About Maddie S
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Sep 2014
Hello! I'm Maddie- a native NYer whose Wanderlust has taken her abroad again and again. Having lived in six countries, and visiting others for school, work, leisure, and sport, I've adopted many localities, and am an admirer of a great many more. An avid scholar of language and culture, I hope to keep expanding my travel repertoire, and sharing great stories with the rest of the travel community. To give you some background on my travels, I spent months each year since childhood in Old Montreal, where part of my family lives. Summers were spent visiting folks in Ft. Lauderdale and L.A. My first big trip outside of the US on my own was to Australia & New Zealand at 12- I caught the bug early! I then moved to Japan where I studied for part of high school & uni. I am very familiar with Japanese cities, Sapporo and Osaka especially. Some of my favourite travel destinations include Goreme, Dubai, Marrakech, and Queenstown. (Plans for 2015 include China & Uganda!) Nice to meet you!
Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites, History Museums
Flea & Street Markets
Historic Walking Areas, Neighbourhoods
Sacred & Religious Sites
Ancient Ruins, Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites
Converted from a church to a mosque, and now a breathtaking museum tiled in gold, the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) was built in 537AD and remains not only a tribute to human imagination, but an impressive feat of art, engineering, and architecture. This location is for the history enthusiast, the art enthusiast, and qualifies as a must-see for anyone visiting Istanbul.
A short walk from the Hagia Sophia, this Palace-turned-museum houses fantastic ancient relics, waterfront views, and, in the warmer months, beautiful gardens. A great spot to enjoy the view at a café while soaking in more culture and history.
Not far from Topkapi Palace (about fifteen minutes by public transport), the Grand Bazaar in the Old City is a place to get your adventurer's blood flowing. After learning the history of some of the city's greatest landmarks, experience the culture via the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the Grand Bazaar, one of the world's largest marketplaces. Located on the Silk Road of yore, it's good for anyone who is ready for shopping, eating, and interacting with the locals!
Sultanahmet District is a great place to relax and unwind after so much walking. Take a rest stop at one of the many cafés for a Turkish coffee and a game of chess, or be more luxuriant and get all of the day's dust and ware off at one of the many Turkish Baths in the area - the neighborhood is famous for its Hamams! This is the perfect spot to unwind and rejuvenate while enjoying the metropolitan atmosphere.
Located in Sultanahmet, the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii) is an architectural marvel still in use for services today. Known for the cobalt blue tiles that line its interior, this spot is a world-famous destination due to its sprawling courtyard, magnificent mosaics, and vast minarets. Enter via the old Hippodrome.
A Bosphorus cruise is a great way to see both the European side and the Asian side of Istanbul, as well as some of the sights, including the river itself, the coastal architecture, and the famous suspension bridges connecting the two continents. Sehir Hatlari, the public ferry, offers a particularly affordable way to take in the city, but there are also private tour options, ranging in price and inclusive offers.
Widely known as Princes Islands, Adalar Islands is a great place to end your day, grab dinner, or even retire to your archipelago-bound hotel. The main island, Büyükada, is made up of charming architecture and sandy beach fronts. Take one of many horse-drawn carriages, hike up the island, or go for a swim. No cars are allowed on the islands, so it is incredibly tranquil.
Taksim Square is perfect for any nightlife enthusiast. Restaurants stay open late, and the area is resplendent with nightclubs, dance halls, and bars. It is also easily accessible by metro and bus.
Located near to the Blue Mosque, the ancient hallway of the Basilica Cistern is hauntingly lit. Roman columns have been keeping the underground cistern spacious and beautiful since 532 AD. Soak in the history, and do it in style; you are able to take photos in old Ottoman dress once inside.
Free to wander, the walls of Constantinople were built by Constantine the Great, and span across land and sea. Much of the impressive structure still stands, and its expanse can be enjoyed along the coast, making it a picturesque and historic walk.