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Istanbul

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Tomtom Mahallesi, Ara Güler Sk No:2, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Cafe Ara was a perfect stop on a rainy chilly day in the Taksim/Beyoglu part of Karakoy, Istanbul, Turkey. The cafe is named after a magnificent Turkish photographer who worked in Istanbul and whose large format black and white images adorn the...
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Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
On the way to see the Galata Tower, the afternoon sun was peeking down the narrow streets of this wonderful neighbourhood in Istanbul.
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Tomtom Mahallesi, Tosbağa Sk., 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Ara Kafe offers delicious food, and it's filled with oversized prints by the master, plus a case full of his books. One of the inexplicable joys and surprises of a recent trip to Istanbul was the privilege of touring Ara Güler's private gallery. I...
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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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Bebek Mh., 34342 Beşiktaş/Istanbul, Turkey
I have long suspected that I'm absolutely useless when it comes to DSLR camera. It died on me, anyway, one fine September morning by the shore of Bebek in Istanbul. This was taken with my aging Bold 3 camera phone. "Bebek" means "baby" in Turkish....
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Cankurtaran Mh., 34122 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey
If you go to Turkey and Istanbul (which I highly recommend), you must go to Tokpaki Palace. It is gorgeous and gives a glimpse into an opulent lifestyle and culture. The sultans had it made! Spring is lovely as the flowers are in bloom....
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Gedikpaşa Cad. No: 24/1 Beyazıt Fatih, Mimar Hayrettin Mahallesi, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Turkiye has the most beautiful embroidery, and such gorgeous shoes.... I honestly don't believe anyone in Turkiye who is a real Turk wears these shoes though, other than maybe for some very rare and unusual occasion, but they are very beautiful.
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Selimiye Mahallesi, 34668 Üsküdar/Istanbul, Turkey
This picture was taken outside of Goreme near one of the underground cities. My roommates and I went to one of the famous underground cities, but we were not that impressed. It was overcrowded with hordes of foreign tourist groups. It felt so...
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Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey
Bosforus boat tour
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Çengelköy Mahallesi, 34680 Üsküdar/Istanbul, Turkey
When visiting Istanbul, staying in the Old City probably seems like the best (at least most convenient) option. I'd actually recommend venturing outside of Sultanahmet. For the first part of our trip, we stayed in Cihangir at the Witt Istanbul...
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Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, İstiklal Cd. No:192, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
We stumbled upon a small nargile shop on the outskirts of the grand bazzaar. This place seemed so authentic, even though it was in the grand bazzaar and everything is overpriced there. Like everything in Turkiye, especially Istanbul, bargain hard....
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Üsküdar/İstanbul, Turkey
We took a ferry across the Bosphorus from the European side of Istanbul to the Asian side. We found antique stores near the docks with floors full of interesting treasures.
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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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Alemdar Mah, Prof. K. Ismail Gurkan Cad No:14, 34122 Sultanahmet/Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
We took a friend's advice on what to order with little consultation of the menu. Imagine our surprise when our food was rolled out on its own table by a waiter wielding a blow torch! All eyes turned our way (much to our children's mortification)...
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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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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...
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Cankurtaran Mh., 34122 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey
The Istanbul archaeology museum blows your mind from the moment you step through the door and confront that massive, leering statue of Bes splaying an upturned lamb. But high among its mind-blowing moments are the rooms devoted to anthropoid...
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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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Bereketzade Mah, Büyükhendek Cad No:5, 34420 Kuledibi/Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Turkey, one of the few countries in the world to be self-sustainable in food production, grows more than 600 grape varieties and is an emerging leader in producing good quality wines. It's no wonder that wine bars specializing in Turkish wines are...
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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
My days spent in Turkey always remind me of the beloved nar (pomegranate) fruit. Though it's ridiculously overpriced in Istanbul, especially when it's out of season in summer, it's dirt cheap in other places where it grows abundantly in season...
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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
My first salep was in an ice cream restaurant—I know, in winter, right? But we were early to the circus, and tried to entertain the kids with a special treat in an ice cream store. The clerk must have seen the dazed, indecisive, and new-in-town...
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Dervişali Mahallesi, Kariye Cami Sk. No:8, 34087 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
To see a dazzling collection of glittery mosaics, go to Santa Kariye, the 5th-century Byzantine church. Also referred to as St. Savior in Chora and as the Church of the Holy Savior, the church is richly decorated with 14th-century mosaics in...
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Binbirdirek Mh., Klodfarer Cd. No:4, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
There were no bad meals in Instanbul and no insanely expensive meals either, but by far some of the best food was to be found wandering the neighborhoods and partaking of the street food vendor carts. Plus this photo satisfies my obsessive desire...
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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
I went to Istanbul on a whim and was overwhelmed by the beauty of the city and the warmth of the people. I was alone and everywhere I went people were friendly and helpful. I had no agenda and no plans except that it was a city I had long wanted...
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Kılıçali Paşa Mahallesi, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Try to catch a football (soccer) game in Istanbul even if you don’t care about football. In any other city, you’d want to watch the game live at a stadium. But if you are in Istanbul you want to be in a hookah bar. I would recommend "Ali Baba...
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Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
This is my hometown, İstanbul. It is the city of caos, conflicts, opposite ends. It is the city where each and every scene, each and every angle beholds the beautiful and the ugly, the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, the rich and...
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Istanbul, Turkey
by Sylvia Kouvali This place is run by Banu Cennetoğlu, one of Turkey’s most important artists. It acts as a public archive for artists’ books. The stationery shop on the ground floor, As Kirtasiye, is like a museum of paper and pens.Necatibey Cd....
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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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Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
This was a roasted sheep's head we had on our Istanbul Eats tour. It was incredibly tasty. If you are an adventurous eater, I highly recommend seeking this out on a culinary journey in Istanbul.
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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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Caferağa Mahallesi, Güneşli Bahçe Sk. No:43, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul, Turkey
One day, I dragged my travel companions—a German, a Turk, and two New Yorkers—to Kadıköy, a neighborhood on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, to dine at Çiya. Everyone was cranky and hungry by the time we found it, but I...
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Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
A shop window display in the small, outdoor, Arasta Bazaar, behind the Blue Mosque.
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Cankurtaran Mh., 34122 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey
by Sylvia Kouvali The artist Mark Van Yetter and his wife, Ayça Odabasi, run this gallery around the corner from istanbul"Rodeo. Their art exhibitions are always free-spirited. Ali Hoca Sk. No. 4 Kat. 2, marquisedancehall.com As told to Lawrence...
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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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Istanbul, Turkey
The view from the roof of this hotel is fantastic. Great morning breakfast overlooking some great landmarks and the sea.
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Küçük Ayasofya Mh., Demirci Reşit Sk. No:14, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Visiting Hagia Sophia, Istanbul. I spotted this young woman but couldn't get her alone (thousands of tourists in this beautiful place) so gave up; a few minutes later my husband gave me the elbow and motioned towards this: Nobody in sight but her...
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Istanbul, Turkey
My roommates and I got really sick of people trying to constantly trying to convince us to go on overpriced tours while living and traveling in Turkiye. At the time we were students, and like most students, we didn't have a lot of money to spend,...
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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...
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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Ayasofya Meydanı, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
The tourist attractions of Istanbul are largely appealing to adults, but look at Istanbul through a child’s eyes and many highlights can be found. 1. Buy some bread, board an Istanbul ferry, and feed the hungry seagulls as you cross from Europe to...
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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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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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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...
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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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Alemdar Mh., Yerebatan Cd. No:13, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
I had been wandering around the interior of Hagia Sophia enamored with the amazing architecture and looking for creative photo angles to capture some of the grandeur. Then I noticed this scene of others attempting to do the same thing. What...
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Süleymaniye Mah, Prof. Sıddık Sami Onar Cd. No:1, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
From my brother (Erdem Sengul's) camera - the tourists and worshippers in Suleymaniye Mosque in silence, a peaceful escape from the scorching heat outside.
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Alemdar Mh., Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34410 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
This cistern is thought to have been built after the Nika revolt in 532 AD. It was known as the Basilica Cistern during the Roman period. After the conquest of the city by the Ottoman Turks, it was forgotten and nobody knew that it existed. It was...
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Asmalımescit Mahallesi, Meşrutiyet Caddesi No:99, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
by Sylvia Kouvali The Istanbul Modern, right on the Bosporus, shows works from such well-known Turkish artists as Kutlug Ataman. The second-floor restaurant has harbor views. Meclis-i Mebusan Cd. Liman İşletmeleri Sahası Antrepo No. 4, 90/(0)...
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Alemdar Mh., İncili Çavuş Sk. No:15, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
On arrival to Istanbul, many tourists order the chicken şiş (chicken kebab) for a meal because it's familiar and safe, but they're really missing out on some of the best food in the world! I encourage anyone visiting Turkey to gastro-travel...
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Kadıköy/Istanbul, Turkey
A half-day deliciously well spent...Take a food tour of the Kadikoy market on the Asian side. Foodie Banu Ozden was born in Istanbul, college and a little food industry experience in the USA, and back to Istanbul. She takes small groups on a walk...
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Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi, Kara Ali Kaptan Sok. No:7, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
In Istanbul's Karaköy neighborhood near the Galata Bridge and docks of the Golden Horn, hipster cafés and art galleries are beginning to outnumber the neighborhood's long-standing industrial shops and hidden churches. Karabatak, named...
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Kuloğlu Mh., Ağa Hamamı Sk. 9/A, 34334 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Great little shop close to the green mosque - try the pickled drink. Went here with Istanbul Eats tour highly recommend the food tour. Some great finds, especially if you love sheep's head .
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Alemdar Mh., Yerebatan Cd. No:23, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
at Kybele, a fantastic little hotel restaurant with an eclectic but absolutely charming ambiance
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Taksim Square is at the heart of the Beyoglu neighborhood; the pedestrian-only Istiklal Caddesi, its main artery, ends here at the square. You'll also find Gezi Park and a monument to the Turkish Republic. Crowds come here to shop, dine, see and...
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Istanbul, Turkey
I couldn't help having a juice and taking a pic. This is at the Galata tower surroundings.
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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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Vişnezade Mahallesi, Dolmabahçe Cd., 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey

The Grand Ballroom in Dolmabahce Palace is the most amazing single room I've ever been in. There is the largest chandelier in the world (weighing 4 tons), and grandeur everywhere. To top in off, there are wonderful gardens and fountains, and it's...

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Şahkulu Mahallesi, Galip Dede Cd. No:75, 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
The Sema ceremony at the Galata Mevlevihanesi in Istanbul can be described in three words: hypnotic, tranquil, solemn. It was a beautiful experience.
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Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, Asmalı Mescit Cd. No:9, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
by Sylvia Kouvali My little avant-garde gallery does more than just hang art on the walls. We show performance art, too. We once had the multidisciplinary Turkish artist Cevdet Erek rubbing his hands along a carpet that was hung on a gallery wall....
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Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, Sofyalı Sk. No:18, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
A few blocks from Rodeo, Hiç is a shop where you can find beautiful ceramic tableware, Afghan and Turkish carpets, and contemporary crafts at reasonable prices.

As told by Rodeo art gallery owner Sylvia Kouvali to Lawrence Osborne. This...
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Kuloğlu Mh. Koca Ağa Sk, Kuloğlu Mh., No:10, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
For a unique and eye opening experience have your coffee fortune read during your stay in Turkey. Not only will you learn about your future, but you'll also be on a caffeine high from the strong Turkish coffee that is served. Wander into the back...
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İstiklal Cd., Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
The great shopping street of more modern Istanbul, Istiklal Caddesi, is across the Bosphorus from the old Sultanahmet. It's packed with lovely sidestreets and shops.
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Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi, Kemankeş Cd., 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
The best restaurant in the Karaköy area is run by the sweetest owners, Oral Kurt and Aylin Okutan, and is rooted in the tradition of simple food and refined service. The Ottoman and Turkish menu includes dishes like hünkar...
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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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Istanbul, Turkey
We arrived in Istanbul with runny noses and foggy heads. Luckily we were introduced to Salep, a hot drink sold on the cheap from street vendors armed with steaming copper kettles. In addition to ingredients like milk, honey, and cream, ground...
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Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
by Sylvia Kouvali The neighorhood’s best bakery is across the street from istanbul"Rodeo. They make goodlahmacun, something between an unrolled pita and a thin-crust pizza. Thepides, pizza-like baked breads, are also excellent.Lüleci Hendek Cd....
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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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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...
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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...