Get some baklavaand everything else in sight – Y’ALL. Turkish food is the absolute bomb, some of the best in the world!!! And as someone whose stated life mission is to “eat all the pastries in all the countries”, how could I not completely overindulge while in Turkey??? Load up on all the unique and delicious baklava and other pastries in sight, but don’t stop there—try kunefe, doner kebab, lahmacun, pide, and so much more. You might also like: 10 Places I’m Dying to Go in 2021
- 1 Is Istanbul good to visit with kids?
- 2 Can kids go to hamam?
- 3 How many days is sufficient for Istanbul?
- 4 Do kids need a visa to enter Turkey?
- 5 Is Turkey good for toddlers?
- 6 What age is Turkey trouble for?
- 6.1 What month is best in Turkey?
- 6.2 Can you have a baby in a hotel room?
- 6.3 Do you wear clothes in a hammam?
- 7 Is Istanbul a family holiday?
- 8 Is Turkey a safe place for a family holiday?
- 9 Is Istanbul Turkey worth visiting?
Is Istanbul good to visit with kids?
Turkey is a very child friendly and family oriented country, As it’s largest city, Istanbul offers not only amazing historical sightseeings, but also a lot of fun attractions for the families with kids, Istanbul guarentees to keep the joy at the highest all day with various themed museums and activity centers such as; Sea Life, Legoland Discovery Center, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum as well as local attractions like Miniaturk Park, Isfanbul Jungle Park, Moipark and Istanbul Dolphinarium.
Is Turkey a good place to visit with kids?
Turkey is an excellent family vacation destination. It has thrilling theme parks, incredible historical sites, sandy beaches, and fascinating museums and aquariums. It’s also famous for its unforgettable hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia and magnificent thermal pools in Pamukkale.
Can kids go to hamam?
1. Re: Turkish Bath Option if you have children? 13 years ago There is nothing to stop your little girl having a hamam with you.Many people take childen and the attendants make a fuss of them and have fun with the soap bubbles and sliding them around on the marble slabe.Turkish people in rural area’s always take their kids! In some hamams you can go into the sauna before the hamam which I wouldn’t recommend for her as it is dry heat and may make her feel uncomfortable but the steam room should be fine.
There are sinks all the way along the walls where you can get cool water to throw over yourselves to cool down if needed and of course it isn’t a prison;at any time she or indeed yourselves feel uncomfortable you can come out of the steam room and sit for a few minutes until you feel okay.The staff of hamams are used to some people being a bit over whelmed by the hamam so don’t worry too much if you do want to come out.Actually they aren’t as hot as you think they are going to be,usually around 40oC which isn’t that ezcessive but it is because of the high humidity that it cleans your skin so well.
I think your little girl will really enjoy the experience and have some fun too 🙂
How many days is sufficient for Istanbul?
Final Verdict – As you can see, deciding how many days in Istanbul largely depends on you and how action-packed you like your vacations. If you don’t mind rushing around, then you can see everything in 2-3 days. For those who prefer to travel more leisurely, then 4 days is the perfect amount of time to spend in Istanbul,
Do kids need a visa to enter Turkey?
Information My child is included in my passport. Do I need to make a separate e-Visa application for her/him? Yes. Provided that your child is issued a passport under his/her name, please either make a separate e-Visa application or contact the nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate General so as to apply for a sticker visa.
Is Turkey good for toddlers?
Can babies have turkey? – Yes. Once babies are six months old and eating solids, they can eat turkey. However, it is important to make sure portions are appropriate for their eating stage and not a choking risk.
What age is Turkey trouble for?
Turkey Trouble Book by Wendi Silvano Ages 3 – 7.
What month is best in Turkey?
Best Time to Visit Turkey | Climate Guide The best time to visit Turkey depends on what you’re interested in. April, May, September and October are pleasantly warm, with temperatures of 20°C to 30°C, so are typically the best times to visit Turkey’s grand array of ancient sites.
The summer months (June through to September) are very hot, with temperatures reaching the mid-thirties on the south coast. This is perfect for lounging by the sea or a pool, although visiting the sites can be quite uncomfortable. The weather begins to cool off from late October. November through to March can get quite cold and many hotels in coastal areas close during these months.
However, despite the cool temperatures, these winter months can be the best time to explore the sites, as they’re far less busy. In Cappadocia, the temperature can drop below 0°C, although the snowy landscape is lovely to behold. : Best Time to Visit Turkey | Climate Guide
Can you have a baby in a hotel room?
If your baby sleeps alone at home, he should sleep alone while traveling. – The goal is to keep your child’s sleeping arrangements similar to what he experiences at home. If your child sleeps in his own bed at home, he needs to be in his own bed in the hotel. Don’t try to bed share.it won’t go well for any of you! Many hotels have the option of renting a rollaway crib, or you can bring a bassinet (for smaller babies) or pack‘n’play for your child to sleep in while you travel. Make sure to add this to your checklist!
What is a good age to start traveling with a baby?
The best time to fly with kids – While you can’t always fly at the optimal time (based on your child’s age, that is), it’s great when you can. The best times, most agree, are between three and nine months, when kids aren’t yet mobile, and any time after age two or three.
The idea here is to bypass the toddler phase, and, more importantly, to avoid flying with young infants. The latter is especially risky says Dr. Mark Waltzman, assistant professor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and pediatric emergency room physician at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Unless it’s an emergency I would wait until a baby has had its first set of immunizations, so they should be at least two months,” he said.
“The reason is that the air in airplanes is recirculated in a confined space, so there’s a greater chance of contracting an illness when flying. A newborn’s immune system isn’t as robust, and if they catch a cold or get a fever it could be much more serious.” Illness can also impact the timing of a trip for older kids.
Can a 3 year old go in a spa?
Hot Tub Safety Rules – If you have questions about hot tubs, or if your child has a pre-existing medical condition, you should ask your child’s pediatrician for advice about hot tub use. In general, children under the age of 5 should not use a hot tub due to the risk of overheating, dehydration, and drowning. For older children, here are some additional guidelines to consider.
- Heat : If your children are going to be using a hot tub, the PHTA recommends turning the thermostat down to 98 degrees. However, children should be limited to 5 minutes at a time and should never play for more than 15 minutes.
- Height : Children should not be allowed in hot tubs unless their heads are completely out of the water when they stand on the bottom of the tub.
- Hydration : Children (and adults) should avoid dehydration by drinking fresh water while using the hot tub. If anyone using the hot tub feels sleepy, nauseous, or dizzy, they should exit the hot tub immediately.
- Immersion : It’s safer for children to sit on benches or jump seats that allow partial immersion. In fact, it’s recommended that children avoid complete immersion in a hot tub.
Can kids go to Turkish baths?
Spa etiquette For the comfort of other guests, young children are not permitted in the treatment rooms. We provide a towel for all guests at The Turkish Baths. We politely remind all guests that in the interest of hygiene, guests must keep their towel with them at all times.
Do you wear clothes in a hammam?
Clothing Requirements at a Marrakech Hammam Are Not What You Think – Like most countries in North Africa and the Middle East, Moroccan culture is a traditionally conservative one. That’s why the locals wear clothing that covers the skin, leaving just a few areas of the body exposed.
Is Istanbul a walkable city?
Walking Istanbul and London with Authors Elif Batuman and Rebecca Mead You can listen to our podcast on and each week. Follow this link if you’re listening on, Lale talks to two of her favorite authors about two cities that she’s most connected with—Rebecca Mead about and Elif Batuman on —and asks the question: What do you learn about a city by walking around it instead of driving through it? “You want to knit yourself into the fabric of a place and see your story knitted into it,” says Mead.
Plus, listeners contribute their own walking stories about Budapest, Dubrovnik, and —all solo travelers who had unforgettable experiences thanks to the decision to explore a new place by foot. For more from Women Who Travel, visit our or subscribe to our, Lale Arikoglu: Hi, and welcome to our second episode of our new Women Who Travel, with me, your host, Lale Arikoglu.
This episode is about European cities and specifically getting to know them on foot and by public transport. I’m invested in this because, I confess, I don’t drive. But many people also don’t feel like driving in, say, the traffic of, or in the narrow streets of an ancient French city.
It simply isn’t the best way to get around. I’m chatting today to two authors whose writing I love about our ties to cities. They’re Rebecca Mead, who, like me, is English, and who thought she’d settle in New York, but found herself moving to London four years ago. Rebecca Mead: London is so convoluted and, you know, all these little villages all stuck together with all these peculiar routes between them.
And I’ve never really understood how London joins up. And there’s still vast wades of it that I don’t know how they connect. LA: And Elif Batuman, who, like me, has close ties with Istanbul, and who a decade ago swapped New York for Istanbul on an extended visit.
- A city that straddles both Europe and Asia.
- Elif Batuman: So, there are all of these sort of former fishing villages that go down the Bosporus.
- There’s and there are all these kind of, like, posh places, Bahçeşehir University is—is on there.
- And you go down, and at the bottom there is, uh, Taksim, that’s like this very transportation hub and—and that’s the downtown.
LA: This week, we put out calls to our listeners for European town walkabouts. This is Zakia Triffi. Zakia Triffi: My name is Zakia. I’m originally from, and I’ve lived in New York and moved to London in 2018. I wanna talk about, a city I love. Budapest has a lot to offer.
It is beautiful and very walkable, and I recommend getting on the water to see its beauty right before sunset, walking up to Fisherman’s Bastion and admiring the grandiose of parliament’s reflection on the water, from the top of the Buda Hills where a plethora of villas could remind you of Bel Air. But what I discovered of Budapest that made me really fall in love with the region is to bike along the Buda side of the Danube towards the small villages, passing by Szentendre, to pick up some paprika and lavender amongst other souvenirs, and Etyek, another stunning small town, with charming little wineries, a particular estate with a remarkable architecture, and a delightful pool to cool off the heat of the summer days is my favorite.
Haraszthy. The food is amazing and the atmosphere and the crowd is the same people you’ll meet in the hip bars and restaurants of the city on a Saturday evening in the 5th District. What makes the city so special is not only the ease to get around, from the cathedral to the shopping area on foot, or simply strolling along the Danube as a perfect way to visit Budapest, but the thermal bath, which offer a stunning setting to round us a visit and relax in the City of Baths.
LA: And here’s listener Laura Donnan’s story. Laura Donnan: So, last fall, I had the privilege of traveling by myself to, And the last part of my trip was in Dubrovnik. One of the big tourist attractions is to walk the medieval city walls. While I was walking around, uh, there are a couple of cafes which kind of dot the walls.
And I was near one of them, just taking a picture, and one of the, uh, he was a manager of the café, he came up to me and offered to take my picture. And we just started chatting and, um, ended up exchanging contact information. Oh, he had also brought me a free glass of wine.
So, there was a little bit of a flirtatious tone, I would say. But anyways, so, the last night of my trip before I headed back to the states, we had agreed that I would go meet him up by his café up on the city walls, where he had invited me after the walls were closed for, to the public. So, when I got there, as he was closing up the shop, um, I was able to just walk by myself a little bit around the walls and just take some amazing pictures of the sunset with- with no one in sight.
And, uh, when I got back to the café, he had a bottle of Croatian wine open and waiting for us, and we just sat and talked and drank wine and watched the sun go down. I would definitely call it the perfect ending to an incredible trip. Rebecca Mead: We decided to move to London, which is the city in which I was born, but it’s not really a place that I had lived.
I’d lived there as a very small child, but I moved away when I was three years old. LA: Rebecca Mead, on her book Home/Land, RM: I moved to New York in my early 20’s, after leaving university in England, and I thought I was moving to New York for a year, and it turned out that I moved to New York for about 30 years.
And I’d become an American citizen and had a family and all the rest of it. And then, a few things happened, 2016 election being one of them, but not the only one that made me and my husband decide with our then 13 year old son that we would leave New York and make a change.
And so, to me it felt like in some ways a homecoming, but actually not. Because I was very unfamiliar with the city, I’d been here many times for work, obviously. But I—I didn’t know it. I didn’t have a place in London to return to. So, it was this very strange thing where you re-transplant yourself to an environment that, you know, in some ways is so familiar.
You know, the sound of my feet on the pavements on London, the kind of, there’s a, there’s a kind of echoing, hollow sound of your heels hitting the streets that sounds completely different than your heels on the asphalt of New York. There’s a different music to the city, there’s a different smell to the city, there’s so many things about it in a sensory way that feel so different, but that were also, you know, familiar to me from very early childhood.
- So, it was a strange kind of re-immersion in something I’d forgotten.
- Like an adoptive child who’s returned to a birth parent who’s unfamiliar.
- LA: That’s so funny what you said about the sound of your feet on the pavement.
- I’ve never really thought about that before, but I can hear the London pavement and it’s very different from the New York one.
Yeah. RM: It rings. It rings. Whereas the New York one is kind of, it’s a dead, uh, sound, somebody should make a piece of modernist music comparing the two. LA: Yeah, I’m writing notes for that. RM: Yeah, yeah. LA: Um, talk a little, you know, you mentioned the sensory differences, but was the sort of sensory overload? What was the sounds, the smells? RM: You know, after dark everywhere’s really,
all of residential London’s really quiet. My son was so agitated by the absence of traffic noise and voices outside our window and all of that, he sounded, I mean, he said it was boring, but I think it wasn’t that it was boring, it was that it was so alien and so distressing. And certainly now in my life, I am ready for some quiet and I’m, and I love the fact that I can, you know, I, there’s not this incessant noise coming through the window.
But certainly, when I was in my mid 20’s in New York, that noise, that constant kind of clangor and agitation was something that I loved about it. And I loved being part of it. LA: Well, then I feel like there’s a sorta certain period of your life in New York which is about not being in your apartment, it’s about being out in the city and being in that noise.
- And to me, I always think about how, if and when I move back to London I’ll be seeking out something slightly different. RM: Yeah.
- Yeah, no, absolutely.
- And—and, you know, there’s also the—the difference in temperament between the people, which is also part of the environment.
- So, I remember feeling when I moved to New York that I was so relieved, or kind of energized by the fact that people yelled at each other on the subway, or, you know, you could cuss somebody out if they shoved you or something like,
There was all these things that were, there was a kind of vocal energy. You know, and in—in London nobody says anything and everybody sits and quietly fumes. LA: I know. Yeah. We are strange. Like, you sort of touched on it a bit and you mentioned kind of some of the contrast, but obviously this episode is sort of focused on that ritual of walking.
- RM: London is so convoluted and, you know, all these little villages all stuck together with all these peculiar routes between them.
- And I never really understood how London joins up, and there’s vast wades of it that I don’t know how they connect.
- You know, and if you ride around on the tube in London, you emerge and you don’t know how far you’ve gone or how you got from one bit of one corner to another.
So, when I first got here, I did, and I still do as much as I can, walk between places, or take a bus if—if I have to, so that I can sort of see the way that the bits of the city connect. And you, uh, you learn something about the history of the city that way.
- Like, you know, the Hampstead Road that my bus goes along is, you know, the old road that the farmers used to drive the livestock down to get to the meat market at Smithfield.
- And because it is such an old city and there’s so much history inscribed in these streets, you know, when you walk around in the city of London and past these massive skyscrapers and banking buildings, and then you come across bits of the old Roman wall of London, and that is, I find it, absolutely thrilling.
LA: Where in London, for those who don’t know it, where do you live and what’s it like? Des- describe it a little? Rebecca Mead: I live in North London, I live very close to, I mean, minutes walk from Hampstead Heath, which is a beautiful area of kind of preserved countryside.
- Lale Arikoglu: One place I think of in Hampstead Heath but I’d like to know if there are others you’re thinking of, are the ponds.
- Rebecca Mead: Yes.
- Lale Arikoglu: And the swimmers in the ponds.
Rebecca Mead: Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, so, there are, for your listeners that don’t know, there are many ponds on the Heath, but there are three in which swimming is permitted. There’s a men’s pond, a ladies’ pond and a mixed pond. And the men’s and the ladies’ ponds are open all year.
And I ended up swimming through the winter and now I do that regularly. I mean, I’ve become one of those crazy people that swims year round. I mean, I swim alone. I’m quite in my head when I’m doing it, and also when it’s very cold, you’ve got to just be, like, concentrating on, you know, not dying. But it’s also, it’s—it’s very social.
And everybody’s like heads above the water, breast stroke, chat, chat, chat. You know, it’s really charming and quite fun to eavesdrop on other swimmers as they go by like the ducks. LA: I love that. RM: Tell me next time— LA: Maybe I should go. Maybe—maybe at Christmas I should go for a swim.
RM: Yeah. Tell me next time you’re here and I’ll take you. LA: I will take you up on that. RM: Definitely. LA: In contrast to the chatter of- of the ponds, walking around London is sort of, I mean, obviously you can do it in groups, but is sort of inherently can be filled with solit—. a sense of solitude.
You know, where have been some of your favorite places that you’ve somewhat stumbled upon? RM: There are lots of places I’ve sort of just wandered through and stumbled across. I mean, the one that comes to mind is the old St. Pancras Church Cemetery, which is right by St.
Pancras station founded in the 18th century. And it had to be partially dug up for the laying of the railroad into St. Pancras station. So, you know, graves were dug up and the gravestones were removed and there’s a tree around which dozens of gravestones have been arranged. And it’s called the Hardy Tree.
And the story about it is that Thomas Hardy, the novelist was, and this is a true fact, that Thomas Hardy, before he became a novelist, was an architect, and he worked on, as a, as a very young man, one of his early jobs, was working on this removal of these graves from the graveyard.
And he writes about it in his autobiography about how they had to exhume these bodies at night so that gawkers wouldn’t look at them. But what’s happened is that the roots of the tree and the trunk of the tree have grown in and among these arranged gravestones so that you can’t tell exactly what’s tree and what’s stone and the inscriptions have become very, very faded, and they’re covered with moss and they’re covered with liken.
And so, the- the stones look like stone again. You know, they don’t look like manufactured things anymore. So, that’s—that’s one that I had never heard of and found, and found very, Do you know it? LA: I don’t, and I’m like, I mean, my jaw’s sort of open because I just, I didn’t know it at all and I have to go see it next time I’m in London.
RM: Yeah, it’s beautiful. LA: And it’s making me think about how London has so many, like, physical layers of history and lives led. And I never thought about it when I was growing up there, but when I go back now, it’s a ve-, and- and I do- I don’t say this in, like, negative way, I say I find it, like, enchanting.
But it’s a very, like, haunted city to me. Is that something that struck you walking around? RM: Yeah, yeah. I mean, yes. This very, very conscience of this sense of, you know, very ancient history. And maybe we should point out of course that there were people in North America.
- LA: Yes, yes, yes.
- RM: Um, and they do have a history, it’s just that it’s not as visible and has been rendered invisible.
- You know, I mean, there have been efforts to make it more visible, but it’s not part and parcel of the fabric of, the material fabric of the city.
- I mean interestingly though, in New York so many of the names come from Native American names for places.
So, Manhattan and so on. I mean, they’re, you know, if you stop to think, it’s there. But it’s not. But we don’t, mos—mostly don’t stop to think. LA: Sort of, uh, put—put you on the spot, but kind of in a few words, what does London sound like to you? RM: Oh, god.
- I don’t know.
- There are so many different sounds, but there’s like, you know, the sort of blur of voices of, like, a group of people gathering around a pub at the end of the working day on a Thursday or a Friday evening, that kind of,
- Just—just that, that sort of hilarity and chatter that you can’t really distinguish but you can sort of s—sense in the same way that you can, like, sense the smell of the beer in the air.
That’s one thing that I find, um, really kind of charming about London. The—the sort of willingness and eagerness to just have fun and unwind. But so, that’s one of the sounds. But, you know, everything from, as I say, the, you know, the heels on the, on the pavement to this, to the, just the silence.
All the—the sounds of the foxes, you know, squawking and fighting and night ’cause there are, that’s another thing that I just found unbelievable, that there are, the streets are full of foxes. And, um, people here regard them as pests, I think, a lot of the time, I think of them as magical creatures, visitors from another realm.
Um, but that’s ’cause I’m new. LA: I also think of the foxes that way. RM: Yeah. LA: There was one that used to sunbathe at the back of my parent’s house, on the top of some extension, and literally he, so, this fox would be there every day it was sunny.
And I just thought it was the most, yeah, like, a visitor from another realm. I love that. So, I actually just want to ask one more question which I’d meant to ask earlier and then got excited about the ponds and the foxes and the Thomas Hardy Tree. RM: I mean, who wouldn’t? Who wouldn’t, honestly? LA: Uh, exactly.
But from, I think we, um, both share a connection to Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn. RA: Yeah. LA: ‘Cause I live a stone story away, and it has a very special place in my heart and also kind of got me through the darkest points of lockdown. What does that park mean to you and do you think that the Heath is the equivalent that you found in London? RM: There’s a weird familial connection to Fort Greene Park.
So, I didn’t just live close to it, but my husband is, on his mother’s side, descended from the general from whom the park, that- that- the fort, not the park, but the fort was originally named, which is not Fort Greene, but Fort Putnam. Uh, I think all of us, you know, if we think about place and we think about our place in those places, you want to sort of knit yourself into the fabric of the place and to see your own story kind of knitted into it.
LA: It is very funny, my best friend from secondary school actually lives sort of a few blocks away from me, which is amazing. And I was walking, uh, I was running through Fort Greene Park a few weeks ago and I ran into her, and she was reading your book.
- And- RM: Oh, wow.
- How wonderful.
- LA: So, you can know that your book is being read in here, in Fort Greene Park.
- RM: Oh, that’s very, that’s very moving to me.
- Thank you for letting me know.
- LA: Of course.
- RM: Thanks.
- LA: Remember, to stay up to date on all things Women Who Travel, make sure you’re subscribed to the Women Who Travel Newsletter via the link in our show notes, and that you’re following Women Who Travel on Instagram.
After the break, author Elif Batuman maps out the city of Istanbul. Author Elif Batuman spent four years living in another old city, Istanbul. It was during a time of protest, and she experienced the city in all its turbulence and sense of great possibility.
- Elif Batuman: Yay.
- LA: Which—
- LA: I will say that growing up in London feel like—
- EB: What a treat for you.
LA: I was gonna say, I mean, what a wild family to have back in Turkey. But, you know, growing up in London, my year was relatively diverse at school, but for some reason I was just like, I’m not interested in that side of me. I, like, just wanna be English.
- Which would probably break my dad’s heart to hear me say out loud now.
- And it’s only in, like, recent years that I’ve started to get really excited about that part of my life and seeing that there’s this whole kind of place to explore and get to know, and all its complexities and also magic.
- EB: I almost felt like Turkish identity was something that I wasn’t entitled to have because my parents, especially my mom, had made so many sacrifices for me not to have to experience a burden and for me to kind of get to be American.
And it—it wasn’t until relatively recently that I was like, you know, I can have my own relationship to this side of my identity that’s not completely mediated by my parents. Which also came from, like, spending time in Turkey and meeting people who are younger than me and they have their own way of viewing the world.
- It’s been really fun to interact with them too.
- LA: I was reading something you wrote in, like, the London Review of Books, that talked about some time you spent in Istanbul about 2010, you moved there for a stint? EB: Yes, 2010 to 2013, 2014, I was there, yeah.
- Speaker 6: In Gezi Park, 100 yards away, everyone was suffering.
The tear gas drifted across in great invisible clouds. Speaker 7: There seems to be tear gas everywhere tonight. It’s dispersed around a wide area. And it’s not completely clear where it’s coming from. We’re not seeing the running battles that we saw last night.
- But what we are seeing are many people with their eyes streaming, unable to cope.
- Speaker 6: The protesters’ focus has turned to the behavior of the police and the belligerence of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan.
- Speaker 8: He will not say, “I’m sorry,” but what he needs to say, the brutal force is not needed.
We are coming back, so we are giving the Taksim Square to all the people, and we are free. LA: What was that three, four years like there? EB: I was a writer in residence at Koç University in Istanbul, and I was teaching writing in English mostly, to native Turkish speakers.
And I was writing for The New Yorker about subjects that had to do with Turkey. But I was kind of avoiding politics. Like, oh, man, I really wanna write about that time, but it was so, it was so complicated. There was so much going on. It was kind of, like, some people were still pro-Erdoğan, like, including people in the American Left were still pro-Erdoğan.
And some people were already like, “He’s an authoritarian.” LA: What was sort of your daily routine? EB: I, so, for part of the time I lived on the university campus. And then I moved to Cihangir, where some of my ex-pat friend-, that was where all the New York Times people were at that time.
- A lot of the, like, war correspondent people were kind of, their base was in Istanbul and they would, they would go to, you know, wherever they would go, Iraq and—and Syria.
- That’s actually where I was when, in 2013, when the Gezi protests started.
- And then I had an apartment that was in Cihangir right near Taksim, where the protesting was.
So, a lot of the time the road would be closed. So, there were, like, people staying in my apartment sometimes to do protests. That was a very exciting time when a lot of my ideas changed. And it felt like all of these stories were coming up, and it just felt like this incredibly rich and exciting time that then the- the promise of that did not last in quite the way that we’d all hoped.
- I did a couple of architecture stories, but this one was when they—they were constructing the Marmaray train line to connect Europe and Asia.
- There was all of this kind of the construction going on and uprooting and excavations and also, like, the barricades, like the political protesters had uprooted some amount.
You know, like, I just remember the ground being dug up for all of these different purposes. I was reporting a story about, they did this excavation and they found this large number of freakishly preserved Byzantine shipwrecks. And then they were like, “Uh, finally we got these shipwrecks out and now we can excavate further.” And then they found, like, neolithic footprints and they didn’t even know that there had been a land bridge there.
- LA: That’s such, like, a visual description of the, just, literally, like, the ground being turned upside down to unearth all these stories.
- I love it.
- EB: Mm-hmm.
- LA: The loose overarching theme of this episode we’re putting together is walking and sort of getting to know and understand cities by foot.
It was sort of inspired by the fact that I can’t drive. EB: What a productive limitation. LA Yeah, exactly. I like to think it’s a good one. Istanbul is, I would say is a walking city but it’s a sprawling city, and it has so many layers to it and so many hills.
When you kinda parachute in for a family trip do you kind of, like, see who you need to see and do the things you need to do and then you leave. And to actually have the time to just get to know it by foot, even if it just like walking to the bus to go to the university campus, like even just those moments give you such, like, an understanding of the place.
Did you feel like it gave you something that other trips, those shorter trips haven’t? EB: Oh, yeah. Definitely.I, When I was living in the university campus, it was sort of, like, up in the hills. And you would take these, you, as you know, there’s this network of dolmuş buses, which are, like, these mini buses that are connecting everything, which is the actual geography that the people who are, especially the people who aren’t so wealthy and don’t necessarily have cars, like, that’s how they get around.
- And there’s, you know, a certain amount of professors and grad students, and then there’s also livestock.
- And I remember once I was on one of those buses and I was just sitting there and this woman who was dressed in kind of, like, village dress, she had, like, a little girl with her, and she was like, “Okay,,” And she just, like, plunked her kid on my lap, like big sister, like, just,
And then I just had this kid on my lap. I thought that where I was living was like a one mile minibus ride from where my office was. And I thought, “Oh, I’ll just walk.” But part of the walk was on this highway, so, I, you know, I walked there once and there was, like, no kind of shoulder on the road and, like, you know, it was, like, a 15, 20 minute walk.
- And in that time, like, at least 10 cars honked or stopped, and then finally one delivery guy on a moped stopped and he was like, you know, “You can’t walk here, this is not safe.” And I was like, “Why is it not safe?” And he was like, “Bad people come, like they come fr-,
- I was like- like, what bad people? And he’s like, “How should I know what bad people? Like, just get on the bike.” So, then the,
I just remember this, like I don’t know, just, like, the wind, the breeze in my hair as I was sitting on the back of the moped and we got to the place where I lived and he was like, “It’s here, right?” And I was like, “It’s a little further.” LA: EB: I didn’t wanna get off.
And by then, I think he, like, he wanted to get rid of me and I wanted to keep riding, so our dynamic had changed. LA: I love that story so much. Oh, that’s great. I visited Istanbul a lot as a child and then have started to get to know it again as an adult, but I find it an incredibly overwhelming and intricately mapped city.
For those who aren’t familiar with it, give us a little bit of a overview of the map of the places that you were spending your time in. EB: I was, I was really spending most of my time on the European side of the city. So, the university was north of Sariyer.
- So, there were all of these sort of former fishing villages that go down the Bosporus.
- And there are all this kind of, like, relatively posh places.
- And you go down, and at the bottom there is Taksim, which is, in so far there is a center of Istanbul, that’s, it’s Taksim.
- It’s like this very transportation hub.
And there’s Taksim Square and then there’s this, like, pedestrian street, Istiklal Caddesi, which is where all of the sort of biggest brand stores are. And it’s- it’s this packed street. If- if you’ve seen any pictures of Istanbul, you see pictures of this, like, giant street.
- And that’s the shopping center, at least of the European side.
- The Byzantine shipwrecks were at north of Taksim.
- There’s a, so previously there were only bridges connecting the European and the Asian side.
- And then they finally built an underground train line.
- And that’s where they found the shipwrecks.
LA: When I move around the city, I look Turkish enough that people just assume I’m Turkish, and then as soon as I open my mouth, I out myself as—as British—British born, and I can’t speak Turkish. EB: But do they have a concept of that? Like, oh you don’t speak Turkish? LA: And I don’t speak Turkish.
- EB: Okay.
- LA: Do you feel like you’re treated first and foremost as Turkish or as an American?
- EB: I speak Turkish with an accent. I can, like, go for several sentences before-
- LA: Mm-hmm, hm.
EB:, problems come up. I also remember noticing that I would want people not to notice that I was not from Turkey. Like I would be like, “Oh, maybe I can get through this conversation without anyone being like, “Where are you from?” I find it more and more travel to be kind of like, ethically complicated, ’cause you’re also,
- Like, as soon as I talk, e- especially depending on the class, it’s like they’re like, oh, you have enough money to get on an airplane and I’ve never been on an airplane.
- Like, it, immediately all of these things come in, which is, like, why do you have these things that I don’t have? And then to feel in myself, oh, I hope I don’t have to go to that place of guilt in this conversation makes me feel like I’m trying to get away with something.
LA: I think what you said about just thinking about travel kind of being, like, ethically complicated is really interesting. EB: Yeah, it’s not, there are, these questions don’t have very clear answers. LA: I think part of it is just- EB: Not to be a bummer on the travel podcast.
LA: No, no, this is exactly what I wanna talk about in this podcast. And I think it’s, like, accepting that the important thing is to ask those questions and maybe we just haven’t figured out some of the answers yet. EB: I don’t remember these questions being asked when I was a kid when I was younger.
So, the fact that we’re asking them, we’re, of course we’re not at the answers yet. And it’s important not to be demoralized just because we don’t have the answers right now. LA: On the subject of choosing places to live, and you said that, you know, you’re based in New York right now, how do New York and Istanbul compare? And do you feel like they each give you something different? EB: They’re so different, the New York world view and the Istanbul world view.
- And I did feel like they were a very productive and fun alternation.
- This summer I was actually, I was in Istanbul and I was hanging out on Burgazada, which is one of the Princes’ Islands, with some friends, and you know, you can go swimming there in the Sea of Marmara.
- And the produce was so wonderful.
And, I mean, they’re having a horrible economic crisis and people are really, really suffering. And as a result, the dollar is very strong. It’s, you know, so, there’s, uh, ethical problems everywhere. But, like, I just had such a wonderful time there. And the human relations felt so much more kind of, like, organic and it was so much easier to see people and there were more public spaces and outdoor spaces where we could kind of, like, congregate and not feel like we were fleeing from one place where we’re gonna have to pay $23 for a glass of wine to another.
- And there were children and old people, and I was like, “Okay, this is actual life.” There’s several islands that are known as the Princes’ Islands, and they’re between 40 and 70 minute ferry ride from the main land.
- So, some people live there all year round, and they’re- they’re popular for vacations.
But they’re a part of Istanbul. But you, most of them you can’t drive a car. LA: I visited one of those islands as a kid, and I still remember the magical feeling of getting to know a place that has no cars. Finally, here’s a lyrical description of an evening in Malta from Genevieve Aron, who sent us this dispatch.
- Genevieve Aron: I decided to go to Malta solo, and my most memorable experience was in Bay, it’s a narrow bay with steep cliffs on either side.
- And the south side has layers of five floor apartments, a row, then stairs down to a promenade, then more stairs down to the promenade.
- And after dinner I grabbed a gelato to go, and walked over to the steps just above the water to watch the sunset.
It was a Saturday night and someone lit candles all along the steps. I’m assuming it’s so you know where to walk once it got dark. And a pop up stage was setup in the corner of the bay where live music played. And, like, even night divers were getting into the water, and I saw their flashlights swim by.
- There was so much life going on around me, but it was so peaceful at the same time.
- I sat there for almost a full hour, being in the moment, not even really thinking about anything, just watching diminish of daylight, the growing glow of candle light and town light and the gentle waves.
- It was a really memorable experience.
LA: Thank you for listening. I’m Lale Arikoglu and you can find me as always on Instagram, @lalehannah, and follow along with Women Who Travel on Instagram @womenwhotravel. You an also join the conversation in our Facebook group. Allison Leyton-Brown is our composer.
Is Istanbul very cheap?
1. Is Istanbul Expensive? – When compared to many major cities in the world and in Europe prices, Istanbul isn’t too expensive, It is expensive relative to the other destinations in EU such as Poland, Romania or Bulgaria. Istanbul was ranked 173rd over 206 cities in the world in the 2021 Mercer Cost of Living Survey (was 156th in 2020).
Can you get around with English in Istanbul?
Frequently Asked Questions about Istanbul
|1. What’s the best time of year to visit Istanbul?|
Istanbul is a popular destination all year round, although summer can get very hot and winter is usually cold and rainy with the occasional snow flurry. Spring and autumn months are best advised for a pleasant temperature and less crowding at the major sites.
|2. How should I dress in Istanbul?|
Turkish dress sense is generally westernised although revealing clothing is not very common in Istanbul (nightclubs along the Bosphorus are more of an exception). As a secular state, Turkey is tolerant of other cultures and religions. Female visitors are not expected to don a head scarf, unless they are visiting a mosque and scarves are usually available to borrow.
|3. What is there to do in Istanbul?|
Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city and offers many sites and things to experience. As well as the many markets and bazaars on offer, we would recommend taking a trip to the sites of the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) and Topkapi Palace.
|4. What is it like as a non-Muslim visiting Turkey?|
While Turkey is a largely Muslim country and some are strict followers of Islam, there are many more moderate Muslims and also smaller minorities of Christian and Jewish faiths. As a secular state, Turkey is generally very open and welcoming to other cultures, and it is rare to experience any problems as a non-Muslim in Turkey.
British nationals travelling for tourism or business purposes will no longer need a visa to enter Turkey for visits of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. To get a full list of which nationalities require e-Visa’s click on the following link to the MFA web page: Compared to most western countries, Istanbul is a safe city.
The incidence of violent crime against foreigners is very low and few visitors to the city experience any problems. There are some scams and pickpockets operating (more so in the tourist-heavy areas) so you should exercise usual caution.
|7. Is Istanbul easy to get around? What kind of transport options are there?|
Despite its huge size and number of waterways and hills, Istanbul is reasonably easy to get around. There are a large number of transport options such as bus, minibus, dolmus, tram, metro, metrobus and ferry. Also, as stated earlier, it is mandatory for travellers to wear a face mask when in transport.
|8. How can I get from the European to the Asian part of Istanbul?|
There are buses, metrobuses and dolmus that make the trip between the European and Asian parts of Istanbul but the cheapest and easiest way to do it is by ferry. Ferries make the trip between Eminonu and Kadiköy and Üskudar on a regular basis. Other ferries leave from Besiktas and Kabatas.
|9. Is it safe to drink water from the tap in Istanbul?|
Although the water is chlorinated in Istanbul, it is recommended you drink bottled water. Bottled water is widely available and reasonably cheap in Istanbul.
|10. Is it safe to eat food from the street and small restaurants in Istanbul?|
The standard of hygiene in Istanbul is generally fairly high, and few visitors report problems related to unsafe food in the city. Practice common sense and only eat at an establishment if it looks clean and busy. Fresh fruit should be peeled before eating and salads should be avoided if you suspect they have been washed in tap water.
|11. Do I need any vaccinations for a trip to Istanbul?|
No. There are no required vaccinations for Turkey, although a typhoid vaccine is recommended for longer stays.
|12. Is alcohol available in Istanbul?|
Yes. Although the majority of Turks are Muslims, alcohol is readily available in Istanbul. The national drink, raki, is especially popular, along with beer and wine – of which there are numerous local brands. Istanbul also has some of the best nightlife in Europe with a seemingly never-ending supply of bars, nightclubs and restaurants.
|13. What language do they speak in Istanbul? Will it be hard to get by with only English?|
Turkish is the official language of Turkey and English is widely spoken in Istanbul; visitors are often surprised by the relatively high level of English spoken by most Turks. An attempt to use Turkish is very much appreciated and considered good manners, though.
|14. Should I take out travel insurance before visiting Turkey?|
Yes. It is important that before you book your holiday, you make sure that you have relevant travel insurance for you and your party. If you or any of your party develop COVID-19 symptoms while abroad, you should contact your travel insurance provider.
|15. Do I need to exchange money? Are there many ATM’s in Istanbul?|
Although Euros are accepted at some larger stores and in the tourist areas, it is generally better to trade in the Turkish currency – the Turkish Lira. Exchange rates are almost always better if your currency exchange is done in Turkey, and a good strategy is to take enough local currency for your first day or so, and change the rest once you arrive.
|16. Should you tip in Istanbul?|
It is customary to tip around 10% at restaurants in Turkey. If the bill reads ‘servis dahil’, then the service charge has already been added. Hamam (Turkish bath) attendants will generally expect up to 25%. It is not typical to tip taxi drivers or barmen in Turkey. : Frequently Asked Questions about Istanbul
Is Istanbul a family holiday?
Cost – Turkey is one of the best-value destinations in Europe for family holidays. Istanbul’s accommodation ranges from super-luxurious to very affordable.
Is Turkey a safe place for a family holiday?
OVERALL RISK : HIGH – Turkey is safe to visit if you avoid some parts of it – namely those near the border with Syria. You should be aware that tourist hotspots, restaurants, shops, and public transportation are places where most thefts and pickpocketing occur, and that violent crime exists here, too.
Is Istanbul Turkey worth visiting?
Istanbul is one of the world’s great cities. There are so many wonderful reasons why you should visit this city. Istanbul is old, dating back thousands of years, and with that, there are many historical places to visit. Istanbul is gorgeous, with its assortment of mosques and their colorful tile work and dramatic architecture.
Istanbul is charming; we met so many welcoming, friendly people here. And finally, Istanbul is home to the Hagia Sophia, an amazing architectural feat and one of the Wonders of the World. If you have plans to visit Istanbul, you should know that there is a lot to see here. You can easily fill five days of your time in Istanbul.
Hopefully, you have at least three days on your itinerary, but more time is ideal. Either way, if you are like us, you will be dreaming about returning to Istanbul someday. It’s just that kind of cityit stays in your heart long after you leave. Note: I do my best to keep the hours of operation and pricing up to date for each attraction, however, these can change at any time.