After Christmas I was lucky enough to travel with my boyfriend to two amazing cities. We spent 4 days in Copenhagen and 5 in Istanbul. What’s funny is these cities are completely different, but equally amazing. The only downfall is that is was freeeeezzzzing in both cities.
This city is basically the perfect picture of Europe. Beautiful buildings, everything is clean and fairly modern. The food is amazing and there is plenty to do. My favorite part about CPH is how manageable the city is. For me it was actually very easy to get around. The streets are flat and almost of the transportation is accessible. The city is also fairly small (well at least compared to Berlin). So, in a few days you can really see a lot! My favorite part was just walking the city and taking in the beautiful architecture.
Smørrebrød is the most amazing food in Denmark! They are little pieces of art that can include all types of fish or veggies etc. It’s quite simple to make – just some Rye bread and all the toppings!!
This was an adventure! Going up in the famous Round Tower which is one of the oldest observatories in Europe. There is a ramp all the way up and worth the view. It was funny how something that didn’t seem to be accessible was actually very accessible.
We were in CPH for New Year’s and had a wonderful evening at Jeremy’s long time friends. I love being in another country during a holiday because you get to see what their traditions are. For instance the Queen of Denmark gives a speech every year on New Year’s. Also at midnight, everyone jumps off their chair (into the new year- haha no I did not jump to the ground). The craziest part of the evening is the firework display. People flood the streets and shoot off fireworks for hours. In the midst of being shocked that this was quite dangerous, I realized it was such a joyous and carefree time! No that’s not fog covering the sky
Despite CPH not being the most accessible city (many restaurants/ shops have a step or two), I really enjoyed the city. I also learned a lot about Hans Christian Anderson, including seeing his grave – spooky. It is a more expensive city, but you can see that the city is well taken care of and people seem to be happy.
As I said, Istanbul is completely different than CPH. IST is chaotic, colorful and huge!! With the two sides (European and Asian), it’s basically like two different cities. There are millions of people all over the place. I really like this because it allows for so much to be discovered. Down every alley is something new. Jeremy lived in Istanbul for a few years so we had the pleasure of visiting his friends. This meant we ate some wonderful food!! Cheese and olives and dolmas and much more! My favorite way to travel is when you learn about the people and culture.
I didn’t realize that Istanbul is actually a very modern city. The metro is quite a production and also completely accessible. Lots of fancy hotels, restaurants and shops and Starbucks. But then there is a perfect local scene. Street food is an awesome thing. My favorite item was this mussel stuffed with rice then drizzled with lemon. Also, I really liked these ‘wet burgers.’ Not so much street food, but basically the Turkish version of White Castle. Think of a soft, hot bun with a burger inside. If you don’t like White Castle… well you’ll still probably love these! They also drink a lot of Tea in Turkey. I don’t mean like a cup or two a day…I bet these people drink 10!! It’s good because I like tea! It was definitely a staple – everywhere you looked someone was having a tea on the street.
Istanbul is full of large, beautiful buildings – old buildings. In other words, there are amazing Mosques to look at everywhere you turn. We went to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia. Which were stunning and hard to fathom that they were built so long ago.
As you may know, I’m a bargain hunter. I take after my mother. Istanbul is full of little shops full of spices, bakclava, antiques etc. You can find anything you want in the Grand Bazaar. It was my shopping haven. I was good though and didn’t buy much – maybe next time.
The city is also full of nightlife. In Taksim, every corner bar has a live band. This was quite fun to bar hop. It’s also quite funny because many of the bars are pretty Western. They have tons of different kinds of beer or whiskeys. It seems like each bar is trying to one up the next bar. The streets are so cozy and full of unlimited restaurants with employees trying to lure you in. Seafood is of course amazing as the city is surrounded by water. Things are also so cheap – this allowed for lots of snacking and drinking. The people are also extremely kind. I noticed this as well when I went to Vietnam. Although I didn’t really see anyone else in a wheelchair, people were friendly and helpful if it was obvious we needed help with stairs or something. All of the friends I met were so kind and generous as well. I can’t wait to go back and visit in the summer!!
I could go on and on about these two cities. I think Turkey was my favorite because it just seems so diverse and alive. Copenhagen was also lovely, but in a more quite and pristine way.