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Destinations Within Turkey

Turkey Trip Itineraries

"Wanna-have-it-all"s in Istanbul

Destination(s): Istanbul

Istanbul is a huge city with more than 12 million people living over almost 6000 km-squared. Therefore, getting from one place to another may not be as easy as it may look. That said, even if you have a week in Istanbul, you may still be able to see lots and get the maximum out of the city by planning well ahead. All you really need to do is to allocate your time to the right districts on the right days. The following itinerary is planned out for May as that is probably to best time to enjoy the city since the climate tends to be mild and warm enough to walk outdoors. Nevertheless, there are alternative places mentioned all along the proposed itinerary to visit, eat at, and enjoy during winter as well. All of which is mentioned here is already too much for 7 days, therefore for all those having more days, enjoy yourselves better as you spread this itinerary over your number of days. read more about "Wanna-have-it-all"s in Istanbul

Bebek Park

Bebek Park

  • Bebek
  • Istanbul

Bebek Park is no Central Park... It is not big at all. But with its lush green trees, wooden benches and playgrounds for kids it is an invincible hub for locals of Bebek -especially those with kids and dogs :) On any sunny Sunday you are likely to find both celebrities and local residents, taking a breath here at the Bebek Park. Kids will be runnung up and around, dogs will be snoozing around, cats will be hiding away from them all... There are nice tea gardens (cafes) inside and around the park where you can relax and watch it all -sipping into tradional Turkish tea. Finally, Bebek Park has one thing that most other parks in the world does not; and that is the Sea, the port and the fishermen...
read more about Bebek Park

Bosphorus tour on foot

Bosphorus tour on foot

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

A walk from Besiktas until Sariyer is just too long. But, if you were to do it, you would be passing by Ciragan Palace, Ortakoy, Kurucesme, Arnavutkoy, Bebek, Rumeli Fortress, Baltalimani / Boyacikoy, Emirgan, Sabanci House / Museum, Istinye, Yenikoy, Tarabya and Sariyer successively. This entire walk would last for at least 4 hours, maybe 5. However, a smaller version from Kurucesme until Rumeli Fortress is just enough to see the beautiful old houses, the fishermen, the sidewalk groceries and the Anatolian coast across. The same walk is doable on the Anatolian coast as well. There the line starts from Uskudar (across from Besiktas) and continues along Beylerbeyi, Kuleli Military School, Vanikoy (the elite residential place of mansions), Kandilli, Goksu, Anadolu Fortress, Kanlica, Pasabahce, Beykoz. Again this entire trail would be too long and tiresome. The better parts of this are from the Kuleli Military School until Kanlica. Yet, another trail along the coast on the Anatolian side is the parallel of the famous shopping street the Bagdat Street. The parallel of this street runs by the Marmara Sea and the best trail starts from Bostanci and continues along Suadiye, Caddebostan and Fenerbahce. read more about Bosphorus tour on foot

Rami

Rami

  • 6 Utangaç Sokak, Cankurtaran
  • tel:90 212 517 6593
  • Istanbul
Galata Tower

Galata Tower

Sade Kahve

Sade Kahve

  • Yahya Kemal Caddesi No:36/1 Rumelihisari
  • Rumeli Hisari
  • tel:90 212 358 23 24
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul
Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace

  • Dolmabahce Caddesi
  • Besiktas
  • tel:90 212 236 9000
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul
Adalar (Princes' Islands)

Adalar (Princes' Islands)

  • Adalar
  • Istanbul

In Turkish, "adalar" simply means "islands" - though adalar are very familiar territory for Istanbulites, which island you are referring to is still quite important since many Istanbullites use the islands as their summer residence and have a genuine circle of relatives and friends there. Probably the most popular day trip option from Istanbul, at least in the summer, the Princes' Islands are comprised of seven small islands, four of which (Bykada, Kınalıada, Burgazada and Heybeliada) have constant summertime service by ferry from Kabataş and Bostanci. The islands offer treasures of history (Byzantine churches and Greek and Turkish ruins), green parks, and various upscale restaurants and hotels. As no cars are allowed onto the islands, you would be better off renting a horse-backed carriage to go from one part to another; or to arrive on the islands dressed casually and renting a bike. The islands are a wonderful retreat from bustling Istanbul, each with its own unique character and pace of life. read more about Adalar (Princes' Islands)

Private Half-Day Tour: Istanbul Ottoman Splendour - Topkapi, Suleymaniye Mosque, Grand Bazaar

Private Half-Day Tour: Istanbul Ottoman Splendour - Topkapi, Suleymaniye Mosque, Grand Bazaar

Hippodrome

Hippodrome

  • Sultanahmet Meydani (Square)
  • At Meydani (Horse Plaza), Sultanahmet
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul
The Marmara Istanbul

The Marmara Istanbul

  • Taksim Square
  • Taksim Square
  • tel:90 212 2514696
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 80090
Istanbul Ferry

Istanbul Ferry

  • Various locations
  • Istanbul
Galerist

Galerist

  • Istiklal Caddesi
  • 311 Misir Appartments
  • tel:90 212 244 8230
  • Visit website
  • Beyoğlu, 34340
Asmali Cavit

Asmali Cavit

  • Asmalı Mescit Beyoğlu
  • tel:90 212 292 4950
  • Istanbul

Asmalı Mescit has changed immensely and continues to change -from an artisan street occupied by butcher shops, plumber shops and the like to a bars' street. The lower end of this street has been home to a few typical Turkish taverns for a long time. Among the well known taverns are Refik, Yakup and Asmalı Cavit. Asmalı Cavit offers one of the best price for value offers, whilst keeping true to friendly service and long-lasting traditions. The custom is to start off the night with rakı, melon and cheese; and to move on slowly to cold and hot appetizers -the mezes.
read more about Asmali Cavit

Adem Baba

Adem Baba

  • Beyazgul Caddesi No:2
  • tel:90 212 263 29 33
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul
Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace

  • Sultanahmet Meydanı
  • tel:90 212 522 4422
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34122
Egyptian Obelisk

Egyptian Obelisk

Hilton Parksa Istanbul

Hilton Parksa Istanbul

  • Bayildim Cadessi No 12 Maçka
  • tel:90 212 3101200
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 80680
Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center

Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center

  • Istikal Cadessi No. 276 34340
  • Beyoglu
  • tel:90 212 293 2361
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 80050
Mikla

Mikla

  • Meşrutiyet Caddesi Tepebaşı
  • The Marmara Pera
  • tel:90 212 251 5656 / 90 212 251 4646 (Hotel)
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34430
Takanik

Takanik

  • Bebek yolu no: 87
  • tel:90 212 263 83 46 / 90 212 263 83 47
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul
Süleymaniye Camii (Süleymaniye Mosque)

Süleymaniye Camii (Süleymaniye Mosque)

  • Süleymaniye Mosque, next to Istanbul University's north gate, Suleymaniye, Fatih
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34110
Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

Pera Palas Hotel

Pera Palas Hotel

  • Meşrutiyet Cad. 98/100
  • Tepebaşı
  • tel:90 212 251 4560
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 80050
Abdi İpekçi Caddesi

Abdi İpekçi Caddesi

  • Abdi İpekçi Caddesi
  • Kağıthane
  • Nişantaşı
Ali Baba Kofteci

Ali Baba Kofteci

  • 1. Cadde 92 Arnavutkoy
  • tel:90 212 265 3612
  • Istanbul
Kapali Çarsi (Covered Market)

Kapali Çarsi (Covered Market)

  • 22 Kalpakçılar Caddesi
  • tel:90 212 519 1248
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34975
Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi)

Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi)

  • Yerebatan Caddesi 13
  • (Near St. Sophia)
  • tel:90 212 522 1259
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34110
Hilton Istanbul

Hilton Istanbul

  • Cumhuriyet Caddesi
  • Harbiye
  • tel:90 212 315 6000
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 80200
Ara Café

Ara Café

  • Tomtom Mahallesi Tosbag Sokak 8/A
  • Galatasaray
  • tel:90 212 245 41 05
  • Istanbul
La Brise

La Brise

  • Asmalı Mescit Caddesi 28
  • tel:90 212 244 48 46
  • Istanbul
Rumeli Iskele

Rumeli Iskele

  • Yahya Kemal Caddesi 1 Rumelihisari
  • Rumeli Hisari
  • tel:90 212 263 2997
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul

Iskele Restaurant is very much liked by the local (well-to-do) folks for its unique location on the water front along the Rumeli Hisari coast; and the quality of its services and freshness of the seasonal fish. The best seats in the house are probably those that are outside on the wooden deck, commanding a view across the straits to the castle on the hilltop - Anadolu Hisari. In the winter, tables by the window are second best. The interior dcor is unornamented, simplistic and traditional, but still very elegant. The extremely attentive staff are unobtrusive and very friendly, yet still polite and efficient. The service overall is extremely unpretentious. The variety of food is actually not very different from other mainstream fist restaurants. However, Iskele manages to differentiate itself through the quality of its food offer: fresh seasonal fish and delicious seafood meze. Marinated sea bass, Mackarel special from the cold plates; Iskele special from the hot dishes are highly recommended. Locals' choice for business meals and quality time with friends & loved ones. Definitely a place to take your foreign friend and bewilder him during his visit to Istanbul.
read more about Rumeli Iskele

Kariye Museum

Kariye Museum

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque)

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque)

  • Tavukhane Sokak 5-27
  • tel:90 212 518 1802 (Sultanahmet tourist info office)
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34420
The Sofa Hotel

The Sofa Hotel

  • Teşvikiye Caddesi no. 123
  • Nışantaşı
  • tel:90 212 368 18 18
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34367
Cezayir

Cezayir

  • Hariyre Caddesi 12
  • Galatasaray
  • tel:90 212 245 9980
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34425
Otto

Otto

  • Asmalımescit Mah., Şehbender Sokak No:5
  • Tünel
  • tel:90 212 292 7015
  • Istanbul, 34430
Lucca

Lucca

  • Cevdetpasa Caddesi No:51/B
  • tel:90 212 257 12 55
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul
Asitane Restaurant

Asitane Restaurant

  • Kariye Camii Sokak 6
  • Kariye Hotel
  • tel:90 212 635 7997
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34240

Housed in a 19th-century Ottoman mansion (now converted into the Kariye Hotel), the Asithane Restaurant is big diversion from the mainstream Turkish and Ottoman Cuisine Restaurants in Istanbul -a.k.a kebab houses or doner / tacos buffets as the stereotypical Turkish food. Asitane Restaurant is a highly recommended restaurant to get a feel of the real historical taste of the Turkish culture. The menu changes seasonally - although some typical dishes don't, such as almond soup, stuffed calamari, seasonal salad with beetroot and hibiscus, hassa breği (aged skin bag cheese from goat's milk, yogurt, green olives, walnuts and tarragon wrapped inside wafer), muntancana (stewed lamb served with pearl onion) and mahmudiyye (chicken flavored with honey served with almond, apricot, cinnamon, dried grape and flavored rice). Asitane Restaurant has a gorgeous summer terrace and an aromatic rose garden overlooking the Chora Church (Kariye Church). Enjoy your şerbet and / or wine, whilst sampling the small dishes (hot and cold appetizers). Go for sharing everything - as there is so much that is so good. The staff is overly well-behaved, kind and they speak very good English. Share your appetite with them and they will arrange your meals' size such that you will get to taste everything you want.  read more about Asitane Restaurant

Tarihi Selim Usta Sultanahmet Köftecisi

Tarihi Selim Usta Sultanahmet Köftecisi

  • 12 Divan Yolu
  • tel:90 212 513 1438
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34110
İstiklal Caddesi

İstiklal Caddesi

  • İstiklal Caddesi
  • Istiklal Cad., Beyoglu
  • Istanbul, 34437
Ulus 29

Ulus 29

  • Ahmet Adnan Saygun Caddesi
  • Ulus Parki No.1, Ulus
  • tel:90 212 358 2929
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul

Despite a fairly good French-influenced menu, most of the moneyed clientele come here to be seen rather than eat. The well-heeled customers enter through a narrow corridor -a.k.a VIP-, walk over colorful old carpets and bright kilims (traditional Turkish rugs) into a wide saloon with an incredible view of the Bosphorus. Ulus 29 is located right above, on the same hill as the, Sunset Grill Bar & Restaurant. The two restaurants share the same aura, clientele and the view; and have slightly influenced menus, yet differ by the fact that Ulus 29 is a bar, restaurant and club. Even though dinner may end around midnight at 29, the 29 club is usually just starting by that time. The ostentatious dcor of both restaurant and the club area makes the whole place resemble a gigantic Bedouin tent. In summer, everyone prefers to dine on the open-air garden terrace with fabulous views of the Bosphorus. The menu covers a wide array of cuisines, but is fairly influenced by French, Ottoman Classics and Italian.
read more about Ulus 29

Pudding Shop

Pudding Shop

  • 18 Divan Yolu
  • Sultanahmet (across from the tram)
  • tel:90 212 522 2970
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul
Tünel

Tünel

  • Galip Dede Caddesi
  • tel:+90 21 2522 4902
  • Beyoğlu, 34430
Nu Club

Nu Club

  • Tepebaşı Mesrutiyet Caddesi 147-149
  • Petit-Champs Passage
  • tel:90 212 245 6070
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul

This two-level nightclub, formerly known as NuPera, now also called Nu Club, happens to be the Nu Terrace in summers. It is located within the NuPera complex in the Beyoglu neighborhood, enclosing three restaurants inside during the winter and the regular Nu Restaurant on the terrace in the summer. In terms of its clientele, there are no vast seasonal differences in winter and summer. On the other hand, the concept of the place tends to change a bit. During winters, the three rooms, in which the three restaurants are, rock to different types of music, making an enchanting club environment that allows you to bar-hop without putting on your jacket at all. The restaurants inside are Moreish, Nu Restaurant and Lilbitz, offering a range of fusion, world and tapas food. During the summer, the inner places close down and only the terrace area is open for both dinner and entertainment. The place does tend to be crowded, making getting in a tough work at times; but this does not deter the regulars, who jostle for elbow-space on the dance floor. An eclectic range of music is played by the DJs here, and that includes hip hop, house and pop. The clientele is elitist and the dress code is strictly smart and chic.
read more about Nu Club

Long Table

Long Table

  • Tesvikiye Caddesi No:123,
  • Sisli
  • tel:90 212 224 81 81
  • Istanbul
Galata Mevlevihanesi (Dervish Lodge)

Galata Mevlevihanesi (Dervish Lodge)

  • Galip Dede Caddesi 15
  • Tünel
  • tel:90 212 245 4141
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34430
Anjelique

Anjelique

  • Muallim Naci Caddesi Salhane sokak no. 5
  • Ortaköy
  • tel:90 212 327 2844
  • Istanbul
Babylon

Babylon

  • Seyhbender Sokak 3 Tunel-Asmalimescit
  • Tünel, Asmalimescit
  • tel:90 212 292 7368
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 80040

Babylon, designed as a multipurpose performance space, is the premier award-winning live music venue in Turkey, that is offering both some of Turkey's most popular artists and some very special international bands and musicians at fairly reasonable rates. Top international names from jazz, latin, reggae, world music, and electronica spectrum are staged on weekends; while local bands take the stage on weekdays. There are also special DJ sessions, which are held once a month. This place has a capacity of 450 standing or 300 with tables & standing. Since 2007, Babylon has opened the Babylon Lounge, which also hosts live music performances. The difference of Babylon Lounge is that it is also possible to have dinner or lunch here, or just come for drinks and enjoy finger food and snacks.
read more about Babylon

Hünkar

Hünkar

  • Mim Kemal Öke Caddesi 21
  • Nişantaşı
  • tel:90 212 225 4662 / 90 212 225 4665
  • Istanbul, 34360
Litera

Litera

  • Yeni Carsi Caddesi No:32 Kat: 6
  • tel:90 212 292 89 47
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34440
Reina

Reina

  • Muallim Naci Caddesi 44
  • Ortaköy
  • tel:90 30 212 259 5919 / 90 30 212 259 5921
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul

One of the hottest clubs in Turkey, Reina is actually a vast playground filled with bars, restaurants and dance floors that can welcome up to 2500 people. Supposedly, the name 'Reina' was inspired by a 'very cute' 3-year-old girl (wCities). In the past few years, Reina has been becoming more and more "less local." Yet, high-fliers, millionaires, celebrities and media moguls continue to mix and mingle under one roof. This has to do with its vast popularity and scenery, which have made it very famous worldwide and thus very crowded. It is located at the foot of the European side with a magnificent view of the Bosphorus Bridge. It is open every season, yet moves out to its vast open space in the summers. The place gets renovated right down to its toilets almost every season and opens both its winter and summer seasons with huge parties. The restaurants inside this complex run the gamut from Italian to Sushi to more traditional local fare. Many well-known restaurants including Kosebasi Kebab, Samdan Restaurant and Dragon Chinese Restaurant move into Reina for the summer season. Nevertheless, you may not be able to find the same restaurant here season after season: Who pays the piper calls the tune...


read more about Reina

Mia Mensa

Mia Mensa

  • Muallim Naci Cad. No. 64/C
  • Kuruçeşme
  • tel:90 212 263 4214
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul

Mia Mensa wins the hearts of its customers by its key-point location inside a pretty garden on the Bosphore shore. Open throughout the year, yet extremely in-demand only during the summer months, Mia Mensa is frequented by adults and young adolescent friend groups alike. In fact, during the peak summer season, the latter and the younger group dominates tables for hours to catch a glimpse of who-else-might-be-there and for fine gossip. The menu at Mia Mensa is characterized by la carte southern Italian fare; and is accompanied by few tasteful Mexican and Chinese sample dishes. Examples from this diverse menu include baked mushrooms with cheese and chicken, penne with broccoli and zucchini, linguine with garlic and oil and chicken curry with rice. There is a good variety of excellent Italian wines (as well as Grappa and Sambuca) as well. Whilst the dinner menu is available only at certain hours of the day; there is a caf section serving quick salads and pizzas all day. An elegant place, yet trendy among young adolescents... A word of thumb: The service can be irritatingly bad and rude at times of peak hours.
read more about Mia Mensa

House Café Tünel (The)

House Café Tünel (The)

  • Asmalı Mescit
  • Sümbül Sokak Tünel Geçidi İşhanı, B Blok No: 9/1-2
  • tel:90 212 245 9515 / 90 212 245 9516
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 80050
Aşşk Kahve

Aşşk Kahve

  • Muallim Naci Cad. 170/A
  • tel:90 212 265 47 34
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34975

"Ask" means love in Turkish, so the Assk Kahve is the "Love Cafe" in translation. It has a very simple menu with various sandwiches, toasts and paninis, salads and pasta. Yet, its unique location on the sea makes Assk Kahve one of the places to be in the summer. As such, it tends to get quite crowded with both young adolescents and adults. It is highly recommended that you find yourself a seat on the deck, but for that you will need to arrive a bit earlier than 11:00 AM. Breakfast is very enjoyable and you are supposed to order everything to the middle. Do order the "giant pogaca" (pastry / croissant) and honey & cream. At other times, enjoy their home-made lemonade and the "tongue of love" sandwich. read more about Aşşk Kahve

Pera Museum

Pera Museum

  • Meþrutiyet Caddesi 141
  • Beyoglu
  • tel:90 212 334 9900
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul
Anglican Church

Anglican Church

  • Serdar-ı Ekrem Caddesi
  • Beyoglu
  • Istanbul

The Anglican church which was used by Sri Lankan Anglikan community, is located on Serdarı Ekrem Street, extending to the Galip Dede Street in Beyoglu, Istanbul. Lord Stratford Canning laid the foundation in 1856. It was built in memory of English soldiers who attended to Crimean war on the site of the Greek cemetery. Christmas celebrations are a rare kind attended by a cheerful priest and a choir.
read more about Anglican Church

Saint Antoine Church

Saint Antoine Church

  • İstiklal Caddesi
  • Galatasaray
  • Istanbul

The Saint Antoine Church is located on Istiklal Street in Beyoglu, Istanbul. The construction began on August 23rd, 1906 and it was completed and opened to service in 1912. Its architect is Giulio Mongeri, who was born in Istanbul. The church which was governed by Italian priests is the greatest Catholic Church in Istanbul with the biggest number of congregation. It was openned to service on February 15th, 1912. read more about Saint Antoine Church

Flamm

Flamm

  • Sofyalı Sokak, 16/1 Asmalımescit
  • 1 Asmalımescit
  • tel:90 212 245 7604
  • Istanbul
360 Istanbul

360 Istanbul

  • Misir Apt. K:8 N:32/309
  • Istiklal Caddesi
  • tel:90 212 251 1042 / 90 212 251 1043
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 80600
Islama Köfteci

Islama Köfteci

  • 10 Mis Sokak
  • tel:90 212 244 5167
  • Beyoğlu
Musa Ustam Ocakbaşı

Musa Ustam Ocakbaşı

Haci Abdullah

Haci Abdullah

  • Sakizağacı Caddesi 17
  • Beyoğlu
  • tel:90 212 293 8561
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul