A Perfect Day in Istanbul
A perfect day in Istanbul involves indulging the senses with experiences as diverse as this vast and wondrous city. Spend the morning wondering at the Christian and Islamic architecture—taking a break to taste the best baklava in Istanbul. In the afternoon, retreat to a luxury hammam to be enveloped in soapy bubbles; later, relax in a popular rooftop restaurant to hear the call to prayer echo throughout the city. Just one perfect day in Istanbul will leave your senses craving more!

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Love Tea and Lokum

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Istanbul's Spice Bazaar may be a global tourist trap, but isn't nearly as rage-inducing as the squawking group tours inside the Grand Bazaar. Here, a remnant of authenticity lives on in this 17th century building, created by commission for Sultana Turhan Hatice.

Visually-arresting piles of spices and Turkish delight, and rows of pushy men, make for a wild afternoon of souvenir shopping and colorful conversation. Inside the Ucuzcular stall the sellers are friendly and happy to let you browse. A bag of "love tea" ensures romance in a pot.

In that vein, on my way through the bazaar, a man trotted up to me and said, "Excuse me. I think you dropped something..." I looked puzzled. He smiled and theatrically clutched his chest, "...my heart." He probably does that for all the Westerners, but I pretended it was as real as the magic in the spices.

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