Hi Everyone, Below is a list of some touristy areas, some nice restaurants and bars, and shopping areas. At the end, I also included a list of good Turkish restaurants in NYC in case you want to try beforehand or afterwards! Please feel free to contact me at any time – even while you’re in Turkey – with questions!! I really don’t mind and want you all to have the best experience possible. My email address is: email@example.com Please be open to try new things, explore, and enjoy Turkey!! Also a few quick things I forgot to mention at the meeting: 1) Turkey operates on MILITARY TIME, so add 12 to every PM hour. For example, 1pm is 13:00, 3pm is 15:00, 9pm is 21:00, etc… 2) You will see some women wearing headscarves, others wearing more full-coverage coverings, especially in the older parts of town (which also happen to be where the more touristy locations such as Topkapi Palace are located). At the same time you’ll see women showing a lot of cleavage or wearing short skirts! The more conservatively dressed women are only doing so because they choose to – in no way are you ever required to do so! It’s just a personal choice and statement. 3) Turkey is predominantly Muslim, although it’s also staunchly secular. Five times a day (the traditional times to pray) you will hear the priests (in Turkey they are called muezzin) call/announce from the mosques throughout the cities – it will sound strange at first, but you will notice that everyone continues about their business. You will get used to it in a day or two! Other places to see / things to do OTHER than the ones on your agenda: Bazaars-- Grand Bazaar and Corn Bazaar-- The Bazaars have clothes, keep sakes, imitation purses, shoes, jewelry, pillowcases, snacks, etc. Mosques (Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia are the best ones) --The mosques, bazaars, and Topkapi Palace are all relatively close to one another, FYI Istiklal Caddesi --Long street with shopping, food and bars in Taksim very close to your hotel (moderate priced shopping) Ortakoy --Little cobblestone streets by the water with little shops and street vendors/kiosks. By night, it’s the perfect place to smoke hukkas, play backgammon, enjoy a coffee, and find unique jewerly! Kiz Kulesi- Mini-island in the middle of the Bosphorus with a look-out tower – great views and has a restaurant as well. Ferries leave from Beyoglu. Cicek Pasaji – towards the end of Istiklal Caddesi in Taksim, it’s a small passage on the right hand side with everything from fresh foods, to artwork, to collectibles, to keepsakes. Istanbul Museum of Modern Art – also has a café with great views! Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10.00-18.00, Thursday: 10.00-20.00, Closed on Mondays. Free on Thursdays, otherwise 7 YTL ($5.50) Dolmabahce Sarayi – Truly a fantastic palace by the water with a large garden, very popular - Palace is open every day from 9:30am to 5:00pm except Monday & Thursday. Only guided tours are allowed in the palace and you must pay an extra 6YTL if you plan on taking pictures. Its very popular, so the tour lines can be long. Ciragan Hotel –A fabulous, world-class hotel. Beautiful interior (worth just walking around) and fabulous views. You can just tour the hotel (which is along the water), or have some tea/coffee/drinks in the afternoon in the café. “Kanyon” Outdoor Shopping Mall --Outdoor shopping area, beautiful architecture and very modern, European brands (upscale shopping) Bagdat Caddesi --Long, famous street (similar to 5th Ave) with upscale stores and nice restaurants, bookstores, and cafes. Its on the “Asian side” of the city (unlike most other places you’ll be going, which are on the European side of the city). The “Suadiye” and “Erenkoy” areas are most popular. Nisantasi – a very upscale neighborhood with lots of nice shopping, restaurants, and cafes Archaeological Museum – A large collection of artifacts and works of art belonging to ancient Ottoman, Roman and other Anatolian civilizations dating back to the 6th century BC. Open daily between 9:30am-4:30pm, except Mondays. Good restaurants and cafes (some also serve as bars): The House Café (“Tunel” location) - Turkish fusion menu, good drinks Asmali Mescit Sumbul Sokak, Tunel Geciti Ishani B Blok, 9/1-2 Beyoglu SuAda --Mini-island in the middle of the Bospohorus. Ferry shuttles leave in Ortakoy, nice restaurants (Asian, Italian, etc.) and daytime pool (need to pay). Yelken Fish Restaurant - great fish restaurant by the water, good views Köybaşı Caddesi No:109 Yeniköy - İstanbul 360 Istanbul--Right off of the main Istiklal Caddesi in Taksim (near hotel).Definitely go!! It’s a little hard to find b/c it’s the top floor of a random apt building (, but it’s a cool place, esp. at night with awesome views of the entire city! 32-309 Istiklal Caddesi, Misir Apt. K8, Beyoglu Haci Baba Restaurant --Also on Istiklal Caddesi. Serves traditional/authentic foods, lots of selection!! Istiklal Caddesi No. 49 Taksim, Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey Konyali Restaurant (especially good for meat) --There’s one in TopKapi Palace, and also at the Kanyon shopping mall. Traditional Turkish cuisine. Pandeli Restaurant --Inside the Spice Bazaar, (upstairs, make a left as soon as you enter). Very traditional, great food! (good for meat) Isil Profiterol - on Istiklal Caddesi in Taksim. It only serves profiterol, which is a popular dessert, and it’s the best in the city! It’s a small place, and always crowded Ulus Parki--It’s a cute coffe/dinner date place, with great views!! Adnan Saygun Caddesi,Ulus Parkı Etiler Plus, there’s tons of small places to eat along the streets, just like in NYC. Large majority are very safe. -- I’d suggest trying “simit” in the morning, its like a bagel but with sesame and a little bigger in size. They’re sold everywhere and people eat them all the time, just plain, or with feta cheese. --For those of you that drink – I’d suggest trying “raki” it’s a strong, licorish-flavored alcohol that is the national drink. But be careful, make sure to dilute it with water (everyone does!) Places to go out: Nupera Tepebasi Dance Club Address: Mesrutiyet Caddesi145/147 Tepebasi, Taksim Reina --It’s a cool outdoor dinner/club place. There could be a cover to get in, but you can avoid it by going early. Restaurants are international, not Turkish. It has Awesome views of the city!!! Muallim Naci Caddesi 10, Ortaköy TAPS Bar --IA fun place where they brew their own beer (like Gordon Biersch) Firuzaga Mahallesi Cezayir Cikmasi Zekipasa Apt No: 4/6 Beyoglu Istanbul Jazz Center -- Lots of visiting musicians, the venue is pretty cool. May have to pay to get in. Ciragin Caddesi No: 48, Ortakoy (inside the Raddison Hotel) Babylon - live music venue and bar, very popular Seyhbender Sokak, No: 3 Tunel, Asmalimescit, Beyoglu Roxy – live music and DJs, bar, popular Siraselviler Caddesi Aslanyatagi Sokak, No:5 Beyoglu Yan Gastrobar (next door to Roxy, a tapas bar/lounge) Siraselviler Caddesi Aslanyatagi Sokak, No:5 Beyoglu And you could go to Ortakoy (try going by the water) at night, its really lively, and there’s lots of little bars with hukkas and stuff Bodrum It’s hard to suggest specific stores or places to go because it’s best to just walk around and explore the (relatively small) downtown. Definitely walk along the marina where there are souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes, and the possibility of boat tours. Lots of places will have English on menus. Please note that the more “hip”/ “chi-chi”/“posh” or whatever you want to call it areas are now located in the little towns outside the city. The city itself is a little more low-key and touristy. But you’re guaranteed cheap shopping, great food, a relaxed atmosphere, and a fun night!! Bodrum Castle, also called Halicarnassus Museum - Outdoor museum, great views, historical site. (Admission is about $5) Turgut Reis Cad., up the hill off Hamam Sokagi Mumlu Restaurant – traditional old-school Turkish restaurant with dinner and live music Taslik Sokak, Taslik Çikmazi Marina Yacht Club – located on the end of one side of the Marina. Upscale shopping and restaurant/cafes. Restaurant recs: Club Restaurant, Roof Marine, and Cafe La Vela Mado – on Cumhuriyet Caddesi, the main street, great for Turkish ice cream (different taste than American!) and all kinds of desserts and pastries Secret Garden Restaurant – good restaurant for fish and meat Eskicesme Mahalesi (Close to the Marina) Danaci Sokak No 20. Bodrum Arsipel- great fish restaurant Aktur Sitesi A Mahallesi (inside the Aktur Sitesi entrance, west of Bitez) Antique Theatre Hotel – don’t let the name fool you, it’s actually a great restaurant! (somewhat expensive) Kibris Sehitleri Cad. 243, Bodrum Kuba Bar - Bar along the water, popular with the locals, plays Turkish music (most other discos play more generic International pop music) I would NOT suggest going to Halikarnas Night Club – its extremely touristy and kind of cheesy!
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