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Investigating Instanbul

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I am heading to Istanbul in 2014, a place I have always wanted to visit. The colors, the food...my head spins thinking of all there is to see. This is my list of items to check out as I prepare for my trip.
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Rüstem Paşa Mahallesi, Erzak Ambarı Sok. No:92, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
In the streets of Istanbul and back alleys all over Turkey are mounds of Turkish delight confections. Some look as though they may have been boxed to sell back when Bekir Effendi, the inventor of Turkish delights, started up at the end of the...
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No. /B, Kocatepe Mahallesi, Taksim Fırını Sk. No:25, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Zeynep Fadillioglu—the first woman in Turkey to design a mosque—is behind a new 270-room hotel in Istanbul’s cultural and commercial heart. An Ottoman tent canopies the Atrium lounge, and limited-edition sketches of Istanbul by...
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Firuzağa Mahallesi, Bostanbaşı Cd. No:19, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
The Çukurcuma neighborhood, just a short walk down the hill from Istanbul’s busy İstiklal Caddesi, is an antique, vintage, and retro lover’s delight. Step onto Faik Paşa Street or Turnacıbaşı Street and you step back in time....
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Rüstem Paşa Mahallesi, Erzak Ambarı Sok. No:92, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Also known as the Spice Bazaar, the Egyptian, is the oldest market in Instanbul. The best bargains to be had are in the alleys just outside of the building where more of the locals shop.
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Süleymaniye Mah, Prof. Sıddık Sami Onar Cd. No:1, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
It was a cold and snowy day in Istanbul as we made our way to the mosque. Despite the vibrant and beautiful interior, I found the benches compelling for what they represent.
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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.
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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...
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Be sure to buy some spices. Most of the vendors have their own special mixtures. And the best part: the vendors can vacuum-seal your purchase for the trip home.
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Gümüşsuyu Mahallesi, 34437 Beyoğlu/Istanbul, Turkey
So why go to Istanbul in the late fall/early winter? Well, airfares are lower than in high season, you can pretty much get any hotel room you want, there are no crowds so no lines to stand in, and the price of pretty much anything you might want...
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Sinanpaşa Mahallesi, Köyiçi Meydanı Sk., 34353 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
One of my favorite foods in Turkey (and there are many) is a serving of fresh kaymak clotted cream, drizzled with honey, and spread on bread. You can buy it in the supermarket or find it in some breakfast spots, but everyone's favorite is Pando in...
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Take a break from shopping along Istiklal Street at Hala, which specializes in authentic home-cooked Anatolian cuisine. You know you've found it when you see women with white headscarfs kneading dough in the front window. They're preparing and...
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Balat Mahallesi, Mürselpaşa Cd. No:10, 34087 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
My Local Guide Istanbul provides a unique tour of Istanbul's UNESCO World Heritage listed renovated and ruined Ottoman Houses. Walking amongst the locals was an experience in itself, with local kids curious to see us in their colourful community....
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Beyazıt Mh., Kalpakçılar Cd. No:22, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
We found shops throughout Istanbul selling these colorful candle holders, but this shop in the Grand Bazaar had the best display.
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Firuzağa Mah., Cihangir Mahallesi, Türkgücü Cad. 59/A, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
After a morning of wandering Istanbul's winding streets, it is a treat to find a delicious eatery like Datli Maya, ready to welcome you with brick-oven baked bites in the form of lahmacun (similar to a thin-crust pizza) and other delicious menu...
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Ömer Avni Mh., İnönü Cd. No:50, 34427 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Topaz is regarded as one of Istanbul's most elite upmarket restaurants and it’s the place to be if you wish to celebrate a special occasion. From their terrace restaurant you can indulge in their degustation or a la carte menus whilst the lights...
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Mimar Kemalettin Mah, Büyük Tulumba Sok., 34490 Beyazıt/Fatih/Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
During a long weekend in Istanbul recently, I signed up for a tour of Istanbul's street food with Istanbul Eats. Tired of the Taksim scene and having been to Istanbul before, the culinary walking tour was a wonderful way to see a new part of the...
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Istanbul, Turkey
Don’t panic. The lifejackets for the kids as well as my camera are in the palm of my hand. With my legs feeling like spaghetti, I couldn’t walk another step back to our hotel. Our taxi experience included a ride under one of the world’s most...
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Abbasağa Mahallesi, Mumcu Bakkal Sok. No:5, 34353 Beşiktaş/İstanbul - Avrupa, Turkey
I have been hearing about the wonder that is breakfast at Besiktas Kaymakci aka Pando Kaymak for years. Everything you read about this place says it's worth the trip and every bit as good as you have heard. Here is another one of those posts. It...
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Alemdar Mh., Divanyolu Caddesi No:6, 34400 Sultanahmet/Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Everywhere we go in the world, it seems we find places where former president Bill Clinton ate. In Istanbul it was no different. The Pudding Shop offers quick eats for hungry visitors to the Sultanahmet District. Stop here for all sorts of...
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Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
At the north end of the Galata Bridge, and just before the start of the seafood market, stands a small kiosk where a man grills mackerel filets for sandwiches. A few shakes of spices, some salad, a squeeze of lemon, and you're on your way to the...
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I'm not sure this is the Pitti Terrace Restaurant, but there are many wonderful rooftop spots around the Sultanahment. The food everywhere had such vibrant flavor! It was healthy and light, fresh and interesting.
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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Ayasofya Meydanı, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
first night in Istanbul, summer breeze cool and uplifting, local beer in hand - cold, delicate on the palate - food ordered... the sun setting, casting shades of peach and blue and glowing shadows across Hagia Sophia. I felt like I could reach out...
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Edebiyat Sk., 34762 Ümraniye/İstanbul, Turkey
I was lucky enough to get to be with a real Turkish family during the Muslim holiday of Kurban Bayram, also known as Eid Al Adha. This is the holiday where people sacrifice an animal in the name of God, in honor of Abraham's willingness to...
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Cankurtaran Mah, Tevkifhane Sk. No:8, 34400 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
There is no more romantic spot in the world to ask your prospective bride to marry you than at the rooftop restaurant of the Seven Hills Hotel, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey. Pick a night that will display a full moon and clear skies. Go a little...
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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
In the summer of 2006, my family and I went to Turkey for about three weeks. We started out in Istanbul, then spent the rest of the time on the coast in Turunç and Knidos. I can really say it was a great family vacation, there were 13 of...