Collected by Ryan Young
Beyazıt Mh., Kalpakçılar Cd. No:22, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Soon after conquering Constantinople and defeating the Byzantines in 1453, Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II commissioned the beginnings of the Grand Bazaar to reinvigorate trade with the city. More than 550 years later, the bazaar is one of the oldest...
Rüstem Paşa Mahallesi, Yeni Cami Cd. No:3, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Visiting a mosque, to me, is always the strongest display of one's faith. I'm not Muslim, but every time I see the devout take some quiet time and create their own Oasis, I feel compelled to pause and contemplate.
Cankurtaran Mh., 34122 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey
If these walls could talk they’d recite plans for military campaigns and tales of love, lust and betrayal that make this former residence and imperial seat of the Ottoman Empire so intriguing. Walk the dazzling tile-and-mosaic-lined...
Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Ayasofya Meydanı, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Walk into Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) and look up to the heavens to see why so many conquerors and their respective religions claimed this basilica turned mosque turned museum as their own. Visitors will swoon over the Byzantine gilded mosaics,...
Alemdar Mh., Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34410 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
A city as ancient as Istanbul has many layers of history, and you’ll have to go below the surface to see the Basilica Cistern, the largest of the underground cisterns. Built in the sixth century for the Byzantine emperor Justinian, the...
Bereketzade Mahallesi, Galata Kulesi Sk., 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
The Galata Tower is one of Istanbul's most striking landmarks. The nine-story stone tower offers a panoramic vista of Old Istanbul and its environs. Save Galata for the end of the day, timing it so that you reach the top just in time for sunset...
Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Adorned with more than 20,000 blue handcrafted İznik tiles, stained-glass windows, and the golden brushstrokes of a 17th-century calligrapher, the Blue Mosque is the legacy of Sultan Ahmet I (1590–1617). The young sultan audaciously wished...
Gümüşsuyu Mahallesi, 34437 Beyoğlu/Istanbul, Turkey
Warm, fragrant, and filling, these borek are typical Turkish quick eats. They can be stuffed with either ground spiced meat (occasionally with black currents and/or pine nuts) or a cheese and parsley mix. They are enjoyed best fresh out of the...
Tomtom Mahallesi, İstiklal Cd. No:8 D:163, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
This elite rooftop restaurants is a popular place for locals to celebrate birthdays, milestones, and romantic moments. Called 360 for its magnificent 360-degree view of Istanbul, it's a great place to celebrate just being in Istanbul! Relax with a...
Bereketzade Mahallesi, Hacı Ali Sk. No:2, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is famous for being the only city in the world to span two continents (Asia and Europe), and one of my favorite casual dining experiences is enjoying a Turkish tea (cay) and dessert at Galata's rooftop, Konak Cafe. From one seat, you will...
Büyük Valide Han Çakmakçılar Yoluşu No:31 / 82, Mercan Mahallesi, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Visiting the 17th-century Büyük Valide Han in Eminönü is my all-time favorite experience in Istanbul. It's an Ottoman inn that accommodated traveling merchants over 350 years ago and also stored the Oriental and European wares from the wooden...
Galatasaray Islet, Beşiktaş/Istanbul, Turkey
There’s a gorgeous venue in town that all the well-heeled folks and celebrities go to dine. It’s called Galatasaray Island, but most Istanbulites (locals) call it the Suada Club, or simply Suada. The island, on the edge of the Bosporus, is owned...
Dioklecijanova ulica 1, Sredmanuška ul. 11, 21000, Split, Croatia
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 1,700-year-old palace sits on the Adriatic seafront, serving as the focal point of Split. It was built by Roman Emperor Diocletian as a seaside retirement home and has served as a refuge for many a conqueror over...
Dioklecijanova ul. 1, 21000, Split, Croatia
Split is not known as a shopping destination, but if you have a hankering to go shopping, then head underground to the Podrum. The Podrum is a labyrinth of vaulted underground chambers that is located under what was Diocletian’s Palace. Back in...
Ul. Fausta Vrančića 18, 22000, Šibenik, Croatia
One of Dalmatia’s most underrated cities, Šibenik is finally being recognized as an exciting coastal destination. Its medieval heart is a stone maze of steep alleyways dotted with charming squares and hidden cul-de-sacs, not to...
Geirsgata 8, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
They call it The Sea Baron, but ironically it's as cozy as you could wish for. This tiny restaurant is one of the oldest on Reykjavík's harbor, and serves the world's best lobster soup. Stay and rub elbows with fellow seafood lovers at the...
We got to Reykjavik on a rainy night, and the first thing I saw and heard was a lot of people in the street partying and Cher's "Believe" blasting from some club, loud enough to hear it everywhere. I though then that this place was crazy, but then...
Lækjargata 2a, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
The award-winning Grillmarkaðurinn (Grill Market), known for working with local farmers and suppliers to create meals that are fresh, organic, seasonal, and delicious, is a definite culinary highlight for foodies visiting Iceland. The...
Tryggvagata 1, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Bæjarins beztu pylsur, which humbly translates as "the best hot dog in town," is a simple stand in central Reykjavík whose popularity over the decades has given it a kind of cult status. Almost everyone in the country has eaten...
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