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Kiss the Frog, Rumelihisarı - photo by Merve Göral
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Food & Drink Kiss the Frog

In Istanbul, if a restaurant can make it through an entire season of operations, chances are it’s here to stay. We believe this is the case with Rumeli Hisarı’s Kiss the Frog. After a dose of initial scepticism following its opening more than a year ago, we decided to give it a try when it could no...

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Midnight Return poster
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Books & Film The Billy Hayes story: from Midnight Express to Midnight Return

A stroke of bad luck turns life along a radically different path, leading to years of imprisonment in a foreign land, teaching the hero courage and endurance, and ending in a bold escape whose story brings fame and fortune… it sounds too dramatic to be true. And yet these are the facts of life for...

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Best Online Fashion Stores In Turkey
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Shopping Best online fashion stores in Turkey

Istanbul is a shopping paradise, no doubt about that. From the hip boutiques in Galata to the prestigious up-market malls like İstinyePark and Zorlu Center the city offers a myriad of temptations to loose your head and your savings over. But let’s face it, sometimes it is so much more satisfying to...

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Thrace Vineyards
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Food & Drink What you should know about Thrace grapes

Thrace grapes for beginners Karasakız and kınalı yapıncak are the two local grapes in Suvla’s repertoire. The first one lends itself to delicate red and rosé varieties, which have become the company’s signatures. The latter is a white grape with reddish freckles. The name became famous after iconic...

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Pattis, Kadıköy
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Food & Drink Pattis

Not everyone is an early riser, but most people want a decent breakfast for their first meal of the day – and some could do breakfast any time of day. Pattis welcomes all with its rich menu. A hashtag explains it all, #breakfasteverymeal. The spot is far from the crowds, yet quite centrally located...

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Kedi, documentary
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Books & Film Kedi: capturing Istanbul’s cats on film

Creeping along the rooftops, slinking between café chairs, lounging on vines, curling up in metro stations, leaping through fish stalls, meditating in mosques – the cats of Istanbul are so familiar to locals that they are part of the urban fabric, indispensably entwined with its mercurial moods....

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Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamı
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Wellbeing & Beauty Top 7 opulent hammams in Istanbul

Life in the merry, crushing din of Istanbul sometimes requires a retreat far from the squall of horns and cellphones. Enter the hammam, where you can scrub away the city’s grit, seduced by beautiful surroundings and traditional treatments as tensions melt with the steam. Here are some of the best...

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Hagia Sophia
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Culture & history 6 unusual minarets of Istanbul

Before skyscrapers began to spring up in the modern districts of Istanbul, the defining feature of the skyline was the mosques with their domes and minarets. Most tourists know the classic image of the muezzin giving the call to prayer on the balcony of the minaret, and the effect of several...

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Rakı, meyhane
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Culture & history From past to present Istanbul's meyhane culture

If there is one social space that epitomizes the true Istanbul experience in this city, it is meyhane . Most commonly referred to as just a Turkish version of a tavern, for many decades, the meyhane has been representing more than just a mere place to eat and drink. It is a place where the...

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ballenesque-room
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Arts & Culture Roger Ballen’s surreal South Africa at Istanbul Modern

Roger Ballen is undoubtedly one of the most influential photographers of the 21 st century, making the Istanbul Modern exhibition “Roger Ballen: Retrospective” mandatory viewing for all art appreciators in the city. Publishing his first book, Boyhood , in 1979, over the following decades Ballen...

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Buying Turkish carpets
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Shopping Buying Turkish carpets 101: how to get exactly what you want

If you’re reading this, chances are you already have an eye on a Turkish carpet. They are famous for a reason (we’ll explain in a bit), but the process of buying them is no easy task. If you’ve already attempted a purchase on your own and returned home with nothing, don’t worry - following our easy...

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Urla Vineyards - photo by Merve Göral
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The coasts of Turkey Urla: Aegean offseason travel destination

The enchanting lands of Urla have a direct effect on the people who traverse these blessed landscapes. Here, folks are merry; nature evokes a feeling of sanctuary, which invokes inspirational prose, most literary. Residents of Urla are gentle and at ease and spending a few days here turns visitors...

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Raffles brunch
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Food & Drink Best hotel brunches in Istanbul

When it comes to brunch, Istanbul has oh-so-much to offer. Whether you’re craving a seafood menu with champagne or a vegan experience, Swiss classics, Spanish appetizers or a Turkish menemen - our city has it all. The abundance of choice may overwhelm, but no need to fret. Here’s a list of the best...

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Culture & history Top 7 Istanbul museums

Archeology Museum Founded in 1881 by the eminent painter, architect, and Renaissance man Osman Hamdi Bey, this often overlooked site is actually a group of three museums: the Archaeological Museum, the Ancient Orient Museum, and the Tiled Kiosk Museum. The Museum’s holdings constitute the best...

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Wellbeing & Beauty Top 7 Istanbul spas that rejuvenate in style

Who doesn’t like to escape all the rush and noise of the city, to unwind and relax for an hour or two? In other words, who doesn’t love a spa session? A city like Istanbul sets a fast pace that has everyone trying to catch up. This makes regular spa visits nearly mandatory - and luckily, there is...

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Istanbul layover
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Practical information How NOT to get stuck at the airport during a layover

Getting stuck with a long layover sounds about as exciting as a trip to the mall. However, Istanbul offers a lot for those who find themselves with a long waiting period between flights at one of the busiest airport hubs in Europe. Take a look at our guide for the best ways to discover Istanbul in...

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Meze, photo by Merve Göral
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Flavor Factor Everything you need to know about meze

A beginner’s guide to meyhane: meze By now, you know a meyhane is a crucial part of Turkish nightlife and you want to try one out. But what to do about that glass display counter filled with a kaleidoscope of dishes that the waiters keep pointing you towards? They’re sure to be packed with meze –...

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Books & Film The literary life of Yaşar Kemal

Turkey, and indeed the world, is mourning the loss of Yaşar Kemal, who died on February 28 at the age of 92. Kemal was long the leading force in Turkish literature both at home and abroad, earning him the French Legion d'Honneur and a nomination for the Nobel prize. His story is as engaging and...

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Kirkit Istanbul, photo by Merve Göral
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Shopping Kirkit Istanbul

Trendsetting rugs were a near oxymoron before young designer Begüm Cânâ Özgür came along. Named after the Turkish word for a comb used to tighten knots while weaving rugs, her young venture, Kirkit Istanbul, works to combine centuries-old rug traditions of Anatolia with unusual, entrancing weaving...

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ODTU Ormanı and Eymir Gölü, where to go in Ankara
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Cappadocia & around Where to eat, drink, and go in Ankara

Ankara is many things: the Turkish capital, a political stage, a diplomatic epicentre, and the historic founding place of the Republic – at least, these are what the metropolis is generally known for. However, with the passage of time, Ankara has seen a remarkable transformation and gentrification...

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Ali Haydar - best kebab in Istanbul
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Food & Drink Best kebab restaurants in Istanbul

While there is great breadth and depth to the cuisine here, kebabs might still be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Turkish dining. Fair dues, there does seem to be a kebab place on every corner - but not all meat is created equal, and every region has its own special style. Here...

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Arts & Culture ARTER

The gallery ARTER, located on the busy avenue of İstiklal Caddesi, is dedicated to contemporary art locally and internationally. The gallery is known for its innovative and conceptually challenging exhibitions, featuring installation, video, painting, and sculpture. Directions ARTER is on İstiklal...

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Vintage Istanbul, Balat
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Shopping Your grandma would approve: vintage shopping in Balat

On the serene streets of Balat, you’ll find old coffee houses, vine leaves, a türbe and plenty of old men drinking tea. It has the uncluttered feel of a place where people take things a little more slowly than the rest of Istanbul. The whole neighborhood feels like the perfect setting for a period...

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How to get residence permit in Istanbul
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Practical information Residence permits in Istanbul: All you need to know

Dear reader, please note that this article is strictly informational . For details we advise you to direct all your questions to the Directorate General of the Migration Management located on Vatan Caddesi No. 64 in Istanbul. They will be able to address all concerns you might have. Most foreigners...

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