It’s not often I get to walk around in freezing cold weather eating a Nutella Bagel while gazing at one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen in my life – The Blue Mosque

It’s been just over a week since got back from my trip to Turkey and all I can think of is hopping on a plane and going right back. I was lucky enough to visit Istanbul as part of a group of bloggers from all around the world for the World Tourism Forum. Shout out to all Blogger Casting and all the awesome sponsored for hosting me! 

After the conference finished I stayed in Istanbul for two days to explore the city on my own, and I can honestly say after just a few days staying in the city, despite what felt like subzero temperatures that it’s definitely one of my favourite cities in the world. 

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Sultan Ahmed Mosque (2 of 5)

One of Istanbul’s most famous attractions is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, nicknamed the Blue Mosque after the blue tiles that line what seems like the entire interior. All visitors are required to enter through a side entrance and wear headscarves and appropriate clothing as the space is still a fully functioning place of worship. I was wearing jeans and a long coat so all I had to add was a headscarf that mosque happily provides to all visitors.  Just the idea that people have been praying in the same spot since the 17th Century is enough to give you goosebumps. 

The Blue Mosque (1 of 6) Anna-Belle Durrant (1 of 1)-2

The exterior of the mosque was so beautiful I sat for about two hours just staring at it, if it wasn’t for the fact that I’d lost all feeling in all of my extremities I probably would have stayed for longer. While I sat gazing at the sheer beauty of the building I spotted a small food cart in the distance, I hadn’t eaten the whole day so I ambled on over and I discovered that the man was selling bagels filled with Nutella the size of my face! All the food I ate in Turkey was incredibly delicious but the bagel was definitely one of my favourite things. Staring up at the Blue Mosque with icy fingers while the city’s stray dogs sunned themselves on the pavement will forever by a special memory.

Eating in Istanbul (4 of 4) Eating in Istanbul (1 of 4) Eating in Istanbul (3 of 4)

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As I mentioned the Sultan Ahmed is an extremely popular attraction, visiting in winter probably helped with the crowds but in summer it would probably be best to plan when you visit quite  carefully. The mosque is closed to non-worshippers for 45 minutes before the call to prayer and 30 minutes  afterwards, and all morning on Friday until 14:30. Admission is free so it’s great if you’re on a budget but donations are of course welcome. 

Sultan Ahmed Mosque (1 of 5)Sultan Ahmed Mosque (4 of 5)