Collected by Nancy Cummings
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...
Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, Sofyalı Sk. No:18, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Asmalı Mescit Sk No:9, Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, 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....
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....
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...
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...
Mecidiye Mahallesi, Mecidiye Köprüsü Sk. 1/1, 34347 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
"Kumpir" is a baked stuffed potato served throughout the city. But the local "thing to do" is venture to Ortakoy near the first Bosporus Bridge to make your own and consume it by the water's edge. There's a number of kumpir stalls near the famous...
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...
Yıldız Mh., 34349 Beşiktaş/Istanbul, Turkey
A nice location in Istanbul is Otakoy-stroll the local neighborhood and enjoy a mint tea and sheesha on the waterfront. Local fisherman bring in their catch and even toss the cats hanging around a few treats. In the evening, young couples walking...
Bereketzade Mahallesi, Galata Kulesi Sok, 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...
Süleymaniye Mahallesi, Mimar Sinan Cd. No:20, 34120 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Most couples will want to experience all of Istanbul’s attractions together, and enjoying a hammam (Turkish bath) is no different. The majority of the authentic bathhouses in the city have separate male and female bathing areas, making it...
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...
Sultanahmet Mh., Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Kabasakal Cad Arasta Çarşısı, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
The very chill owner of Arasta 79 has one of the best shops in Istanbul. Ikat scarves, knotted silk jewelry strung with chunky jewels, delicate crochet strings of flowers, pestemals in every weave and color, bright Suzani and Uzbeki ceramics. If...
Keçeci Piri Mahallesi, Hasköy Cad. No:5, 34445 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Rahmi M Koç Museum overlooks the Golden Horn and is a treasure trove of models and memorabilia from Turkey’s transportation, communication, and industrial past. The kids can have a hands-on experience sitting in the cockpit of a Bellanca plane,...
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 and ideal for those who wish to venture off the well-worn tourist path of the city. The building is an old Ottoman inn that accommodated traveling...
Şahkulu Mahallesi, Galip Dede Cd., 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
If you're a musician looking to buy musical instruments in Istanbul, then head to Galip Dede Caddesi (Road) in Galata, between Istiklal Street and the Galata Tower. Here you'll find an enormous range of percussion instruments such as darbukas,...
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...
Pamukkale, 20190 Pamukkale/Denizli, Turkey
Stroll barefoot past the cotton castles of Pamukkale, then wander the ancient ruins of the Hierapolis, before finishing the day soaking your cares and wrinkles away in Cleopatra’s thermal pool. It’s all possible in a long day trip from Istanbul....
Rıhtım Cad. Katlı Otopark Altı No: 3-4 Karaköy, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
While in Turkey I enjoyed traditional desserts like baklava, but I learned to eat them in an nontraditional way. Did you know there was baklava etiquette in Istanbul? My friend Fatih took me to Karaköy Güllüoğlu, the famous baklava sweet shop in...
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