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Turkey

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Geyre Mahallesi, 09385 Karacasu/Aydın, Turkey
I never get tired of ruins and in an ancient Greco-Roman City like Aphrodisias, it’s pretty hard not to get absorbed into the lost world that once worshipped the mythical Goddess of Love – Aphrodite. Located about 150 kilometres east (inland) of...
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The Bosphorus, separating Europe and Asia, was and still is one of the most important maritime routes in the world. Straddled by the city of Constantinople—or Istanbul, as it is known today—the Bosphorus Straits lies between the Sea of Marmara and...
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Şirince, Şirince Mahallesi, 35920 Selçuk/İzmir, Turkey
A drive away from famous Ephesus you will find the small village of Sirince. The drive itself is a beautiful bit of sightseeing, as you wind up and around the green mountains. In the village, you will find little restaurants and open-air shops,...
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Kusadasi, Kuşadası/Aydın Province, Turkey
Our tour guide brought us to a carpet shop towards the end of our tour. Luckily, it was a very low-pressure environment, and they said they just wanted to share their work. We got to see how the silk is procured, the looms used to weave, and many...
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Şar Mahallesi, 1. Cadde No:517, 47100 Artuklu/Mardin, Turkey
Cercis Murat Konağı, or Cercis Murat Mansion, offers a simply delightful dining experience. Though it's more pricey than most places in the region, it is not to be missed. Start with a tray of appetizers, served as a scoop in deep metal spoons....
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Mardin, Artuklu/Mardin, Turkey
The old town of this ancient city is set on the side of a hill overlooking the upper Mesopotamian plains. Mardin Castle sits atop the hill, towering over the honey-colored limestone structures. While wandering through the winding alleyways, you...
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Güngören Mahallesi, 47510 Midyat/Mardin, Turkey
Visiting the oldest remaining Syriac Orthodox monastery in the world was like stepping into another place in time. Founded in 397, it is still in operation and is the seat of the archbishop of Tur Abdin. Except for a few bouts during war time the...
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Mahallesi, Simitçi Şakir Sk. No:16, 34080 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Are you a coffee lover or foodie searching for a unique Turkish culinary experience? Then after a satisfying meal in Turkey ask your waiter if they serve "menengiç" coffee from South Eastern Turkey. Menengiç is a pistachio-flavored caffeine-free...
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Atatürk Mh., Acarlar Mahallesi, Atatürk Mah. Yedi Uyuyanlar Mevki, 35920 Selçuk/İzmir, Turkey
In a town called Selcuk, not to far from Ephasus, is a Turkish cuisine restaurant called the The Yavuz’un Yeri. There are so many little things that make dining here a unique experience. The gypsy inspired indoor/outdoor atmosphere is very...
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55 Luftballoons took off before the sun came up over the stunning landscape of Cappadocia Turkey. The landscape was beautiful to see from above, however I think I was more in awe of a sky full of balloons which felt like such a unique experience.
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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Ayasofya Meydanı, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Before my trip to Istanbul, I read several reviews of travelers' visits to the Hagia Sofia - a former church turned mosque turned museum. The reviews referred to it as "beautiful" or as "a must see", but I wasn't expecting to have the wind knocked...
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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Adorned with more than 20,000 blue handcrafted İznik tiles, stained-glass windows, and the golden brushstrokes of a 17th-century calligrapher, the Blue Mosque is the legacy of Sultan Ahmet I (1590–1617). The young sultan audaciously wished...
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Pamukkale, 20190 Pamukkale/Denizli, Turkey
We slipped off our shoes and walked down the white travertine cliff steppes at Pamukkale, wading through hot spring pools. These pools have been frequented by tourists and travelers since the Romans built baths here. The walk isn't slippery but...
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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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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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Atatürk Mh., Ephesus Archaeological Museum, Uğur Mumcu Sevgi Yolu, 35920 Selçuk/İzmir, Turkey
The grand Library of Celsus in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus.
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Küçük Ayasofya Mh., Katip Sinan Cami Sk. No:28, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
In the heart of Sultanahmet, about a 10-minute walk from the Blue Mosque, you'll find a 9-bedroom mansion turned boutique hotel that will have you feeling like a local in no time. The rooms are spacious and clean, the breakfast is fresh and...
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Cankurtaran Mh., Utangaç Sk. No:19, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
How often does hotel staff virtually adopt your 87-year-old mother? It’s not just that the staff had cleared our room of obstacles for her walker before our arrival. Or that they always ensured we knew the shortest route with the fewest stairs or...
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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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Rüstem Paşa Mah Tahmis Caddesi, Rüstem Paşa Mahallesi, Kalçin Sk. No:11, 34116 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...
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Eyüp Merkez Mahallesi, 34050 Eyüp/Istanbul, Turkey
Overlooking the Golden Horn in Eyüp, Pierre Loti Hill offers a spectacular panoramic view of Istanbul's seven hills. Linger here for a while and partake in keyif—the Turkish art of idle relaxation—at one of the rustic teahouses and restaurants...
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Cankurtaran Mh., Akbıyık Cd. No:26, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
In the early 1990s, a Greek family refurbished a charming Ottoman home and opened Albura on the cobbled streets of Akbıyık Caddesi. The quality had locals and travelers flocking, making Albura one of the most popular restaurants in Sultanahmet. In...
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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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Normally a 1-2 night stay in Goreme is recommended to revel in the volcanic moonscape lands and fairy chimneys of the Cappadocian region. If you’re really short on time, though, and don’t have plans to return to Turkey anytime soon, book a day...
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17100 Kalafat Köyü/Çanakkale Merkez/Çanakkale, Turkey
The ancient city of Troy was immortalized in Homer's epic Iliad and Wolfgang Petersen’s 2004 Hollywood blockbuster starring Brad Pitt and Eric Bana. Today Troy is a UNESCO World Heritage site that can be reached with a day trip from Istanbul...
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Alemdar Mh., Çatalçeşme Sk. No:21, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Located one street back from the tram line in Sultanahmet, Tribal Art Home's owner Nihat and his assistant Yekta will help you browse their extensive range of hand-crafted ceramics, mosaic lanterns, candle holders, waterpipes (nargile), and...
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Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey
There's no cost attached to one of Istanbul’s most distinctive photo ops, and the only lines are from fishing poles. Cross the historic Golden Horn via the Galata Bridge, where fishermen from every walk of life jostle for space, and...
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Hoca Paşa Mahallesi, Orhaniye Cd. No:14, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
New to the Old Istanbul hotel scene is the environmentally-friendly Neorion Hotel, located a short walk from the Sirkeci tram station. Opened in 2011, the popularity of this modern 58-room hotel has boomed thanks to its attentive customer service,...
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Hüseyinağa Mahallesi, İstiklal Cd. No:26, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Irish bars tend to be a gathering place for local expat communities, and in Istanbul, that role is played by James Joyce—just off Nevizade Street in Beyoğlu. This bar has the typical attributes of a hospitable Irish establishment with its hearty...
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Haci Izzet Pasa Sok., Ömer Avni Mh., Serin Apt. No: 26/2 Gumussuyu, 34427 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
There are a handful of tour agencies in Istanbul brave enough to venture off the normal “top sites” tourist trail. Unison Travel and Events is one such pioneer in the local travel industry that caters to travelers seeking a unique perspective of...
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I had just left the Spice Bazaar behind me when I noticed the entrance to Yeni Camii (New Mosque). It was late afternoon, and I was already exhausted from a very long day of sightseeing. I wanted nothing more than to call it a day but I was...
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Konya, Turkey
Spiritual and sensual, ascetic and ecstatic, Rumi’s poetry has provided me an island of tranquility since my college years. Two of his quatrains, in particular, had a profound influence on my development as a young adult: For years, copying other...
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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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Atatürk Mh., Artemis Tapınağı, 35920 Selçuk/İzmir, Turkey
The historic city of Ephesus is a must if you are going to Turkey. It is amazing! You walk down worn stone paths that the ancient people once walked. The library is a definite highlight as it was one of the major buildings of the city. I wanted to...
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17680 Tenedos/Çanakkale, Turkey
In the Aegean Sea, not far off the west coast of Turkey is the little-known island of Bozcaada. Here, time stands still in the most nostalgic of ways. Old men gather in town square to play backgammon over tulip glasses of Turkish tea, shops open...
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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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If you go to Cappadocia, Turkey, the Göreme Open Air Museum is worth a visit. The museum is a collection of cave churches carved out by Orthodox monks from about 900 AD to 1200 AD. The monks really went all out to try and make the cave churches...
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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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Caferağa Mahallesi, Moda Cd. No:166, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul, Turkey
A cross between baklava and a croissant, katmer is a sweet, airy, pistachio-drenched Turkish breakfast pastry guaranteed to give you a sugar high that will last the whole day. Made from sheets of thin phyllo dough, kaymak (clotted cream), sugar,...
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The focal point of our trip to Turkey was visiting places of religious significance. The House of the Virgin Mary was by far one of the most serene places we visited. There is a sense of calmness in the air, a place of reverence, a place we would...
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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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Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
A shop window display in the small, outdoor, Arasta Bazaar, behind the Blue Mosque.
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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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Alemdar Mh., Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34410 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
A city as ancient as Istanbul has many layers of history, and you’ll have to go below the surface to see the Basilica Cistern, the largest of the underground cisterns. Built in the sixth century for the Byzantine emperor Justinian, the...
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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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Aydinli Mah., Yavuz Sok. No:1, 50180 Göreme Belediyesi/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey
When you travel to the Cappadocia region of Turkey you have to stay in a cave hotel. Sleeping in a room carved out of the area’s ‘fairy chimney’ rock formations is inherently cool. When you realize that your room is also literally cool—even in the...
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Umurça Mahallesi, Pamili Sok. El Vino Hotel No:14, 48400 Bodrum/Muğla, Turkey
Excellent food, and the most amazing view, overlooking Bodrum Bay and Bodrum Castle! Definitely one of those special places I've found in my travels. Come around sunset, it's terribly romantic!
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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...
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A friend described the kahvalti here as the second-best breakfast in Istanbul—after his mother’s. Tucked away in an old Greek neighborhood, Betty Blue serves home-style breakfast, with neighbors ambling in for conversation with the gregarious...
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Şahkulu Mahallesi, Tımarcı Sk. No:3, 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Privato’s traditional village breakfast—small plates of cheese, stewed fruits, preserves, eggs, and more—covers the tabletop and encourages a leisurely repast. Galip Dede Caddesi Timarci Sokak No. 3/B, Beyoğlu/Galata, 90/(0) 212-293-2055 This...
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Teşvikiye mah.poyracık No:38 D:A, 34214 Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey
A proper Turkish kahvalti (breakfast) spread should cover the table with small, colorful dishes, including assorted cheeses, fresh tomatoes and cucumber, cured olives, and many varieties of jams and spreads. A proper Kurdish...
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33740 Erdemli/Mersin, Turkey
West of Mersin city center about 45 minutes lies Kızkalesi, or Maiden's Castle, on a small island in the Mediterranean Sea. In fact, Kızkalesi is the modern day name of the small town, the ancient city ruins on the side of the highway (formerly...
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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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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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Harbiye Mah., Atiye Sok. No:6, 34367 Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey
Nothing makes me happier then living green walls in restaurants. The vertical gardens hang on two sides of this beautiful space with a waterfall in the center. The roof retracts and the the entire space opens to the sky. Its a perfect sanctuary in...