Arnavutköy Albanian Village, by its full name, was actually Armenian and Greek under the Ottoman rule. Currently, it is a posh neighborhood on Bosphorus, with beautiful wooden Ottoman mansions and boats lining the crystal blue waterfront.
Full of cafes, nightclubs and a parade of sport cars, Arnavutköy is a nice place for a walk along the water. On weekends, people watching is in order as it is full of people wandering up and down, while many others are stationary fishing from the embankment.
Look for the striking Monument of Atatürk, across the street is a small rooftop cafe, perfect for an afternoon tea and Bosphorus view.
Not far from the large bazaars on Beyazıt Square (built by Constantine the Great) is the beautiful main gate to Istanbul university (built in 1864). The gate is so striking, it graced the back of the 500 Turkish Lira banknote during the years of 1971-84.
Originally, established in 1453 under the Ottoman empire as “House of Multiple Sciences” the campus was re-structured in 1925 into a modern university by the most non-other then Atatürk!
If you want to visit the campus, it is beter to go before 5:00pm.
statue of Atatürk with the main building on background that used to be the headquarters of the Harbiye Nezareti (Ministry of War) during the Ottoman rulling
Canım Ciğerim is one of those places that we found with our noses, wandering the back streets of Istanbul – only to find out that it is in fact quite well known! The name has a literal translation to ‘”my soul, my liver”, grilled liver being the specialty of the house – but there are many standard and vegetarian options.
A kebab house with a grill afire full of tangy meats and veggies – the smell wafts well down the street – drawing in all hungry passerby! Grab yourself some skewers and top with the tasty condiments – pomegranate molasses, grilled tomato, grilled onions and peppers fresh dill, fresh parsley, fresh mint and chili paste.
I’m sure the team at Canım Ciğerim is there right now laughing and grilling 🙂
Next door an Ottoman desert called Künefe a melted cheese wrapped in shredded filo dough, soaked in honey and topped with pistachios
Aydinli Cave Hotel is a small, family-run hotel with Mustafa Demirci being the head of the family and his super charming son Cem
charming rooftop terracewith a panoramic view of Goreme
If there were a 6th Star for service, I would gladly award it to the Aydinli Cave House Hotel!
All businesses start from the top down -> and here we are starting with a home that has been occupied by the same family for over 500 years! Generations of love fill the Aydinli Cave Hotel with their joy and passion and you can feel it reverberating from the walls and the family that receives you.
From the father, Mr. Mustafa Demirci, and his son Çem (pronounced Chem) you learn the warmth of the beautiful town of Göreme. To visit the place is to meet it’s people. And there is no better window into this world then from them.
The town you know already is the most beautiful of those in Cappadocia – and having travelled around, we believe the smart move is to stay in Göreme. The experience you have there will depend on with whom and where you stay. It is for this reason I recommend the Aydinli Cave House Hotel.
Çem was always looking out for us and making sure we were headed in the right direction, while Mustafa took an day to show us around some special places and to pick lovely Rocket from his own garden!
In 1993, on a hilltop in the center of the Ulus neighborhood, interior designer Zeynep Fadıllıoğlu created this platform for marvelous views of the Bosphorus, the semi-circular enclosed space is a true example of east meets west. There are magnificent crystal chandeliers hung over the center lounge and a fire place and the adjacent bar. There is also a grand outdoor terrace, but we visited s during winter, so we did not get to enjoy much of it (although we tried but the chilling breeze sent us back inside).
The menu consist of 29 (a play on the name) traditional Ottoman dishes as well as well as some french and Japanese fusion options. The eggplant was highly smoked, while being pure and fresh. A few other standouts were the deep fried goat cheese salad with mizzuna, mint, arugula and strawberry reduction, the rice pilaf with butter and the grilled octopus with white-bean-and-tomato salad.
Reservations, as well as smart dress are highly recommended at this classic restaurant with its impeccable service. We highly recommend a nice outing at Ulus 29; so enjoy a wonderful lunch or dinner, and then walk down the hill, all the way to the water. It’s not a bad way to enjoy some vacation time!
lavaş bread garlic butter goat cheese rosettes
Mizzuna, poached egg salad with perfect artichoke hearts and asparagus
Dolmas, slightly sweet and very aromatic and lemony, defenetely the best we’ve had so far