Top 10 Outdoor Cafes in Istanbul

Picture of a street in Tünel, Istanbul.

Here's my top ten of outdoor cafés in Istanbul. Some of the places in this article offer you a chance to experience history and mysticism, others offer an escapade to serenity in the middle of the hectic city life. It's very unlikely you can try them all out during your visit, but I'm sure you'll find a few that are just what you were looking for. Çorlulu Ali Paşa This is … [Read more...]

Nargile or Turkish Water Pipe – 500 Years of Smoking Tradition

Picture of a Turkish water pipe or hookah in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Turkish water pipe or nargile (sometimes also called a hookah or hubble-bubble) has been around for centuries. Contrary to popular belief, it is not an instrument to smoke hashish or any other drug. The only products used are different flavors of (Turkish) tobacco. There is nothing shady about this 500 year smoking tradition. It's just a great way to slow life down and … [Read more...]

What to Drink in Istanbul?

Picture of a bottle of Yeni rakı in Istanbul, Turkey.

In Istanbul you have a wide variety of local drinks to try out -- hot or cold, with or without alcohol. Some of them will sound and look familiar but come with a Turkish twist, such as tea or coffee. Others will be new to you and are well worth a try to please your taste buds. Among those are ayran, boza and other juices. In the alcoholic department, rakı is the undisputed … [Read more...]