06 May2008

Marketman & Family may head off to Athens, Greece and Istanbul, Turkey on holiday in a few weeks. While we have some guidebooks and obviously need to hit the major monuments, we are clueless about nice markets, food, produce, shopping, etc. So if you have been to Athens or Istanbul lately, would you have any suggestions for us? I know we won’t get to do or eat everything, but any useful tips you might have would be greatly appreciated. I know one of my commenters, Sha, who has frequented this blog since the first month, is based in Greece, but she is currently on a yacht in the Bahamas and hasn’t responded to several emails I sent. And I do know that at least one of my readers in the past was a Filipina based in Turkey, so I am hoping there are readers out there that can help… Many thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions!



  1. an says:

    I’m based in Germany but familiar with typical Turkish (as there are many Turks here) I’ve never been to Istanbul (but to Antalya 3 years ago)but dreaming of going too there someday.

    Istanbul is famous for its large Market there called the Grand Bazaar (biggest and oldest in the world?similar to the chaos of Quiapo and Divisoria). You will find everything there-Antiques, local souvenirs, Jewelries, clothes and fakes.

    With regards to food, try their Doner (we know it as Shawarma) they have also this Turkish Pizza called Pide and sweet Dessert called Baclava. There are also char-grilled specialties with chicken, minced beef and lamb to be eaten with rice or salad on the side and Yoghurt sauce. Try also their black tea.

    As souvenir, never forget that Blue Eye- you will notice each store or homes decorated with it.

    Greetings is- Merhaba. Hope this little info help you. Ü

    Enjoy your vacation!!!

    May 6, 2008 | 6:45 am


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  3. fried-neurons says:

    Never been to either place, but I do have a request: Please take a video of a whirling dervish if you go to Istanbul. :)

    May 6, 2008 | 7:01 am

  4. Maria Clara says:

    In Athens see the acropolis, the ruins everybody knows this I assume. Humid in Athens and June is a hot weather but much nicer on the islands. Island hopping is also popular. From Athens take an overnight boat to Crete one of their islands more ruins to see. From Crete take another overnight boat to Ios a small island which is really nice. Plane ride is also available but I love the boat ride. Since Athens is their capital city costs more for food compared to other islands but more affordable than Venice, Rome, Brussels or Paris.

    May 6, 2008 | 7:27 am

  5. Rebecca says:

    Try the halvah, a tahini based sweet studded with pistachios. HEAVENLY!!!

    Have a wonderful time! :)

    May 6, 2008 | 8:12 am

  6. CecileJ says:

    Wow, am looking forward to visiting Athens and Istanbul vicariously thru the MM family! Hope you have a really great time!

    May 6, 2008 | 8:29 am

  7. Lyna says:

    Hi! Turkey is one of my favourite destinations! pleased to share with you my travel notes:
    Tuesdays – SALI PAZAR – this is big and very popular
    Thursdays – AKALTAR
    Fridays – FINDIKZADE
    Saturdays – BAKIRKOY
    The covered bazaar in the city is also very popular but I find a bit touristic. But just outside this is a huge conglomerate of makeshift stalls that locals go to. Everything is sold from spices handicraft kitchenware clothes fruits etc.. and cheaper than what you can get at the covered bazaar.

    Food – I find some of the saucy dishes similar to our mechados or stews but they have the middle east touch of paprika or cumin, But it is yummy!

    There is one little 6th century byzantine church that has the most beautiful mosaic – CHORA CHURCH. hope you have time to visit this. Outside the church, locals are selling beautiful turkish plates and tiles

    May 6, 2008 | 10:20 am

  8. perkycinderella says:

    Hi MM,

    Found this site – http://www.iexploreturkey.com/. My sister went to Ephesus 2 years ago. She said that she was like transported back in time of Mama Mary. Enjoy your vacation!

    May 6, 2008 | 10:44 am

  9. joey says:

    Are you going to any of the islands in Greece? Very nice! Don’t expect white sand beaches – leave our Asian expectations at the door please – but be prepared to be dazzled by crystal aquamarine water! And gorgeous scenery!

    In Athens have gyros from those street-side places that have these big brick rotisserie ovens with many hunks of rotating meat in them — yum! Try the other roast meats aside from the gyros. Also, be prepared for the best baklava in your life :) Heavy, sticky bits of heaven!

    I’m going to hunt for my Greece notes…I know there was a market (I think on Fridays) in the street next to us…but it was a small one though…

    Turkey remains a dream for me…one day!

    May 6, 2008 | 11:00 am

  10. Marketman says:

    Joey, we may get to an island or two, but for this first trip of the Kid and Marketman, we may concentrate on Athens and environs. Besides, like Bond, Marketman is NOT fond of boats. Even a huge yacht is still too “boaty” for me…hahaha. I kid you not. And yes, Daniel Craig has a boat phobia, probably the only thing we have in common. :) Lyna, thanks for those tips, will definitely try to get to some of those markets! fried neurons, funny you should mention the whirling dervishes, they were number one on my list! But they are a touristy thing I gather. On some days, I could probably qualify at try outs for new whirling dervishes! an, thanks so much for your suggestions!

    May 6, 2008 | 11:08 am

  11. CecileJ says:

    MM, just you and The Kid? Wow, great bonding experience, I’m sure!

    May 6, 2008 | 11:16 am

  12. Rob says:

    The whirling dervishes in Istanbul are mainly for the tourists. If you want the real deal, you would need to fly to Konya in the interior.

    Lyna is absolutely correct about the Chora Church (it technically is classified as a museum). Beautiful mosaics, BTW the in Turkish it’s called KARIYE (KAH-ri-ye).

    Don’t miss the seafood in Istanbul, simply prepared but oh so delicious! You can have your pick of seafood restaurants in the Kumkapi area (go for dinner), I like CEMAL BALIK (je-MAHL BAH-lik)Restaurant, it is a short taxi ride from Sultanahmet, where the Blue Mosque (“Sultanahmet Camii)”), Aya Sofia, the Grand Bazaar “Kapali Carsi”), and the Topkapi Palace are situated.

    The only thing I’d warn you about is that many restaurants still allow smoking.

    AFIYET OLSUN! (Bon Appétit! ¡Buen Provecho!)

    May 6, 2008 | 11:27 am

  13. mgr says:

    For foodies, in Istanbul head to the Egyptian Spice market. I found it more interesting than the Grand Bazaar. It is near the Grand Bazaar too but you can sample their dried fruits, baklava, turkish delight, to name a few.
    Try a “simit” on the road. These are pretzel-like breads sold by street vendors (nilalako). The freshly baked ones are to die for. Also, you can have a grilled sardine sandwich by the river/bridges connecting the Eastern and Western side of Istanbul. Lastly, do not be drawn by the hawkers at the fish market by Sultanhamet (too touristy and they’ll almost drag you to their place)..instead try going to the Taksim area. Down the Istiklal Cadessi, there’s the Galatasaray Fish market. You can choose your fish and have them cook it for you.
    Star sights in Istanbul: Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Undeground Cisterns, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Dolmabache Palace, St Savior Church (Chora)..also my favorite with it’s beautiful mosaics but is a little away from the center.
    Have fun!

    May 6, 2008 | 11:43 am

  14. Homebuddy says:

    Have a fun filled and enjoyable trip! We shall eagerly anticipate the many tales and photos you will be posting after.

    May 6, 2008 | 1:49 pm

  15. Maricel says:

    I just love these insider tips on vacation places. I compile them in separate folders to look into when the need arises. Recently my husband went to Bacolod armed with 4 pages worth of my list of foodie finds culled from certified Market Manila foodies that he must dine at or definitely bring home for us to try. Thank you Guys!

    May 6, 2008 | 3:02 pm

  16. jay p says:

    athens for the thick yogurt and honey for breakfast mmmmmm… but of course you know that ;)

    May 6, 2008 | 5:24 pm

  17. mojito_drinker says:

    lamb gyros in athens =)

    May 6, 2008 | 5:36 pm

  18. Mangaranon says:

    MM — I was in Turkey recently and loved Istanbul. Make sure you visit the Four Seasons and the Ciragan Palace Hotel (they are beside each other) and you will see the Bosphorus from the restaurants there. Don’t forget to have some lokum — the best one is a freshly made lokum (Turkish delight) in Thayatira. Really, to die for.

    Are you going Crete? The food there is out of this world and very healthy.

    Please make a food diary and share it with us.

    May 6, 2008 | 6:20 pm

  19. chern says:

    in istanbul try walking across galata bridge – it’s quite an interesting sight with fishermen (by occupation and for fun) crowded together all along the sides and heavy traffic and a tram line going down the middle! so much for fishing being a ‘therapeutic’ leisure activity!

    also you might encounter boys selling fresh mussels stuffed with rice with a squeeze of lemon, from makeshift stands. i was there with a local who introduced me to these – he said they were safe to eat and i had no problems; they also happen to be delicious!

    and on the side of the galata bridge where the spice bazaar is, look out for wharfside (also quite makeshift) eateries selling fish sandwiches with onions and pickles. these are really tasty and you will get to sit on the wharf and see boats pull up alongside with massive amounts of fish being cooked for the sandwiches. also, the waiters have interesting costumes :) hope that helps!

    May 6, 2008 | 6:25 pm

  20. openonymous says:

    Athens, the greek islands and Turkey, I will never forget our vacation and cruise in those islands. Athens, is a lovely city, anywhere you look are Ruins, reminder of their very advanced civilization. very good food and pastries, lots of Filipinos too. While in Athens, I got up at 4 AM and woke up my wife and told her that we will take a walk in the placa and maybe downtown area and look for some Patsa, it is their hangover food over there, available at that time. It is just tripe stew. My wife is always praning when in other countries, and she said it could be scary walking around, and I told her that they (the Greeks) could be more scared of me (A huge oriental) if they encounter me. So walking around the Placa, and anywhere you look there is evidence of digging or construction and of Ruins. And guess what we found while walking, a bunch of kabayans closing shop, they were wait persons in a Chinese place. It was a weird moment for us finding kabayans at an unholy time in Athens. Continuing our walk, we saw a lot of party people just coming out or going to the nite clubs, beautiful people! and then we were off to the wet market, where the Patsa places were and I saw what could be heaven for Batangas people, I saw a lot of discarded, biyas or bones that are used for bulalo or kansi, nakatapon lang, the butchers were preparing for the day, but I think the biyas was trash already, what a waste! But anyways we proceeded to eat patsa, ako lang pala, coz the wife did not like the smell. The greeks were impressed! there were a lot of party people already eating patsa, and what a sight, nicely dressed sexy women, good looking olive skinned men, eating Patsa in the wetmarket.
    Another story is ordering kebobs in the Placa restaurant, we came in and the waiter asked how many kebobs do we want? and we were unsure so we ordered 2 each, and we looked around and people were ordering 6 to a dozen per person, it was so good, it was the ground lamb skewered and grilled, don’t miss it, it was that good! the pastry places were awesome, all kinds of baklava! I was in sweet heaven, even in the sidewalks, you can buy those fried balls of dough that were swimming in syrup and honey! In the island of crete, we visited the wetmarket also, and they had those huge snails, still alive in buckets and I had to buy some and was told that if i go to the restaurants in the market they will cook it for me, and I did , that was such a great treat, the island cruise was awesome, never have I seen so much nude people on the beach, it was such a feast for the eyes. One thing though about the greek isles cruise, ingat lang sa mga griego, this is the warning of our kabayans that were working in the cruise ship, but i guess we were so trusting of people, and our previous cruise experience were always good, we found out the hardway, that most of the souvenirs that my wife bought were stolen after we got back at the hotel. hey charge to experience na lang.
    But the best part of the tour/cruise was the Turkey trip, we went to Mary’s house and I think were Joseph grew up or someting! then it was off to the Ruins again, this marvelous Roman city of ephesus, this is a must see , a must not miss, I mean the parthenon and the heracles gate in athens was awesome but these ruins were super awesome, this is where one finds out how very advanced the Romans were. Great place to shop too, a lot of spices, I bought a almost one year supply of saffron for cheap, great seafood, mostly grilled, parang paranaque style sila doon.decent price for lacoste and polo shirts, but stay away from the rug salespeople, they will never stop, very very persistent.
    I still cannot forget this trip, this is one of my fave ones. Imagine peeking out the window of my hotel, looking up at the parthenon, then going out of the hotel, the heracles gate!
    i want to go back, and taste those kebobs again. I do not care about the baklava, i can get it here in Boston anyways.

    May 6, 2008 | 7:48 pm

  21. Apicio says:

    You might want to visit the National Archaeological Museum of Athens where they display the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient gear-work that antedated IWC’s Grande Complication movement by close to two thousand years. But more á propos me think is to take a glimpse at the mask of Agamemnon (which I grievously called Priam’s in my comment on your post on Gold of Ancestors) to compare and contrast it with the pectoral gold piece (your first picture) of the Locsin collection.

    May 6, 2008 | 8:44 pm

  22. Rowi says:

    Hi MM,
    My husband and I spent Easter and celebrated my birthday in Istanbul. It was great to see a new place and I really enjoyed visiting Istanbul. It is a huge city, and as such it was a hassle to get around. If you and family will stay for more than 3 nights outside of Sultanahmet, pls make sure you plan your sightseeing so as not to waste time on the road, sitting on a taxi (not recommended due to the traffic). Best to take the tram if possible.

    A walk along the pedestrian road Istiklal Caddesi starting from Taksim Square down to the Galata Tower is a good start to playing tourist.

    The “Big Five” (in my book) of Istanbul sightseeing is concentrated in the Sultanahmet: Topkapi Palace, Aya Sofia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar and the Basilica Cistern. The Cemberlitas Hamam (Turkish Bath) is also in the area. But you can’t do all of these sights in a day, no matter how well laid out your plans are. The queues are pretty long for the first 2, but I wouldnt miss them esp. the treasure rooms at Topkapi (the jewelled accessories were awesome). We didnt get to see the “royal kitchen” as there was a huge bunch of school children all over the place. If you feel a break, while inside the palace grounds, make sure you visit the cafe which overlooks the water.

    The Aya Sofia is also worth a visit for its architectural grandeur, also long on the queue. I wanted to go inside the Blue Mosque as I had never been inside a “living” mosque. Fascinating!

    The Basilica Cistern is worth a visit, another architectural wonder the Romans built. This is just off the Blue Mosque. The Cemberlitas is also not too far off. Also recommended when visiting Istanbul. However, it’s rather touristy. We tried and now we know how it felt to be bathed, a la Turka!

    We took a merienda inside the Grand Bazaar (too tired to even oggle and wander around) and only bought some “Blue Eyes” and nice-smelling herbal soaps from Abdullah (not far from the cafe area), where they sell organic cotton towels and the like. Headed for the Egyptian Spice Market instead and bought lots of nuts, olives (better than most greek olives!?) spices and slightly dried figs, etc.

    For me, the Simits (sesame-toasted turkish bagels) are best eaten with cheese in a cafe, and with Turkish black tea (order a big one, the small order is ridiculously small). The tea is nothing special, just ordinary Lipton, in my taste.

    I liked Aryan drink, but not my husband. I guess it’s the Asian in me. It’s a salted yoghurt drink that I found quite refreshing. Especially good when you’ve indulged in baklava and its cousins. For me and my not so-fond-of-sweets husband, the best baklava shop is the Dedeoglu, after first having tasted the so-called “best baklava in Istanbul” from Karakoy. The latter we found too sweet.

    We found this tiny shop in Ortakoy where we stayed. The young man who attended to us was so nice (so unlike some of the shop attendants in the city) and he made us “tikim” all those that we were curious to try. We ended up buying almost 3 kgs! They were to die for! Check out http://www.dedeoglu.com/tr. Their English site is non-existent but if you check Suberlimiz (locations) you’ll find the Ortakoy address. They have it in Nisantasi area as well where shopping at a more exclusive tempo can be had.

    As a birthday treat, my husband booked us at a hotel with a fantastic view of the Bosphorus, close to the bridge. We could see the Asian side from our room, huge ships and cruising boats and small fishing boats and men who were fishing. From the hotel, we took a taxi to the Rumeli side where a ferry boat waited for us to take us to the Asian side to this seafood restaurant Korfez. Highly recommended. http://www.korfez.com. You have to book in advance.

    Here are a sampling of recommended places that we got from our Turkish contact.

    Cinaralti http://www.cinaralti.com/

    Tike http://www.tike.com.tr/
    Develi http://www.develikebap.com/etiler/index.asp


    Cross over:
    360 http://www.360istanbul.com/
    Sunset http://www.sunsetgrillbar.com/
    Ulus 29 http://www.club29.com/ulus_intro.html

    Enjoy your visits!

    May 6, 2008 | 9:31 pm

  23. Gina says:

    I read in one of the blogs below that the New York Times has designated Istanbul as a foodie destination for 2008. Eagerly anticipating your trip reports on the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of these two cities, MM!


    May 6, 2008 | 10:40 pm

  24. Tasha says:

    Do try the baklava and other pastries at Beneth. There are branches all over Greece, such as the one near the Omonoia metro station. I am not sure which street it is on exactly, but it is near the area across the Zara store.

    And try the cookies whenever you spot a bakery in Athens. For some reason their cookie sandwiches are simply divine, so buttery and sweet even after a few days in a box.

    Also look out for the gyros, they’re only 1,70euro each! That’s the probably the cheapest meal in all of Europe!

    May 7, 2008 | 2:55 am

  25. natie says:

    will miss your posts, but enjoy the holiday,MM and Kid!

    May 7, 2008 | 3:02 am

  26. nina says:

    Haven’t been to both cities but my favorite resource for Europe Travels is Rick Steves. You may want to check his page about Greece and Turkey:


    Have a great trip. I also love travelling :)

    May 7, 2008 | 3:08 am

  27. sofia says:

    I never been to Constantinopole but if you want a total captivating ancient history, i would suggest Athens.

    May 7, 2008 | 5:24 am

  28. garret sanchez says:

    I was in both places last August. I agree with Nina that Rick Steve’s is the guidebook to get for Istanbul however he does not have a book out for Athens yet. The Lonely Planet guides should suffice. If you are so inclined check out my blog regarding my stay in Greece and Turkey—>
    The eats are great in both places. Greek food is tasty, fresh and simple, I really enjoyed the tavernas in Monastiraki near the flea market. In Istanbul don’t forget to try “kokoresch”!
    You will surely have a great time, try to meet and talk to as many locals as you can. For me that is the perfect recipe for a truly enriching travel experience.


    May 7, 2008 | 7:35 am

  29. ragamuffin girl says:

    Hi MM, Maybe you can write to cafefernando.com. He’s based in Turkey and his blog is fabulous! Happy trip!

    May 7, 2008 | 12:45 pm

  30. Marketman says:

    hi ragamuffin girl. Yes, I have been reading his archives… and there are so many restaurants on my list from commenters, friends, etc. that I know what was NOT supposed to be a food and eating trip ma inevitably turn into one! :) garret, thanks for that link! sofia, yes, we are headed to Athens. Nina, thanks for the links! natie, we aren’t going for a while, and hopefully, I will have time to write up some advance posts… THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all the wonderful links, restaurants, sights, suggestions, etc. This is going to be a cool trip indeed.

    May 7, 2008 | 12:59 pm

  31. Raneli says:

    MM:Greece and Turkey will be be hot and busy..so dont forget your sunblock or maybe just be mindful of changing weather patterns.occuring lately. A quick check on CNN daily before you go will help you pack the appropriate attire for the holiday. As for Athens..someone told me to try some local tavernas that are not too near the Plaka..because it can be touristy and expensive.This turn out to be true! and yes..carinderia greek food exist and its very good!local fruitstands are great because greek nectatines and apricots are juicy and cheap during summer time. Do try the local pastry and sweets shops that will be scattered all over the city..the greeks love their sweets..and not only baklava!.the chocolate covered cherries are normally sold by weight and they are too die for..and only sold during the summer! One of my best vacation was in Turkey and its fantastic. Greek and turkish food are similar but somehow the servings in turkey are plentiful..The Grand Bazaar is great place to see local action ,culture..but foodwise i find Taksim square area has better and reasonable options and its where the young people hang out. i had only 7 days to see the country so i booked online http://www.plantours.com to organize my prefered hotel, tranfers,tours based on preference and budget and was completely happy and surprised with their efficiency! the reason i wanted a planned itinerary is because the Turks speak very little english in general and it is not easy getting around without a guide. From Istabul,Ankara,Cappadoccia,Konya,Ephesus,Izmir i had a grandtime because there is so much to visually see in my opinion compared to Greece.Local long drive buses are wonderfully run and local provincial toilets stops are clean and well maintained, i must say.

    May 7, 2008 | 10:05 pm

  32. Raneli says:

    Hope you and your family have a great summer! Wishing you a pleasant and safe trip to Greece and Turkey.

    May 7, 2008 | 10:35 pm

  33. Alex says:

    the kid might like to try turkish ice cream! yum!

    May 9, 2008 | 1:30 pm

  34. Marie says:

    Lucky you! Greece and Turkey are countries on my “Places to Visit” list. One of my favourite blogs, travelerslunchbox.com, has a really great article on food/places to try in Istanbul. You might be interested in it. Have fun!

    May 10, 2008 | 10:22 am

  35. shalimar says:

    will get back to you… was out of the loop due some internet problems yeah got a lot to share…

    May 11, 2008 | 1:35 am

  36. shalimar says:

    I have not received any emails… am back here in Florida but has been so busy.

    May 11, 2008 | 1:35 am

  37. caryn says:

    MM! the food in istanbul is glorious! try the side-street fare, but keep a close watch on your bags. taksim is a good place to try out cafes and kebabs. their desserts are a tad too sweet, but try their chicken pudding, very good!
    architectural must-sees are topkapi palace, aya sofya and the blue mosque. the grand bazaar is worth a visit, but shopping is cheaper outside the bazaar. hehehe. if you have time, try the turkish baths. i recommend the Cagalolglu because they’re the oldest and are used to having foreign guests. also, for a quick tour the Bosphorus Cruise is also a must-see. I recommend going during the daytime so you get to see the architecture of Istanbul. Have fun!

    May 12, 2008 | 3:56 pm

  38. Marketman says:

    sha, Ihave sent several, maybe they got stuck in your spam folder? At any rate, I look forward to your suggestions re: Athens, thanks! caryn, thank you. And thanks to all above who have left such helpful tips!

    May 12, 2008 | 4:39 pm

  39. Jun says:

    Hi MM. Just came back from Turkey and Greece yesterday. Although it was primarily a sightseeing trip, we did have a chance to sample some tasty local food in both countries.

    In Istanbul, places worth visiting are the Topkapi Palace and its treasury section, the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar and the Aya Sofia. We particularly enjoyed visiting the Spice Market. Istiklal St. in Taksim Square is quite touristy and crowded but we had a real good meal of grilled lamb chops and chicken at a very reasonable price.

    If you have time to go out of the city, don’t miss the Cappadocia region and its awesome fairy chimneys, hollowed out dwellings and monastery and the Kaymakli underground city.

    Other out of town places worth the trip are Ephesus and the House of the Virgin Mary in Kusadasi, Hierapolis and the petrified calcium clifffs in Pamukkale and the Acropolis in Pergamon. Turkey is so big that you will find yourself spending quite a bit of time on the road if you want to visit some of the places mentioned above. We also found Turkish people very nice and helpful. Even in the Grand Bazaar, vendors were not hard sellers at all.

    In Greece, you would obviously want to visit the Parthenon and the Placa district just down the hill. Yes it’s touristy but it manages to remain quaint. Plenty of good places to eat too but can be pricey.

    For out of town places, at the top of my list would be the monasteries sitting on towering rock cliffs in Meteora and the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi.

    Hope you and the family enjoy both countries as much as we did.

    May 15, 2008 | 7:44 pm

  40. Chryssa says:

    you should definately go to kreatagora – the meat market in the centre of athens, near monastiraki. just get in a cab and say kreatagora.
    i’ve never bought anything there, but it is an amazing place to see – very national geographic
    also, plenty of stalls around there selling pistachios etc.

    May 18, 2008 | 9:51 pm

  41. melissa says:

    Dear MM, I went to Athens by myself last year and it was one of the best experiences ever. How long will you be there? Try to go see the islands, but go to the port early as there are not that many trips per day. If you have enough time, a flight to Santorini would be amazing. I took a day trip to Delphi (where the original oracle is) and it was great but quite rainy. The acropolis of Athens is an obvious must-see, but there are great things to see just walking around the city. It’s sort of like Rome where there are just hidden treasures everywhere.

    Greece is so rich in history that even the subways are mini-museums full of artifacts that would be priceless finds in other countries. The food is awesome, I realized how crappy some olive oils here pretending to be top quality really are after going for olive oil tastings in Athens. You must try that! Also, if you like cameos there are some small shops selling hand-crafted ones which are pricey but worth it. Stay away from the part of the old market with the Starbucks and all those things. Tourist traps!!! (Spoken by a victim) If you need any more info or you want to see pictures just let me know.

    May 20, 2008 | 6:06 pm

  42. FoodJunkie says:

    Did you get my mini guide?

    May 27, 2008 | 6:48 pm

  43. Marketman says:


    No, I didn’t get the mini guide, did you email it to me? Thanks…

    May 27, 2008 | 8:03 pm

  44. FoodJunkie says:

    I did through Shalimar. I will email it to you again!

    Jun 2, 2008 | 6:55 pm

  45. FoodJunkie says:

    I did through Shalimar. I will send it again

    Jun 2, 2008 | 6:59 pm

  46. emeraldgirl says:

    I loved Istanbul too. There’s so many contrasts in the city – the extravagence and the rundownness. You can pay a fortune or a penny depending on where you eat and drink out, so there is entertainment available to everyone which makes it very interesting – it’s a city buzzing with action everywhere!

    You should definitely check out the local markets like the Spice Market and bazaars for the ambience, smells and color. Also there are some beautiful little villages along the Bosphorus which should not be missed – the Bosphorus shores have some of the most expensive restaurants and clubs of all Istanbul. I really liked Ortakoy village – it’s very relaxed, there is a nice flea market and it’s a nice place to have a beer and watch the sunset over Istanbul with a good choice of restaurants.

    For our visit we used a wonderful tour company who arranged our trip as we wanted – http://www.byzastoursturkey.com . I would recommend them if you need help with any kind of travel arrangements.

    Also definitely make sure you try a Turkish coffee and some baklavas – the famous dessert from there. They are so sweet but delicious.

    Feb 19, 2009 | 12:24 am


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