Molly O'Donnell’s Istanbul
Collected by Molly O'Donnell
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...
Rumeli Hisarı, Yahya Kemal Cd., 34470 Sarıyer/İstanbul, Turkey
Most visitors to Istanbul probably don’t realize that there is a fortress there. Located on the western shore of the Bosphorus (just south of Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge) is a fortress that dates back to pre-Ottoman rule. Rumeli Hisarı...
Hoca Paşa Mahallesi, 34110 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey
This was my official welcome to Turkey. After taking the train from the airport to our new home in Istanbul - the area Gulhane - we ducked into a tiny cafe on a quiet corner for a coffee. Not only was the cup and saucer bright and beautiful, the...
Rüstem Paşa Mahallesi, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Get on the Turyol ferry across the Bosphorus for a budget friendly no frills tour offering excellent views of Istanbul. Departing every hour from Eminonu between 10am and 7pm, this simple 1.5 hour round trip cruises along the Asian and European...
Firuzağa Mahallesi, Dalgıç Sk. No:2, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Incurable romantics should visit the Museum of Innocence in Beyoglu, Istanbul. Read Orhan Pamuk’s novel The Museum of Innocence first, or visit the museum and then read the novel, or visit the museum while you are reading the novel. It really...
Büyükada, 34970 Prince Islands/Istanbul, Turkey
As soon as the ferry pushes away from Kabataş ferry terminal on Istanbul's European side, you can feel the frenetic pace of the city slipping away. Sipping a coffee on the ship's bow, the beautiful scenery and azure Bosphorus waters enchant as the...
Rüstem Paşa Mah., Rüstem Paşa Mahallesi, Tahmis Caddesi, Kalçın Sokak No:11, 34116 Eminönü/Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
The best spot for kebaps and kunefe with a view is Hamdi Restaurant. An easy walk from Rustem Pasa, across from the New Mosque, downhill from the Grand Bazaar and a stone’s throw from the Spice Bazaar, Hamdi’s view sweeps the Golden Horn with the...
Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, General Yazgan Sk. No:8, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
You've strolled the 1.5km of Istanbul's famous Istiklal Street for a spot of shopping, but hunger sets in and the purse strings are tight. Where do you go for a bite to eat? Answer: Helvetia, a modest lokanta (restaurant) tucked away on a quiet...
Arasta Çarşısı, Küçükayasofya Caddesi No:135, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Intricate textiles woven on looms handed down through generations. An array of laurel, olive and lavender bath products and the hammered bowls to hold them. Silk shawls with which to drape the color of the Aegean in a graceful arc below bare...
Kılıçali Paşa Mahallesi, Havyar Sk. No:11, 34398 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
We ran the Istanbul Marathon today and decided to stay in the Cihangir to celebrate to avoid walking too much. In the corner of Cohangir Cadessi and Anhatar we found Alchemist. They have a really nice beer and wine selection and... killer Long...
Kılıçali Paşa Mahallesi, Akarsu Ykş. 21/A, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
I started walking down Cihangir Street in search of a place with Wi-Fi and ran into Journey Cafe. Few tables, interesting book selection, crowd is a mix of locals and foreigners, all very enticing. Although I wasn't hungry I saw plates of very...
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...
Cankurtaran Mh., Kennedy Cd., 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Gulhane Park is an oasis in the bustling tourist central of Sultanahmet in Istanbul. When you have had enough of Topkapi, Aya Sofya, and the Blue Mosque, escape and ramble among tall trees, picnicking locals, fountains, and peace. Insiders tip:...
28, Şehit Muhtar Mahallesi, Bekar Sk., 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
And this was only our first course at Zubeyir Ocakbasi, one of Istanbul's traditional kebap houses. We started with some vegetarian mezes before following these dishes with a carnivorous frenzy of kebaps!
Tahtakale Mh., Hasırcılar Cd. No:89, 34116 Eminönü/Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
If you enjoy international tastes, you aren't any stranger to baklava and this traditional treat in Istanbul is NOT to be missed. In the back alleys of Eminonu, you'll find Develi where they make the most spectacular baklava, NEVER with honey, by...
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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