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Istanbul

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Vişnezade Mahallesi, Dolmabahçe Cd., 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
This decadent palace, which overlooks the Bosphorus from the European side, holds great importance to Turkey. The late-19th-century sultans resided here and ruled the Ottoman Empire from here, and while the Turkish Republic's capital is in Ankara,...
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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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Kadıköy/Istanbul, Turkey
While visiting Istanbul, take an afternoon trip across the Bosphorus to Kadiköy to stock up on food, sweets, and tea. The prices in this Istanbul neighborhood are at least half of those in the touristy Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. You'll also...
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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., 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...
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Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Beyoğlu, the heart of contemporary Istanbul, is the city’s most popular entertainment, art, shopping, and nightlife district. Bisecting the area is the pedestrianized Istiklal Caddesi lined with cafés and shops that attract over three million...
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Divan Yolu Cd., Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Travel from Europe to Asia for 2.15TL? Yes you can—with an Istanbulkart aboard a Bosporus ferry. If you’re planning to use public transportation in Istanbul, then it pays to buy an Istanbulkart. The swipe card provides discounted fares for...
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Istanbul, Turkey
If you plan to conquer Istanbul in 72 hours or less, then you might like to check out the feasibility of buying the 85TL Museum Pass. The pass gives you queue-jumping privileges and discounts on some museums, attractions, and tours around town for...
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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...
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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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Istanbul, Turkey
One morning outside Sultanahmet I saw what I believe to be a suffi. He looked somewhat like a Turkish version of Santa Claus (which was odd because it was late December), but I don't really know what else he would be with that beard.
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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,...
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Merkez Mah., 34421 Fatih/Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
There are two ways to walk up to the Galata Tower from Karakoy Tram Station: One is to follow the pedestrian traffic and ascend an uninviting steep staircase close to the tram way; the other is to take the more picturesque Kamondo (Camondo) steps...
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When the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality host the International Istanbul Tulip Festival every April most locals travel north - past the second Bosphorus Bridge - to Emirgan Park to see 117 acres of parkland blooming with millions of tulips....
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No:28, Yıldız Mh., Çırağan Cd., 34349 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
The luxurious lives of Ottoman grandees are unveiled at the Four Seasons Bosporus. In the restored Atik Pasha Palace, Turkish interior designer Sinan Kafadar has created a space that effortlessly blends the decadent artisan features of the palace...
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İstiklal Cd., Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
The lifeblood of modern Istanbul is the two-mile-long pedestrian street Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue), running from Taksim Square to the Tünel train station. It's equal parts touristy and local, commerce and culture, and strolling down...
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Beyazıt Mh., Tığcılar Sk. No:56, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
If you've been pacing up and down the passages of the Grand Bazaar contemplating that perfect purchase, chances are you'll need refueling eventually. Hidden on a backstreet just outside gate 16 of the Grand Bazaar is the cozy and charming Keyf-i...
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Mollafenari Mahallesi, Vezirhan Cd. No:18, 34120 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
When I'm in the mood for affordable home-cooked Turkish food in Sultanahmet, I head to Makarna Sarayı opposite the Column of Constantine near Çemberlitaş tram station. There are oodles of choices here, and you simply point and pick the dishes you...
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Alemdar Mh., Ticarethane Sk. No:8, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Rumeli Cafe is an ideal location for dining while people-watching from the streetside terrace in the bustling Sultanahmet neighborhood. Summertime sees the opening of a rooftop dining area, where guests can gaze at the stars and glimpse at the...
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Alemdar Mh., Ticarethane Sokak & Divan Yolu Caddesi 39/41, 34110 Sultanahmet/Fatih/Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Ask most tourism representatives, restaurateurs, and waiters in Old Istanbul to recommend a restaurant, and most will offer Khorasani Ocakbaşı and Kebabhouse. This restaurant has been a part of the Sultanahmet gastronomy scene for many years and...
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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...
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Cihangir, Kuloğlu Mh., Firuzağa Cami Sk. No:4, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Çağatay Gülabioğlu’s micro roastery and specialty coffee shop, KronotRop, is located in one of Istanbul’s most hippest neighborhoods. The outlet was a revolutionary initiative in Turkey’s gourmet culinary world, and as such, it set the scene for...
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Tomtom Mahallesi, Yeni Çarşı Cd. No:44, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
This tiny hybrid wine shop–cum–wine bar has impressed many local vino lovers with its intimate ambience, tasty mezes, and friendly service from general manager Suleyman Er and his team. It has imported and local wines available to...
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Bereketzade Mahallesi, Galata Kulesi Sk., 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Recently opened, the Galata Lavazza Coffee Shop is becoming the meeting place for tourists who appreciate traveller’s timeout with a good cup of Italian coffee. The café faces the Galata Tower and square where all manner of people and laid back...
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Cankurtaran Mh., Akbıyık Cd. No:56, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
One of the latest cafes to open in Sultanahmet is Karafırın on Akbıyık Caddesi (Street). It's part of a larger chain of stores in Turkey specializing in baked goods and cafe-style refreshments. Check out the bakery section full of tasty treats,...
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Şahkulu Mah., Kumbaracı Ykş. No:57, 34425 Tünel/Beyoğlu/Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Leb-i derya is one of those fabulous fancy restaurants perched high above the streets of Beyoğlu with amazing views of the Bosporus, Maiden’s Tower, Asia and old Istanbul’s peninsula. You could walk past the building so many times on its dimly lit...
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Kartal/Istanbul, Turkey
A multipurpose contemporary art center that opened in November 2011 in the Ottoman Bank building, Salt has a library with thousands of shelves of art publications—the most important, impressive collection in the city.—Sylvia...
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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Ayasofya Meydanı, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
If the mosaics of the Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia) and Kariye Museum (Chora Church) left you dizzy with admiration, then do take the time to visit The Museum of Great Palace Mosaics. The bi-level gallery sits beneath the Arasta Bazaar, just a stone's...
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No 54, Sultanahmet Mh., İstiklal Cd. No:50, 34435 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
A popular summertime refrain in Istanbul is: “Shall we meet at Mama Shelter?” When you arrive at the venue, high above the streets of bohemian Beyoglu, you can see why it’s popular with Istanbul’s sophisticated set. This vibrant, yet relaxed,...
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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Meydanı Sok. No:46, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Closed for many years for restoration, the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum reopened in late 2014 and is located on the edge of the Hippodrome in Sultanahmet. The building was once the palace of Ibrahim Pasha (1493-1536), the Grand Vizier,...
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Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, Meşrutiyet Cd. 83/B, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Just across the street from the Pera Palace Hotel, Meze by Lemon Tree is an intimate restaurant—with seating for about 30—and a limited menu with four meat entrées and three fish ones. The main attraction, however, is the meze. Sometimes...
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Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi, Kara Ali Kaptan Sok. No:7, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
The blocks of Karikoy from the Galata Bridge going east to Istanbul Modern have emerged as one of the hottest areas in the city in recent years. In this transitioning neighborhood, there are still plenty of local barbershops and offices and shops...
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Rüstem Paşa Mahallesi, Hasırcılar Cd. No:62, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
After a few days in Istanbul you will have likely heard the name Mimar Sinan (1489–1588) many times, and before long you will have seen some of the architect's works, from the kitchens of Topkapı Palace to the city's largest mosque, the...
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Tomtom Mahallesi, Kumbaracı Ykş. No:66, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Just off of Istanbul’s pedestrian shopping street, Istiklal Caddesi, Yeni Lokanta opened in 2013. Yeni means “new” in Turkish and the menu ventures in unexpected, surprising, and delicious directions, even if the décor,...
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Cankurtaran Mh., 34122 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey
The Archaeological Museum, Museum of the Ancient Orient, and Museum of Islamic Art in the gardens of Topkapı Palace make up the trio of Istanbul Archaeology Museums. An array of permanent and temporary exhibits display items from sculptures and...
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Cankurtaran Mh., Kennedy Cd., 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Gülhane Park, recently renovated with the zoo and other structures removed, sits on Sarayburnu peninsula at the base of Topkapı Palace of which it was formerly a part. In April, millions of tulips bloom in colorful displays to celebrate Turkey’s...
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Istanbul is also a classic istanbul tours for travelers who want something other than the Suleymaniye Mosque strong suggestion is to go to our guide Hakan baykara We went on the recommendation of something like a hidden treasure and I really...
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Rüstem Paşa Mahallesi, Erzak Ambarı Sok. No:92, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Smaller than the Grand Bazaar but more intense, the Spice Market is equal parts tourist trap and necessary shopping stop for cooks and foodies. Meet the original spice girl at Ucuzcular (remember Area 51 to find her booth), one of the few...
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Dervişali Mahallesi, Kariye Cami Sk. No:8, 34087 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
According to Islamic tradition, only God can create the images of holy beings including angels and prophets. Therefore, when the Ottomans converted Chora Church into a mosque in the 16th century they covered the 14th-century Byzantine mosaics and...
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Dervişali Mahallesi, Kariye Cami Sk. No:8, 34087 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
According to Islamic tradition, only God can create images of holy beings, including angels and prophets. Therefore, when the Ottomans converted Chora Church into a mosque in the 16th century, they covered the 14th-century Byzantine mosaics and...
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Merkez Mh., Camii Kebir Cd. No:1, 34050 Eyüp/İstanbul, Turkey
Towards the end of the Golden Horn lies an Islamic sacred site and one of the city’s most romantic lookouts. Eyüp Mosque attracts pilgrims who come to honor Ayoub Ansari—the standard bearer of the Prophet Muhammad—who died here in the 700s. Beyond...
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Bereketzade Mahallesi, Galata Kulesi Sk., 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
The medieval round Galata Tower built in 1348 has played many roles for Istanbul over the years: A watchtower for Bosphorus trade, an observation deck for spotting fires, the setting of a legendary flight across the Bosphorus, and now a tourist...
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Hobyar Mahallesi, 34112 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Whether you take the ferry between Europe and Asia or trace a loop up the Bosphorus toward the Black Sea, the must-do Bosphorus cruise gives you a chance to view the city’s best landmarks from the water. The two-hour cruise from...
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Head to Güneșli bahçe Street on the Asian side and tantalize the senses at the bustling fresh food markets of Kadıköy. Here you can people-watch as locals buy up the freshest produce from lively vendors touting prices of seafood, fruit and...
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Adalar, 34970 Adalar/İstanbul, Turkey
Less than 10 miles from Istanbul by ferry are the Princes’ Islands, once home to Greek, Jewish and Armenian settlers and a place of exile for Byzantine and Ottoman princes. The islands are an ideal day trip from the city, with wooden Ottoman...
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Anadolu Kavağı Mahallesi, Eğri Boyun Cd., 34825 Beykoz/İstanbul, Turkey
The one-and-half-hour journey between Anadolu Kavağı—a quaint fishing village where the Bosphorus greets the Black Sea—and Eminönü passes all the top sites like Dolmabaçhe Palace and the Bosphorus bridges. You have enough time to relax at a local...
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Salacak Mahallesi, Üsküdar Salacak Mevkii, 34668 Üsküdar/İstanbul, Turkey
The Maiden’s Tower, which seemingly floats in the Bosphorus off Asia, is one of the more popular symbols of the city. Once a Byzantine tollbooth and later an Ottoman lighthouse, it’s most famous for a legend involving a princess and a prophecy...
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Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi, Genelev, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
The fish sandwiches dished out from the rocking boats along the Eminönü waterfront might be better known, but follow your nose across Galata Bridge to find the freshest and tastiest ones being prepared on portable grills. They’re ideal for a quick...
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Rıhtım Cad. Katlı Otopark Altı No: 3-4 Karaköy, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Unlike the boxes of gummy lokum seen in every souvenir store in Istanbul, baklava is the real Turkish delight. You may sample many versions of the layered, nutty pastry, but there’s only one Karaköy Güllüoğlu, which makes its baklava in...