Cafes and Cats in Istanbul

One of the many pleasures when visiting Istanbul is sitting in a neighborhood café, enjoying traditional coffee or tea, and watching life stroll by, including the many cats that populate the city, especially in the residential areas such as Beyoglu. Locals and visitors delight in their presence. Sometimes cats even join you at the café and sit at your table, just to take in all the admiration.

Some locals say cats are so beloved here because one of them saved the Prophet Mohammed, from a snake. Others believe cats are good luck. Whatever the reason, it’s true that I did not see an ill-kept cat in the city but did see many bowls of food and water and lots of little cat beds set out in front of shops, mosques, restaurants, and homes.

Café life is truly alive and well in Istanbul, but don’t be surprised if you are joined by an unexpected guest, and a delightful one at that!

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