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Turkey Dreaming

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Inspiring stops for my grand Turkey Adventure.
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Vişnezade Mahallesi, Dolmabahçe Cd., 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey

The Grand Ballroom in Dolmabahce Palace is the most amazing single room I've ever been in. There is the largest chandelier in the world (weighing 4 tons), and grandeur everywhere. To top in off, there are wonderful gardens and fountains, and it's...

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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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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Ayasofya Meydanı, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
first night in Istanbul, summer breeze cool and uplifting, local beer in hand - cold, delicate on the palate - food ordered... the sun setting, casting shades of peach and blue and glowing shadows across Hagia Sophia. I felt like I could reach out...
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Istanbul, Turkey
My roommates and I got really sick of people trying to constantly trying to convince us to go on overpriced tours while living and traveling in Turkiye. At the time we were students, and like most students, we didn't have a lot of money to spend,...
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Beyazıt Mh., Kalpakçılar Cd. No:22, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
We found shops throughout Istanbul selling these colorful candle holders, but this shop in the Grand Bazaar had the best display.
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Be sure to buy some spices. Most of the vendors have their own special mixtures. And the best part: the vendors can vacuum-seal your purchase for the trip home.
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Caferağa Mahallesi, Güneşli Bahçe Sk. No:43, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul, Turkey
One day, I dragged my travel companions—a German, a Turk, and two New Yorkers—to Kadıköy, a neighborhood on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, to dine at Çiya. Everyone was cranky and hungry by the time we found it, but I...
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Emirsultan Mahallesi, Emir Sultan Cami, 16360 Yıldırım/Bursa, Turkey
The Whirling Dervish Lodge in Bursa puts on a nightly spiritual performance that gets you back to the basics of why the whirling dervishes exist. This is no 'show' for tourists, this is a spiritual event and service. I felt lucky that they allowed...
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Bilal Eroğlu Caddesi, Mezarlık Sk. No:8, 50180 Göreme Belediyesi/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey
If you only get to ride in a hot air balloon once in your life, do it over Cappadocia, Turkey. Amazing. Cappadocia is surreal when seen from any angle. The region is peppered with strange pointy stone spires that rise up toward the sky, in pastel...
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Istanbul, Turkey
We arrived in Istanbul with runny noses and foggy heads. Luckily we were introduced to Salep, a hot drink sold on the cheap from street vendors armed with steaming copper kettles. In addition to ingredients like milk, honey, and cream, ground...
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Tomtom Mahallesi, İstiklal Cd. No:8 D:163, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
This elite rooftop restaurants is a popular place for locals to celebrate birthdays, milestones, and romantic moments. Called 360 for its magnificent 360-degree view of Istanbul, it's a great place to celebrate just being in Istanbul! Relax with a...
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Müze Cad. No:32 Göreme, 50180 Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey
One of my favorite shops in Kapadokya is Sultan's Carpets located in Goreme. If you happen to be in the area, say hi to my friend, the modern day Suffi, Shemsettin Kantar, or Semse as he likes to be called. International interior designer obsessed...
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Yıldız Mh., 34349 Beşiktaş/Istanbul, Turkey
You know that you are at Ortakoy when you see rows and rows of stalls selling all sorts of flavours of waffles you can ever imagine.
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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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Bereketzade Mahallesi, Galata Kulesi Sk., 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
The Galata Tower is one of Istanbul's most striking landmarks. The nine-story stone tower offers a panoramic vista of Old Istanbul and its environs. Save Galata for the end of the day, timing it so that you reach the top just in time for sunset...
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Atatürk Mh., Ephesus Archaeological Museum, Uğur Mumcu Sevgi Yolu, 35920 Selçuk/İzmir, Turkey
As if the ruins at Ephesus are not stunning enough, after you walk downhill through the ruins, you come upon one of the most impressive, preserved coliseums in the world! You definitely need to take 10 minutes and just sit in different parts of it...
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Konaklar Mahallesi, Büyükdere Cd. No:185, 34394 Beşiktaş/Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey
Residence buildings attached to massive shopping centers is the biggest rage in Istanbul these days and Kanyon displays the best of the best. Open-air cafes line the ground floor, while shops from Agatha Paris to Bebe to Mothercare fill the upper...
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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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Middle East
Cleopatra bathed in the Antique Pool at Hierapolis--before a great earthquake knocked several pillars into the pool. Fed by natural spring, the warm water is said to have healing qualities. My kids and I enjoyed the bubbles; they stick to skin and...
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İnönü Mahallesi, Papa Roncalli Sk. No:34, 34373 Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey
Across the Bosphorus from the tourist area of Sultanahmet lies Beyoglu and Taksim Square, home to Galata Tower, the Fish Market, and #bunk, a chic and upscale flashpacker haven. The hostel is small but has a great atmosphere, complete with free...
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Asmalımescit Mahallesi, Meşrutiyet Caddesi No:99, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
by Sylvia Kouvali The Istanbul Modern, right on the Bosporus, shows works from such well-known Turkish artists as Kutlug Ataman. The second-floor restaurant has harbor views. Meclis-i Mebusan Cd. Liman İşletmeleri Sahası Antrepo No. 4, 90/(0)...
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Karagözler Mahallesi, Fevzi Çakmak Cd. No:1 D:57, 48300 Fethiye (Mugla)/Fethiye/Muğla, Turkey
The James Bond movie, Skyfall, featuring Daniel Craig hit cinemas in 2012 and the movie featured one of Turkey’s finest travelling experiences – a ‘blue cruise’ on the Mediterranean from Fethiye. You too can live like Bond, James Bond on the...
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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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Aşağı Mahallesi, Gedik Sk. No:8, 50280 Uçhisar Belediyesi/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir, Turkey
While cave hotels are a dime a dozen in Cappadocia, the area of bizarre rock formations in central Turkey, Taskonaklar Boutique Hotel is a step above the rest, winning countless awards. Located in the hills of Uchisar, Taskonaklar has both cave...