...continued from previous entry.
We crossed Bosphorus Strait and returned to Eminönü port at the European side. From there, we took the tram to Kabataş and walked to another interesting landmark - Dolmabahçe Palace. Just a note: Topkapi Palace (the one we visited on the first day) was the old palace. Dolmabahçe Palace meanwhile was the new palace. It was used by the Sultans until the end of the Ottoman Empire. The first Turkish President, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, also lived in there until his death.
Welcome to Dolmabahçe Palace!
Similar to Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahçe Palace also charged two separate entry fees - TRL 15 (RM 30) for the palace and TRL 10 (RM 20) for the harem. A combined ticket of both palace and harem would be slightly cheaper at TRL 20 (RM 40).
The grand entrance to the palatial garden.
In front of the palace.
Had to wrap our shoes with plastic covers before entering.
A few minutes until our turn to enter.
As stated on the above board, no photograph is allowed inside, so nothing to share here. But just so you know, the palace is very extravagant. Crystal chandeliers, silk drapes, marble toilets, hand painted ceiling and all. The grand staircase was very impressive, though I couldn’t help but to wonder how long it must have taken for the royalties and VVIPs to climb all the way up just to meet the Sultan.
The palace tour lasted 45 minutes, so by the time we were done it was already nearly 4:30pm. The complex closed at 5pm, thus we didn’t have the time to visit the harem as we already missed the last batch of the harem tour. Wasted half of the ticket. The truth is, the money bit didn’t hurt as much as not being able to see the harem *sigh* but what to do. So we decided to just go around the complex and visit other sections that did not required guided tour.
Red tulips as the side of the palace.
A side gate facing the roadside that made a nice backdrop.
Another side gate, this one facing the waters.
A fountain in the middle of the garden.
We left the palace and walked back to Kabataş tram station. Adjoining the tram station was a funicular station that travelled to Taksim. Cost for a ride was one token of TRL 1.75 (RM3.50). The funicular stopped at Taksim Square, right at the start of İstiklal Avenue, the infamous shopping street.
İstiklal Avenue was full of people on Sunday. The look and feel reminded me of similar pedestrian shopping streets that I had been to i.e. Myeongdong (Seoul) and Florida Street (Buenos Aires).
If you are tired of walking, take this classic tram that goes from one end of the avenue (Taksim) to another (Tünel).
We stayed there until nighttime, hopping from shop to shop along the way. Even so, we couldn’t cover the entire street, as it was such a long stretch.
To answer Jeet’s question - we did stop for food. After two days of beef, we decided to go for fish. That fillet topped with melted cheese and mushroom was yummy!
Took the funicular from Taksim back to Kabataş tram station.
Back to the hotel. Day 2 - Done!