2020 Shooting Journey in Istanbul - Mini Istanbul City Guide

It seems like a lifetime ago that we could hop on a plane, explore the world and travel freely. With Eid 2021 just around the corner, we’re looking back at last year’s trip to Istanbul, where we discovered some of Turkey’s hidden treasures. 

This incredible trip to film our campaign created so many amazing memories, and we’re excited to relive them with you. Read on to find out what we got up to during our time in the Heart of Turkey! 

Touching Down In the Nick of Time

We travelled to Istanbul in February 2020 with film-maker Mazzi Cuzzi, arriving just before the announcement of the first lockdown (we can’t believe it’s been over a year already!). There, we met up with Betül from EidParty Turkey. We knew from the moment we got together that we were in for an exciting few days! 

The Beauty of Balat

After saying our hellos, we checked ourselves into our accommodation - a cosy family-owned hotel called Cibali. From there, we ventured toward the heart of Balat, wandering through its cobbled streets, marvelling at the colourful buildings and quirky cafes we found along the way. If ‘instagramability’ tops your list of travel priorities, you’ll love this little neighbourhood! 

It wasn’t long before we reached the Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque, which is located at the top of the 5th hill of Istanbul. The views we were blessed with from atop this peaceful mosque were incredible. As it doesn’t receive much footfall from tourists, this particular location was extremely tranquil and visiting it felt like a very special experience. A hidden gem indeed! 


Filming in the Courtyard 

We filmed children playing in the courtyard of the mosque, with the permission of the Imam, of course! We were lucky enough to have local children take part in the shoot also, after they’d finished their Quran lessons. The footage is beautifully authentic, capturing the genuine enthusiasm and joy of the kids. As we started EidParty with the intention of making Eid and Ramadan more exciting for children, these videos perfectly convey our brand message.

The Perfect End to the Perfect First Day!

After our time at the mosque, we wandered down to Eminönü Square, where we visited the Spice Bazaar. Such an amazing selection of fresh produce and delicious treats! It is as much a feast for the eyes and nose as it is for the belly! We tried many local delicacies at these vibrant and bustling markets, and even got to taste Mehmet Efendi coffee, which is world-famous for its unique taste and aroma. 

To finish off the first day in true Ottoman style, we feasted at Ziya Şark Sofrası in Fatih. This cosy little restaurant is one of Istanbul’s most highly rated establishments, and it now has the EidParty seal of approval too! 

Our Second Day in Istanbul 

We awoke early the next morning, raring to explore the many more charming streets and cafes Istanbul has to offer. Upon our search for the perfect place to eat breakfast, we found an exquisite and charming little restaurant called Aranda Endülüs. This vibrant Mediterranean cafe is a wonder to behold, and its food is a delight to the tastebuds. 

We were lucky enough to be able to shoot a video in this beautiful eatery using our tableware products. The results are fabulous, and it’s definitely one of the highlights of our whole trip! 

After indulging in a royally-good breakfast, we strolled over Galata bridge, which was lined with fishermen hoping to catch some sardines and mackerel. The scene was like something straight from a photograph, so we paused to enjoy a fish sandwich while taking in our surroundings. 

Off to the Markets (Again!)

When you visit Turkey, you’ll come across an abundance of outdoor street markets and bazaars. The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest covered markets in the world, featuring over 4,000 shops and spanning across 61 streets! 

Though we didn’t have time to explore the bazaar in its entirety (who does?!), it was a magical experience to immerse ourselves in one of that scale. After our grand adventure, we stopped at the Nuruosmaniye Mosque to pray, then ventured toward the Blue Mosque and AyaSofya - two of Istanbul’s most famous landmarks. 

Exhausted after a whole day of exploring this wonderful city, we enjoyed a traditional Turkish dinner of Buryan Kebap. Because let’s face it, it wouldn’t be a trip to Turkey if we didn’t try the authentic version of this much-loved food! 

The Third and Final Day

Our last day in Istanbul was nothing short of magical. We set our alarms good and early to catch the sunrise from the hotel rooftop, and enjoyed our morning prayer with stunning views and crack-of-dawn tranquility. It was cold, but the chill was offset by the warm feelings of peace and gratitude you find in such beautiful moments. 

As we had awoken before the rest of the city, we decided to beat the crowds to Galata Tower - one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. There, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast with spectacular panoramic views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. 

Before we set off on our travels back to the UK, we had one final stop to make - the dessert shop! The world-famous Hafiz Mustafa in Fatih is open 24 hours, and serves lots of traditional Turkish sweets, puddings and cakes. Thanks to its round-the-clock dedication to satisfying sweet teeth, we were able to indulge in some mouthwatering treats before saying our final goodbyes to Istanbul. 

Our experience with this sensational city was truly amazing. We hope to return to it again in the near future to enjoy its food, culture and stunning landscapes! 

You can watch all of our Turkey ad campaign videos on our YouTube channel!