Istanbul: The Crossroads of East and West

This ancient city on the famous Silk Road was a center for trade and commerce and has been at the crossroads of East and West for two millennia. From the start, different cultures and people traded, worked and lived together creating one of the world’s great cosmopolitan cities. Today, Istanbul is a feast for the mind, eye, and palate: beautiful mosques, art, culture, history, and sensational food is found around every corner. This, combined with the warm hospitality and joie de vivre of the locals, make Istanbul a wonderful destination for your next trip.

Topkapi Palace

Home to the Ottoman sultans for 400 years, this compound originally hosted entertainments, state celebrations, and ceremonies.


Photo by Jeffrey Lafever.

Blue Mosque

Known for its famous blue tiles, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque was built to show the grandeur and power of the Ottoman Empire.

blue mosque

Photo by Clarissa Ng.

Basilica Cistern

This massive underground collection vessel is located near the Haggia Sofia and was once the original site of a massive Basilica. Be sure to spend time looking at the carved columns.

basilica cistern

Photo by Natasha Amar.

Grand Bazaar

Established in the 15th century, this sprawling marketplace offers amazing treasure hunting amidst the odoriferous spice stalls. Be sure to block out an afternoon to get the full experience.

grand bazar

Photo by Little Mermaid at Sea.

Süleyman Mosque

Construction began in the 16th century by the Sultan Süleyman. It is one of the most recognizable sites in Istanbul.


Photo by Emiko Atherton.

Chora Church

First a church, then a mosque, and now a museum since 1948, it is a showcase of beautiful Byzantine-era mosaics and frescoes.


Photo by Travel Notes & Beyond.

Bosphorus Strait

The passageway between East and West, this body of water has been a historic crossing since ancient times.


Photo by MiMi DiZ.

Where should you take a magic carpet ride next? Look East to find some inspiration here. We would love to see what you have been up to over at

Best Budget Destinations for You and Your Wallet

With these long days of summer, you have plenty of time to daydream at your desk about your next big trip. The good news is that the next big trip does not have to cost you a mint. There are lots of destinations that provide a world class travel experience on  a realistic budget. We here at Trover have dug deep to find you the best budget travel destinations for 2015.


This Italian city is not just for fashionistas. Save some Euros and head instead to the Expo Milano 2015. With over 140 countries participating, this year’s Expo showcases the latest in sustainability solutions for global food production from around the world.


Photo by Henrique Santos.


It is time to visit this beautiful country of low budget luxuries and lush tropical forests. With sugar sand beaches and over 10,000 forest temples, Bali offers the sublime and the spiritual. Prices are down this year in Bali so get ready to cross it off of your bucket list.


Photo by Vayama.


Home to Jack White and the Black Keys, Nashville offers an incredible musical legacy along with great restaurants and culture. Hurry to discover this hip city before everyone else shows up!


Photo by Kaylee Spinhirn.


This romantic city is the crossroads between east and west and is the 5th most visited city in the world. Hotel prices have dropped so start planning your trip.


Photo by Mustafa Ucar.


With its huge legendary temple, Angkor Wat, Cambodia offers the best of the spiritual and the exotic. Hotel prices are reasonable in Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor Wat.


Photo by Jonah&Carmen @ Here and There Without a Care.


Use this lovely city as your base to explore the rest of Spain, more reasonable right now than other parts of Europe. Take a day trip to the bohemian beach Sitges located nearby on the coast.


Photo by Geeky Explorer.


Forget about the snow: Denver has arrived as a world class city for all seasons. Check out the fantastic art at the Denver Art Museum and then have a delicious dining experience in the flourishing food and brewery scene.



We are all familiar with the French Riviera and the Italian Riviera, but have you heard the Portuguese Riviera, the Algarve? With over 300 days of sun, this southernmost part of Portugal offers miles of beaches for reasonable prices.


Photo by Marcia Barradas.

Need more options to consider for your budget? How about the beautiful national parks in the USA? Or how about grabbing your backpack and tent and heading out to our list of the best camping spots? Stick around and learn more at

Secret Gardens

Travel to some of the world’s most beautiful secret gardens found by our hard-working Trovers. Secret gardens have represented a tranquil respite from the to and fro rush of the day to day since ancient times. Here are some of the loveliest gardens posted by our fantastic Trovers from around the world. No digging required.

Chihuly Garden and Glass Sculpture Garden, Seattle WA

Dr. Seuss would feel right at home with the towering rock candy sculptures, shimmering mirror ponds, and jelly crystal spheres.


The Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton, England

Built in the Indian style from the 18th century, the seaside gardens of the royals.


Giverny: Monet’s Tranquil Muse

Monet created the gardens at Giverny so he could paint flowers and foliage.


The Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy

Created as private gardens for the most powerful Italian family in Renaissance Italy, the Medici family, this garden is now open to the public.


Kew Gardens, Richmond, England

Beginning as a merger of royal gardens in the 18th century, Kew is the  largest collection of the world’s living plants.


Butchart Gardens, Victoria B.C

Built by the wife of a cement magnate, thousands travel to B.C. to have tea and walk these beautiful gardens.


Tokyo Imperial Palace Gardens

The royal gardens of the Imperial family are open to the public.


Bangalore Palace Gardens, Bangalore, India

Designed in the Victorian style.


Dolmabahce Palace, Istanbul, Turkey

Lavish gardens of the Turkish Sultans.


Jardin Majorelle, Marrakesh, Morocco

The culmination of 40 years of work by the French painter Jacques Majorelle.


Find out How Your Garden Grows with more beautiful destinations from around the world and find more inspiring destinations from Trovers around the world on

Top 10 Things to Do in Istanbul


Looking toward the Blue Mosque from the Galata Bridge. Photo by Travelationship

Istanbul. Ancient and modern structures live side by side in this city, and the streets overflow with cultures, cuisines and languages. There is more to see, do and taste in Istanbul than anyone could accomplish in one lifetime. Luckily, we’ve got the official list – The Best Things to Do in IstanbulContinue reading