Packing for Istanbul

I’m very, very excited for our upcoming trip to Istanbul over the Easter break. It’s not long now!I’m going to try and buck the trend of my usual disorganised last minute packing attempts, because those never end well. So I’m thinking ahead for what I might pack to take with me to Istanbul, and if there’s anything I need to buy between now and then.

The weather is looking to be anywhere between 12-20°C. So I think layers will be key here.


For those items which I already have and love, I’ll link to. For those which I already have and no longer exist on the internet, I’ll let you find your own suitable alternative as I doubt my UK-centric, strangely tall requirements will suit you as well.

For layers I’m going to rely on trusty Uniqlo for their Heattech tanks and long sleeved tops. I have so many of these and I love them all.

I can’t seem to go anywhere without at least one stripy item of clothing, so that needs to be factored in.

Back to Uniqlo for one of their ultra-light down filled gilets. I have been wearing mine non-stop for about 5 months now and I don’t know what I’d do without it. If the weather warms up enough to go without a coat, this will be sufficient by itself.

A black maxi skirt will be my alternative bottom-half in case of skinny jeans related disaster, or perhaps for going out for dinner. I may need to take alternative shoes in this case, as I’m not sure converse with a maxi skirt is a look I can pull off.

I’ll always take a few trusty cardigans with me. Once again this is from Uniqlo and I wear it to death.

I will most likely take only one pair of earrings with me; a nice minimal pair. They’ll go with everything I choose and will be nicely unobtrusive.

Does this count as a stripy item? In browsing for my cardigans I’ve stumbled across this on the Uniqlo website and I really want it now. Look how cosy it looks!

Black skinny jeans; standard. These are the workhorse in my wardrobe and don’t they know it. Mine are on the verge of falling apart and I’m dreading the day. Hopefully it won’t happen in Istanbul or it’s a maxi skirt for me, all day everyday kind of scenario.

I still need a sensible rucksack, as my Jansport one makes me look like a teenager and is too big. I fill it, and then it’s too heavy. This one looks cute, but may not help with the looking like a teenager situation. Also, I found it here and it looks too cheap to be true. I can’t be dealing with disintegrating bags.

I always forget to take a refillable water bottle with me and I think this will be vital due to all the walking we’ll be doing. This one comes with an inbuilt water filter, which may be handy.

I’ll need a big scarf too, not just because it’ll be cold but because I’ll need to cover my head in mosques. This one looks a nice jazzy colour; there’ll be no losing me in that one.

I think I’ll need a statement necklace to make my boring layers look a bit more exciting. This one seems fitting with the crescent moon in it.

My trusty camera will be coming with me as always. I love this little guy.

I have a feeling it may rain, and I’m British anyway so I always carry a brolly with me. Mine is spotty and half broken, this one is much cooler.

I have recently got myself contact lenses (!) which I’m very excited about. This now means I can do sightseeing without a) fumbling around with my glasses, them falling off my face, and/or me tripping over the imaginary step in front of me or b) squinting endlessly at things and going “is that… [insert famous sight here]”.

>My converse are very comfy and only make my feet look slightly clownish, which is the best I can hope for really. With all the aforementioned walking I’ll need something sensible.

And the fact I’ll be wearing contact lenses means I can finally get a pair of really silly looking cheap sunglasses and still see. Watch out, Istanbul!

So that’s what I’ll be packing when I go to Istanbul. What do you think? Anything I’ve missed?

Have you ever been to Istanbul and what do you recommend doing or seeing?


Linking up with Kristen  and Gretch  for What’s New With You? and with BonnieAnnaSwags and Diana for Travel Tuesday.



  1. 3rd March 2016 / 13:41

    I hope you have a great trip! I’ve never been so no advice for you there, but I do want to say you could definitely pull of the maxi skirt and Converse look! I wear it a lot in winter. Maybe not for dinner though so I understand if you sneak another pair of flats into your bag 🙂

    Uniqlo just opened here recently, I haven’t been to check it out yet as clothes shopping is not the most enjoyable activity at 8 months pregnant, ha! But I hope to check it out soon.

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • 6th March 2016 / 22:58

      Well that’s given me confidence – I shall be brave! And if we do go anywhere smart for dinner then maybe I will just need to splash out on a nice pair of Turkish flats 🙂

      I 100% recommend Uniqlo as you can probably tell, but I agree this is not something that should be undertaken at 8 months pregnant. I think you’re good to wait for a bit! Do they do online in Aus yet?

      • 7th March 2016 / 22:56

        Not sure if they do online shopping – will have to check it out! There is a bunch of new stores (opposite that Zara in Queen St mall we have H&M and Uniqlo now) so one day post-baby I’m going to check them all out! 🙂

  2. Kerri Taylor
    3rd March 2016 / 14:58

    i’m seriously loving this whole list of things. the color palette and everything. a refillable water bottle is KEY for trips and black skinnies are always happening too. and converse are so cute – go with everything! off to check out that camera 🙂 i need a smaller one that isn’t my phone OR my DSLR canon. That sucker is too big to lug around sometimes

    xoxo cheshire kat

    • 6th March 2016 / 23:01

      Ha the colour palette was a total mistake but one I’m rather proud of! I would definitely recommend my camera, although it’s not as slimline as I thought it would be. Like, the silver sticky-out bit of the lens doesn’t retract any further than in the picture, if that makes sense. Still, you can change the lenses which is nice (although I haven’t found any with a more portable profile) and it does take a great picture.

  3. 3rd March 2016 / 15:11

    Everything looks like it could very easily be worn together, which is great. Pick anything out in the morning & you’ll match!

    Never been to Istanbul, but can’t wait to read about it when you get back.

    Stopping by from the What’s New With You linkup!

    • 6th March 2016 / 23:02

      I do like to make life easy for myself, as I’m definitely not a fashionista! I absolutely can’t wait for my trip, I’m so excited. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. 3rd March 2016 / 17:57

    I love your shopping list! I try to stay organized for travels but I still end up feeling like I didn’t bring enough 🙂 Have a great time in Istanbul and thanks for linking up!

    • 6th March 2016 / 23:02

      I now have to decide which I’m actually allowed to buy and which will regrettably stay on the wishlist! I do panic about underpacking, but I figure in Istanbul what I forget I can buy. And it will probably be quite an exciting excuse to go shopping too! Thanks for hosting 🙂

  5. 3rd March 2016 / 20:06

    ‘strangely tall requirements’ will suit me very well thank you very much! i go back and forth on a vest (or gilet as you said). if i am cold, i need a coat. and if i wear a coat, a vest makes the coat not fit. but they are so cute! i want one. i had one and got rid of it, but i should get one for NZ right? because it won’t be *that* cold, right? right? i don’t know. striped tops forever! thanks for linking up with us!

    • 6th March 2016 / 23:07

      Ha! High five fellow strangely tall person. So I was skeptical about the vest thing because I hate having cold wrists and was convinced this would be a horrible mistake. However! The joy is that it warms your core which makes your blood warmer which makes your extremities warmer when it gets there. And it actually does work. I mean when it’s properly cold yes, you will need a coat and this is too puffy for underneath. But when it’s warm-ish, this is perfect. Also the collar acts like a little scarf which is an added bonus. I would recommend giving the whole vest thing another go, but a properly nice insulating one like my uniqlo one. I think at this point I sound like a totally old lady so I will stop 🙂

      • 7th March 2016 / 15:33

        haha bring on the old lady! seriously though i don’t care. i want to be warm and cute, but warm is more important. so i’ll wear a coat if need be, but you know what australian winters are like.. cool but not actually cold, especially compared to other places. i don’t want to drag a coat around NZ and Oz if I could also get by with a vest/gilet. Where does the word gilet come from!?

        • 7th March 2016 / 22:32

          I don’t know, but the more I say it the more stupid the word seems :/

  6. 3rd March 2016 / 21:36

    It sounds like you have a good list going for your trip! My husband and I need to be better about packing a reusable water bottle when we go on vacations because buying water gets so expensive, not to mention the plastic is bad for the environment! You can’t go wrong with Converse for a trip! They go with everything!

    • 6th March 2016 / 23:09

      Oh yes! I do love a list! Especially if it involves shopping 🙂 I am hopeless at remembering a water bottle, and I do feel bad about my plastic bottle environmental footprint. Also I always end up buying sparkling water by accident which I hate, so that’s even worse.

      I’m breaking myself into my Converse gradually, because I have a complex that they give me clown feet. I think they probably don’t, I just need to get used to them in my head!

    • 6th March 2016 / 23:09

      Absolutely! My mother was right all along!

  7. 4th March 2016 / 02:33

    I love that striped top, and the backpack is cute!

    • 6th March 2016 / 23:09

      It’s a pretty top, isn’t it? I’m sorely tempted by that backpack, even if it does fall apart it was so cheap to begin with…

  8. 8th March 2016 / 22:10

    that’s a good packing list, I recently started taking my own water bottle too, it’s something you will use anywhere! I might say you need to take a swimsuit (bathing suit) but I don’t know if easter-time is warm enough there or if you’ll have time to go swimming so never mind.. haha

    Thanks for linking up with #TravelTuesday

    • 10th March 2016 / 15:35

      I think it’s going to be pretty chilly (12 degC or so?), although now I think of it I think there might be a small hammam/plunge pool in the hotel so a swimming costume is a good shout! Thanks! See, this is why I write these posts. There’s always something I’ve forgotten 🙂

  9. 9th March 2016 / 15:41

    How tall are you?! It’s not something I ever consider about blogging friends! But a few times I’ve met up with people and they’ve come up to my shoulder! I’m 5’9″ on a good day. 😉 I think you can pull the Converse off with the skirt as long as you stay hipster funky with whatever you wear on the top! Your trip is going to be amazing!! Thanks for linking up with Travel Tuesday, as always!

    • 10th March 2016 / 15:37

      So I’m only about 5’10”, but I have a very strange composition with the legs and arms of a 6-foot-plus person and the torso of a 5-foot-not-much person. I redefine gangly! So trousers and skirts are particularly difficult to find long enough. Hence my angst about my black trousers giving in imminently Anyway! None of that will matter in beautiful Istanbul and I can’t wait!

      • 11th March 2016 / 11:36

        Oh, I totally understand, my wingspan is 5’11”!!! I love the Calzedonia store for leggings/jeggings, have you checked it out? Istanbul will be awesome!

        • 15th March 2016 / 22:16

          Wingspan! Love it. I’ve never measured mine, I’m not sure I want to quantify my gangliness! I love Calzedonia, there’s one in London but it’s a bit of a hassle to get to. I love finding them on the continent, though. I always assumed their leggings wouldn’t be long enough but I’m going to give them a try next time 🙂

          • 16th March 2016 / 16:57

            Wingspan is an athlete measurement 🙂 I think the nice thing about fashion these days is “long enough” is now just to the ankle area, whereas when I was a teenager, long enough meant dragging on the ground!

  10. Jen
    9th March 2016 / 17:09

    What an amazing trip that is going to be! I love this post and all of these pieces are simply beautiful.

    • 10th March 2016 / 15:38

      I know, I absolutely can’t wait. I like all the bits I picked out too, a little too much since I’m not supposed to be spending any money :/

  11. 10th March 2016 / 08:15

    I love Uniqlo’s heat tech! Keeps my luggage super light. They go with me when I travel to anywhere colder than Singapore. Which is… quite often, considering Singapore is kind of hot. I haven’t been to Istanbul but I’m sure you will have a great adventure there! #TravelTuesday

    • 10th March 2016 / 15:39

      Uniqlo are just amazing. You’re right about keeping luggage light! And yes, you must be freezing just about everywhere. For me it’s the opposite!

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