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Amelia Atalay′s Wishlist
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When the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality host the International Istanbul Tulip Festival every April most locals travel north - past the second Bosphorus Bridge - to Emirgan Park to see 117 acres of parkland blooming with millions of tulips....
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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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İstiklal Cd., Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
The great shopping street of more modern Istanbul, Istiklal Caddesi, is across the Bosphorus from the old Sultanahmet. It's packed with lovely sidestreets and shops.
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Cankurtaran Mh., 34122 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey
If you go to Turkey and Istanbul (which I highly recommend), you must go to Tokpaki Palace. It is gorgeous and gives a glimpse into an opulent lifestyle and culture. The sultans had it made! Spring is lovely as the flowers are in bloom....
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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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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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Emniyetevleri Mah. Eski Büyükdere Cad., Emniyetevleri Mahallesi, Yamaç Sk. No: 7, 34415 Kağıthane/İstanbul, Turkey
In Istanbul, the most authentic place to smoke nargile (also known as hookah and shisha) is Corlulu Ali Pasa Medresesi. The 300-year-old Medrese evolved from a religious school and dervish lodge during the Ottoman times to bazaar stores in the...
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Firuzağa Mahallesi, Dalgıç Çk. 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...
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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 Caddesi, is an antique, vintage, and retro lover’s delight. Step onto Faik Paşa Street or Turnacıbaşı Street and you step back in time....
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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Meydanı Sok. No:46, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Closed for many years for restoration, the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum reopened in late 2014 and is located on the edge of the Hippodrome in Sultanahmet. The building was once the palace of Ibrahim Pasha (1493-1536), the Grand Vizier,...
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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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Ali Kuşçu Mahallesi, Fatih Türbesi Sk. No:1, 34083 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Most travelers to Istanbul will make a bee line to photograph the blue hues of the hand-painted tiles that give the Blue Mosque its name. Though, for many locals one of the more intriguing mosques to visit is Fatih Mosque, located atop the highest...
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Head to Güneșli bahçe Street on the Asian side and tantalize the senses at the bustling fresh food markets of Kadıköy. Here you can people-watch as locals buy up the freshest produce from lively vendors touting prices of seafood, fruit and...
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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 (traditional Turkish bath towels) in every weave and color, and...
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Rüstem Paşa Mahallesi, Erzak Ambarı Sok. No:92, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
In the streets of Istanbul and back alleys all over Turkey are mounds of Turkish delight confections. Some look as though they may have been boxed to sell back when Bekir Effendi, the inventor of Turkish delights, started up at the end of the...
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Beyazıt Mahallesi Çadırcılar Caddesi istanbul sahaflar çarşısı No.16-18-19-22-23, Beyazıt Mh., beyazıt, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Book lovers and bazaar hunters will revel in foraging through the Sahaflar Çarsısı (Beyazit Book Bazaar) for new titles, secondhand books, historical maps, the Quran (in various languages), ancient texts, and other rare finds. The bazaar, between...
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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
My first salep was in an ice cream restaurant—I know, in winter, right? But we were early to the circus, and tried to entertain the kids with a special treat in an ice cream store. The clerk must have seen the dazed, indecisive, and new-in-town...