Locals Share Their Istanbul Experiences – Ali Kambay

Every month we ask an Istanbul local the same ten questions. This way you can hear firsthand what they love and hate about the city, and learn about the best places to wine, dine and shop in town.
Today Ali Kambay, aged between 18-25 and active as a front desk specialist, shares his Istanbul secrets.

Image from Beykoz, Istanbul.
Beykoz, Istanbul. – © Photo by Fsse8info

1. Where do you live, and what makes your neighborhood special?

I am living in Maltepe, which is located on the Asian part of Istanbul. I love Maltepe’s location. It is a quiet place, very close to sea.

2. What does a perfect day in Istanbul look like for you?

Hanging out with close friends, and enjoying a lovely time with them.

3. Where would you take first time Istanbul visitors to?

I do not like the crowded, touristy places. I am not a big fan of shopping centers either.

I love quite, pleasant, ‘hidden’ places that not everybody knows about (yet). They if course should have a nice view too. One of these places is Dilruba, located in Beykoz Korusu.

4. Do you have any shopping preferences and/or secrets?

I do not have any special shopping preferences or secrets. I shop in several places and buy from different brands.

5. What is according to you the best souvenir people should take back home?

It of course depends on the person. But in my opinion, if you come to Istanbul, you should look for an item that reflects the city’s rich history. Maybe a nice antique piece dating back to the Ottoman Empire?

6. What is your favorite restaurant, and why?

Mikla is my favorite restaurant. It has amazing views of the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn and the old part of the city. The service and food are simply perfect. It has a cool bar too, where you enjoy a variety of drinks before or after your dinner.

7. What Turkish dish should visitors really try out?

Picture of kokoreç on its horizontal skewer in Istanbul, Turkey.
Kokoreç seller. © Dieter Titz

The Turkish kitchen contains a huge variety of dishes, surely more than I could taste so far. Tourists usually focus on the different kebaps, but one street food they should really give a try is kokoreç.

People usually eat it after a night out in a bar of a nightclub, and buy it preferably from a street seller (by the seaside).

8. What is your favorite drink, and the best place to order it?

Turkish people love Turkish coffee. Melekler Kahvesi is one of the nicest places to order it.

9. What is your favorite bar or night club?

Unfortunately I do not have one.

10. What do you love and/or hate about Istanbul?

I love every kind of detail about Istanbul. The only thing that I hate is the traffic.

Last updated on 05/07/2015