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As in any destination, there are also many different zones in Istanbul. There are luxurious zones, bohemian zones, shopping zones, historical zones, finance zones, children's zones etc. etc. However, in Istanbul there are also countless zones offering priceless beauties and moments to seize... A panoramic view of the Bosphorus, the sunset from the top of a hill, an endless walk by the endless coast, the tender breeze of the sea on your neck, digestive Turkish tea early in the morning, the people, and the architecture, the nature and the dogs in the streets... You will need only your camera and your feet to seize Istanbul when the city puts its guard down.

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Author: aisha


Yeşil Ev Garden

Location:

Kabasakal Caddesi 5
Yeşil Ev
34122 Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 517 6785 (Hotel)
fax: 90 212 517 6780 (Hotel)
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Haci Abdullah

Location:

Sakizağacı Caddesi 17
Beyoğlu
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 293 8561
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Rami

Location:

6 Utangaç Sokak, Cankurtaran
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 517 6593


Baykus

Location:

Bekar Sokak 22
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 292 8844


Day 1 - Istanbul


Check below for some suggestions on your lodging options. You may also check out other hotels, but prefer some hotel in the Sultanahmet region for ease of transportation. Check in at your hotel in Sultanahmet and immediately get yourself out onto the streets... Wander around these old, but lively streets. Give yourself the privilege to discover places. Stroll through the side streets and have a look at jewelry stores, antique shops, and historical buildings. Next head for the Sultanahmet Square, the first of the seven hills on the promontory of Istanbul, which has been the most important and the most dynamic part of the city in all ages. Start your excursion from the Hippodrome, around which are many other monuments that you will want to see, including the Egyptian Obelisk -also called The Obelisk Of Theodosius I- (an imitation of the real obelisk; it is located on the southern side of the Hippodrome), the 8-meter high Serpent Column erected in the middle of the Hippodrome, the octagonal domed fountain at the entrance to the Hippodrome and the Cistern of thousand and one columns located to the west of the Hippodrome -also called the "Sinking" or the "Underground" Palace by the locals. During the renovation of the Cistern, small booths for vendors, a cafe, and new exhibition areas were constructed. Enjoy your lunch or coffee break here inside at the café within the borders of a historical and mystical place. If you have time other historical points of interest would include: the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, The Augusteion and Millairium victory arch. For dinner try the famous meatballs of Sultanahmet. After dinner drink the digestive Turkish tea or coffee at an open coffee shop, called the "kahve" by the Turkish people. You will observe a lot of these kahves in the district. For desert go to the Pudding shop, a fine print of the generation of the 60s, the Turkish baby-boomers.


1

Cordial House Hotel

Location:

Peykhane sk.29 Cemberlitas
Çemberlitaş
34400 Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: +90 212 518 0576
fax: 90 212 516 4108
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2

Hotel Tashkonak

Location:

Kucukayasofya Cd. Tomurcuk Sk. No:5
Tomurcuk Sokak No. 5, Sultanahmet
34400 Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 518 2882
fax: 90 212 638 8491
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3

Istanbul Hostel

Location:

,

Contact:

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4

Hippodrome

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Location:

Sultanahmet Meydani (Square)
At Meydani (Horse Plaza), Sultanahmet
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

visit website


5

Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi)

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Location:

Yerebatan Caddesi 13
(Near St. Sophia)
34110 Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 522 1259
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6

Tarihi Selim Usta Sultanahmet Köftecisi

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expert pick

Location:

12 Divan Yolu
34110 Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 513 1438
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7

Pudding Shop

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Location:

18 Divan Yolu
Sultanahmet (across from the tram)
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 522 2970
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Day 2 - Istanbul


Witness the Ottoman Splendour! The day's visit includes the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar. Start your morning early around 8 or 9 am with "simit, kasar, and cay" (Turkish bagels, pale yellow cheese from sheep's milk, and traditional Turkish black tea) at any of the "kahves" (cafes) around the Sultanahmet square. Next, head for the Hagia Sophia. If you have started the day early enough, visit the Blue Mosque as well. Then, head for the Topkapi Palace, which is also in the proximity of Sultanahmet region -walkable distance. The Palace is an overwhelmingly beautiful and huge place. It is likely to take more than 2 hours of your day. In fact, there is a likely possibility that you may in fact get lost in this huge and magnificent place! Once you are out of the Palace, have a little rest and grab a sandwich. For instance "ekmek arasi doner" with "ayran" would be a quick, yet delightful lunch and can be found at any little buffet or cafe in Sultanahmet (Doner kebab sliced into pita bread accompanied by ayran, a Turkish drink based on yogurt and salt). From Sultanahmet take the tram to the Grand Bazaar and finalize your day with a little bit of shopping. At Grand Bazaar, there are more than 3000 jewelry, leather and handcraft shops. Make sure that you arrive to the Grand Bazaar timely around 3 or 4 pm, so that you do not find yourself in a rush to go through the inner alleys and inns. Inside the inns are nice restaurants featuring Ottoman cuisine. You may enjoy your dinner at one of them. Afterwards, take the tram from Grand Bazaar to Karakoy. Around Karakoy, is a district called Tophane, where there are numerous hulka cafes side by side. Enjoy your herbal tea, Turkish tea or coffee, try out the hulka and chill out a little after a long day of sightseeing.


1

Hagia Sophia

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Location:

Sultanahmet Square
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

visit website


2

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque)

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expert pick

Location:

Tavukhane Sokak 5-27
34420 Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 518 1802 (Sultanahmet tourist info office)
fax: 90 212 518 1802 (Sultanahmet tourist info office)
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3

Topkapi Palace

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expert pick

Location:

Sultanahmet Meydanı
34122 Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 522 4422
fax: +90 212 528 5991
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4

Kapali Çarsi (Covered Market)

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expert pick

Location:

22 Kalpakçılar Caddesi
34975 Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 519 1248
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Day 3 - Istanbul


Always going towards east every day, the destination of today is Eminonu-Suleymaniye and Halic. Take the tram from Sultanahmet and head for the Suleymaniye Camii and the Spice Bazaar. Spend your morning and early afternoon enjoying the history on the one hand and the gastronomic culture on the other (Spice Market is like a bazaar selling various different spices to be used in meals. However, there are other sections of the bazaar as well, which are selling many different things from cosmetics to pets...). Lunch at one of the cafes you will find inside the Spice Market, preferably the Pandeli Restaurant, and then head for Balat. Balat is at Halic. You can reach here easily by bus or taxi. For directions in Istanbul, you may also visit: http://harita.iett.gov.tr/# The Old Galata Bridge and the Patriarchate are two main points of interest worth a look. If you have time, rent a fishermen's boat (round trip costs around 20 euros) or take the ferry (one-way trip costs around 2-4 euros per person) to Eyup. At Eyup, climb up to the Pierre Loti Hill and watch the sunset from here. The famous Pierre Loti Hill is name after the well-known poet and author Loti, who was enraptured by Istanbul. He came here often to watch the beauties of the Golden Horn of those days. Take the ferry back to Halic and enjoy fish & bread at some buffet or cafe underneath the bridge; or for something a little bit more upscale go to Cibalikapi Fish Restaurant (around 25-30 euros per person with one glass of alcoholic beverage).


1

Süleymaniye Camii (Süleymaniye Mosque)

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Location:

Süleymaniye Mosque, next to Istanbul University's north gate, Suleymaniye, Fatih
34110 Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

visit website


2

Spice Bazaar (Mısır çarşısı)

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expert pick

Location:

Behind the New Mosque in Eminönü
Istanbul, Turkey


3

Pandeli Lokantasi

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Location:

1 Misir Çarsisi
Eminönü (immediately inside the entrance to the Egyptian Bazaar)
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 522 5534


Day 4 - Istanbul, Beyoğlu


Go early in the morning to Taksim before the place gets crowded with people in the afternoon. Take the tram from Sultanahmet to Karakoy, from where you connect to Taksim square with the funicular. From the main square, take the Istiklal street, one of the only pedestrian streets in Istanbul. Walk all the way down this street, slowly, seizing your moments. If you are interested in second-hand items, have a look at the inns around Galatasaray, where second hand items and handcrafts are sold. Most well known passages include El-hamra,Halep and Aznavur… When you get tired rest at one of the pastries: Dilek, Barselona, or Ozsut (all located towards the south end of the street). Or, go to the Inci Profiterole Pastry, the only original and authentic pastry of its kind making delicious profiterole -located on the upper end of the Istiklal. For lunch, try Hala Restaurant. They make traditional Turkish dumplings (manti) and tortillas (gozleme). Or. you may want to go to an "Ocakbasi" restaurant, which is a traditional kebab house. Below is a recommendation. However, if you do go to a kebab house during the day, eat light, as the meals at kebab houses tend to be fatty and heavy. Leave some room for your dinner. Once you reach to the bottom of the street, which is called the Tunnel among the locals, pay a visit to the Dervish Lodge, another historical-philosophical epitome of Istanbul. Visit also the Anglican Church and the St. Antoine Church, the Pera Museum and the galleries inside the famous Misir Apartmani -all again on the Istiklal Street. If you are interested you may also visit a Turkish steam bath during the afternoon. For dinner reserve in advance to dine at 360 Istanbul that offers brilliant panoramic scenery accompanied with delicious food. Later during the night, you may enjoy a performance at the Ataturk Culture Center or go to listen Jazz at Nisantasi.


1

İstiklal Caddesi

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Location:

İstiklal Caddesi
Istiklal Cad., Beyoglu
34437 Istanbul, Turkey


2

Tünel

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Location:

Galip Dede Caddesi
34430 Beyoğlu, Turkey

Contact:

tel: +90 21 2522 4902


3

Galata Mevlevihanesi (Dervish Lodge)

Location:

Galip Dede Caddesi 15
Tünel
34430 Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 245 4141
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4

Pera Museum

Location:

Meþrutiyet Caddesi 141
Beyoglu
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 334 9900
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5

Anglican Church

Location:

Serdar-ı Ekrem Caddesi
Beyoglu
Istanbul, Turkey


6

Saint Antoine Church

Location:

İstiklal Caddesi
Galatasaray
Istanbul, Turkey


7

Otto

Location:

Asmalımescit Mah., Şehbender Sokak No:5
Tünel
34430 Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 292 7015


8

Galatasaray Hamam

Location:

Junction of Turnacıbaşı and Capanoglu Streets No:24 Galatasaray
Galatasaray
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 252 4242
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Day 5 - Istanbul


Try to be up early in the morning and take the vaporetto to Kadikoy. There are boats departing from Eminonu and Besiktas. For more information look at: http://www.ido.com.tr/index.cfm For your trip to Kadikoy, choose Friday if you also want to see a typical open bazaar. Known as the Friday Bazaar, the bazaar is a big happening in Kadikoy. Street vendors collect their stuff and sell them all together in an open area. They sell a variety of different products from linens and clothings to food and useful home products. Take the ferry from Kadikoy to the Princess Islands. The last of the islands is the most interesting and the most touristic one. The other islands are as interesting, but they are more residential and offer less attractions. Once you are on Buyukada, enjoy your surroundings for a bit and get ready for a climb to the top of the Aya Yorgi hill, where the Aya Yorgi Church is located. Mind that climbing to the Aya Yorgi is tiresome, but worthwhile. The climb takes around 20 to 30 minutes. A carriage can be rented to travel up to a certain point, but the final bit of the climb is inescapable. Up on the hill is a very little, homely cafe appropriate to enjoy a can of beer, a cup of wine or coffee as you watch the sunset from the hill. Other attractions on the Island include the bike or the carriage tour. You may rent bikes or a carriage to take you around the Island. There is a short and a long tour at differing prices. It is recommended that you bargain and negotiate a price if you are interested in such a tour. Before departure enjoy the Roman ice-cream selling very near to the port. Take the ferry back to Karakoy. From here take the funicular again to Taksim and get ready for the Friday night. Enjoy a dinner at one of the traditional Ocakbasi restaurants found along the side streets in Taksim. Or, go to a wine bar around the Galatasaray region. Then start bar hopping with Mojo. Save Roxy to the end, which gets heated around 1 am and finishes toward 4 am.


1

Adalar (Princes' Islands)

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expert pick

Location:

Adalar
Istanbul, Turkey


2

Musa Ustam Ocakbaşı

Location:

14 Istiklal Caddesi
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 245 2932
fax: 90 212 249 4023
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3

Pano Wine Bar

Location:

Hamalbasi Caddesi 256
Galatasaray
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 292 6664


4

Mojo

Location:

Büyükparmakkapi Sokak 26
(off Istiklal Caddesi )
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 243 2927


5

Riddim

expert pick

Location:

Siraselviler Caddesi No: 53 / A (Next to the Belgium Embassy)
(off Istiklal Caddesi)
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: +90 212 251 2723
fax: +90 212 245 3048
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6

Roxy

Location:

Siraselviler Caddesi
Aslanyatagi Sakak 7
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 245 6539
fax: +90 212 252 2708
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Day 6 - Istanbul


You will probably wake up later than usual after the previous night's scene of bar hopping. Once you are up and awake, head for Besiktas. Breakfast at a nearby local cafe and watch the locals as they swarm the streets of Besiktas. From Besiktas take the bus to Ortakoy, where on Sundays is an open bazaar selling paintings, jewelry, accessories, bags, and various crafts. There are some small shops on other days as well. Enjoy Turkish tea or coffee at one of the cafes across from the mosque. Then take the ferry departing from Ortakoy to do a boat trip along the coast of Bosphorus. If you are energetic enough start walking from Ortakoy in the opposite direction from Besiktas heading for Arnavutkoy. (approximately an hour’s walk). Or take the bus until there. In Arnavutkoy try Adem Baba or Takanik for an early dinner/late lunch. Both are fisheries with legitimate prices. Alternatively, you can also eat kofte at Ali Baba or manti (the Turkish dumplings with mince meat) at Bodrum Manti. Afterwards you can enjoy a few drinks at Eylulist or Mimi, both located in Arnavutkoy as well.


1

Istanbul Ferry

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Location:

Various locations
Istanbul, Turkey


2

Bosphorus tour on foot

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Location:

Çırağan Caddesi, Yıldız, İstanbul 34349, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey


3

Ali Baba Kofteci

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Location:

1. Cadde 92 Arnavutkoy
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 265 3612


4

Adem Baba

Location:

Beyazgul Caddesi No:2
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 263 29 33
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5

Takanik

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Location:

Bebek yolu no: 87
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

tel: 90 212 263 83 46 / 90 212 263 83 47
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6

Bodrum Manti

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Location:

Arnavutkoy 1. Cadde No: 111
Istanbul, Turkey

Contact:

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