THE PRINCES' ISLANDS:The archipelago islands in the Sea of Marmara, were places of exile for the Byzantine princes. Four of nine islands are inhabited. There are no cars allowed on these beautiful islands. Tourists can easy hire horse-drawn carriages 'Fayton' (PAYTON in Turkish) for a tour around the islands. Regular and battery powered bicycles are available for rent at several businesses.
BUYUKADA is the largest island and HEYBELIADA (Turks call Heybeli ada) is the second largest island. In the early 19th century the Ottoman business community of Greeks and Jews favoured these islands as summer resorts.
Today, Heybeli Island (ada) is home to The Turkish Naval Academy.
During the summer months, Istanbul's wealthiest residents escape for cool sea breezes and clear water to their elegant 19th century residences.
Ferries run regularly from the Sirkeci district on the European side and the Bostanci district on the Asian side of Istanbul to the four main Princess Islands: BUYUKADA, HEYBELIADA, KINALIADA and BURGAZ.
Also from Kabatas, on the European side, fast sea buses travel to Buyukada
The GRAND COVERED BAZAAR 'Kapalicarsi' in Istanbul... The planet's largest covered market!
The Grand Bazaar is a shopper's wonderland. Founded by Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II at essentially the same time he built the Topkapi Palace. Grand Bazaar is called 'Kapalicarsi' in Turkish, located on 30 hectares (75 acres) with more than 4000 shops in which every imaginable kind of merchandise such as antiques, textiles, embroidery, brass ware, carpets (kilims), brilliantly hand-painted ceramics, glassware, and leather good, including furs and suede, and various household items may be bought.
In addition to the thousands of small shops, the Grand Bazaar is also the home of two mosques and a variety of eateries and coffee shops.
Historically, the Grand Bazaar was also the location of the Han (caravansaray) on the Old Silk Road.
Old Istanbul's bazaar quarter stretches from this bazaar in Beyazit and continues on down the hill to the Eminonu; district.
On entering any shop, visitors are treated to the warmest Turkish hospitality... mostly by offering Chay ('CAY', Turkish black tea).
But you are not obligated to buy anything but this is their way of proch to keep you in the store as long as necesary to make the sale. On the other side, remember that the best prices always come to the ones who know how to bargain well and when the salesperson thinks you are about to leave.
In the heart of the Grand Bazaar there is a separate section for antiques called the Bedesten, which is worth visiting. Especially antiques lovers shouldn't miss this! Bedesten offers a curious assortment of many kinds of antiques and antique jewelry.
KAPALICARSI is open Monday-Saturday 8.00am to 7.00 pm and closed on Sundays. If you are visiting ISTANBUL during religious holidays, on the first day of the each
religious holiday ; the bazaar is closed.
There are other bazaars in Istanbul that are worth a visit and are within walking distance from Sultanahmet Square and the Grand Bazaar. Perhaps the most notable of these is the Misir Carsisi (Spice Bazaar or Egyptian Bazaar). It's name stems from olden times when herbs and spices came from, or through Egypt. This is in located in Eminonu and is next to Yeni Cami (The New Mosque). The fragrance of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and a great many other herbs and spices makes a visit of this, Istanbul's second largest covered bazaar, a delightful treat.
If you leave the Grand Bazaar by its western gate (the Beyazit Mosque exit) a short walk takes you to the Sahaflar Carsisi (book bazaar for antique books) where you can find both new and antique books in Turkish and other languages.
Also for those of you like open markets, on every Sunday, in the Beyazit district you will find a flea market where many vendors display their merchandise.
By leaving the hustle and bustle of the bazaars and go to Beyoglu, Taksim, Nisantasi and Sisli districts you will find sophisticated boutiques where you can browse peacefully in fashionable stores featuring elegant fashions made from Turkey's finest textiles and leather.
You may also wish to shop in the Akmerkez Shopping Center in the Etiler district on the north east side of Istanbul.
Whether you are interested in gourmet foods, or an evening of bar atmosphere entertainment, Istanbul has it all in the area known as Beyoglu. For some of the world's finest cuisine, especially seafood, you need to head for the famous Cicek Pasaji (Flower Arcade).
It is within easy walking distance of Taksim Square by way of Istiklal Caddesi (Street).
Also in Beyoglu, on Nevizade street (Nevizade Caddesi), you will find a large number of Turkish tavern and bar is called in Turkish'Meyhane' (may-han-na), just behind the Balik Pazari(the fish market).
During every summer evenings this famous place, which is a narrow backstreet in Beyoglu, parallel to the area’s main street Istiklal Caddesi, is filled with chairs and tables and about as many people as it can take. D O N 'T M I S S T H I S F U N P L A C E !
Here, you can kick back, enjoy a shot or two of raki (Turkish anis flavored liquor similar to Greek Ouzo and known to the Turks as 'Lions Milk'), while listening to music and eating variety of delicious Turkish specialty hors d'oeuvres, which generally call meze.
Again, the tavern and bar is called in Turkish 'Meyhane' (may-han-na)
Also in the Cicek Pazari, and others, especially in weekends some individuals or group of musicians appears for hire as pictures shown next.
While you are reading this;click here if you would like to listen a sample of Turkish tavern music.
C a u t i o n ! As the Turks say, be sure you drink the raki, and that it does not drink you. WHY? Because it is potent and will sneak up on you if you are careless.
Ok. we hear you now saying; 'What about the night life'? Well; for the best nightlife, take the coastal road northeast along the Bosphorus('BOGAZ' in Turkish) to Ortakoy district where you will find an abundance of nightclubs, jazz clubs, world famous seafood restaurants, and bars.
With regard to where to get the best traditional Turkish and Ottoman dishes, we highly recommend:Karakoy Lokantasi (Restaurant is lokanta in Turkish).
The restaurant sits in the middle of the wharf district in Karakoy, a stone's throw from the Bosphorus and it is located across from the sea terminal for foreign cruise ships. You can easly spot it by the large clock that hangs out front. Owner Mr.Oral Kurt mostly greets guests at the door and his menu offers a variety of authentic Ottoman dishes and traditional Turkish cuisine.
Karakoy Lokantasi serves beer, wide assortment of wine, and raki. It is a table-cloth class restaurant and does not offer entertainment only authentic Turkish dishes. The prices are very reasonable.
The restaurant usually fills up at lunch time with business people from the shipping and maritime offices in the surrounding wharf district, meanwhile not well known by tourists. Some of the waitresses knows enough English to serve customers. The only thing is, the neighborhood is pretty empty in the evening. So, we recommend to take a taxi to the restaurant.
This excellent restaurant is located at Kemankes Caddesi (Street) number 35-A, in the Karakoy district, which is on the Bosphorus side of the Galata Bridge. When you hire a cab, let the driver know you want to go to Karakoy Lokantasi, located accross from the passenger entrance for foreign cruise ships at Karakoy (Karakoy yabanci vapur iskelesi yolcu salonu onu). This will be enough information to give the driver because the restaurant is well known.
When you visit the Karakoy Lokantasi, please let the owner know that you were highly recommended by www.helloturkey.net. Thank you. >> Read more TURKISH CUISINE