Best Area To Stay In Istanbul With Family
The 7 Best Neighborhoods in Istanbul for Tourists

  1. Sultanahmet.
  2. Sirkeci.
  3. Taksim.
  4. Karaköy & Galata.
  5. Maçka & Nişantaşi.
  6. Kabataş
  7. Beşiktaş

Is Istanbul good for families?

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.

Should I stay Taksim or Sultanahmet?

Where to Stay in Istanbul – Taksim or Sultanahmet? – When wondering where to stay in Istanbul – Taksim or Sultanahmet, you’ll have to take into account your budget and tastes. Taksim is better for people who want a good value place and somewhere with a neighbourhood atmosphere.

  • Sultanahmet is the ‘proper’ old city of Istanbul, and is close to the main tourist attractions, but is also quite a lot more expensive and touristy.
  • You might want to stay in Sultanahmet during your first trip, or if you’re just in Istanbul for a layover, and Taksim if you’ve already been to Istanbul before or are here for a more extended stay.

Whichever one you end up staying in, I’m sure you’ll have a great time in Istanbul!

Which side of Istanbul is better for tourists?

BONUS – ARNUVUTKÖY & BEBEK: Places to Explore From Beşiktaş – Beşiktaş is also a great base from which to explore some of the charming and elegant neighbourhoods along Istanbul’s coast such as Arnavutköy and Bebek, Best Area To Stay In Istanbul With Family Arnavutköy (meaning ‘Albanian village’ in Turkish) is not on the typical tourist trail but is actually one of the most interesting and historical places in Istanbul. With its colourful wooden Ottoman mansions facing the sea, cute seafood restaurants and cafe-lined picturesque narrow streets, this is definitely one of the must visit places in Istanbul.

There are also plenty of synagogues, churches and mosques! If you are looking to explore beautiful places in Istanbul then Arnavutköy should be an area that tops your list. Arnavutköy is not the best place in Istanbul to stay for first time visitors to the city as its far away from pretty much everywhere.

The upmarket area of Bebek is another of the top places to visit in Istanbul. Best Area To Stay In Istanbul With Family Home to some of Istanbul’s wealthiest residents (it even has its own marina where people dock their yachts) Bebek is extremely popular in the summer when Istanbulites from all over the city flock down to enjoy breakfast by the sea, drink in the trendy bars and escape the stifling city heat.

There are a few attractions located in Bebek, including the magnificent Rumeli Hisari Fortress. Bebek Park, located on the shore of the Bosphorus is flanked on either side by the Bebek Mosque and the Egyptian Consulate building (Valide Pasha Mansion), which are also worth visiting. The gorgeous coastal road into Bebek is narrow and during weekends and evenings becomes absolutely clogged with traffic, so bear this in mind if you want to visit the area.

Like Arnavutköy, I wouldn’t recommend Bebek as a place for first time visitors to Istanbul to stay as it’s so far away from the main attractions. It’s definitely worth making time on your trip to explore this neighbourhood though! Best Area To Stay In Istanbul With Family Fatih District is the most popular place to stay in Istanbul for tourists because there are so many attractions here – basically everywhere you look, there’s something to visit, be it a museum, a mosque or a bazaar. Many of the sites can be visited easily on foot or via a short journey on public transport.

What are the safest areas of Istanbul?

Kadikoy – This area is situated on Istanbul’s Asian side, and it is marked by its vibrant atmosphere and city life, as well as the presence of historical buildings. It is also characterized by the presence of many sports, cultural gatherings, and arts, as there are many historical buildings in addition to being a significant hub for transportation and shopping.

Is 1 week enough in Istanbul?

That said, a week is more than enough time to experience the best of Istanbul. It’s hard to imagine spending less than a week in this incredible city. There is so much to see, so much to experience, and a lot of traffic to contend with – even during slower seasons.

Which part of Istanbul is the most beautiful?

What Is The Most Beautiful Part Of Istanbul? – The most beautiful part of Istanbul has to be the Sultanahmet neighborhood. This is where the historical landmarks of the city are located, including the Hagia Sophia and The Blue Mosque. For quaint charm, colorful buildings, and cobblestone streets, check out the Balat area!

Is it better to stay in Sultanahmet or Beyoglu?

Sultanahmet – Best Area To Stay In Istanbul For Sightseeing – The main reason why many visitors consider Sultanahmet to be the best area of Istanbul to stay for tourists is its wealth of attractions. This is, after all, where the main historic sights are located, including the Grand Bazaar, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, etc.

Why is Sultanahmet famous?

Blue Mosque – Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul, formerly known as the Hippodrome in Istanbul, is a famous meeting place and an amazing tourist area. From this square, you can reach many important archaeological sites surrounding it, including Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts,

  1. The Egyptian obelisk, the serpentine column, the gigantic column or column of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, and the German fountain are all located in this area.
  2. The “” or ” Sultan Ahmed Mosque,” Istanbul’s most renowned and magnificent mosque, is one of the nearest archaeological monuments to this area.

Sultan Ahmed I ordered the construction of this mosque between 1603 and 1617. Because of the enormous quantity of blue-colored Iznik tiles that occupy the majority of the space, this mosque was dubbed the Blue Mosque,

How many days do you need in Istanbul?

How Many Days Is Enough To Visit Istanbul? Istanbul, a vibrant cultural hub, is brimming with must-see sites and monuments! So, how long should you stay in Istanbul? Give the city, at least three days if you’re coming for the first time. Three days in Istanbul will enable you to see the city’s most renowned sights — but anticipate a jam-packed schedule if you want to make the most of your time there! Istanbul, sandwiched between Asia and Europe, is one of the world’s most fascinating tourist attractions.

Is 4 days enough in Istanbul?

Is 4 Days enough to visit Istanbul? – In short – yes it is. Of course, as with any major city around the world, 4 days is never quite enough to explore everything you would want to see in Istanbul. Having said that however, 4 days is the perfect amount of time to get a good impression of the city and see the majority of the main tourist attractions in Turkey’s biggest city.

  1. Particularly in the Sultanahmet district, the main cultural centres are condensed into a small area which means you can explore many different tourist attractions in a short amount of time.
  2. With a 4-day Istanbul itinerary, you do have to make some small sacrifices.
  3. It would be impossible to explore all the different districts of the city so you have to prioritise what you want to see.

An area of the city that we were unable to visit on our own 4-day trip of Istanbul for example was Barat – the old Jewish Quarter that has transformed into a multi-cultural hipster neighbourhood in recent years. Best Area To Stay In Istanbul With Family Hagia Sophia – one of the highlights of your 4-day Istanbul Itinerary

Is 3 days enough in Istanbul?

Istanbul, or Constantinople as it was once famously named, was the ancient capital of the Roman and Ottoman Empires. It was referred to as Basileousia, or “Queen of Cities” and even today, it’s easy to see why.3 days in Istanbul is just enough time to see this vibrant and bustling city is a huge city that spans two continents; Asia and Europe.

Is Istanbul safe at night for tourists?

Is Istanbul Safe At Night? – Best Area To Stay In Istanbul With Family Any city in the world is more dangerous at night than in the daytime, and Istanbul is no exception. Luckily, Istanbul is still quite safe at night, but you should take extra precautions. Walking around at night in one of the tourist neighborhoods in Istanbul such as Sultanahmet or Kadikoy is quite safe.

The places that you should be careful of are the nightlife district in Istanbul, especially near Taksim. Petty theft and pickpocketing usually happen in crowded nightclubs and bars, and Taksim is one of the most popular areas for nightlife in Istanbul, especially for travelers. Another risk is getting approached by people who want to show you this place they were recommended.

Usually, they’ll say they want to have a drink with you, and then take you to a place that is going to be in on the scam. It ends with you paying for all the food and drinks of the party, and it won’t be cheap.

Where do the rich live in Istanbul?

4 – Levent district in Istanbul: – If you are looking for the rich neighborhoods of Istanbul, you must head towards the Levent district, which is located on the European side of the city. The area is characterized by residential complexes and high-rise skyscrapers.

Is Turkey suitable for children?

Travelling with kids and babies in Turkey Turks adore children, and Turkish families tend to take their children with them wherever they go, thinking nothing of letting them run around restaurants until the early hours. In this sense, the country is a great place to visit with kids.

And, of course, the coastal resorts offer a generally calm, warm sea and have pools, beaches (and sometimes water-parks) aplenty. On the down side, the number of play areas and children’s attractions lags far behind Western Europe. Turks have an uninhibited Mediterranean attitude toward children. Don’t be surprised to find your child receive an affectionate pinch on the cheek by a passer-by, often accompanied by the word maşallah, which serves both to praise your offspring and ward off the evil eye, while waiters will sometimes unselfconsciously pick a kid up and waltz them off into the kitchen to show their workmates, often accompanied by cries all around of “how sweet” (” çok tatlı “).

With a few honourable exceptions (eg Miniatürk and the Rahmi M. Koç Industrial Museum in İstanbul, and minicity in Antalya), there are few attractions aimed specifically at younger children, and few museums have kid-friendly displays or activities. And for buggy-pushing parents, the uneven surfaces and metre-high kerbs of the average Turkish pavement (where there is one) are a nightmare.

  • For older kids there are plenty of outdoor activities on offer – kayaking and windsurfing at some coastal resorts, for example, and whitewater rafting, mountain biking and canyoning in the hinterland.
  • Turkish food should appeal to most kids – what’s köfte but a (very) tasty burger, pide a pizza without the tomato paste, and gözleme a stuffed pancake? Maraş ice cream is just as delicious as Italian gelato and comes in myriad flavours.

In general, restaurants are very welcoming to families – just don’t expect highchairs. Disposable nappies are widely available from supermarkets and the larger bakkals, Ready to travel and discover Turkey? Get support from our local experts for stress-free planning & worry-free travels : Travelling with kids and babies in Turkey

How much Turkey should I get per child?

No need to guess how much turkey per person you need to cook. This handy rule will make your Thanksgiving planning so much easier. – No matter how often you host Thanksgiving, one big question remains the same: Exactly how much turkey do I need to make? Turkey size is important since it will determine how big of a helping each guest gets—not to mention how much will be left for Thanksgiving leftovers,

Is Turkey a good holiday for kids?

Turkey with children: tips and tricks Found between Europe and Minor Asia, Turkey a prime family destination. With the sea, the beaches, the sun, cultural and natural sites, but also breathtaking activities, this country ranks up at the 6 th place worldwide in terms of visitors. Best Area To Stay In Istanbul With Family O ne of the major concerns for families while booking their next holidays is finding the ideal accommodation. The number of different offers never ceases to increase and track is lost quite fast since the reviews may significantly vary from a client to another. Yet, it is your lucky day, as Little Guest has selected the best Turkish hotels. Your stays with your children will be made easy.

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How much money do you need for 7 days in Istanbul?

High-end traveller: 5000 TRY / person / day – A generous budget of 276 USD per person per day (or 1932 USD/week) is more than enough for Istanbul. A boutique hotel costs around 2500 TRY/night (twin share), which leaves you with spending money of 2500 TRY/day: Use it for taxis, a fancy Turkish breakfast and other meals at higher-end or international restaurants, a private guided tour and fun experience such as a cooking class, a luxury hammam treatment, and a sunset cruise on the Bosphorus.

Can you wear jeans in Istanbul?

Istanbul Dress Code For Tourists – The general Istanbul dress code for tourists and especially women is to cover your legs at least past to your knees, cover your chest and cover any cleavage and cover your stomach, Based on my experience visiting and living in Istanbul, having the bottom of your legs showing and feet is fine.

  1. Having your lower forearm showing and even all of your arm and shoulders showing in the summer is also fine, as it is very hot.
  2. Talking of the heat again, Summer in Istanbul is very very hot and dressing more modesty like this is hard, below I’ll give you some ideas of what to pack for summer in Istanbul.

However, in the cooler months like March, April, May, October, and November, and the very cold months like December, January, and February, how to dress in Istanbul as a tourist and how to dress in Istanbul as a woman is very easy because you’ll naturally want to wear more covering clothes to stay warm.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. For more from Women Who Travel, visit our or subscribe to our,
  3. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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,

  1. All of residential London’s really quiet.
  2. My son was so agitated by the absence of traffic noise and voices outside our window and all of that,
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Yeah, no, absolutely.
  3. And—and, you know, there’s also the—the difference in temperament between the people, which is also part of the environment.
  4. 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.

  1. And I ended up swimming through the winter and now I do that regularly.
  2. I mean, I’ve become one of those crazy people that swims year round.
  3. I mean, I swim alone.
  4. 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.
  5. But it’s also, it’s—it’s very social.
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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  1. LA: Yes, yes, yes.
  2. RM: Um, and they do have a history, it’s just that it’s not as visible and has been rendered invisible.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  1. And I just thought it was the most, yeah, like, a visitor from another realm.
  2. I love that.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  1. 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,
  2. That- that- the fort, not the park, but the fort was originally named, which is not Fort Greene, but Fort Putnam.
  3. 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.

  1. Elif Batuman: Yay.
  2. LA: Which—
  3. EB:
  4. LA: I will say that growing up in London feel like—
  5. 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.

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. LA: I love that story so much.
  3. Oh, that’s great.
  4. 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.

  1. LA: No, no, this is exactly what I wanna talk about in this podcast.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  1. And I did feel like they were a very productive and fun alternation.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 Turkey a good place for kids?

Turkey with children: tips and tricks Found between Europe and Minor Asia, Turkey a prime family destination. With the sea, the beaches, the sun, cultural and natural sites, but also breathtaking activities, this country ranks up at the 6 th place worldwide in terms of visitors. Best Area To Stay In Istanbul With Family O ne of the major concerns for families while booking their next holidays is finding the ideal accommodation. The number of different offers never ceases to increase and track is lost quite fast since the reviews may significantly vary from a client to another. Yet, it is your lucky day, as Little Guest has selected the best Turkish hotels. Your stays with your children will be made easy.

Is Turkey a good family holiday destination?

Why is Turkey such a great holiday destination for families? It’s the diversity of experiences on offer that makes the country one of the best places for a European family holiday. There are beautiful Aegean seaside resorts and beaches, wonderful natural attractions, centuries of fascinating history and a rich cultural experience that your kids will remember for a long time to come.

  • The water is crystal-clear with fairy-tale scenery, and the cities and towns offer lots of different activities for them to enjoy.
  • Family holidays in Turkey will take you from one of the world’s most iconic cities, Istanbul, to tiny villages where you’ll find all kinds of interesting places for the kids to explore.

It’s a very relaxing place to visit, even during tourist season, which is when most people get the chance to take a family holiday abroad. You can join in the peak season fun, or get away from it all for some quiet family time together. Here’s how to get the most out of your Turkish family holiday.

Is Turkey child friendly?

Travelling with kids and babies in Turkey Turks adore children, and Turkish families tend to take their children with them wherever they go, thinking nothing of letting them run around restaurants until the early hours. In this sense, the country is a great place to visit with kids.

  1. And, of course, the coastal resorts offer a generally calm, warm sea and have pools, beaches (and sometimes water-parks) aplenty.
  2. On the down side, the number of play areas and children’s attractions lags far behind Western Europe.
  3. Turks have an uninhibited Mediterranean attitude toward children.
  4. Don’t be surprised to find your child receive an affectionate pinch on the cheek by a passer-by, often accompanied by the word maşallah, which serves both to praise your offspring and ward off the evil eye, while waiters will sometimes unselfconsciously pick a kid up and waltz them off into the kitchen to show their workmates, often accompanied by cries all around of “how sweet” (” çok tatlı “).

With a few honourable exceptions (eg Miniatürk and the Rahmi M. Koç Industrial Museum in İstanbul, and minicity in Antalya), there are few attractions aimed specifically at younger children, and few museums have kid-friendly displays or activities. And for buggy-pushing parents, the uneven surfaces and metre-high kerbs of the average Turkish pavement (where there is one) are a nightmare.

  1. For older kids there are plenty of outdoor activities on offer – kayaking and windsurfing at some coastal resorts, for example, and whitewater rafting, mountain biking and canyoning in the hinterland.
  2. Turkish food should appeal to most kids – what’s köfte but a (very) tasty burger, pide a pizza without the tomato paste, and gözleme a stuffed pancake? Maraş ice cream is just as delicious as Italian gelato and comes in myriad flavours.

In general, restaurants are very welcoming to families – just don’t expect highchairs. Disposable nappies are widely available from supermarkets and the larger bakkals, Ready to travel and discover Turkey? Get support from our local experts for stress-free planning & worry-free travels : Travelling with kids and babies in Turkey