jones recently posted..Italian for Lunch Please!My Profile

    • Thanks, Andrea. And traveling with kids would have its challenges but also be very rewarding I’m sure :)

  9. I love these photos. So many of the foods and spices remind me of Morocco. Istanbul is a beautiful city and you’ve definitely captured its essence in these pics. (And I love Instagram too. Does anyone NOT love Instagram? Still in process of figuring out the best way to capitalize on this phenomenon so I can sell my product to Facebook for $1b.)
    Koren @ City Gal recently posted..La Boquilla: a Deserted Beach of the Best KindMy Profile

    • I could definitely see a lot of similarities to Moroccan food (even though I’ve never been there!) And yes, I adore Instagram- it just makes your pictures look cooler.

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