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December 2, 2011 at 9:13 am
I remember an amazing week-end there 4 four years ago.
Our guide was a friend of ours who lives in Istanbul.
Here are a few restaurent addresses (reviews are in my blog):
Leb-i Derya: Kumbaraci Yokusu 115
Saray Muhallebicileri: Istiklâl Caddesi 102
Dubb restoran & café: Incili Cavus Sokak 10
Tanavarasi: Asmali Mescit Sokak 26
Have a fantastic time there!!
the bazar… Have a great stay….!!
December 2, 2011 at 9:14 am
Brilliant pictures from the trip in the last few days – they’re almost McCurry.
Definitely see the Topkapi Palace, the Grand Bazaar and the Church of St Saviour in Chora (a remarkable relic of Byzantium); and Leb-i Derya for dinner.
December 2, 2011 at 9:16 am
I would love to visit Morocco one day!
December 2, 2011 at 9:18 am
definetly u should go to Taxim
December 2, 2011 at 9:20 am
Hagia Sophia and the Grand Bazar in the early early morning to avoid the rush, Ortakoy mosque in the afternoon and literally anywhere on the Bosphorus at night.
December 2, 2011 at 9:24 am
It’s cheesy and touristy, but the views at Istanbul 360 are worth it.
Also, the Basilica Cistern is incredible, full stop.
I loved your Morocco photos. I loved Istanbul, there is so, so much to photograph there. I like the Beyoglu (sp) area to see some nightlife near Taksim square, the tophane nargileh cafes down by the waterfront would be fun to take photos at, the spice bazaar, and the grand bazaar, but outside walking through those side streets. I also really like the area near istanbul university and of course Aya Sofia and the Blue Mosque. I am sure you will have incredible photos! Have a fantastic trip!
December 2, 2011 at 9:28 am
you must visit the midpoint on the istiklal street .you can have a nice dinner with an excellent panaroma
December 2, 2011 at 9:34 am
I love Istanbul! I always return to the Sahaflar Carsisi- the book bazar near the Beyazit mosque, and the Suleymaniye mosque, which is so beautiful. Taksim square is fun to visit, too.
December 2, 2011 at 9:36 am
Istanbul is a wonderful city! Enjoy it!
My wife and I visited Istanbul this past Sept. The city is amazing. The one gem we liked the most was the archeology museum, which is right next door to the grand Topkopi Palace. While the Palace is amazing to visit, the crowds made it less enjoyable. The museum had so much more to offer (the history of the entire middle east) and there was no one there. We had the museum to ourselves. So if you get sick of the crowds, this is a great alternative.
For food, we really enjoyed Amedros Cafe & Restaurant, which is right in Sultanahmet.
I just left Istanbul a couple of days ago and the best and most memorable meal I had was at Hünkar.
Well, you should definitely go to Nisantasi since it is a fashionable area. Also the classics like Grand Bazaar, Old Town tour.
You should also get a picture of mine with my great style ;)
Best fish: Rumelihisari Iskele
Best kebap: Develi or Venge. If you want kebap with Bosphorus view, try the new Kasibeyaz
Best international restaurants: Ulus29, Sunset, X and Zuma
Best Turkish cuisine: Borsa
I hope you enjoy Istanbul
December 2, 2011 at 9:38 am
Nasantasi is the best area for stylish youth in istanbul! Great food around there too!
December 2, 2011 at 9:40 am
ooww welcome to our beutiful country and city:) Istanbul has lots of place to see.
You can must visit Grand Bazaar, Topkapı Place, Hagia Sophia,Basilica Cistern, Beyoğlu,Ortaköy . I dont know you have got enough time, I hope you will visit these places.
Also you can eat, kebap,kokoreç, baklava(especially Güllüğolu brand in Karaköy). You can go Anadolu Kavağı for eat fish.:)
December 2, 2011 at 9:41 am
You should go to Nisantasi as it is the fashioable neighbourhood of Istanbul. And you shouldn’t miss the classics like Grand Bazaar and Old Town.
Best kebap: Develi, Venge, the new Kasibeyaz on the Bosphorus
Best fish: Rumelihisari Iskele, Uskumru
Best Turkish: Borsa
International rest: Ulus29, Sunset and X
I hope we also meet somewhere and you can take the photo of my style :)
December 2, 2011 at 9:48 am
Apart from the basics (Agia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Top Capi Palace) do visit the Sakıp Sabancı Museum (a really interesting Cycladic Art exhibition is being held there). You can also have dinner there at the “Müzedechanga” (Changa at the Museum), a really nice restaurant in the garden of the museum.
If you take the time to go to the museum, you can take a taxi afterwards and go to the top entrance of the Boğaziçi University (University of Bosphorus). This is a secret tip :) There is an observation spot over there, inside the gardens of the University,on your way down, and is probably one of the best in the city according to my opinion. A really M-a-g-n-i-f-i-c-e-n-t view. There you understand what the City is about, its true natural beauty.
For shopping go to Nişantaşı , for restaurants either take the city’s top terraces (5Kat – Soğancı Sokak 7, Leb-i Derya Kumbaracı Yokuşu 57/6) OR the restaurant inside the Istambul Modern (museum of modern art) OR take the restaurants by the sea in the Arnavutkoy(mainly fish taverns) or the Bebek Area (Mangerie is quite nice). These areas are very nice for walks and offer a wide range of cafes, bars and restaurants. I would suggest the Marmara Pera Hotel top terrace for a drink with great view but I don’t know if it will be open at this time of year. If you wish to take a hamam, do not go to Cemberlitas, you’ll regret it, very touristic. I hope you have a great time and I hope I helped!
You have to see the Hagia Sophia! And Taksim street is a great place to do some people watching!
December 2, 2011 at 9:49 am
Lucky you! It is one of the most beautiful cities in this world!!
You can’t miss:
- Beylerbeyi Palace (you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city)
-Yerebatan Tank (I’m not sure if it’s the right translation in English, but it’s the place where they Kept the water)
I hope you find this useful! Enjoy :)
December 2, 2011 at 9:51 am
You should go to Nisantasi as it is the fashion district of Istanbul. Also you shouldn’t miss the classics like Grand Bazaar and Old Town visits.
Best fish: Rumelihisari Iskele, Uskumru
Best kebap: Develi, Venge, the new Kasibeyaz by the Bosphorus
Best Turkish food: Borsa
International cuisine: Sunset, X, Banyan. Also many restaurants around Pera, Beyoglu
You should also bump into me and take a photo :)
I hope you enjoy your visit.
December 2, 2011 at 9:52 am
A visit to Hagia Sophia for history and Taksim street for some people watching!
oooh…I can’t wait to see those pictures!
December 2, 2011 at 9:53 am
Oh, there is an amazing jeweller called Sevan Bikakci in Istanbul! Then it’s really nice to take a ferry across to one of the cafe by the waterfront, go to a nice hammam and visit Topkapi.
Have a nice weekend!
Never been there, but if you just do more of the same as you’ve done in Morocco, I know it will be good. Thanks.
December 2, 2011 at 9:55 am
Welcome! For dinner try Munferit and then head to Bird for a drink. After 1:00 am dance the night away in Mini Muzikhol:)
December 2, 2011 at 9:56 am
If you haven’t seen it yet, you should see The Basilica Cistern in Sultanahmet and eat some real kebab!!!=)
cuppa cafe in cihangir ; for the best eggs benedict in europe . i really mean it. and for the best juices. the art scene, the fashion scene, expats love the place. the owner is cool. very cosy.
from there you could go to cukurcuma to see the antique shops, nice area, nice people.
for dinner ; changa in taksim. fantastic ambiance , very refined plates prepared with quality turkish ingredients. ask for zekiye. she is a great lady , in charge of everything.
For some traditional food: Gunaydin
Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Taksim- good place for photos!
December 2, 2011 at 9:58 am
It’s great that u’ll be here in Turkiye. I follow both of your pages, they are excellent. Hope I meet you on my way :)
December 2, 2011 at 9:59 am
never miss a turkish bath in one of the many traditional hammams
December 2, 2011 at 10:00 am
cuppa cafe cihangir; for the best eggs benedict in europe. i mean it. the art scene, the fashion scene , expats are there. the owner is a nice very good english and french speaking, cool guy.
fom there you could go to cukurcuma ( on foot ) and check out the antique shops, art galleries.
changa siraselviler/taksim ; for the best food , refined, prepared with turkish ingredients. ask for zekiye, fantastic lady in charge of all the reastaurant.
I just read about a restaurant called “Kosebasi” ( 2 points on the o ), very good review, supposed to be one of the best Turkish restaurants…….Order the “Karisik Kebab”and you know why! Enkoy and have fun!!!!
December 2, 2011 at 10:01 am
wow! this is my city where I was born..
Lovely, have fun
December 2, 2011 at 10:05 am
You must, must eat at Ciya Sofrasi in Kadikoy on the Asian side.
Simple, but delicious:
Guneslibahce Sokak 43, KADIKOY, Istanbul, Turkey
December 2, 2011 at 10:07 am
- Hagia Sophia
- the Blue Mosque, Hamdi in the Bazaar area with a Golden Horn view and then we relaxed smoking narghilè on a terrace in Ortakoy area….. for the beginnig….
December 2, 2011 at 10:11 am
I’d say eat a dessert with mastic gum! There are plenty of them but Sakızlı Muhallebi is the best. Then have a Sahlep somewhere near the sea. Do it! Walk down Istiklal Caddesi and for sure visit Basilica Cistern. Have a good time! Can’t wait for the pictures!
December 2, 2011 at 10:14 am
I’m surprised nobody mentioned BABYLON:
one of the most interesting clubs for life music, not in Turkey, but in the whole world, who will make you enjoy and, at the same time, realize how ignorant westerners [like myself] can be
December 2, 2011 at 10:19 am
Ciragan Palace, a Kempinski hotel.
The “Basilica Cistern” (Yerebatan Sarayi) or “Sunken Palace” with the Medusas sculptures.
December 2, 2011 at 10:24 am
Take a ferry between Europe and Asia.
Eat traditional Turkish food at Ciya Sofrasi in Kadikoy… http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/04/19/100419fa_fact_batuman
If you have tons of time, the view from Yoros Castle (accessible via a ferry ride up the Bosphorous) is unforgettable. From the castle, you can eye the Bosphorous from the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara.
And as for shopping, I’d avoid the Grand Bazaar, because it’s become so commercialized that it is relatively devoid of charm.
Lastly, the upside down Medusa heads holding up the Basilica Cistern are pretty darn cool.
December 2, 2011 at 10:25 am
You should definitely visit Nisantasi(the fashion district) and Bebek. Also don’t miss the basics like Grand Bazaar and Old Town.
Best fish: Rumelihisari Iskele, Uskumru
Best kebap: Venge, Develi and Kasibeyaz Bosphorus
Best Turkish: Borsa
International: Sunset, X
Enjoy Istanbul and I hope we bump into each other during your visit :)
December 2, 2011 at 10:29 am
hi scott and garance
i loved visiting all the beautiful, classic landmarks but one stand out was the “harem tour” at the sultan’s palace. it was architecturally stunning but also so intriguing to see where those harem ladies bathed in milk baths with rose petals and how they all lived together… were there cat fights? who got the best room? so fun.
have a great trip!
December 2, 2011 at 10:33 am
Haven’t been, but I am pea-green with envy! Can’t wait to see your photos.
December 2, 2011 at 10:45 am
Istanbul is beautiful! Take photos from the top of Galata Tower in Taksim. There you’ll have a great view of the city and sea. Hope you enjoy the fresh air, scenery, and incredibly kind people.
December 2, 2011 at 10:50 am
DEFINITELY Taksim Square – Gets about 1million ppl a day in foot traffic, so you’re bound to see some interesting subjects, and visit Umit Unal’s Atelier in Tunel (a small neighborhood at the far end of Istiklal St, near Taksim). Amazing clothing for men and women – last time I was there the latest collection was inspired by American Amish folk.
Hmm…for 360 views and impossibly chic clientele, MidPoint restaurant (also on Istiklal St) and Mikla, at the top of a hotel (the name of which I don’t recall)
AND, Pera Palas – where Agatha Christy stayed and the place that inspired Murder on the Orient Express. It’s newly rennovated and gorgeous!!!
Still waiting for you to come to Boston!
December 2, 2011 at 10:56 am
You guyz have stop by at OZLEM SUER HOUSE concept boutique. Ozlem Suer is a well known avant-garde fashion designer who sells in prestigious concept boutiques and dept stores in all around the world.. We would like to see you both in our historical building a kind of hidden treasure where located in the heart of the Nisantasi.
Address: Buyuk Ciftlik St No:20 Tel: 0090 212 240 57 38 Have great fun in Istanbul! xoxo
December 2, 2011 at 11:02 am
Visit the Basilica Cistern. The city’s old aqua duct. It is stunning. A friend and I stumbled upon it one afternoon. It is a magical place- catwalks snaking through a forest of immense marble columns which are submerged in water. It is a bit of a tourist destination although much less so than Hagia Sophia (which is also worth a visit).
December 2, 2011 at 11:06 am
I would say that the absolute must-see neighborhoods and sites (with inspiring views) are Eminonu, where you will find the Grand Bazaar, Blue Mosque, etc., the view from the entrance of Bogazici University (Bosphorus University), and the fishing villages of Ortakoy and Arnavutkoy. Fashion will of course be seen in the wealthy neighborhood of Nisantasi as well as Bebek, but if you want to see where every Istanbullite goes, take a walk down Istiklal Str. from Taksim. There you will get a true taste of the city!
December 2, 2011 at 11:09 am
Take the ferry up the Bosphorus to the edge of the Black Sea. The last stop is a fairly touristy village, but if you climb to the top of the hill there are ruins and an amazing view. The villages along the way are beautiful – with brightly painted houses and locals coming on board to sell you delicious yogurt. The last time I went I saw dolphins!
Eat at this lovely resto just down a small street off Istiklal Cadesi by the Swedish Embassy in Beyoglu – delicious food, really lovely atmosphere, and make sure to drink Raki with your meal:
Asmalı Mescit Mh., Sofyalı Sokak 9, Istanbul
+90 212 245 0362
Enjoy Istanbul! It’s a beautiful, amazing, lively city! See old Istanbul (Grand Bazaar, Topkapi, Yerebatan Cistern, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia) eat Borek at Karakoy, and the eggplant dish “hunkar begendi” somewhere. But whatever you eat, whatever you see, you can’t go wrong in Istanbul! Enjoy!
December 2, 2011 at 11:26 am
The Isles off Istanbul. They are empty in the winter months and it is the most idyllic thing to take a lonely ride on a horse carriage. :)
December 2, 2011 at 11:34 am
hi, welcome to Istanbul
for kebap you should go to hamdi restaurant next to egypt bazaar
you should definitely eat fish at the bophorus
Istanbul Modern Museum and its cafe is very nice also you can visit Pera Museum and its cafe, a drink at Pera Palas hotel
best bosphorus view in vogue restaurant
for local wines go to Corvus in Akaretler
definitely to Istiklal Street in Taksim
a breakfast at nar cafe in rumelihisarı
çiya restaurant in kadıköy for Antakya kitchen
Antiochia restaurant in Taksim
There are a lot to discover in Istanbul but these are a few nice alternatives
all the best
December 2, 2011 at 11:38 am
karakoylokantasi.com if you would like to try best traditional sea food with great “meze “(turkish kind of tapas) this is the best place… Close to istanbul modern.
December 2, 2011 at 11:39 am
I can not believe we are in the same city!
I live in Istanbul and I would definitely recommend Nasantasi for well dressed people and of course Sultanahmet (Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque). But that is more for sightseeing. 360 is in Istiklal Caddesi (one of the most crowded streets during the day and night). The view is amazing.
If you have time it is worth to take the ferry from Eminonu to the Asian/Anatolian side (stop: Kadikoy). There you can go to: Bağdat Caddesi. As Wikipedia says: It can also be considered as a large open-air shopping mall. Most of the retail stores are open on all days of the week, including Sunday afternoon. Since I live on the Asian side it is my favorite place to drink (Turkish) coffee or tea and just watch people.
With out a doubt you two will have a wonderful time. I have been living here for a couple of months now and haven’t been bored one minute. Enjoy and I am looking forward to all the pictures on the Sartorial ‘digital park bench’.
December 2, 2011 at 11:41 am
all the streets around galata tower, which look like a mix between montmartre and le marais
December 2, 2011 at 11:43 am
Enough already! If I wanted to see travel pictures I will visit the National Geographic web site.
December 2, 2011 at 11:44 am
You should definitely visit: Kybele restaurant/hotel
If’s a wonderful place where you can eat really great food. They have lot’s of lamps hanging from the ceiling.
December 2, 2011 at 11:54 am
me tooo please!!!!…been to both morocco and istanbul but would love to go back to both!!!…while in turkey go as far deep as possible into gran bazaar!!!…amazing what one can find in there at the heart!!!…for food…as in nyc you’ve got to find out what’s happening at the moment…constant change!!!…have fun!!!
December 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm
Istambul is really a special city.
A lot of beautiful places to see. Go to Bebek at the evening, there are many restaurants and a nice view of the city – Mangerie Bebek ; Kitchenete Bebek (that was decorated for Autoban).
At night Ulus 29 – great!
December 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm
Raki & fish (& meze) at the Bosporus!
That is a modern classic!
December 2, 2011 at 12:26 pm
Definitely visit the grand bazaar for crazy jewellery shopping!
Bebek to see the modern town
Galata to see the perfectly modernized old town
W hotel and Nişantaşı restaurants on Abdi İpekçi Street for a good lunch
Rumeli Balıkçısı for good fish
Da Mario for a romantic İtalian dinner
And Definitely Flormar’s new shop on İstiklal Street to buy the best cosmetics and see their new great shop! It’s a great place to see the youngsters stroll around.
December 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm
I have been to Istanbul 4 times and lived there for a time. The two things I have seen every single time have been the Basilica Cistern and the Arnavutköy neighborhood. The Basilica Cistern is simply breathtaking. Make sure to make it to the end for the Medusas. Arnavutköy is a wealthy neighborhood further up the Bosphoros, full of old Ottoman mansions called yalıs. There are also delicious seafood restaurants up there, especially Poseidon, in Bebek where you can eat right on the water. You will have so much fun, Istanbul is my favorite city in the entire world.
December 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm
The grand bazaar is a must, watch your bags & pockets and just get lost in that place. Its been a long time since I have been to recommend a restaurant, but defiantly try the street food, like a Doner kebab sandwich. I don’t know if the Islands are still open this time of year, but a Vapor ride would give you a good taste of life on the Bosphorus.
Next time I go, I want to have a tour of the underground of Constantinople. Its the old water ways of the city…..
December 2, 2011 at 12:36 pm
For food try Kantin in Nisantasi, Lebi Derya or 360 in Taksim. Go to a fish restaurant in Bosphorus, maybe Yelken. To see: Grand Bazaar and stroll around Sultanahmet, Beyoglu and coastline.
December 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm
You have to see the Whirling Dervishes at the old train station. We went there with a Turkish friends. Here is the link:
Everything is amazing, the music, the place, the dancing. I still dream about it.
December 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm
some years ago a turkish cookery writer sent me this, and I went to some of there and it was amazing, my favourite were Melengec and Giritli
Çiya, for regional, traditional foods. They have wonderful kebaps too (I don’t eat meat but whoever ate there, they always love it, try the ‘belluriye’ which is a white kadayif. they have great other sweets too, you should try them all.)
At their website you can see the photos of many dishes (Unfortunately they don’t have an English section but if you google Musa Dagdeviren, the chef and the owner of the restaurant, you’ll see some photos and recipes from him, especially from the CIA Conferences in LA)
There is a full address at the ‘iletisim’ section. Write it down, or print that page, so that you can ask for directions but they’re at the Kadikoy Center and the best way to get there is to take a ferry from Eminonu. They’re every 20 minutes and you shouldn’t leave Istanbul without ferry rides. If you go to Kadikoy Carsisi (where Ciya is, walk around. You’ll see old sweet shops, pastries etc. Check 3 places there, which are near each other:
Cemilzade (they make good lokum and ‘akide sekeri’. They’re in business since 1883
Brezilya Kurukahvecisi (next to Ciya) if you want to buy dried fruits, nuts, coffee etc. They have the best ones, whenever I go to Ciya, I always stop by. You have to try ‘Beypazari sucugu’ there! It’s a traditional and healty sweet. Ciya’s owner Musa is my friend too but he doesn’t speak English, if he’s there pls. introduce yourself. They’re publishing an interesting magazine called ‘Food and Culture’, if my friend Nazli Piskin wrote you, she might have told you about the magazine, she’s one of the editors of it.
An interesting place with a wonderful view and good local Aegean food and fish is Melengec. Melengec means wild pistachio. The owners of the restaurant are wonderful people. The guy is a musician and from Tire near Izmir. They serve lots of wild greens, stuffed squash flowers.. If you go there for an early dinner, then you can sit at a seaside table and have a bosphorus view at the sunset! The lady’s name is Nevin, ask for her and tell her that you’re my friend and also tell her that you’re at her hands. She’ll serve you good food and after your meal (it can be a lunch too) she’ll serve Turkish coffee and homemade rose liquor.
You can see the menu and some photos at their website, and the address too. They’re located in Arnavutkoy, on the Bosphorus. You can have a Bosphorus day and it can be a part of it. There is a great exhibition at Sabanci Museum, on Cengiz Khan
You might want to visit the museum -if you’re interested- then have your meal at melengeç, they’re close by. You can take a cab or a bus, taxi is not so expensive in Istanbul, if you’re not going to a very long distance and people are always helpful so even if you’re in a bus, they’ll help you with where to get on and off. Especially young people speak English.
My other favorite place is Giritli Restoran. The owner Ayse is a wonderful friend. Her family is from Crete and she makes lovely mezes, chooses great fish, calamari, octopus…
also try this if you cannot reach the first one:
For baklava, kadayif and related sweets, the best place is Karakoy Gulluoglu:
Check their website for a musical voyage! You can buy for your family too, they prepare ‘dry’ baklava for taking back with ..
The best lokums are made by 2 places. One is Hacibekir, the other one is Ucyildiz Sekercisi, the second makes good marzipan too. Hacibekir is an old brand and their Eminonu shops are quite old and fun to visit. Ucyildiz is in Beyoglu, at the Beyoglu Fish Market. Check:
Feridun Bey, the owner of Ucyildiz has been in business for so long. He’s a kind man and he speaks French. They make
‘cevirme tatlisi’ old spoon sweets Greeks used to make a lot. He makes rose jam and other jams and it’s worth to see the jam pots. I couldn’t find their website but if you go to Balik Pazari, you can ask anyone, they’ll show you.
I’m not a ‘fancy restaurant’ person, so I don’t have much experience with them. Oh if you like ‘kofte’, there is an old place in Sultanahmet, near your hotel, Tarihi Sultanahmet Koftecisi
There are 2 of them on the same street but only one of them is the original, which has ‘Tarihi’ on its logo. All you can eat is kofte (meat balls), piyaz (bean salad) and irmik helvasi (semolina sweet) but it’s an old and clean place.
When will this trip? I’ll be in Istanbul January 17-24. If it’s around that time I’ll be happy to show you around.
One other place, I haven’t been there for a while so I don’t know if it’s still good or not:
Their menu is made of 500 year old Ottoman food. It’s on the expensive side. Kariye is an interesting area with Orthodox Patriarchate Building, Kariye Museum and a Synagoge so it’s also a worth to see place. You can go there even for a sweet or coffee and see the menu and check the athmosphere.
December 2, 2011 at 12:44 pm
I love Konstantinople! You must eat «dolma yalantzi» its stuffed vine leaves with rise.
Dont forget to visit «Inci» and try one of the best chocolate profiterole in the world.
December 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm
Try Iskender, unbelievable!!!
December 2, 2011 at 12:49 pm
You should definitely go to Reina. The best club in istanbul! Visit the Ortakoy area.
December 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm
A must visit is the Haci Bekir confectionery to pick up a box of its world famous Turkish delight (lokum). The shop itself is over 200 years old, and the sweets it sells are both beautiful and delicious! http://www.hacibekir.com.tr/
December 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm
You should take a boat trip ! Bosphoros Tour ! , I wish I could meet you & Garance in Istanbul , cause I’m living in Istanbul . I’m a big fan of you , I adore all your works.. Enjoy your trip in mu lovely city
December 2, 2011 at 1:22 pm
Can’t wait to see your photos from this trip! among the ones we’ve seen so far!
December 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm
the blue mosque.
ostrich eggs hanging from the ceiling
they repel spiders.
spiders sacred .
December 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm
definitely go to a Turkish bath
December 2, 2011 at 2:02 pm
Here’s a list of what I think is essential/nice to see in Istanbul. I think it would be best to hire a tour guide. It would help especially in old Istanbul.
Old Istanbul (Typical cultural stuff):
The Hagia Sofia
The Basilica Cistern
The Topkapi Palace (He should see the Harem room too, we couldn’t see it when we were there because it was closed, it costs a bit extra but I hear it’s wonderful)
Suleymaniye Camii (The Blue Mosque)
The Grand Bazaar – you HAVE to see this place. It’s great for gifts etc, and spices and rugs and all that jazz.
The House Cafe (it might just be better for drinks)
The House Hotel Bosphorus (This is the building right on top of House Cafe, it just opened this summer and looks amazing.)
It’s always nice to sit down at one of the cheap cafes and enjoy hookah with Turkish tea or some beer, and play some backgammon
This area is great to buy cheapish gifts for friends – a lot of stands, evil eyes, bracelets etc.
Anjelique – the most “in” nightclub in Turkey, I guess. Two floors, one plays house music, one English and Turkish pop…fun times. Make sure to have ID with you.
It’s nice for walking by the water
Mangerie (My FAVORITE breakfast place in Istanbul. They have Turkish food etc too)
Bebek Otel (Has a nice hotel bar on the water for people like our parents to grab drinks)
Poseidon (Nice fish place on the water, your dad has to eat a fish meal and a kebap meal when he’s in Turkey, with a lot of mezes)
Bebek Balikcisi (Another nice fish place)
- Hisar (On the water, again)
Kale (Really chill and cheap Turkish breakfast)
Sade Kahve (Similar to Kale, I like this one more)
For Turkish breakfast, your dad has to have Menemen, sucuk, simit (THE BEST THING EVER), Turkish tea, Turkish coffee, cheeses, and good pide (look these up, the sucuk will cause you to have sucuk breath but it’s nothing a Turkish coffee and a good tooth brush can’t cure)
Iskele (Really nice fish place)
Mia Mensa (Italian restaurant, right by the water)
Assk Cafe (right next to Mia Mensa, could be nice for drinks, and they have an English menu too, the nicer places usually have English menus)
Reina (Nightclub that tourists enjoy, could be nice for drinks at sunset)
Venge (both kebap places, both nice)
- Ulus: (Both these restaurants will be much better with reservations)
- Taksim/Beyoglu: (More bobo in the most Parisian sense of the word but it has really cool restaurants and bars)
Nuteras (Restaurant on top of Pera Palace, it is amazing for drinks and appetizers during sunset, it has a great view of the city)
Changa (Same as Mikla!)
X (On top of the IKSV building, they have really good food — I think I had the steak — and wine, and a similar view with Nuteras)
Leb-i Derya (There are two of these in the same region – one is on top of a hotel and the other is on top of some random building, but both have good views and food)
360 (On top of Misir Apartmani, great view, music, and food)
Asmali Mescit (Small area within Taksim/Beyoglu with a lot of little bars, this is right where we went out our second night)
Bird (nice “in” bar)
Otto (There are like a couple in this area, both good)
Great shopping district with a lot of amazing people to photograph.
Other attractions: (Some really cool museums)
Istanbul Modern (As the name suggests, it’s a modern art museum and has a restaurant right by the water too)
Pera Palace Museum (Never been, but I hear its nice)
Sabanci Museum (This museum is inside the Sabanci Mansion, which is a really really pretty house!) Koc Museum (Never been, but I hear it’s nice)
Istanbul Oyuncak Muzesi (I’ve never been here but it’s a toy museum and my mom loves it.)
It’s always fun to do a boat tour on the Bosphorus. Not only is the water nice (especially if it’s warm outside), but you get to see some amazing houses and mansions right on the water, and gape at them and wonder how much they cost and who they must belong to and hope that you could afford one of them one day)
December 2, 2011 at 2:08 pm
You will get wonderful photos full of colours at the Spice Bazaar. Don’t miss
December 2, 2011 at 2:23 pm
Welcome to my country!
If you miss a good steak go to Cosy Pub right across The Basilica Cistern and have one on the marble tray.
Try Turkish food (Iskender). Morroccan food is also similar in many ways.
Take a boat tour. So much to do there.
Get on to the top of the Galata Tower, eat fish by the Galata bridge, try hukka (nargile) even google will show you the way; for fashion every single person in Ist is a fashionista, you’ll be surprised.
They all do the basics of fashion bloggers, the way they wear their belts, their shoes, bags, arm party etc. (Nisantasi) Visit Ece Sukan’s vintage shop in Nisantasi. She is in your blog: http://www.thesartorialist.com/photos/on-the-street-heavy-metal-paris/
I am not fm Ist so that’s all I can say, and one last thing to say: The Basilica Cistern for sure!
December 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm
I really recommend taking a little train journey out to Florya to see Ataturk’s summer residence, a beautiful modernist sea pavilion situated on the most charming coastline.
In the city, definitely try to pop into Istanbul Modern – the Istanbul equivalent of MoMA. It has a great restaurant too.
December 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm
Having just been in Istanbul, ferry rides through the bay are overwhelmingly beautiful. The sun hitting the water, houses on the waterline with unique Turkish architecture- ah! you’ll love it.
p.s. the street nuts are not as good as they look/smell.
December 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm
Istanbul has a certain magic… makes you want to go back. Last November I was there with my husband. Still miss the sunsets. The weather was incredible. . . Loved those narrow streets around the Galata tower, the old town of course, even Kumkapi (not so safe but a great place for taking shoots).
Why don’t you drop by and visit us in Tbilisi? :) It’s near Turkey. You will love the street style :) :) :) and not only that!
Bon voyage, you two wonderful people!
December 2, 2011 at 3:05 pm
Longtime follower, very excited to see what your photos of the ‘bul look like.
You’ve got plenty of recommendations to be going on, and Istanbul – with its 17 million residents – isn’t short of options, but the two places I’d suggest for eating would be:
-Cuppa: as Dilara says, best eggs benedict around. Nice and simple, with loads of healthy juices. Very bohemian, in the most bohemian of neighborhoods.
-Maya Lokanta: the rising new star of the dining scene, housed in the Karakoy neighborhood with an unpretentious vibe and minimalist decor, but fantastic Aegean mezze with a twist and menus that change with the week.
Also, a stroll down Istiklal Caddesi, particularly on a weekend, will leave you with no shortage of eye candy. Men, women, young, old, rich, poor, secular, religious…you’ll find them all.
December 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm
Hello! I am a student and have been living in Istanbul for 3 years now and still haven’t discovered the whole city… If you get a chance, besides visiting the historical peninsula (sultanahmet, saint sophia, topkapi etc) you should try and go to the southern side of the golden horn- the old neighborhoods called Ayvansaray, Yenikapi, Balat and Fener are not “gentrified” yet and not as touristic as Galata or Taksim. These were the places especially anatolian Greeks and Jews used to live until the 1950′s or so. Today, these places are mostly inhabited by immigrants from Eastern Turkey. You can still see the typical Ottoman houses and streets, besides lots and lots of old churches (14th-15th century I think) and hamams of Sinan.
Other must-sees are the archaeological museum and Istanbul Modern museum – superb view! If you are an Agatha Christie fan, you must drink tea at Pera Palace Hotel – they say she spent quite a time there! And as others have said before, you must eat profiterole at Inci patisserie, located on Istiklal street, Taksim. It is the BEST! Also there is a nice cafe in the courtyard of the french cultural institute, just at the beginning of istiklal street!
Hope you have a wonderful time in Istanbul! Looking forward to see the new pictures!
December 2, 2011 at 3:43 pm
Istanbul is fantastic. We were there last weekend.
You must visit Hagia Sophia. It’s an amazing achievement of mankind.
Eat at resto Zubeyir at Taksim. Coffee and cakes at House Cafe at Ortakoy.
December 2, 2011 at 3:44 pm
Haha, I am going to Istanbul in a couple of hours too! It is a gorgeous place, and street style is great (at least in summer, which is when I usually go) Have a fantastic stay! :):)
December 2, 2011 at 3:58 pm
You must, must go to this restaurant:
It serves only food that was served at the Ottoman palaces, and it is absolutely delicious (and adventurous, featuring things like goose).
At the very end of Istiklal, opposite end of Taksim Square, there are dozens of meyhanes. Go for mezes and raki and they won’t disappoint.
Check out Rumelihisarı fortress and, if you have time, take the ferry out to the Prens Adları and bring a picnic lunch.
Have fun! I am jealous, I miss that city too much sometimes.
December 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm
wellcome to istanbul….:)
I hope you will have an great weekend in Istanbul.
You should go to Nısantası for elegant restaurants and luxurious living.
And Taksim and espacially Cihangir (15 min walk to Taksim) for diffrent styles and great cafes. If you want to have pizza in Istanbul Miss Pizza in Cihangir is the best pizza in Istanbul. http://www.misspizza.com.tr/
Sıdıka (www.sidika.com.tr/) is a great place to taste delicious Turkish tapas , fish and offcourse Raki, the best drink with fish, 5 min walking distance to W Hotel@Besiktas.
The X restaurant @ Sishane is a great place to have Italian cusine with wonderful view of Halic.
Anjelique @Ortaköy is a good place for to have fun.
Gunaydın Steak House @Etiler is also a great place to have delicious steaks ( just send me an email if you visit Gunaydın@Etiler, I’m 5 min walking dist. to Gunaydın, then me and my wife will wear our best to be shot by you:))
If this is the first time of you in Istanbul I think you will be shocked with the quality of Turkish restaurants/cafes.
December 2, 2011 at 4:11 pm
Find Istanbul Modern, Istiklal Caddesi and the Ciçek Pasajı (Flower Passage) off of it as well as the hidden old movie theaters in various sidestreets, and walk towards the Tunel area so you can stop at Public for food. Try every pastry from street sellers and avoid kokoreç. There’s always some pretty awesome style walking on the Bosphorus around Bebek. I’d say to take a cruise on the Bosphorus because not everyone does and it’s the best thing a tourist can do besides Istanbul Modern. Also, do the Hagia Sophia – Blue Mosque – Topkapı – Grand Bazaar – Cisterns thing because you can’t skip it.
Special note for coolness factor:
If you walk down the hill from the Galata Tower towards the water, you’ll hopefully run into this old building that looks kind of like a mosque but isn’t, where they hold temporary student exhibitions that are eccentric and beautiful. Then hit the main road, jaywalk across to the fountain with newspaper in the troughs where hobos sleep, and have apple tea – ask for elma çayı – in the old American Market while sitting on a beanbag.
When I lived there, this is what I did.
December 2, 2011 at 4:12 pm
December 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm
my husband and I are going this weekend too, we were recommended this guided visit to a least touristic area, made by a young couple (italian+turkish). It’s on the area of Fener and Balat, Unesco protected, but hard to visit if you don’t have someone who knows it.
you can check it out here
December 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm
Congratulations! I follow your blog for a long time. When I see you on tv tonight I was very happy.
Definitely you should go to Istiklal Street. The restaurant in Salt building (also it has got an award tonight) is great, I recommend it.
Waiting for your Istanbul photographs! Have a great time in Istanbul.
December 2, 2011 at 4:39 pm
Hey! I live in Istanbul and these are restaurants that I recommend:
-Changa in Taksim
-Zuma in Ortakoy
-Paper Moon in Etiler
-Gunaydin in Etiler
-Lucca in Bebek
-Mikla in Pera
-Byrd in Pera
Enjoy the most beautiful and historic city in the world!
December 2, 2011 at 4:47 pm
Another vote for asitane, completely sublime lunch! do the tasting!
December 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm
Grab lunch at Ciya Sofrani, then go to Pasifik Pastanesi a few blocks over in Kadıköy. I had the absolute best dessert of my life there last week.
Also, don’t miss Dolmabahçe Palace and Basilica Cistern – my two favorite sights of Istanbul.
December 2, 2011 at 4:59 pm
i can not wait to see my beautiful city from your eyes..lovely to have you here in istanbul..have the best time of your life.
December 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm
My BF just returned from Istanbul, and he says:
“You should visit a hammam, of course. Cemberlitas is touristy & expensive, but more hygienic than the others like Ahmadpasha. Cagaloglu occasionally has issues with lack of hot water. Or as a couple, you could check out Sulayamaniye, which is co-ed.
The restaurants in Sultanahmet are mostly touristy, but standard Turkish fare. There’s an Anatolian restaurant on Iskitlal Cd that I can’t
remember the name of (but was very good) — it has a woman making
flatbreads in front of the street window. Also, there’s a rooftop Turkish restaurant near the spice bazaar that I can’t remember the name of — but can be found by asking passers-by around the spice bazaar to recommend the best place for Turkish food.
Try bargaining for clothes / knic-knacs at the grand bazaar, and saffron / spices at the spice bazaar.
And taste lots of lokum, keskul, baklava & numerous other sweets…”
Love your photos! Have a wonderful time…. (-:
December 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm
love istanbul! you have to go to the köfteci by sultanahmet for köftes (like meatballs, but turkish and therefore better)
December 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm
You should visit my friend Zeynep Okmen’ s store. She is a really creative fashion designer!!!!
December 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm
I am a Chicagoan but am checking your blog now on my last night in my vacation in Istanbul/Budapest. Please go to Ciya Sofrasi in Kadikoy on the Asian side — wonderful humble restaurant where the owner has become fairly well known for his preservation and exaltation of Turkish cuisine and its history. Check out the fish market and the side streets of Kadikoy for a lesser known side of Istanbul that is rapidly becoming more frequented (there is a great hookah bar and tucked away back “hookah garden”) – enjoy! Can’t wait to see the photos.
December 2, 2011 at 6:15 pm
You HAVE to take the ferry and get off at the last stop, close to the Black Sea. The landscape there is amazing and if you follow the main street up the hill you will get to a fish restaurant with a gorgeous view. It’s something so local that they don’t even have a menu, you just ask the waiter what they have and he will tell you their specialties!
December 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm
kebab: definitely at Günaydın
for fashion: well, Nisantasi wouldn’t give you anything you haven’t seen. I would recommend you to take a long walk around Taksim/Istiklal and not to hesitate to walk into the tiny hidden streets there.
for the night-out: babylon in Asmali (again in Istiklal)
These parts of the city are the ones we show the tourists as Istanbul :P the city is really big and cosmopolitan. I mean, there is no homogeneity and every district has its own characteristics. Well, if you have time, don’t miss any spot to discover. But if you don’t, it would be better for you to stick to Taksim.
If you wanna have an idea about the upper-middle class everyday life and fashion, try Bağdat Caddesi (Baghdad Avenue, on the Anatolian side). You would find really interesting boutiques there.
for the museums: oh God, I can’t list them all here down. You should buy a city guide :) but Istanbul Modern is a must-see.
have a nice time!
December 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm
I was just in Istanbul last week :)
You have to go to a place called Hamdi in eminönü. Ask to sit on the top floor (it’s all glass!) and make sure you order walnut baclava for desert. This restaurant has the most spectacular view of the city and delicious food!
If you go to eminönü and just ask where Hamdi restaurant is someone will point you in the right direction.
December 2, 2011 at 6:49 pm
I’m from Istanbul but I live in New York and it’s a really nice time to be in Istanbul now so cherish it!:)so here goes my list
“Munferit”- contemporary takes on Turkish fish mezes
The fish sandwhiches in Eminonu are great-and so is the view
Walk around Cihangir and you’ll find cosy places to drink a coffee or eat lunch
“Mangerie” in Bebek is a wonderful restaurant, its located on top of an apartment and has the most amazing terrace with a Bosphours view-the food is very healthy and the drinks are great
“Suna Abla” is a great, traditional fish restaurant that only locals know, right next to the Kadikoy dock
Serdar-i Ekrem Caddesi in Galata is a great avenue to walk around in, definitely visit “Galata Sarkuteri”
the antique stores in the Cukurcuma area
Walk around Nisantasi to see up and coming Turkish fashion designers, don’t miss “Elaidi”!
If you have a chance and if it isn’t freezing, go to Garipce, a little village just 20 minutes outside of Istanbul and have a village breakfast right next to the sea, it will be worth it
and of course visit Asmalimescid at night for bars and restaurants
Hope this helps and hope you guys have a wonderful holiday
December 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm
I am sure that someone mentioned this, but the sarcophagus collection at the Istanbul Archeology Museum is incredible!
Have a great time! I’ll keep an eye out for you in the streets :)
December 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm
try going to Lucca in Bebek for drinks, Chilai, right across the street from it for dinner. Also, Istinye Park, for a little shopping and lunch. Go to the outside area, not the mall tho. And if you have time definitely go to Pierre Loti for turkish coffee and an amazing view.
December 2, 2011 at 8:23 pm
Istanbul is an amazing city!! I would suggest, to get away from the typical “touristy” places and to mix with the local younger crowd, head to the Asian Side (Kadikoy). There are many street markets, bars, restaurants and cafes where you will definitely see a “funkier” crowd. Also, on the same side near the Kadikoy port, there’s a beach called Moda. It’s famous for groups of friends getting together, sitting on the rocks, drinking, chatting, and watching the sunset :)
December 2, 2011 at 8:26 pm
If you and Garance are adventurous eaters… try the Tavouk Goksu!
Its super pounded down chicken with vanilla ice cream. The apple pie a la mode of Turkey. Delicious!
December 2, 2011 at 9:09 pm
Besides the famous sights I loved the neighborhood of Changir off the Istiklal Cadessi. Its hills are covered with beautiful pastel colored houses with lots of decorative details. Cafes and shops dot the neighborhood with small colorful mosques on many streets.
If I lived in Istanbul I’d want to live in Changir.
December 2, 2011 at 9:33 pm
You should go to the bar/restaurant of Ara Güler, just because he is such a great photographer! And the place is really nice too… It’s called Kafe Ara (Tosbaga Sokak 8/A, offYeniçar¤ı Caddesi, Galatasaray, Istanbul)
I was very impressed by Istanbul Modern last year, they had a great show about Hussein Chalayan at that time.
The Grand Bazaar is really busy, I personally preferred the Spice Bazaar, smaller en also very beautiful. If the weather is nice, the Princes Islands (especially the biggest one) have really beautiful old wooden houses (some almost small castles). Not sure how it will be in winter though, I went there in September… It is a nice place if you need to escape from the overwhelming, in some parts really chaotic city.
Enjoy the city!
December 2, 2011 at 9:38 pm
I really recommend Sarnıç Restaurant,behind the Hagia Sophia and Restaurant 360º in Beyoglu.
December 2, 2011 at 9:41 pm
Besides the famous sights I loved the neighborhood of Cihangir off the Istiklal Cadesi. Its hills are covered with beautiful pastel colored houses with lots of decorative details. Cafes and shops dot the neighborhood with small colorful mosques on many streets.
If I lived in Istanbul I’d want to live in Cihangir.
December 2, 2011 at 10:51 pm
Rustem Pasha Mosque – Iznik tile wonderland – in the spice market.
Yerebatan Sarnici – Justinians Cistern – nifty spolia – near Hagia Sophia.
Chora Church/Kariye Museum – best Byzantine mosaics in the area – Edirnekape.
December 2, 2011 at 10:54 pm
I just got back from Istanbul,it’s great..Of course Hagia Sophia and everything,but you have to visit the museum of modern art,”Istanbul Modern”,you won’t believe this..
Have a drink at “Otto” with some Istanbul flowers,the kind of people I like,simple and stylish.
If you like sushi : The Point Hotel in Taksim (hevenly authentic) and Vogue Restaurant&Bar (shiny,glamorous sushi with THE MOST “oh” view) in Nisantasi.
Talking about view,don’t miss Galata Tower.
Eat the freshest fish at the fish bazar at Beyoglu(and the people know how to cook it,they’re masters).
You could take some nice pics at Mimar Sinan fine arts unversitesi.
December 2, 2011 at 11:29 pm
Eat Kumpir in Kadıköy!!!! it is the BEST potato you will ever eat!!! I was in Turkey over the summer…it really is great!!
December 2, 2011 at 11:30 pm
Eat Kumpir..in Kadıköy…or anywhere, but that is the best!
December 2, 2011 at 11:35 pm
oops i mean ortakoy..the kumpir..that is the place!
December 2, 2011 at 11:42 pm
Whatever else you see/do/eat, make sure you try the fish sandwiches from the crazy boats by the Galata Bridge. Excellent nosh, plus watching the expert chefs cook on a boat rocking in the waves is an experience in itself. Sit down right there in the stools provided, and watch the real Istanbul happen all around you.
December 3, 2011 at 2:06 am
“sultan ahmet köftecisi”!! The best place ever!!
December 3, 2011 at 3:59 am
Üsküdar..by ferry…totally amazing and try if you can get to Leander’s Tower.
December 3, 2011 at 4:36 am
Must have to go : Pierre Loti Café, great view on the Golden Horn…
December 3, 2011 at 5:03 am
So glad to Know that you are in İstanbul ! This City Will inspire you for sure. enjoy!
December 3, 2011 at 5:35 am
you should know about football club Fenerbahce S.K !! than you will understand why yellow & dark navy colored striped flags are every where in Istanbul. there are lots of football geek in Istanbul
December 3, 2011 at 5:52 am
If you have a chance to see Ortakoy (Ortakoy mosque and little shops and cafes,street vendors) you can have lunch in Ortakoy House cafe, delicious food and a nice view of Bosphorus, for saturday night, places at Asmalimecit or Sishane is very popular. X restaurant with a very nice view of Halic and very good food(best turkish food is in Borsa restaurant, X restaurant is the same group’s).Bird is good for a drink after dinner.have fun…
December 3, 2011 at 6:23 am
This is not only a shop,
it’s an experience only for gourman gourmets:
A la Turca
Faikpasa No. 4 Cukurcuma, Cihangir Istanbul.Turkey
(from the city guide L Vuitton)
December 3, 2011 at 6:29 am
360 (istiklal) (if possible taste all the deserts! amazing!)
best restaurant of Istanbul
reina (ortakoy) a prestigious club
the House cafe (ortakoy)
Istanbul is the city of all cities!!!
and for a taste of modern istanbul fashion go to serdar-i ekrem street in galatas (very close to istiklal). Amazing turkish designers and this small street has a wonderful cafe-snak bar I definitelly recommend!
December 3, 2011 at 6:46 am
For a gentleman such as yourself, I recommend the Nisantasi, Tesvikiye and Macka districts although eating out there is not amazing. At this time of year a good fish restaurant will be worth looking at. For a nice vibe check out the Bej Cafe in Karakoy. Fairly new and great coffee. Enjoy your stay and thanks for the inspiration.
December 3, 2011 at 7:53 am
cibalikapı is one of the best fish restaurants and is in front of golden horn. also kahraman is a very good place for turbo fish. those are places where locals go instead of tourists. have a nice WE
December 3, 2011 at 8:04 am
I ma studying fashion here, so as a foreigner living in Istanbul (little frenchy like your Garance), this is what I like:
Nisantasi is great, right. But I am sure you’ve seen already to these bright avenues full of Louis Vuitton and Dior shops, every big city in the world has it. Cihangir is way more typical and charming, any little anonymous café there worth it.
Otherwise I just found out the Enstitü, which is both a restaurant and a cook school for future big chefs, the food is delicious, and the atmosphere is great, it’s in a back street so it’s pretty quiet and not as packed the places on Istiklal.
If you want to feel like home “molly’s cafe” at the bottom of galata tower is perfect. It is a second hand shop for clothes, old CDs, DVDs, but also a café and restaurant where everything is home made in the open kitchen right in front of you.
Of course go to the Hamam, çemberlitas being the most famous one for good reasons. (in the old city)
And you must try a turkish brunch, at Bebek for example.
I realize that I talk more about food than sight seeing… And I wonder why I gained weight here…
Hope to run into you! Istanbul can be a village sometimes!
December 3, 2011 at 8:10 am
Definitely go to the Istanbul Modern, eat your weight in the worlds freshest Turkish Delight and please go to Changa http://www.changa-istanbul.com a restaurant with 4 flrs of beautiful modern design set in an old Townhouse with super delicious food by genius fusion chef Peter Gordon.
December 3, 2011 at 8:57 am
Chora, the early Byzantine church, is a must-see, artistically and spiritually!! The Princes’ Island — the ferry ride is dramatic enough, but you’ll really enjoy a bike ride around the island, touring the summer homes, climbing to the top to enjoy the bucolic view and the wild horses. Many great mosques to see in the city itself; do your homework with the Michelin guide and catch as many of the notable ones as you can — a hidden gem and my favorite, Rustem Pasha Mosque very near the Spice Market (you may need a tour guide to help you navigate the serpentine streets). Istiklal Street after the clubs close — the drag queens, IST’s secret vice, parade down the avenue (all with blonde hair, in imitation of the city’s Russian beauties known as “Natashas”) with hordes of thug-boy admirers in tow. Any one of the city’s better hookah bars, where bohos and other young people go to chat and chill, smoking and sipping espresso; perfect for an off-night. The 5.Kat restaurant, near Taksim Square, lively, chic and gay-friendly, with a lovely terrace view of the city (free of rent boys and undesirables).
December 3, 2011 at 10:57 am
i cannot recommend zeyrekhane restaurant enough. it’s in a restored ottoman medrese (school) of the zeyrek mosque. (look this mosque up on google images, fascinating and different in style than other mosques you will see around a lot)
the food is traditional ottoman and really excellent (and very decently priced)
the restaurant lots of traditional details (decoration), lovely and clean bathrooms
amazing view of the golden horn
no i dont work for them – i take my favorite guests there, though :)
and zencefil (which means ginger) is another favorite of mine i will recommend – it (is a vegetarian restaurant that) offers delicious meals and the restaurant itself is super super charming.
googlemap for zeyrekhane
December 3, 2011 at 11:39 am
I live in Istanbul – Nisantasi. Istanbul is an amazing city and it will be great to see it through your lences. If you stop by Nisantasi you should have a cup of coffee and try one of the delicious desserts of Delicatessen. At Bebek try Mangerie a place with a great view or Banyan with delicious menu.
December 3, 2011 at 11:44 am
The grand bazaar for more historic stuff and jewelery, the bosphorus obviously and you should eat in happily ever after in bebek, for dinner and night life reina and for shopping nisantasi kanyon and istinye park. Hope you like Istanbul, it is the greatest city in the world!
December 3, 2011 at 11:59 am
For an INCREDIBLE Turkish breakfast, go to Van Kahvalti Evi (Defterdar Yokusu 52/A in Cihangir) I can’t recommend this more strongly!
For a strong cup of coffee, try Mandabatmaz (Olivia Gecidi 1/A in lower Beyoglu)
For delicious baklava, visit Gulluoglu (Rihtim Caddesi Katli Otopark Alti 3-4 in Karakoy)
For unique Turkish food, try Ciya, possibly the best restaurant in Istanbul (Guneslibahce Sokak 43 in Kadikoy)
And don’t forget to try kaymak!
December 3, 2011 at 12:04 pm
“Nomads”, “Reina”, “Hamdi” in Eminonu. “Ulus 29″, “Sunset”, “Mavi Balik”, “Chilai” Bon appetit!!!
December 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm
Here are couple of things that I strongly recommend to be done in Istanbul;
- Galata Tower – walk there from Taxim Square, top the tower for great view, get a bite of traditional Anatolian food at Kiva Restaurant -one of of personal favorites- by the tower. There is also a famous winery Sensus Wine and Cheese Boutique with a great selection of fine Turkish wine and cheese right by the tower.
- Old Town – There are tons to do over there; I can’t even decide what to suggest first. Grand Bazaar and Spice Market for some exotic shopping. Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace if you’re into architecture and Byzantine and Ottoman history. Don’t forget to get some Turkish delight from the spice market. Also have Turkish coffee over there –only if you are an espresso person!
- Fine Dining and Art/Antiques Shopping – the star of fine dining in Istanbul is Mikla Restaurant; it is just over the top, thrilling, the view, the food, everything. If you’d like to try someplace else by the Bosporus there is Chilai, less impressive view –only if you compare it to Mikla- yet very delicious food. For antiques shopping; don’t miss Cukurcuma districts quirky shops, there are more than hundred small ones around there! Oh you might also find nice boutiques too!
- Bars – All fave bars are around Asmalımescit District. Otto is the best one for meeting random people and good indie music. Stop by Bird if you ever get bored. Babylon Venue, live performance venue, never ever failed me on a Saturday night, all the best concerts are always there.
- Clubs – Reina is the the well-known posh pick. I’m not at all a big fan though. I’d say 11:11 and NuTeras are hipper. Kiki, located in the very hip Cihangir District – my personal favorite- is more of a laid-back choice, but offers the best music.
- A single spot not to miss; 49 Pizza, a quirky and very affordable restaurant with great rustic pizzas and drinks; the address is Turnacıbaşı Caddesi 49, Çukurcuma, Beyoglu.
December 3, 2011 at 1:54 pm
please visit the blue mosk……….. beautiful building!!!!
December 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm
welcome to the world’s most beautiful city..hope you enjoy it and hope you go back with wonderful memories..:))
December 3, 2011 at 2:02 pm
Take the boat that goes by the Bosphorus, is awesome! Enjoy Istanbul! one of my favorites places arround the world..
December 3, 2011 at 2:14 pm
Istanbul is one of my favorite cities in the world! Topkapi Palace and the Archaeology museum are must-visits, in terms of historical places.
For nightlife, Taksim is the most famous, but it has become over-crowded and the ban on outdoor drinking has made the area lose its charm. I would recommend heading to Kadikoy on the Asian side to visit their bars. There is a street full of really cool bars with a more independent vibe. There’s a great music scene here as well.
Istanbul also has a growing contemporary arts scene. I would highly recommend visiting SALT Beyoglu, right in the middle of Istiklal Caddesi. They have amazing, well curated shows, and there are many other good galleries in the couple of blocks around it.
December 3, 2011 at 2:20 pm
Go to Nishantashi, please don’t only hang out at the old historical part of the city. Explore the modern less touristic parts as well. I think sticking to only sultanahmet area is the biggest mistake of tourists. There is so much more to see, it’s an interesting mix of culture and life styles and I believe you get to see it very mono dimensionally in the historic area
December 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm
I´ve been to Istanbul one week ago, it was amazing! you defintely have to have dinner at “Sarnic”, it´s a restaurant in an old roman cisterne, built in the 5th century, very close to Hagia Sofia. The food is delicious! http://www.sarnicrestaurant.com/en/
Have a great time!
For shopping: Beymen BLENDER in Nisantasi and “Pied-de-Poule” in Beyoglu for Vintage Fashion!
I also loved the Military Museum, the uniforms are a great fashion inspiration!
December 3, 2011 at 6:36 pm
You should definetly drop by at some galleries, for example the milk gallery. I just been to Istanbul on my world trip too ! Pretty cold tough …
December 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm
Cross Galata bridge. Go to the fish market on the north west side. Find this man:
Buy one of his fish sandwiches.
December 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm
A tip for eating: try kumpir in the Ortaköy part of the city, near the bridge. It’s a very cheap, local and delicious thing. Enjoy your time there!
December 3, 2011 at 10:33 pm
first, the bazaar for a highly orientalized and touristic kitschy few hours (coming from an Istanbul-born and raised) followed by a stroll through the back streets of Istiklal Ave., Tunel, Çukurcuma and Cihangir for a genuine and slightly gentrified experience of local street life, cuisine, culture and style…
December 4, 2011 at 1:18 am
gotta eat at
there are 2 of them, right across from each other. the bread and cheese is AMAZING and the fish is to die for.
also check out the wedding shops up the street
December 4, 2011 at 2:15 am
Enjoy! Won’t you come by Tel Aviv later? Only an hour and a half away
December 4, 2011 at 2:43 am
you should eat or drink at İstanbul Modern’s restaurant! it has a fantastic view and ambiance!
December 4, 2011 at 3:39 am
Definitely don’t miss Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, and the Grand Bazaar – and try the simit (sort of like a Turkish pretzel) from one of the street vendors near the Bazaar. Can’t wait to see your pics of the interesting “East-meets-West” fashion sense that pervades the city…
December 4, 2011 at 3:57 am
You should go to taksim, nisantasi and bagdat street and also take a look at istinye park, a great mall.
December 4, 2011 at 4:40 am
have a cup of adaçayı tea at the old coffe shop at Galata square just under the Galata tower on a sunny sunday Then climb up to the Galata tower and have a look at the cıty from the top, to spot the next place you should see. Walking down the Galata bridge through Eminonu square would be a good start if you like walking.
December 4, 2011 at 4:48 am
First places that come to my mind to eat the best food:
Karakoy Lokantasi in Karakoy
Demeti in Cihangir
Hamdi Restaurant in Eminonu
Havuzlu Restaurant in Kapalicarsi
Ciya Sofrası in Kadikoy
Cercis Murat Konagi in Bostanci
Suna Balikcisi (Fish Restaurant) in Kanlica
Kantin in Nisantasi
Muze de Changa in Emirgan
Hope you enjoy our city… !
December 4, 2011 at 6:35 am
Welcome to Istanbul!
You should definitely do a ferry trip on Bosporus (you may go Anadolu Kavağı) and if you have enough time go to prince islands! Discover the area of Taksim, Beyoğlu to find interesting shops, art galeries and cozy places to eat(Cihangir, Çukurcuma, Tünel, Galata are the names of these areas). If you want I can guide you!
December 4, 2011 at 7:21 am
If you interested the real Ottoman food you should go to Asithane. http://www.asitanerestaurant.com/ After the lunch you should visit the Byzantine mosaic museum.
Kariye museum or the Church of St. Saviour in Chora is the most interesting Byzantine church in Istanbul, after the Haghia Sophia that is.
December 4, 2011 at 9:33 am
Eat at Mangerie Bebek! The drive and search for it are so worth it! http://www.facebook.com/mangeriebebek?sk=info
December 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm
I love the Ara Café from the great Magnum photographer Ara Güler.
December 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm
You have to dine at Mikla! The view from the outside bar upstairs is very impressive, as you stand in the middle and overlook the never ending city. The food is fantastic, try some Turkish wines with it.
December 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm
I see a lot of good recommendations here but I didn’t see anyone mention 360, a restaurant on Istiklal, in the Beyoglu section. Great views of the city there. Also, for a hotel, I always stay at the Anemon Hotel at the Galata tower. Funky ‘hood. room are a little small but whole atmosphere is great. The restaurant on the top floor has great views or Bosporus and Golden Horn river/channels.
December 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm
Take the public ferry that goes up the Bosphorous – it is an amazing journey up to the Black Sea. The boat stops and you can climb up to a fort that looks out over the Black Sea and the Bosphorous. There are stops along the way and wonderful wooden house called yali – some have been restored. Others are crumbling. A fascinating journey.
December 5, 2011 at 2:59 am
I have been to istanbul a few times and adored every second i was there, mainly because i was there with ppl from istanbul…so they knew where everything good was….i was going to suggest a few places but you have a ton of suggestions already so more then enough to keep you occupied.
Bir kırmızı şarap, lütfen. teşekkür. (a red wine please. Thank you. ) < most valuable sentence i learned there. You should as for Raki.
I wish you safe travels and a wonderful time!
December 5, 2011 at 4:32 am
Stay or eat at the Pera Palas for Ottoman–style fabulousness (I hope—someone commented that it had recently been redone). Try to visit the Kariye Camii. The mosaics and frescos are astounding there. And take the ferry to Prince’s Island to get away from the crowds and admire the old summer houses half hidden in the woods.
alessandra de leonardis
December 5, 2011 at 4:50 am
…..my favourite town in Europe :) !!
December 5, 2011 at 8:20 am
LOVE LOVE LOVE TURKEY – http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.392040972018.180723.716807018&type=1&l=3a62b16038
December 5, 2011 at 9:08 am
I agree with Cagla for dinner…
“Munferit” Tel: (0212) 252 50 67
Yeni Çar Caddesi 19 Galatasaray
Other places I like:
“İstanbul Modern” Art museum & Restaurant
to have happy hour drinks and good dinner facing the Bosphorus
“Karakoy Meyhanesi” the karakoy raki and mezes – by armenian family
0212 292 44 55
by the port of Karakoy
Enjoy Istanbul, I love it!!!
December 5, 2011 at 1:22 pm
Humbly recommend nice delicatessen from Vefa Boza and Cemilzade and lovely district called Kuzguncuk! Betty Blue in Kuzguncuk:) is a ideal place for lunch:) Enjoy…
December 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm
Rumeli Cafe in Istanbul!!
and try to go hot air ballooning in Cappadocia – it’s amazing!
December 5, 2011 at 9:02 pm
you should definetly step by open kitchen (açık mutfak) tımarci str. at galata … you will love it!
December 6, 2011 at 3:44 am
I spent 2 weeks in Turkey this year. The best meal I had there was at a local joint called Ciya. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g293974-d776065-Reviews-CIYA_SOFRASI-Istanbul.html
The chef traveled around Turkey and cooks regional and unusual Turkish food with seasonal produce. It was amazing.
December 7, 2011 at 2:08 am
welcome to İstanbul !!
for breakfast, Kaymakçı Pando, at Beşiktaş & Çengelköy Çınaraltı, at Çengelköy & Yeniköy Kahvesi, at Yeniköy
for Lunch, Tavanarası, at Asmalı Mescit , Taksim & Fıccın, at Taksim
for dinner or drink something; 360 at İstiklal or at Hilton Double Tree, Moda
Have fun =)
LA Weight Loss
December 8, 2011 at 7:07 pm
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February 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm
So pretty! <3
June 30, 2012 at 11:41 am
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