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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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

23 thoughts on “Istanbul by Instagram”

  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.

  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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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).

  6. 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!

  7. 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.)

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