hagia sophia + turkish rug shopping | istanbul, turkey

If you missed the first part of my trip to Istanbul you can find it here.< Our tour in Istanbul included a stop at Hagia Sophia and later a Turkish rug demonstration. After walking through a group of Turkish kitties, we caught a glimpse and were completely blown away. Hagia Sophia is massive!

Hagia Sophia
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey

Not only is the design completely magnificent, but Hagia Sophia has had so many different uses, the history is also interesting. Hagia Sophia was an Easter Orthodox Cathedral, Roman Catholic Cathedral, Eastern Orthodox Cathedral, Mosque, and now a museum.

Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey

After spending most of the day inside, we took a tour bus to one of the most popular Turkish rug shops in Istanbul. We were served tea and given a rug-making demonstration. It was incredible to see how quickly her hands moved.

Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey

Even though we really wanted to purchase a rug, the prices were steep and the process was a little too stressful for us. We definitely felt the pressure from all of the salesmen.

Have you ever been to Istanbul?


Filed Under: Travel, Turkey22 Comments
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17739295507898824699 A Country Girls World

    Wow, what a beautiful place! Also, I love all the kitties, but I would have wanted to take them all home!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01538833576579155037 Stephanie

    Why are there cats everywhere? I noticed them in the other post, too. Is there some significance? Or did I miss this info? lol

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15955193285643481167 Dena Barrie

    Had to be my FAVORITE trip ever!!! It was the one time that I felt that I was really in a foreign country! Your pictures are gorgeous and took me back down memory lane :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04953214506719119690 Quyen Nguyen

    These photos are absolutely gorgeous. After traveling to 17 different countries in Europe, I was asked where I would go back in a second, and the answer is always Istanbul. It is such a magical place and it feels great to be in such a lively, colorful, historic city. One of my travel souvenir regrets is not buying a rug. (When I went to Peru, textiles were the first on my list.)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07177081269343759076 Treasure Tromp

    oh Rachel this looks beautiful! I would love to visit one day. But not before I make a ton of money so that I can buy a nice rug :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03990846614816352337 courtnirae

    There is something about that place that feel mysterious and captivating. Photographs are incredible as always and the cats liven things up a bit haha

    A Golden State of Mind

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02953359344425030388 Vanessa Morgan

    Looooove this. Great pictures. I hope to go to Istanbul too someday.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10036538328836365926 Jade

    I have always wanted to go to Turkey and I’ve been seeing loads of posts lately from other bloggers. I really need to organise a trip ASAP!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11933828667131330825 Alyssa

    All those cats in one place kill me! And I’m incredibly jealous you made it to Turkey–I’ve always wanted to go. Those rugs are incredible!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12252480667870116472 misty

    Oh my gosh.
    The history behind this place is just enough to keep me in awe!
    The structures. The paintings. The RUGS??!!
    puts my living room rug to shame.
    Now I want one of those beautiful rugs.
    You are one blessed girl!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09377172483463942224 Meryl & Russell McLendon

    Your photos are GREAT, especially the Hagia Sophia ones. We went to Istanbul last year. Didn’t get a rug either, but admired lots of them. I’m sure you got the same line… “I have the rug FOR YOU!!” =)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07197558119010680853 pretty little things

    wow I would love to visit there one day! xo


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07137273789366845362 Heather Marie

    my sister is going to be studying there next spring. i am so jealous beacuse i have heard such amazing things from people that go there. hopefully i will make it out there… and get a rug or two :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15806065790207418929 Lisette

    I’ve always loved the history of the Hagia Sophia. I didn’t know it’s now a museum. Thanks for teaching me something today :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11227258025124298382 la petite lulu

    This place looks fascinating – so beautiful! Istanbul (or Turkey in general) has always been on my wish list, but we never made it. I love the idea of drinking turkish apple tea though while rug shopping – how fun! (if the sales people are anything like those in India though… Ugh!)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15562865996607992430 VintageLoveandPhotographs

    I wonder why those cats just stay there.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01483514066444967229 Mili

    Wow, what a beautiful place. Specially the Hagia Sophia! Amazing what a rich history it has. Thanks for sharing :)

    Mili from call me, Maeby

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13703573853893790656 Gina Howie

    I went to Side Turkey last April and absolutely LOVED it. It was the best holiday I have ~EVER~ taken. My girlfriend and I enjoyed every minute of drinking apple tea, seeing how the rugs were made (she bought a gorgeous one), hearing the call to prayer and admiring the mosques. I am planning to go to Istanbul next April and I loved seeing your great photos.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09215252781676585946 Erica

    Wow, those rugs are beautiful must be so much work for each one to be made so well – but I can just imagine the sort of bustle in a place like that!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09661930801604312141 Molly @ The Move to America

    I am living my travel dreams through your blog posts! So great!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15491893490987800723 Kayli Schattner

    I would love to see the demonstration- it looks so intricate and interesting. I also love all of the details your including in your photography- you’re pictures are beautiful!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11814217592907484302 Anna @ Eat, See, Do

    Stunning photos! I haven’t been to Turkey yet but it’s top of (a very long list). Must read more Turkey post. Mooooore!