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8 reasons why you should visit Turkey

I lived in Turkey/ Istanbul for 1.5 years, It is the place where I started my journey, A place where I found myself! A place I call Home.

I wanted to share my love to this country and encourage you to discover a new and an exciting place! You won’t forget Turkey’s magic.

I created an 8 reasons list on why you should visit this fascinating country:

1- You can travel the world in just one country.

Every weekend I used to book a flight and explore one of Turkey’s magic cities. I got to experience flying, booking , all of the travel process in just a domestic flight.

Then you enter a new city with that is different and unique. Every city has their special components, Every city has a outstanding place or a city-named dish that is worth the way.

Balloon rides in Cappadocia is like a balloon ride in Myanmar! And a beach day in Fetihya is like a Sunday after noon in Nice!

2- Food!

I can’t stop rambling about how good the food is in Turkey. Fish,Kabab, kanat, iskendar, Baklava، waffle, kumpir and many many many more!

Every dish got it’s own signature that makes a simple much like a glorious meal. You don’t have to be rich to eat food in Turkey! I used to eat a 3.5 TL meal (chicken and rice) and it was yummy!

Follow this link to read more about cheap and good Food in Istanbul Food dupes in Istanbul!

3- There is always something to do.

Whatever you do, working or studying, Turkey will never let you have a boring day. There is always some activity going around; A shopping festival, an Ataturk Holiday or simply a ferry ride from the European side to the Asian side.

4- A mixture of modernity and history.

The fantastic city of Istanbul got the best in two worlds. You will be able to travel down in history with every site in Istanbul, yet you will feel the modernity in the malls and in the technology involved in the structure of the city.

The layout of the old building mixing with the new ones is a sight you only can see it in Turkey and specially in Istanbul.

5- Transportation is accesable!

Having some kind of transportation is important in every city and in Turkey you won’t be disappointed. You will find a bus, a metro, a tram, a ferry and a taxi!! All public transportation are covered with just one card!

All roads lead to Rome and sure enough you will find a way to get there in Turkey.

Follow the link to read more about transportation cards and my favorite application to use while moving around 101 guide to your 1st week in Istanbul!

6- A home for an international community.

Students and Travelers from all around come to visit this mesmerizing place. In Istanbul alone I got to meet more than 15 different nationality from all around the world! I had made friendship that will last a lifetime with them! I got to experience and share moments with people from different cultures and end up learning something new from each one of them.

7- You can be yourself.

I always struggled to find a place to fit in, to be the real me! And I found this place in Istanbul and all of the city I traveled to! You are never too weird, or too cool or too unique. There is a place for you in this beautiful country.

You can wear shorts or a hijab, NO ONE will annoy you or make you feel uncomfortable.

8- Cat heaven.

One of the most noticeable scene in Turkey is animals. People every night put food for cats, dogs and even birds! They love and care about their animals, and you see that in the animals themselves. All of them are fat and lovable. All the dogs are under government care.

 If you are a cat lover like me then you will love Turkey.

Are you already booking for your flight?

Share your favorite country with us!

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دليل ل اول اسبوع في اسطنبول


البوست هذا رح يكون عن اذا انت مثلا سافرت ل اسطنبول وقررت تدرس او تعيش او حتى سياحة وحاير كيف رح تبلش، هذا البوست رح يساعدك ب اول اسبوع ،  رح يتكون هل بوست على كلمات تركية بسيطة تساعدك .. اشياء لازم تكون عندك حتى تقدر تتنقل بين مكان والثاني وآخر شي اشياء انا كنت احب أسويها واستمتع بيها وانتو اكيد رح تستمتعون فيها

 هلمووووو نبدآ

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اهم شي اللغة!! طبعا الأتراك لا يتكلمون لا عربي ولا انجليزي ولا سنسكريتي هههه فقط تركي ف حتى تقدر تتعامل معاهم وما ” يضحكو” عليك 

:لازم تعرفو هل كلمات البسيطة

Merhaba

مثل العربي مرحبا عيني 

Türkçe bilmiyorum

يعني انا لا اعرف تركي، وهذه الجملة مهمة لان الاتراك يحبون السوالف هههه 

Ne kadar

تعني بالعربي كم سعرها، ،استخدموا الالة الحاسبة حتى تتفاهمون على الارقام وعلى الاغلب رح يكونون يعرفون ٥ و ١٠ بالعربي هههه 

Nerede

تعني وين المكان، يعني اذا تهت هاي رح تكون جملتك الحبيبة

Teşekkürler

طبعا هاي الكلمة حتى تشكروهم نفس العربي تقريبا 

 

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:هسا ننتقل الى الشي الثاني والي بالنسبة الي اهم شي كيف تتنقل بين الأماكن, رح تحتاج تقريبا شغلتين
بطاقة المواصلات : بتشتريها من اي كشك يبيع جرايد مثل الصورة تقريبا بيكون سعرها ٦ ليرات وانت تمليها كل ما تخلص ، الرحلة الوحدة بتكلف تقريبا ٢.٤٥ ليرة والرحلة الثانية بتكون نص السعر
الشي الثاني والي انقذني عدة مرات الا وهوا : التطبيقات زي ما يقولون ،، بتنزلهم ورح يدلوك وَيَن تروح واي باص ، مترو تأخذ

.رح أحط لنك علمود تقدروا تنزلوهم

 Trafi Application

Moovit Application

 

اخر شي بحب أقلكم انو انتو رايحين ل اسطنبول ، مدينة الجمال ، البحر ، الجو وكل شي حلو فيها ، روحوا ل كل المساجد واستمتعوا بالتاريخ

.وشوفو كيف هل مدينة جميلة واهم شي اشربو شاي

طبعا هذا اول بوست بالعربي ف سامحو الأغلاط المطبعية ههههه
وان شاء الله رح يكون اكو بعد بوستات بالعربي وإذا تريدون الانجليزي أيضا موجود .. شكرا على وجودكم ودعمكم

101-Guide to your 1st week in Istanbul

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Your Guide to Enjoy 1 day in Ankara

Merhaba everyone and welcome to another blog post YAY!. I want to say thank you so much for reading we are almost 2 month old! And I am turning 25 next week! (ugh life happened).

Today our post is going to be about another one of how to enjoy one day in somewhere and today it is Ankara! I know you might heard that Ankara is Kinda boring BUT I came to give you a little help in enjoying 1 day in there! Lets Start.

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Birds Picture.

Many of you don’t know this but Ankara is the official capital of Turkey I know I used to think its Istanbul. And that piece of information tells a lot about Ankara! it is the capital so yes work work work. A lot of people living there are either students or employees.

Ankara Airport called Esenboğa International Airport, it is a very small cute airport. Just walk outside and ride the big white bus that will take you to the city center; Kızılay. It will take around 45 mins. In your way back take the same bus from Kızılay.

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Ataturk, The father of all turks.

You will use the main Metro line which passes by the city center Kızılay (maybe its not the city center but it is for me haha) and the place that we are going next Anıtkabir!! I went to Ankara to only see this place and IT WAS SO WORTH IT!!

It is Mustafa Kemal Atatürk tomb; the founder and the 1st president of Turkey. In Turkey, everyone loves and adores him, he is the father of all Turks. And the place IS AMAZING!

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Me trying to be cool.

Seriously this place is amazing, and it is HUGE!! its free of charge and surrounded with a huge forest! Make sure to visit the museum next to it and see how Turkey was founded, they seriously did a great job!

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Ataturk Tomb.

After you visit Anıtkabir you basically finished Ankara, Seriously!! but there a few tips that I can tell you to enjoy the few hours left in your day.

There is a big mosque, Kocatepe Mosque which is a famous one in the Kızılay area also, it literally looks like any mosque in Istanbul but the interior is kinda different and also huge!

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Its very huge in real life.

Zeina Tip about Ankara: Grab as many food as you can cause it is very cheap and GOOD! and they will love that you are a tourist or at least they loved me *sunglasses emoji*.

Don’t forget to visit the 50. Yıl Parkı, where you will see all of Ankara and enjoy a good cup of tea there. Also there is so many cute cats so bones!!

I tried to make you experience the parts I experienced in Ankara, yes it is small and not a lot of things to do there But you will enjoy the quite life, the big streets and the NO traffic part!! I really really recommend visiting Anıtkabir! One of my favorite places in Turkey.

Hope you enjoyed this little tiny post, don’t forget to follow me on my Facebook Page The Zeina Diary. Till next time.

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Your guide to enjoy 1 day in Pamukkale

This blog post is going to be about a city or more like an area called Pamukkale, the cotton city in Turkey, it was seriously one of the best places I visited.

Pamukkale is known for it’s famous name the cotton castle, a huge white rocks with hot minerals water, it is one of the World Heritage places that you must visit!

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epic view from the top.

How to get there?

The most important question of all times! Pamukkale is not a city in Turkey, it’s more like a part in a city. The main city is Denizli, and yes they do have a tiny miny airport in the middle of no where.

You can either take a bus or a plane to Pamukkale, I am not sure about the buses but it’s very easy and cheap to book a plane, which will only take 1 hour to reach.

Denizli airport – Denizli Çardak Airport

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One plane in the whole airport.

Trip Details

After you reach, just go outside and you will notice a big bus infront of the airport, tell the guy Pamukkale. The bus will take around 35 minutes to reach. When you reach a certain point, a minibus will be waiting for you to take you directly to Pamukkale (10 -15 minutes to reach). It is a very very small town with a very cute and nice people that somehow speak english! YES ENGLISH.

Zeina tip: Download Maps.me if you want to check where you are and you don’t have an internet.

You will see Pamukkale from far away, a huge white spot in the middle of the mountain!

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That water people.

Once you arrive, walk directly to the big white thing and pay an entrance fees of almost 35 TL.

Zeina Tip: bring a plastic bag cause you will need it once you remove your shoes.

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Everyone wonders the exact same thing, is it snow? No, it is not.

It is a type of a white rock and NO the water is not cold, it’s actually hot water. It is like a healing water, your legs will feel amazing after you leave.

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Once you reach the top, there will be another area that you should visit which is The city of Hierapolis, it is a Roman ruins, in different places, the major one is on the top, follow the signs. It will not disappoint you!

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I mean you can’t believe that this kind of ruins will be near Pamukkale. Note that you are not allowed to go down, it’s for your safety and for the protection of the ancient city.

I really recommend going in the summer because you will able to swim and enjoy the warm water. And for me 1 day was more than enough! You will enjoy and go home in the night.

This was a short post but I hope it made you want to visit this beautiful place. I will drop a link below to let you read more about this place:

Turkey Travel planner

 

Follow me on Facebook The Zeina Diary.

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Your guide to enjoy 1 day in Istanbul

Merhaba Everyone and thank you so much for clicking the link to read this one! Today we are going to the city where all the blog posts started from, ISTANBUL. I consider Istanbul as my second home, a place where I left my heart.

Since a lot of you are going to travel this summer, this is a simple post that you can follow for anyone who have a limited time in Istanbul, going through a transit trip or just for whatever reason you have, ZEINA is here to help. Your guide to enjoy 1 day in Istanbul.

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My 1st picture in Istanbul.

I am going to assume you will arrive by a plane. There is two airports in Istanbul; Ataturk and Sabiha-gokcen. From Ataturk you can either take a havatas bus or a metro to reach the center (note that you must have an Istanbul card to use the metro). From Sabiha Gokcen you have to take the havatas bus. You can take the same buses when you are going back.

Here is the link for everything related to the havatas buses:

havatas bus lines

From Sabiha-gokcen to Taksim – 15 TL

From Ataturk to Taksim  – 12 TL

The 1st stop is Taksim, I mean Istanbul is famous for its Taksim square and Iistiklal street, If you haven’t been there before then YOU MUST see it. Shop and eat (FOOD IS EVERYTHING GIRLS) and  walk to the very very very end of Istiklal street (with all of your shopping bags, struggle is real) to an area called Şişhane. At the end of Şişhane you will see the great Galata Tower! IT IS GREAT! I love this place, drink Chai there or whatever you want. Try for a million times to take a good selfie which will never happen, believe I tried.

After this, by google maps if you walked down to the main street from Galata, opposite way to Taksim square (I am struggling to describe the direction hehe). Anyways you will reach Kadikoy from there take a ferry to Üsküdar, which is the ZEINA replacement for the touristic ‘bosphorus tour’, cool right?

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That place.

This place is really beautiful and calm and you will just enjoy it, you can have food (Balik ekmek) or just have a walk and of course take pictures!! (Always my recommendation, PICTURES!!).

Then what Now? If this is your 1st time in Istanbul then YOU HAVE TO SEE THE mosques!

Take a ferry back to Karaköy or Eminonu and then from there take a tramway to Sultanahmet. Wait for it, wait for it, here you go! the most beautiful mosques of all times.

In the area of sultanahmet there is also, Topkapi palace and the Basilica Cistern which is one of the places that you have to see.

Zeina tip: buy some Simit with Nutella such an tasty little meal on the go.

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Blue Mosque, Hasan’s picture.

After finishing the tour, you should say goodbye to Istanbul in Ortaköy the place of kumpir and waffles YUMMMM! grab one and sit next to the sea and enjoy the magic of the lovely Istanbul.

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Ortakoy Cami

Yalla (Arabic way to say lets go) go back the airport, this was a mini tiny version of activities you can do in Istanbul. Follow this link to learn more about Turkey and reasons to visit 8 reasons why should you visit Turkey!

Have you ever been charmed by such city?

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Cappadocia the city of Air Balloons

Hello everyone! So excited you are here. Today’s blog post is about the beautiful Cappadocia, I mean I am pretty sure after this post you are going to be like I HAVE TO GO, TAKE MY MONEY NOW.

Cappadocia, one of the oldest cities in Turkey, very beautiful, very very different, very small and very boring if you are going to stay for more than 5 days UNLESS you love calm places (I am A city Girl *cool emoji*). In this post, I am going to talk about the city itself, the awesome Air balloon ride and the famous underground cities of Cappadocia, Shall we begin? 😀

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Cool Picture right.

The city of Cappadocia

So what’s special about this city? why should you or anybody go? simple answer, ITS AWESOME. The whole city has this fairy chimneys rocks or mountains (I call them mushroom mountains) which when you see it for the 1st time you are going to be WOOOW. Another thing I noticed about Cappadocia that they have ALOT of evil eye thingy and wishes trees! which give this brown city a little bit of blue so cool! I put my wish on the tree ( which was to eat as soon as possible).

Important note about transportation: If you are going to take a bus from Istanbul to Cappadocia it will last for 10 FREAKING hours. By plane its 1 hour ( SEE the difference). Try to book the plane early so it will be cheap (around 100 TL). Another tip that if you are going with a tourist company thats fine (I don’t recommend it cause you will loose all the fun of travelling). If not, then you have to rent a car or know someone that have a car cause there is NO TRANSPORTATION!

The Balloon Ride

Now, everyone knows that if you are going to Cappadocia then you HAVE to do the air balloon ride. It is one of the best places to do so. The down side of it, is that you have to wake up from 4 AM *crying emoji*. But after you wake up and go to the balloons station, you will realise that It is WORTH it! the view of the balloons in the morning and sunrise is just something you have to see! Once in a life time!.

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I mean really this picture is nothing compared to the reality (Pic by Lorenz Miri; the cool Italian guy).

So I discovered while making this post that I don’t have many pictures of the balloon ride!! :'( thats why I always tell you take as many pictures as you can (still crying inside).

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Best Group EVER!

The Underground Cities

As I understood from our guide (which wasn’t a very good one, very bad thats why I don’t recommend tours) that the underground cities were built to protect the people from the army that came to kill them. What amazed me about this that it was a whole city downstairs, Kitchen, bathroom and a living room, I mean everything!! build in rocks down there. Its very wonderful to see how people didn’t surrender to fear but lived and made an amazing home.

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Have no Idea why I look like this but there you have it.

Also, Another thing to catch up while you are in Cappadocia is the Open Air museum of Goreme, which includes many many cool churches and amazing place to walk in (I sounded like a tour guide, right? TO THE LEFT).

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Mushrooms rocks.

In the end, I really didn’t give Cappadocia its justice cause it was really amazing and different more than what I showed, something you have to see and experience.

Special thanks to Maysam, Esmer and Lorenz for their lovely pictures of Cappadocia.

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Beautiful Picture by the lovely Esmer <3

Thank you again for reading this post and I will also put some links that will help you with your search about Cappadocia:

Places to see in Cappadocia

General Information about Cappadocia

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Food Dupes- Istanbul edition

This blog going to be about food and I mean who doesn’t love food. Istanbul is the city of food!! I gained almost 10 Kg when I reached here ( I am exaggerating of course but who cares). You can find something to eat with 1 TL to 100 TL depend on how fancy you are ( I am too fancy).

Food dupes mean alternative, cheap alternative, not the same but the taste is brilliant ( I am getting hungry). We will start with breakfast, lunch then dessert then feel guilty forever for those calories (Sorry not sorry).

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That smile is what I call ‘ going to eat’ kinda smile

Breakfast

This is my favourite meal in the day, I love when I start my day with  good food and good company. In Istanbul you can get both for huge price difference.

lets start with the Fancy one, Orange juice and grilled chicken salad from Mado. I mean it tasted amazing, and I love Mado the food is really good but this meal costed me around 35 TL and I wasn’t really full after it (I eat a lot don’t tell anyone).

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having some quality time with myself.

Move to the cheaper one which was as good as the expensive one and more food! (we need more food ladies), the total cost of that lovely meal is around 50 TL for EVERYTHING. I mean look at it, its a peace of art. In case you want to the names of those plates, here you go

1- Kahvaltı tabağı: Includes the plate you are seeing with 1 boiled egg and Chai (tea), don’t forget to thank me later.

2- Menemen: Includes tomato, eggs and a little tiny bit of hot paper. you can order classic Menemen (Sade), with yellow cheese ( Kaşarlı Menemen) and many many options more, my choice will be the cheese one!!! ( Now I am seriously hungry).

3- Bal Kaymak: YOU HAVE TO EAT THIS ONE. put some of the Kaymak in a peace of bread then add honey above it and again you will thank me later.

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Good Company and Good food

Did you get hungry? if No then lets move on to lunch, if yes then make it NO!

Lunch

After walking and discovering the city for many many hours, you are going to be both tired and hungry ( I am hungry all the times) so lets start with the fancy shiz (excuse the word). Although I have to mention my expensive choices aren’t that expensive more like I am feeling like spending some money kinda expensive:

Fish, fresh fish from the sea then grilled and presented to you in a beautiful, lovely delicious way. Squeeze some lemons on the top and you will forget who’s sitting with you.

The cheaper option will be SHAWARMA, it will only cost you 8 TL or 10 if you added cheese. Its cheap, taste good and you will feel full and guilty after it (open that top bottom of your jeans).

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Shawarma on your left and Kabsa on your right.

While you are enjoying Istanbul and the food, don’t forget to spend minutes of your day to feed cats, dogs ,birds or give the left overs to someone who needs them. Give back!

Lastly, Desserts (please don’t have dinner, there is no space left there). This part is where you go wild!! Go to Mado and see the desert menu or go to Otraköy and eat waffles for 15 TL WITH A SEA VIEW.

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YUM YUM YUM!

Or simply just have an ice cream (Dondurma) for 5 TL.

At the end, Thank you again for reading and spending minutes of your day to show some kind of support to me, I really appreciate it. I couldn’t put all of the food in this blog so there a second blog coming soon about food. Till next time :D.

Please follow me on Facebook here so you can follow up with my blogs 😀

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Mornings spend with Simit are the best Mornings, Price: 1.25 TL :O

 

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101-Guide to your 1st week in Istanbul

Hello everyone, welcome to my very first blog!
Let me introduce myself in one sentence, My name is Zeina Atamish, 24
soon to be 25 (ugh) years old, MBA holder and a chemical Engineer, been living in Istanbul for one year and a half and killing it.

This blog will guide you through your 1st week in Istanbul if you were a student, a solo traveller or basically anyone :D. It will include; BASIC Turkish language words, things you must have to move around and basic enjoyable activities.

My brother and Örtaköy Cami

First things first!! Turkish words you need to know!! ( I spend my 1st week saying thank you in Turkish cause I didn’t know anything, ugh struggle is real people, struggle is real):

Merhaba : Hello ( use it with everyone!! like I did ).

Türkçe bilmiyorum: I don’t know Turkish, which believe me, YOU WILL NEED IT. In case you don’t know, Turkish people don’t speak English :)))) * though some of them do.

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Cute Fish Street seller posing for a Pic.

Ne Kadar: this is used to ask about the price of anything. USE it and use a calculator or your fingers to understand the numbers, cute right!

Nerede: this word is used to ask about a place; for example: Sultan ahmet nerede? add the place you want to go and this word after it, they will have their own way to explain the road to you 😀 which mean HANDS!

and Of course my 1st word that I learned here, Teşekkürler which means Thank you.

Move on to the second thing that we are going to mention here THINGS you need to have to move around and believe me you need them! BADLY:

1st : Istanbul Kart, which is as shown in the picture, a normal card that is used in every transportation ( Bus, Metro , Mertobus, tramvay and ferries), you can buy those cards from any newspaper places (like in the picture ) which will cost around 6 TL (1.5 $). You can fill it in any machine near the metros, ferries, etc.. one ride will cost you 2.45 TL (0.5 $) the 2nd ride will be half the price.

2nd: APPLICATIONS!!!!! Istanbul has two main used application for moving around; Trafi (Click to download ) and mooveit (Click to download ). They will both show you the way ( I mean if you get lost in the middle of no where with Turkish people all around you, no English! those apps will be your lover).

Finally, you are visiting Istanbul, the city that never sleeps, a beautiful lovely city where both history and present meet. I am pretty sure there is a million page on google that show you the 10 best places you should visit and I am telling you visit them all! But for me, the beautiful things to do in this city are drinking Chai (Tea) with a sea view, walking in old streets, feeding the cats (Istanbul cats and dogs are the best) and mostly feel the culture and the history.

 

At the end, Thank you for spending minutes of your day to read my article and I will keep posting things I find interesting. Please leave me a comment or send me an email if you need any kind of help in Istanbul.

Disclaimer, All the pictures here are my pictures and were taken by me.