Istanbul with Kids: Fatih Mosque, Boat Cruise on the Bosphorus, and Dinner with a View

The morning of our 4th day in Istanbul, we said good-bye to my-laws who were headed back to America. This meant a later start, which worked well as my kids had new student orientation that morning online. After they left, we headed to the Fatih Mosque, which was a bit of a trek, but DH really wanted to see. It took about 40 minutes to walk there. It is a massive mosque in a huge complex. If you play Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (set in 1511 Constantinople AKA Istanbul), you’ll recognize the mosque (and a number of other sites). DH loved pointed out where he had “walked” before!

As we approached the mosque, we went past several parks all interconnected. Sarachane Park (and the ones nearby) are a great place to stop, relax, and play on the playgrounds. They also have views of an Aqueduct.

Fatih Mosque was rebuilt in the 1700s, and has 2 minarets. It was quite pretty!

One our walk back to the rental, we stopped for lunch at a street stand and had et doner wraps.

We really wanted to do a boat ride on the Bosphorus and it was more complicated than we had planned! We wanted private because of Covid and as our group was small, were attempting not to pay a ton of money for boats designed for 10+ people. Workers from Jennifer’s Hamam offered to help us and they were so kind when it ended up being a much bigger process than we thought it would be! But we eventually met one of them at a dock where he told the captain we were his cousins from America so we wouldn’t get ripped off as being straight up tourists. And then DH only spoke to the guy in Arabic (the captain did not speak Arabic). It was funny, but the boat ride was nice! We spent an hour going up the Bosphorus and an hour on the return. We brought our own beverages and snacks and hung out on top of the boat while the Captain was down below. Lots of interesting sites, including Dolmebahce Palace and a small castle on an island (which is currently closed to visitors).

Post boat ride, we stopped at a playground near the water for a bit of play time. It was near the main road, but had a cool obstacle course and the kids liked it a lot. Would definitely recommend if you’re in that area. We also stopped by the Little Hagia Sofia, which served as a model for the large one!

Finally,we went to dinner–a birthday dinner as it was my birthday! We ate at the 360 Panorama restaurant, near Aya Sofya and with great views of both it and the Blue Mosque. We did a reservation via whatsapp shortly before going. We had a great seat outside on the balcony with wonderful views. They also can do breakfast and lunch. This is a pricier restaurant, but still reasonable we felt. We watched the sunset over dinner. Would definitely go again.

Another restaurant friends recommended, that we did not go to is Seven Hills Restaurant. Also pricier and needs reservations, but with great views.

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