If you have done all the Istanbul sightseeing and still have some spare days in your agenda then you should consider taking one of the day trips from Istanbul to Edirne and pay a visit to the impressive Edirne Mosque called Selimiye. Nowadays a sleepy little town full of history, but once the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Edirne, Turkey lies only a few kilometers from the Bulgarian and the Greek border. I admit it was pretty tempting to make a little detour and cross into these two countries, as I had never been to any of them. But as we were toured around by the Turkish Tourism Board it would have been a little inappropriate to leave the country. ;) Surely some day I will end up there again!
The impressive Selimiye Mosque
The biggest tourist attraction of the city is the Edirne mosque. We were lucky it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon although visiting Turkey in the winter months without a jacket is not the best idea! J My winter collection after travelling 16 months in paradise consisted of two collard shirts, a jumper and two jeans. I have to thank Turkish Airlines for borrowing me their airplane blanket which I could use as a scarf. LOL! Why not buying a jacket? Read how I afford to travel the world for years without working a single day.
Yes it was my first official blogging trip with a Tourism Board and I had always been curious how that would be. Arriving at the Edirne mosque my worst fear became reality: am I ever going to get the shot I want? There were way more professional photographers running around with me now and everyone was aiming for the same spots and then there was our tour guide who wanted to tell everything about the history of Edirne. Sorry mate, you are here with a bunch of photo hungry bloggers who want to shoot the Selimiye Mosque, we are not the standard tourists.
I felt sorry for him, but I had to sneak away from the group to get some unique pictures of this impressive mosque and its high minarets, plus I had to record an Instagram story and create some funny Snapchats, right? ;) Yes a bloggers life is not always as easy as it may seem, but you wont hear me complaining. The Edirne mosque is definitely worth accepting one of those many offered day trips from Istanbul. I am really glad I visited another unique and impressive place in the world. Visiting a mosque is one of the 30 things I only experienced because I traveled. Curious what the other 29 are? Click on the link…
Climb the minaret of the Edirne Mosque
In and between all those content creation moments you have to find the right balance to enjoy what you are doing as well. But if you add a little slice of adrenaline my heart is filled easily and when I heard we were allowed to climb up to the top of one of the 84 meters high minarets I suddenly got really excited. Only very few bloggers made it all the way to the top. I must admit the cramped and dodgy staircase up there was already an adventure itself, but once I got to the little balcony I was stunned: what an incredible view! On my Facebook Page TRAVELTOMTOM you can find a 360 photo so you have a little impression of how fabulous, but at the same time a little terrifying walking around on that tiny 360 balcony was.
After a traditional lunch with local food and a short visit to a synagogue we explored the historical and charming center of Edirne. I don’t know if there is any correlation with Edirne being close or may be even on the silk route but it was the first time since I went to Iran that I was running around in a bazaar. Local prices people! Forget shopping in the grand bazaar, get your presents for friends and family here.
Istanbul day trips are worth it
For me it is clear that after sightseein in Istanbul, day trips to Edirne are totally worth it. It was a great success, with climbing the minaret of the Edirne mosque being the cherry on the cake. I don’t know exactly if everyone is allowed to climb up to the top of the minaret but if you don’t ask, you will never get there. Tell them Traveltomtom send you and show them my photo, may be it helps! J
Bakucha Vineyard Hotel & Spa
May you have a little more time then staying overnight in the Turkish countryside is definitely not a punishment either. Some Istanbul day trips included this option already, but you can easily arrange it yourself. We stayed overnight at Bukucha Vineyard Hotel & Spa, a very quiet but lovely resort in the middle of the wine fields. There is nothing around here but if you are on a road trip this is the perfect spot to relax. Of course you are coming to taste their homemade wines, but I strongly suggest you to try their absolutely delicious food. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all a winner!
Day trips from Istanbul
It was my first organized blogging trip with a tourism board and I can tell you it was a fantastic experience and I had the time of my life exploring, drinking, eating and making fun with such a great group. I think it does not really matter where you send a bunch of likeminded people, they will make sure they are having a great time! All I can say is that if you are looking for day trips from Istanbul Edirne is a great choice! Staying in Istanbul in style for not much money at all? Check out my article about the best hotels in Besiktas, an amazing lively neighbourhood on the Bosphorus. Or check out the recommended hotels on TripAdvisor.
How I ended up on this press trip with the Turkish Tourism Board? Check out my blog: my first travel blogger event: World Tourism Forum Istanbul. Want to get away from the tourist trail in Istanbul then take a walking tour through Balat, click here to see this traditional neighbourhood with the coloured houses of Fener - Balat. Or wondering where in Istanbul the spot down below is? Click on the picture to find out where you can take this photo!