Collected by Kathy Bassett
Eyüp Merkez Mahallesi, 34050 Eyüp/Istanbul, Turkey
Gentlemen, if your lady appreciates the simple things in life and you both romantically revel in truly unique, off-the-beaten-path experiences, then you should head to Eyüp hill for the panoramic view from Pierre Loti Café. Then, instead of...
Osmanağa Mahallesi, Dere Gazinosu Sk., 81310 Kadıköy/İstanbul, 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...
Balat Mahallesi, Mürselpaşa Cd. No:10, 34087 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Teşvikiye, Vali Konağı Cd. No:40, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey
If you’re keen to experience the medieval practice of "kahve falı" or "fal" (fortune telling with Turkish coffee) then make an appointment at Symbol Café in Nişantaşı with Tunc, one of the few English-speaking coffee readers in the city. Once...
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...
My Turkish friend Erem introduced me to these highly addictive "wet burgers" the minute I got to my hotel near Taksim Square. After a 17-hour flight, the compact burger—a garlicky patty inside a soft bun that's been doused in tomato sauce—...
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 Avenue, is an antique, vintage, and retro lover’s delight. Step onto Faik Paşa Street or Turnacıbaşı Street and you step back in time....
Hobyar Mahallesi, Ankara Cad Evren Çarşısı No:17 D:44, 34110 Sirkeci/Fatih/Fatih/İstanbul, 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.
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...
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...
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 and the grower of over 600 grape varieties, is proving to be an emerging leader in producing good quality wines. It is no wonder that wine bars specializing in...
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...
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...
Alemdar Mh., Çatalçeşme Sk. No:21, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
While it’s fun to shop in the bustling Grand Bazaar, it can be an overwhelming experience with all the sounds and temptations competing for your attention. If you’re looking for a quieter, more relaxed and reliable shopping option, then head to...
Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi, Hamam Sk. No:1, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Enjoying a hammam experience while traveling in Istanbul was at the top of my list, but it was hard to choose where to soak! After all, the ritual of Turkish bathing wasn't one I was willing to just "leap" into; after stripping down to their bare...
Fener Balat Mah. Fener Kirechanesi Sok. No:12, Balat Mahallesi, 34087 İstanbul/Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
It's easy to stick to the historic core of Istanbul because there is so much to see. But an adventure out of the city to Balat is worth the time. Took us a while, but we finally found the core of this old Jewish sector with its colorful wooden...
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...
Beyazıt Mh., Yağlıkcılar Sok. No:57, 34126 Fatih/Istanbul - Europe, Turkey
The shops of the Grand Bazaar are often derided as a tourist trap. Yes, you may want to see the historic setting, the common wisdom goes, but when it comes to actually shopping, you’ll get better quality at lower prices outside of the bazaar....
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