Welcome to Istanbul !

Istanbul is a truly massive metropolis.   With a population of almost 14 Million inhabitants, spread across 2 continents,  soaring minarets and massive mosques, it is a city that sits at the cross-roads of the world.  For a guide to Istanbul,  We really loved our time in this wondrous city!

So just know that the traffic is crazy. The Ferry is by far the best – and most fun – way to get around.  You can traverse up and down the Bosphorus for while seeing all the wondrous sites from the water.  Not quite as economic, but much more fun is the water taxi aka speedboats for hire.  There are a few different companies and your hotel concierge can advise.

We recommend the ferries and then walking.  There is a mini metro system that works mainly in Sultanahmet; with one line going over to the Asian side and a couple others towards the Tunel and Nisantasi districts.

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Locals are overwhelmingly sweet and attentive.  Every time we got lost someone would walk us all the way to our destination and answer all our questions.  Being naturally untrusting New Yorkers, we were always looking for the catch; the “what’s in it for them”.  However, in the end we had to admit that there was no catch.  People were truly helpful, polite and caring!

We never had an incident, but that doesn’t mean one should bring the guard down.  Istanbul is what it is because of it’s the strategic location between two continents, and is the main hub for human trafficking worldwide.

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Like most hyper-touristic destinations, beware of taxi drivers overcharging,  In Istanbul, some taxi drivers might triple and even quadruple the fare.  It’s always good to check with the hotel for estimated taxi fares.  If you feel you are being abused, just step out of the car  and tell the driver you are calling the police – there are standing police everywhere – that will usually take care of the situation and the driver quickly change the rate !

For a magical afternoon, take a casual Sunday stroll in Kadikoy while watching the people fish along the Bosphorus and marvel at the blue water and jellyfish everywhere!

Guide to Istanbul:

It takes a lifetime to know this metropolis; here are a few places to get started!



Kadiköy is a lovely district on the Asian side near the mouth of the Bosphorus on the north coast of …

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Kurucesme Arnavutköy
Arnavutköy Albanian Village, by its full name, was actually Armenian and Greek under the Ottoman rule. Currently, it is .

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Below the impressive Bosphorus Bridge, within the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, lays the lovely neighborhood of Ortaköy. One can …

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Mosques, Museums & Other Interesting Places

Hagia Sophia – Istanbul

Referred to as the Church of the Holy Wisdom for many centuries, the Hagia Sophia is the most ...
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Dolmabahçe Palace – Istanbul

Fourteen tonnes of gold leaf building in the ceilings and the largest collection of Bohemian and Baccarat crystal ...
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İstanbul Üniversitesi

Not far from the large bazaars on Beyazıt Square (built by Constantine the Great) is the beautiful main ...
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Sultanahmet Mosque – Istanbul

Visible from many spots around Istanbul, the Sultanahmet Mosque dominates the skyline. Commonly, it is known as the ...
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The Great Palace Mosaic Museum Istanbul

A small side stop next to the Arasta Bazaar is the Great Palace Mosaic Museum Istanbul. There, restored ...
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Kanyon Mall Istanbul

Ok- for whatever reason when traveling we always wind up at a mall. We could look at it ...
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Yerebatan Sarnici – Istanbul

Built by Constantine and enlarged to its present form by Justinian, Yerebatan Sarnici is the largest of several ...
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Spice Bazaar – Istanbul

Tucked behind the Yeni Mosque - adjacent to the Flower Market - one can discover the destination for ...
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Yeni Cami – Istanbul

The Yeni Cami (new mosque) or Valide SultanMosque was ordered in 1597 by the Sultana Safiye, wife of ...
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Canım Ciğerim – Istanbul

Canım Ciğerim is one of those places that we found with our noses, wandering the back streets of Istanbul ...
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Ulus 29 Restaurant in Istanbul

In 1993, on a hilltop in the center of the Ulus neighborhood, interior designer Zeynep Fadıllıoğlu created this platform ...
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Karadeniz – Istanbul

After visiting the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, we walked around the corner to a very touristic arcade bereft of the ...
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Çiya – Istanbul

Located in Kadiköy, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, Çiya is not an obvious place but is quite ...
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Şekerci Cafer Erol – Istanbul

Yonca Erol is foremost a charming woman; she is also a member of the Cafer Erol family, and the ...
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W Hotel Istanbul

In the middle of the Besiktas neighborhood, sit the historic Akaretler Row Houses. Peering at their curved facades, one ...
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