Survival guide: staying home in Istanbul
In times of cold and rain, we know you Istanbulites want nothing more than to stay warm and cozy on the couch, while others cater to their needs. Here’s how to get everything, without ever leaving the house. 

Istanbul survival basics 

Kapıcı is a local porter-concierge who often resides on the ground floor of your apartment building. If you have one in your building and wonder what his job is aside from cleaning the staircase and asking to get paid on a monthly basis, here’s a tip: morning bread and newspaper deliveries, dry cleaning drop off and pick up, plus minor shopping in markets near the apartment building. Unfortunately, a kapıcı operates on cash, so if you don’t keep a stash at home you might end up going outside in the end. 

Large supermarket chains such as Migros offer online shopping services and delivery within just a few hours (depending on time slot availability). You can also place your order in advance to ensure it reaches your door at the most convenient moment. We use this service on a regular basis, and have never come across outdated or broken items. If Migros’ offerings aren’t varied enough, its sister brand, Macrocenter, offers online and phone order services, too.

Make sure your have the phone number of your local bakkal (grocer). They will be willing to rush over if, despite all preparations, you suddenly run out of eggs.  

Yemeksepeti is a one-stop-shop for all of your food delivery needs. However, if you have a favorite restaurant where you’re a frequent customer, you might want to use the old school phone ordering technique. The restaurant will appreciate it, and often drop extra sauce into the delivery bag. Some restaurants even offer a discount or extra goodies for placing the order via phone. Visit for more.

Ordering drinking water is Istanbul living 101, as many believe tap water is not good for any kitchen use. If you have your favorite brand (Erikli, Hayat, Saka among many others) and it doesn’t have a local distributor (bayii) in the neighborhood, they can still deliver it from other parts of town. Larger chains can be found on Yemeksepeti. app comes in handy when there is no kapıcı, the bakkal is closed for the day and the nearest coffee house is a long walk away. While the first app offers particular items directly for purchase on the app (everything from paper towels to groceries), the latter does your shopping at your favorite spots, so you don’t have to. Need that bag of Petra Coffee or the Italian pasta from Eataly right away? Forgot to buy a gift for your loved one’s birthday? Check if you live within their delivery area. Available in the App store.

Paying with credit card: 99 percent of delivery services accept credit cards (pay at your doorstep via portable terminal), so no need to go out to withdraw extra cash from the ATM.

Besides being a couch potato…

Here are all of the other little ways to make life at home even easier.

Pets: means “fast feed,” and the delivery really is fast. If you place an order on weekdays before 4pm, or on Saturday before 12pm, it arrives the same day. Orders placed after these times arrive the next day. Hizlimama’s prices on food and cat litter are considerably lower than pet stores. T: 444 1 750

Flowers:Watched too many romantic movies already, and want to brighten up the life of your loved one with a splendid bouquet? comes in handy with the widest selection of floral compositions.

Book delivery: With one of the best selections of English-language books in Istanbul, Pandora also has a same-day motorbike delivery service. Orders placed before 1pm will arrive the same day, while there is also a night service that delivers between 7pm and 10pm. Prices vary depending on the delivery address. T: 0212 230 09 62

Shopping: Shopi go’s latest trends and rare findings from all around the world can be delivered to your doorstep within 4 hours. No surprise here, premium segment shoppers require premium services.

Fashion: Davetcokelbisemyok is an evening gown rental service. The three-day rental prices for designer wear are a fraction of an evening gown purchase. You can also reserve your outfit for a particular date with prepayment, which can then be shipped to any location in Turkey.

Dear Readers,

Our publication witnessed a lot of ups and downs in the last 29 years, but in 2020 we have faced truly unprecedented times.

Despite our best efforts, as of August 2020 we are pressing pause on our overall activity, thanking all of our readers, followers, and partners for their ongoing support and words of encouragement.

We will miss you, just like we miss the city’s uplifting energy that kept us motivated throughout the years.

Stay safe!