Istanbul is a spectacular city, filled with layer upon layer of history, culture, and incredible food.

In this Istanbul travel guide for food lovers you’ll discover useful information for your visit, including where to stay, what attractions to visit, and most importantly, some of the most delicious Turkish food you don’t want to miss.

Ok, let’s begin with this Istanbul travel guide!

Note: You can see all my city food guides here.

Turkish food
Get ready for some amazing Turkish food!

About This Istanbul Travel Guide

Istanbul is a city I’ve personally wanted to visit ever since learning about Constantinople in Western Civilization class back in 9th grade.

16 years later, I finally had an opportunity to visit for the first time.

It truly is an amazing city, full of vibrant life, incredibly generous and hospitable people, mind-blowing history and rich culture, and a mix of Turkish food that will have your taste rejoicing and craving more.

Kral Kokoreç
Picture with the crew from Kral Kokoreç

On my 4th day of this trip to Istanbul, my wife and I woke up in our hotel room as the entire hotel was shaking like an earth quake.

I pulled up the news on my phone and all I remember is seeing the Turkish flag on the front page of CNN, and in my half sleep.

It was 16 July 2016, and there was an attempted coup in Turkey, which later turned out to be a failed coup.

My wife and I were grateful to be safe, to have an amazing place to stay during our time in Istanbul, and to have the support of so many amazing Turkish people.

Although we were in Istanbul during the attempted coup, that does not change my opinion about how incredible Istanbul is. And the day after the coup, my wife and I headed out and had one of the most memorable days of eating and meeting restaurant owners of the entire trip (did I mention yet that Turkish people are some of the most hospitable and generous people in the world?).

I wrote this Istanbul travel guide to give you tips about where to stay, things to do, and some of the most incredible food I tried during my trip to Istanbul.

Despite the circumstances that occurred during my visit, Istanbul remains one of the greatest cities in the world.

Istanbul Atatürk Airport
Istanbul Atatürk Airport

Arriving and Leaving Istanbul

If you’re flying into Istanbul, you’ll likely land at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, a big and modern airport with tight security. The airport is located about 24 km west of the center of Istanbul. With traffic it can take up to 1 hour to get to the center of Istanbul, but without traffic it just takes around 30 minutes by road.

On a side note, if you’re flying on Turkish Airlines and can get access to the Turkish Airlines lounge at the airport, it’s pretty awesome – there’s some amazing food there!

Ok, so after proceeding through immigration and getting your luggage, you can walk outside Istanbul Atatürk Airport and choose your method of transportation to get to where you need to go.

Visa Online (Turkey e-visa)

Those of you who are from Europe can enter Turkey without a visa, but for the majority of other people, you’ll need a visa to enter Turkey.

However, there are also some random exceptions, like my wife who is from Thailand, and she doesn’t need a visa to visit Turkey. So make sure you do your own research for the requirements you need to travel to Turkey.

For those of us who need a Turkey visa (I carry a USA passport), the good news is, you can apply for a Turkey visa online before you arrive, and it’s hassle free and easy to do. You can check to see if you quality for an online visa here.

To apply for an e-visa, first go to the official Turkey e-visa website. Make sure your passport has over 6 months validity, fill out your information on the application, pay the fee of $20 (but can depend on what type of tourist visa you want), and you can almost instantaneously download your Turkey visa. Print it off, and have it ready when you land in Istanbul.

I had no problems with my Turkey visa, and I passed through immigration quickly upon landing.

Getting from the airport to the city

Havabus Bus

My wife and I arrived to Istanbul at about 5:30 am in the morning, and since we were not in a rush, I thought it would be a great idea to take the bus to Taksim Square, which was a short walk from the hotel we stayed at.

All you have to do is walk outside the arrivals terminal, and a little to the right hand side and across the first series of lanes, you’ll see some bus stops. I took the Havabus (or Havataş), and it cost 11 TL ($3.73) per person. No need to buy your ticket ahead of time, just get on the bus, and pay on the bus. The bus route goes from Istanbul Atatürk Airport to Taksim Sqaure, and the final stop is right by Point Hotel Taksim.

Private Taxi

When we were leaving Istanbul, since we didn’t have much time, we decided to catch a private taxi from the hotel to the airport. Taking an Istanbul taxi is pretty straight forward, and taxis should always use the meter. From Taksim Square to Istanbul Atatürk Airport, the taxi ride cost exactly 57 TL, which I thought was pretty reasonable. I think depending on route and traffic though, it will cost you anywhere from 60 – 80 TL for the ride.

You should choose your method of transportation depending on what time you arrive / leave Istanbul, and also about which area of the city you’re staying in or need to get to.

hotels in Istanbul
Best places to stay when you’re in Istanbul

Where to Stay in Istanbul?

Just like Bangkok, Istanbul is a city that offers just about every type and form of accommodation imaginable, in an overwhelming quantity. Many of the major world hotel brands are present in Istanbul, but there are also many family run guest house style accommodation options as well.

Like I mention in all my travel guides, location and expectation is highly important when you travel and look for accommodation, which is why I like to give you some good areas of Istanbul to stay in and what they have to offer.

Here are some areas and hotels to consider:

1. Sulthanamet

Sulthanamet is a neighborhood in the Fatih district of Istanbul, it’s a very old part of Istanbul, and it’s home to some of Istanbul’s most famous attractions like the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Though it’s a major tourist area, it’s an amazing place to stay because you’re surrounding by incredible points of history, and plenty of restaurants and shopping options. There are lots of good budget places to stay in Sulthanamet like Hotel Arcadia Blue or the homely Marmara Guesthouse.

2. Taksim SquareBeyoğlu

One of the most central and key points of modern Istanbul is Taksim Square (and in this area I’ve also included İstiklal and Beyoğlu). It’s right in the heart of the city, with shopping and restaurants in the area galore. This is a fantastic central area of Istanbul, where you can really soak in all the sights and sounds of Istanbul. You’ll find high end hotels like the The Ritz-Carlton and InterContinental, as well as mid ranged hotels.

3. Beşiktaş

One of the areas I fell in love with when my wife and I were trekking around Istanbul to create this Istanbul travel guide and videos is Beşiktaş. It’s an area that’s not far from Taksim Square, but it has more of a local neighborhood feel, and some incredibly good Turkish food. There are some high end luxury hotels in Beşiktaş like the Four Seasons at the Bosphorus, but also some more budget friendly places like Sunrise Istanbul Hotel.

There are many other areas of Istanbul as well, and plenty of fantastic areas if you want to be a little further out of the center of town. But these three areas are some central locations for convenient transportation and access to Istanbul attractions, shopping, and food.

Where did I stay? My wife and I stayed at The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul, as a sponsored stay. The hotel is in a fantastic location near Taksim Square, we had an amazing view of the Bosphorus from our room, and the service was excellent as you’d expect from the Ritz. If you’re looking for a luxury stay in Istanbul, The Rtiz-Carlton was fantastic.

Note: Links to hotels are affiliate links, meaning that if you make a booking, at NO extra expense to you, I’ll receive a small commission. This will help me to continue to write free travel food guides like this. Thank you in advance for your support.

Some of the gear I use

Here are a few of the things I brought with me when I traveled to Istanbul (these are Amazon affiliate links).

Lumix GX8
Camera I use
backpack
Main backpack
Money wallet
In pants money wallet
universal plug adapter
Universal plag adapter

To see more of my travel gear, check out my resources page.

Turkish food guide
Get ready for some incredibly delicious Turkish food!

Turkish Food in Istanbul

Now we’re ready to get into the really good stuff: food.

Istanbul is one of the most ancient cities in the world, packed with history and a food culture that is deliciously exciting. I think (and I think you do too) the absolute best reason to visit Istanbul is for the food, and of course, this Istanbul travel guide is for food lovers.

I found this publication by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey about the story of Turkish food to be extremely interesting and insightful.

When thinking about Turkish food in Istanbul, there are a number of things to take into consideration:

  • History and empire – Istanbul has been one of the most important and influential cities in the history of the world, home to the Ottoman empire which flourished for hundreds of years. This history and rule, opened the doors for Royal palace cuisine to develop and progress.
  • Natural ingredients – Turkey is naturally blessed with a huge variety of natural ingredients due to the vast diversity of climates and environments. Plants, spices, and seafood and animals, thrive in Turkey, and the abundance of natural resources helped to develop Turkish cuisine.
  • Geographical location – Finally, due to geographical position, as a bridge between Asia and Europe, and links to the Middle East, Turkey has been a trade hub of the world for centuries. Ingredients and flavors from around the world have made their way into Turkish cuisine.

These are just a few of the many factors that have helped in the development of Turkish food and some of the clues as to why so many dishes are so incredibly delicious as you will find as soon as you start eating in Istanbul!

Soon, I’ll be publishing a full blog post about the best Turkish food to eat. Stay tuned for that.

Lades Menemen Restaurant
Turkish breakfast at Lades Menemen Restaurant

Restaurants in Istanbul

There are a near endless amount of restaurants that you can eat at when you’re in Istanbul. Here are some of the best restaurants in Istanbul that I had a chance to try during my trip.

Unfortunately due to time and circumstance, I didn’t get to try all the Istanbul restaurants I had on my list, but this is a pretty good round-up.

And my mouth is watering just thinking about Turkish food while writing this…

Restaurants:

(I’ve included all these restaurants on a Google map here)

Lades Menemen Restaurant (breakfast) – Located just off Istiklal street, Lades is a Turkish breakfast restaurant that is well known for serving menemen, which is a Turkish egg dish. I ordered the Turkish sausage menmen and it was unbelievably delicious. Address: Katip Çelebi Mahallesi, İstiklal Caddesi, Sadri Alışık Sokak, No 11, Beyoğlu, İstanbul; Open hours: 6 am to 11 pm daily.

Çakmak Kahvaltı Salonu (breakfast) – Thanks to FoodieHub for this Turkish breakfast recommendation located in Beşiktaş. Along with the full spread of cheese, olives, kaymak, and bread, I ordered the eggs with tender beef cooked in its own fat. It was crazy good, especially with bread and all the Turkish breakfast side dishes In this Istanbul travel guide, this was one of my favorite places for breakfast. Address: Sinanpaşa Mh., Çelebioğlu Sk. No:8, 34353 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey; Open hours: 7 am to 7 pm daily.

Şehzade Cağ Kebap
The amazing Şehzade Cağ Kebap

Şehzade Cağ Kebap (kebab) – Cağ Kebap is a type of kebab from Eastern Turkey that cooked on a horizontal spit (unlike the typical vertical spit), and if you love food, it’s something you don’t want to miss eating in Istanbul. Address: Ankara Cad. HocaPaşa Sok. No:4, 34110 İstanbul, Turkey; Open hours: 10 am to 9:30 pm on Monday to Saturday (closed on Sunday).

Tarihi Karadeniz Döner (doner kebab) – Tuba from Istanbul Food says this is the best doner kebab in Istanbul, and after eating there, I have zero arguments. Along with being the most gorgeous vertical roll of meat you’re likely to ever see in your life, the taste of the meat was beautifully charred and juicy at the same time. You can get a doner sandwich, or you can go bigger and get a plate of carved doner meat with bread on the side. Address: Sinanpaşa Mahallesi, Mumcu Bakkal Sokak, No 6, Beşiktaş, İstanbul; Open hours: 10:30 am to 6 pm daily.

Kofte Sandwich Stall (grilled) – The first meal I had in this entire Istanbul travel guide was this small kofte street food stall, just behind the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Vodafone Arena. The friendly service paired with freshly grilled kofte minced meat patties, all stuffed into bread with spices, was absolutely sensational. I’m not totally sure about address or open hours, but it sets up behind Vodafone Arena and just a short walk from The Ritz-Carlton, open for lunch for sure.

Kral Kokoreç (lamb intestines) – One of the Turkish foods I was most looking forward to trying when I was in Istanbul is kokoreç, which is a number of organs wrapped with baby lamb intestines (in this case) and roasted. At Kral Kokoreç, you can order your kokoreç in a sandwich, or on a side plate with bread for the bigger option. I loved it, the organs had a slightly bitter and spicy taste, while being crispy and oily. There is also a plate of midye dolma sitting on your table when you eat at Kral Kokoreç, and they are worth digging into as well. Address: Hobyar, Büyük Postane Cd. No:50, 34112 Fatih/İstanbul; Open hours: 9 am to 9 pm daily.

Zübeyir Ocakbaşı Restaurant
Lamb chops on the grill at Zübeyir Ocakbaşı Restaurant

Zübeyir Ocakbaşı Restaurant (grilled meat) – When my friend David instructed me to eat at Zübeyir Ocakbaşı for life-changing kebab and grilled lamb in Istanbul, I didn’t take his recommendation lightly (I knew he would be right). First of all, an ocakbaşı is a type of indoor Turkish grill with a big metal chimney. Words cannot describe how incredibly amazing the lamb kebab was – it was soft and tender, salty and seasoned, and it literally melted on my tongue. I’m going to stop there before even getting into the lamb chops. But yes, it would be terrible to miss the lamb chops as well. Address: Şehit Muhtar Mh. Bekar Sk. No 28 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, 34435; Open hours: 12 noon to 12 midnight daily.

Balkan Lokantasi (home-style food) – I had no clue what to expect when my wife and I walked over to Balkan Lokantasi for dinner one evening. The line was out the door, and I could see dozens of prepared dishes ready to be served. It’s cafeteria style, and there’s no way I could tell you all the names of the dishes, but you can pretty much eat any kind of home-style Turkish food – from casseroles to stews. It’s a fantastic restaurant in Istanbul to have a feast on a budget. Address: Cihannüma Mahallesi, Akmazçeşme Sokak, No 6, Beşiktaş, İstanbul; Open hours: 10 am to 9:45 pm daily.

Fish and Meat House (seafood) – Located in Beyoğlu, near Istiklal Street and Taksim Square, this small family run restaurant is another good place to eat grilled fish and salad. I ordered the grilled sea bream, which was fresh, simple, and cooked perfectly so it was oily and moist. Address: Cihangir Mahallesi, Sıraselviler Caddesi, Soğancı Sokak, No 8/D, Beyoğlu, Istanbul; Open hours: 12 noon to 12 midnight daily.

Balıkçı Lokantası
Braised Black Sea salmon at Balıkçı Lokantası

Balıkçı Lokantası Restaurant (seafood) – Of all the restaurants I included in this Istanbul travel guide, for the friendliness, off the beaten path location, and for their braised black sea salmon, Balıkçı Lokantası was one of my personal favorites. Along with an outstanding plate of grilled hamsi (anchovies), the stunner for me was this clay dish of black sea salmon with onions and spices, braised in what I think was olive oil and butter. I’m still dreaming about it. Address: Rıhtım Cad. Teyyareci Sami Sk. No:20/1 Rasimpaşa Kadıköy, İstanbul; Open hours: 12 noon to 9 pm daily.

Fıstık Kebap Lahmacun (lahmacun) – Lahmacun is a popular Turkish food of a round of dough that’s topped in a thin meat spread and baked. Thanks to Culinary Backstreets for their recommendation to eat at Fıstık Kebap Lahmacun, a lovely restaurant in Ortaköy. The lahmacun was good, the pide (another meat filled trough bread) was excellent, and their special Fıstık Kebap plate was incredible. Address: Mecidiye Mahallesi, Büyükşekerci Sokak, No 4/A, Beşiktaş, Istanbul; Open hours: 11 am to 11 pm daily.

Balık Ekmek at Eminönü (fish sandwich) – Located on Eminönü pier, one of the most famous Istanbul street food dishes to eat is balık ekmek, a sandwich of grilled mackerel. There are a series of boats where the food stalls set up grill the mackerel. You can take a seat on the pier at one of the boats, and order up a big fish sandwich for a fantastic meal or snack.

Turkish food guide
Turkish coffee at Mandabatmaz

Mandabatmaz (Turkish coffee) – Ever since visiting Jordan and drinking about 8 cups of Turkish coffee per day, I’ve been a little obsessed with it. Mandabatmaz, a Turkish cafe off of Istiklal street, serves excellent Turkish coffee that’s full of chocolatey flavor and cardamom. If you’re shopping at Istiklal street, this is a cafe you want to make sure you don’t miss. Address: İstiklal Cad./olivia Geçidi 1/A, Beyoğlu/Istanbul – Europe, Turkey; Open hours: 9:30 am to 12 midnight daily.

For this Turkish food section of this Istanbul travel guide I want to say a special thank you to all of you who gave me your favorite restaurant recommendations.

Also, for continued Istanbul food research, check out these fantastic blogs:

  • Istanbul Food – Tuba is a friend of  mine and she’s passionate about Turkish food. She also gives food tours.
  • Culinary Backstreets – Great content about authentic local food.
  • I also used sites like Zomato and Foursquare for food recommendations in Istanbul.

Coming soon on the blog, check out a full post about Turkish food that goes more in depth into individual dishes.

attractions in Istanbul
Things to do in Istanbul




Things To Do in Istanbul

From Byzantium to Constantinople to Istanbul, the city has been a center of civilization and empires for thousands of years.

The history of religion, architecture, and art, are jus a few of the things that make Istanbul such an attractive city.

While I did have the opportunity to visit and cover the most famous attractions in Istanbul in this Istanbul travel guide, there were a few more off the beaten path attractions that I wanted to visit, but due to circumstances, I wasn’t able to get there.

But here are a few things to do in Istanbul, and as touristy as some of these places are, they are truly breathtaking to visit in person.

Istanbul Museum Pass

In order to avoid waiting in lines to buy tickets, and to save a bit of money, I bought the Istanbul Museum Pass for 85 TL ($28.47) per person. The pass allows you entrance to many museums, but not all of them (see list here).

For the amount of sightseeing I did and covered in this Istanbul travel guide, I’m not sure if I really saved much money by purchasing the card, but I did avoid some lines for sure. If I had had a few more days in Istanbul to visit some more museums, it would have been worth it more financially as well. So it’s up to you whether you want to purchase it or not.

Istanbul travel guide
Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Attractions

Hagia Sophia – Now a museum, but previously a mosque and even before that a church, Hagia Sophia is one of Istanbul’s most famous attractions and landmarks of the city. The giant structure, minarets and domes are wonderful to see from the outside, and the inside is just as spectacular. I enjoyed the upper decks for high up views of inside and the original mosaics. Visiting information: Ticket price – 40 TL; Open hours – 9 am to 7 pm from 15 April to 25 October and 9 am to 5 pm from 25 October to 15 April daily; Directions – Hagia Sophia is in Sulthanamet, you can get there by tram or on foot.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque) – Just a short walk from Hagia Sophia is Sultan Ahmed Mosque, often referred to as the blue mosque for the blue tiles used in the interior construction. The mosque was built between the years 1609 and 1616, and it includes a complex system of domes and minarets. The inside prayer hall is decorated with red carpet, ancient chandeliers, and mosaic and tile work. Visiting information: Ticket price – Free; Open hours – for non-Muslims it’s closed during  the 5 daily prayers times for about 90 minutes each prayer time, it opens about 30 minutes after each prayer time in the day; Directions – Sulthanamet tram; Also make sure you dress appropriately, although they do have clothing to borrow.

Topkapi Palace – Completing the trio of the most popular attractions in this Istanbul travel guide, Topkapi Palace is right in the same area. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Topkapi Palace is a former Ottoman Sultan palace full of courtyards, gardens, galleries, and one of the highlights – the Imperial HaremVisiting information: Ticket price – 40 TL; Open hours – 9 am to 6:45 pm from April 15 to October 30 and 9 am to 4:45 pm from October 30 to April 15 (closed on all Tuesdays); Directions – Sulthanamet tram.

Basilica Cistern – Again, located right in old Sulthanamet, across the street from Hagia Sophia, my wife and I decided to check out the Basilica Cistern, one of many underground cisterns in Istanbul. After paying the entrance fee, you can walk around the dark and spooky cistern filled with columns and water, and don’t miss the mysterious Medusa head statues. Visiting information: Ticket price – 20 TL ($6.80); Open hours – 9 am to 6:30 pm in summer and 9 am to 5:30 pm in winter daily; Directions – Sulthanamet tram.

Süleymaniye Mosque – Similar to the Blue Mosque yet less visited by tourists, and just as iconic to Istanbul’s skyline is the impressive Süleymaniye Mosque, another Ottoman masterpiece. Along with entering into the mosque you can enjoy some amazing views of the Golden Horn and Bosphorus from the gardens. I visited Süleymaniye Mosque right before going to the Grand Bazaar as they are in the same general area. Visiting information: Ticket price – Free; Open hours – closed for Non-Muslims during the five daily prayer times (which change daily); Directions – I think the easiest way to get here is by walking from Eminönü.

Istiklal Street
Istanbul Travel Guide – Istiklal Street

Istiklal Street and Taksim Square – A walking pedestrian shopping street, Istiklal Street is a great place to go shopping and people watching. There’s also a historic tram you can take if you please, and countless restaurants and cafes along Istiklal and on side lanes and streets. Taksim Square, a giant open space and the center of modern Istanbul is well worth checking out as well. Visiting information: Open hours – about 10 am to 7 pm or 9 pm; Directions – Metro to Taksim Square or walk there.

Galata Tower – Sitting on the top of the hill in Beyoğlu, this nine storey tower remained the tallest structure in Istanbul for hundreds of years. Now it’s open as an observation tower and there’s also a restaurant and cafe. I went to the top and enjoyed some amazing 360 degree views of Istanbul. I went in the morning right as they opened and there were only about 5 of us there. Visiting information: Ticket price – 25 TL ($8.40); Open hours – 9 am to 8:30 pm daily; Directions – It’s about a 15 minute walk from Karaköy or from Istiklal Avenue.

Galata Bridge – Connecting Eminönü to Karaköy (both on the European side of Istanbul), and crossing the Golden Horn (and offshoot of the Bosphorus Strait), the Galata Bridge is a joy to walk across and soak up the views. It’s also a favorite fishing spot, and you can eat a delicious balik ekmek (fish sandwich) on either side of the bridge.

Do you like my photos in this Istanbul travel guide? Check out the camera gear I use here.

Spice Bazaar in Istanbul
Sense overload at the Spice Bazaar

Spice Bazaar / Egyptian Bazaar – For food lovers like you and I, Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, is a place you don’t want to miss. Located in Eminönü, there’s a covered indoor section, but the outdoor section is what I really liked, packed with cone shapes of colorful spices, fruits, vegetables, dried fruit and nuts. It’s an amazing overdose of Turkish ingredients and food trade in the world. If I could choose one thing from this Istanbul travel guide to do (apart from eating) it would be to explore the spice bazaar. Visiting information: Open hours – 8 am to 7:30 pm on Monday to Friday (closed on Saturday and Sunday); Directions – Tram to Eminönü or walk.

Grand Bazaar – Not only one of the oldest indoor markets in Istanbul, but one of the oldest in the world, this indoor shopping mall is not just a shopping paradise, but a museum at the same time. I’m not a big shopper, but I loved getting lost in the narrow lanes of the Grand Bazaar, checking out everything from carpets to jewelry, and especially sitting down for a cup of Turkish tea. Visiting information: Open hours – 8:30 am to 7 pm from Monday to Saturday (closed on Sunday); Directions – Tram to Eminönü or walk.

Kadıköy Market – I did not have enough time to explore the Asian side of Istanbul as much as I would have liked to. But one day, we did take the boat over to Kadıköy to walk around the market. It’s a fantastic Istanbul food market to explore, I would highly recommend it. Visiting information: Open hours – about 9 am to 7 pm (closed on Sunday); Directions – Ferry to Kadıköy.

These are some of the most famous things to do in Istanbul, but there are many many other things to do as well. I did enjoy these historical sites, but most of all, I just enjoyed being in Istanbul, while experiencing the local food and culture.

getting around Istanbul
Transportation in Istanbul – Bosphorus Ferry

How to Get Around (Transportation)

There are many different modes of public transportation in Istanbul, most of which work very smoothly and hassle free.

However, if you enjoy walking, Istanbul is a fantastic city to explore on foot. When researching the restaurants and attractions in this Istanbul travel guide, my wife and I walked all around Taksim, Beyoğlu, Sulthanamet, and even Beşiktaş on foot.

  • Tram – Not extremely extensive, but useful if you’re in the right place, is the Istanbul tram. I took it a few times from Kabataş to Sulthanamet, and it was easy and fast. You can buy single tickets, or 3 rides at a time for 10 TL ($3.40).
  • Bus – Public buses in Istanbul are a major form of public transportation in Istanbul. I will admit I don’t have much experience with the bus, but I did take it a couple times up and down main roads. You can usually see the destination where the bus is en-route to, of if you have internet on your phone, you can look up bus routes on Google Maps. The bus rides I took cost 2.5 TL ($0.84) per person.
  • Taxi – Yellow Istanbul taxis are prevalent, not hard to wave down, and just like many other major cities, there are occasionally reports of drivers ripping off customers. However, overall, taxi drivers are friendly and very convenient to use. Same tips go for all over the world – don’t catch a taxi in front of a famous tourist attraction, know the route you want to go, make sure the driver uses the meter. Here are some more tips. You’ll pay 10 – 20 TL ($3.34 – $6.69) for a short ride and 20 – 80 TL ($6.69 – $26.76) for a longer ride. See more details here.
  • Uber – If you sign up using this link, you’ll get a free ride. Since I had portable internet in Istanbul, my wife and I used Uber quite a few times in Istanbul. It’s convenient, good price, the cars we got were often Mercedes vans, and I had great experiences with Uber in Istanbul. A ride from the Grand Bazaar to my hotel at Taksim Square cost 31 TL ($10.36).
  • Boats – Ferry boats across the Bosphorus are one of the main types of transportation. I didn’t fully figure out the boat system as I only took it a few times, but you basically just go to the pier, and take the next boat to the pier you’re going to (do check routes and time schedules on the website). You’ll get some awesome views taking the ferry in Istanbul.
Is it safe to travel to Istanbul?
Safety when visiting Istanbul

Is it safe to travel to Istanbul?

In most of my city travel guides I don’t typically address safety.

However, Istanbul and Turkey being at the forefront of world news recently, I just thought I would share my opinion about, “is it safe to travel to Istanbul?” – I get this question a lot for Bangkok as well, and many of the principles are the same.

A few things to consider:

  1. Anything could happen anywhere – The first thing I think about when it comes to safety and traveling is that anything could happen anywhere in the world. And no safety advisor in the world can predict anything.
  2. Media is often blown out of proportion – Media often covers bad situations, and makes them feel like the entire country is a war zone; When in reality, life in the city and neighborhoods often continues. Media is something to be aware of, but not to base your full judgment on.
  3. Fear is real – There’s no doubt about it, fear is real, and it causes you and I to never do some things we want to do. For me, realizing that anything could happen anywhere, gives me comfort and inspiration to overcome the fear and go for it.

On this particular trip to Istanbul, my wife and I were there during the attempted coup. When we first read the news, we were scared.

But unless you happened to be in the really wrong place at the really wrong time (which we do have to acknowledge is a possibility – that goes for anywhere we are), there wasn’t a real danger to tourists or civilians.

We remained safe throughout the attempted coup, and the day after the coup turned out to be one of my favorite food days of our entire trip to Istanbul.

A couple things I did for safety in Istanbul:

  • Visited attractions off-peak time – Partly to avoid crowds, and partly for safety, my wife and I tried to go to some of the famous attractions in Istanbul early in the morning, or before the main crowds arrived.
  • Going out at night – My wife and I aren’t really into nightlife in the first place (we are in bed by 10 pm usually), but avoiding nightlife is a way to greatly reduce the risk of something bad happening.
  • Being alert and using common sense – Accidents and unpredictable events happen, but being alert and using common sense can be of some help.

Final Thought: I’m not an expert on travel safety, and I don’t think there’s ever a certain answer for, “is it safe to travel to Istanbul?”, but I hope this provides a bit of insight. What I can say for certain is that in my experience, the overwhelming majority of people in Istanbul are friendly, hospitable, and willing to help you in any way they can.

Istanbul travel guide for food lovers
The beauty of Istanbul

Internet and Mobile Phone

During my trip to Istanbul I bought a TEP wireless internet device that I used everyday with unlimited internet access. It was a huge help for looking up information and doing research on where to go and what to eat for this Istanbul travel guide. You can rent one for $9.95 per day.

For mobile phone, Turkcell, Vodafone, and Avea are all popular. If you want to buy a SIM, the easiest way is to get it when you land at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, go to one of the mobile carriers, register yourself with you passport, and then get your SIM card and 3G plan.

prices and expenses in Istanbul
How much does it cost to travel in Istanbul?

Prices and Expenses

In comparison to cities in Southeast Asia, Istanbul is a little more expensive, but in comparison to cities in Europe, Istanbul is pretty cheap. So traveling expenses in Istanbul are somewhere in the middle of the road. But like all major cities in the world, budget is quite a lot about the choices you make.

In this Istanbul travel guide I’ve included a sample of the prices and expenses that I spent during my trip:

Accommodation:

  • Budget: $30 – $80 USD per night
  • Mid-range hotel: $80 – $150 USD per night
  • High end – Anything over $150 USD per night

Transportation:

  • Istanbul tram: 3 rides for 10 TL ($3.40)
  • Bus ride: 2.5 TL ($0.84) per ride
  • Taxi ride: About 10 – 20 TL ($3.34 – $6.69) for a short ride and 20 – 80 TL ($6.69 – $26.76) for a longer ride.
  • Uber: Similar prices to a regular taxi.

Food:

  • Simit (ciruclar bread) – 1 TL ($0.33)
  • Street food meal: 5 – 10 TL ($1.67 – $3.35) per person
  • Turkish breakfast: 10 – 20 TL ($3.35 – $6.70) per person
  • Local restaurant: 10 – 30 TL ($3.35 – $10.05) per person
  • High end restaurant: 50 – 100 TL ($16.74 – $33.49) per person
  • Turkish coffee at cafe: 4 – 6 TL ($1.34 – $2.01)
  • Cup of tea: 1 TL ($0.33)
  • Big bottle of water: 1.5 TL ($0.50)

Overall budget:

  • Budget: $30 – $60 USD per person per day
  • Mid-range: $60 – $120 per person per day
  • High end: $120 – $150 (or more) per person per day

Overall, Istanbul provides very good value for money. You can stay in a nice hotel for a relatively budget price, and if you eat at local restaurants you can feast on extremely delicious food for good deals.

Map of Istanbul

I’ve included all the restaurants and attractions listed in this travel guide within a map.

(Or you can see the map here)

Istanbul Travel Videos

All the attractions and food you’ve read about in this Istanbul travel guide is covered in a series of travel videos from my round the world trip for food, Istanbul section.

The videos and this guide really go together, the videos showing more of the experience and reality, while this guide provides written down details and info for visiting.

I’d encourage you to watching the full series.

(Or you can watch the full series on YouTube here)

Conclusion

Istanbul is one of those cities that no matter how high your expectations are, it will impress you beyond what you had imagined.

It’s a city that when you’re there, it’s easy to become fully consumed in the breathtaking historical sites, the friendliness of the people and culture, and the abundance of incredibly delicious Turkish food.

I hope this Istanbul travel guide for food lovers will give you some helpful information on where to stay, things you want to do, and Istanbul food you don’t want to miss.

Have you been to Istanbul? Would you like to go? Leave me a comment below.

 



161 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Lorenzo

    2 weeks ago

    thanks for sharing! i love the turkish spicy kitchen, everyone should taste it at least once!

  • ceren

    3 weeks ago

    Loved it !

  • Cevdet

    4 weeks ago

    what a joy to look at the passion and the smiling eyes. everytime i feel down i just look at your videos , and i am back in business.

  • Brittany

    1 month ago

    What an awesome, comprehensive guide! We’ve long wanted to visit Istanbul, and will certainly reference this when we plan our trip. The food, especially, looks incredible!!

    • Mark Wiens

      1 month ago

      Thank you very much Brittany, Istanbul is an amazing city!

  • Burcu

    1 month ago

    Hello, as a local i was delighted to see you enjoy some of our traditional tastes. I am enjoying your videos.
    A couple of tastes you may have missed but i highly recommend anyone taking a visit to Turkey are, mantı (a kind of ravioli or dumpling that has minced meat as filling topped with yogurt and sizzling butter) , İskender kebab is a must try for sure, karnıyarık (an aubergine and meat dish), and MUST MUST try hünkar beğendi (another aubergine dish that was a palace favorite) and finally fırın sütlaç ( a rice pudding dessert )…

  • Salma

    1 month ago

    I’m hooked on Turkey and have been fortunate have visited so many times. Please can you visit eastern turkey. Your video and blog is the best on line. Fantastic and totally enjoyed the experience . I felt I was there.
    Thank you so much Mark.
    I’m hooked on your blog and videos. I travel and food passionately and when I’m saving the pennies for my next trip …I will continue to enjoy your visits.

  • süleyman

    2 months ago

    hi mark.i m from turkey.ım very glad to watch your videos.you were great.thank you again.you introduce to istanbul very well.

  • Jayshree Patel

    2 months ago

    Hi again
    I would definitely like to be in Istanbul. Will definitely mail you wen I plan. Do guide us please.

  • reza

    2 months ago

    Hi mark
    I travelled to Istanbul for three times. I try pida and kofte and marmara sea fish.thay are all delicious. My dother likes your videos.she is eleven

  • almas khairunnisa

    2 months ago

    Hi! My name is Almas and im from Indonesia. I know you from one of your youtube videos, which is when you were eating Nasi Goreng Kambing at Kebon Sirih, Jakarta. And after i watched that, i realized that im gonna love your channel. Lately, i’ve been staring on your videos. I love traveling and learn about culonary. Thankyou so much Mark, u really are inspired me.
    ps : im not really good at english but i just want to say Thankyou and LOVE FROM INDONESIA. also i’d love to meet you, ur wife and Micah :)<3

  • Adonis

    2 months ago

    Next time make sure you visit Nusr-Et Steakhouse in Etiler / Istanbul
    This Place will blow your mind off – #saltbae
    If you every plan to visit Turkey one more time, let me know by contacting me on my email for the easiest way.. you need to visit Erzurum province to taste the real Cag Kebab’s flavour!
    Also let me know if you ever plan to visit Switzerland, i will send you some typically places for good food!
    Love to watch your Vids, your doing a very good job! thank you!

    • Jayshree Patel

      2 months ago

      Hi Adonis
      Jst read your comment to mark. We are definitely planning Istanbul so plz do guide us

  • Hanaa

    2 months ago

    Hi Mark,
    i saw your food videos of istanbul before and loved it, now that i decided to actually visit it i came to look for info on your blog, and i wasn’t disappointed 🙂 i am sure all these detailed info will be of big help for me insha’Allah. Thank you for the effort you made to put all of this together, and for always showing us around.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 months ago

      Hey Hanna, great to hear from you, thank you very much. Glad the blog is helpful. Hope you have an amazing trip to Istanbul!

  • marmaris

    2 months ago

    you should also visit Marmaris

  • Yergul

    3 months ago

    Dear Mark, I thank you for the videos you published. I follow you with great admiration
    Food and travel is a big passion for me, thank you also for your Istanbul program

  • Ruma

    3 months ago

    After watching your video on Istanbul I booked a ticket. However, I have found better budgeting option when I used those discounted travel websites. My 3* hotel in Sultanahmet next to topkapi kiosk was $17+tax in March, 2017. Istanbul definitely is more affordable. I’m planning to buy a Istanbulkart and Museum Pass to save additional money. I’m hoping my total trip including airfare would be under $1000 for one week of Spring Break. Thank you for your wonderful videos.

  • Husein A Tambawala

    3 months ago

    hi there saw ur videos they r awsome
    only one think i dont like is u take a really big bite

    thanks anyways i think u r too lucky to eat so mang good dishes and earn a livelyhood from it

    all the best for future travel videos

  • Daud

    3 months ago

    Hi Mark. Why dont you try rahat lokum/ turkish delight?

  • Sohrab Am

    4 months ago

    Hello Mark,
    Do you have any plan to travel and visit Iran ?

  • Omar

    4 months ago

    Hi mark. Just keep up the good work. A big fan of your signature lean right gesture and full of happiness smile. Videos are very informative and relaxing.

    • Ahmet Kilicaslan

      4 months ago

      müberra, ben de ankara alman okulunda IB yapiyorum. hahah tesadüfe bak ya

    • Mark Wiens

      4 months ago

      Thanks Müberra!

  • Sangeeta

    5 months ago

    I sure am happy to have come across your videos and write up on Istanbul! Planning to visit for the first time for a week starting day after tomorrow. Answers most of the questions I had in mind👍🏽

  • Jabeen khan

    6 months ago

    Hi, me and my kid are planning on stopping over at Istanbul for 2 days on our way from USA to Pakistan. Inspiration came from your videos. Amazing videos and awesome website.

  • naomi

    6 months ago

    Hi Mark, very nice article and really loved the pics, I think your camera does a really good job!
    One remark, I would like a bit of a history background on the places you visit, just hints or points. For instance Instabul (or Constantinopole) has a great Greek and Christian background that is worth mentioned. Eg the minarets in Aya Sofia were added later, so it will converted from a christian Church to a mosque.

    thanks and keep up the good work.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 months ago

      Hi Naomi, thank you very much for reading this Istanbul travel guide, and I appreciate your extra input. I’ll try to include a few more historical details in future guides. Thanks!

  • Haris

    6 months ago

    Hello Mark
    I visited Istanbul 2009 as a student. It was amazing experience for me, I saw many mosques, museums and of course food everywhere. I hope I will get one more chance to visit it again with my wife and a daughter now. It will be family traveling.
    And for the end, I wish you to visit my country Bosnia and Herzegovina, definitely You will be enjoying life and Bosnian food here.
    I hope it will be soon. Greetings from Bosnia

  • Nasser

    7 months ago

    Salut Mark ,
    j’ai découvert tes vidéos et ton blog par hasard en cherchant des adresses de street food à Istanbul.
    J’adore ce que tu fais, et on vois très bien que tu adores ce que tu fais toi aussi !!!
    Du coup, on part bientot à Istanbul avec ma femme, et je voulais te remercier d’avancen tu m’as donné envie de voyager et de
    tout manger !!!
    Merci et à bientôt !

  • Donna

    7 months ago

    My husband and I are going to Istanbul for a 5 day trip.We are worried about safety and security issues but that didn’t stop us from booking this trip.Your vlogs have been very helpf ul for our research about Istanbul.More power to you and your cute wife Ying.

    • Mark Wiens

      7 months ago

      Hi Donna, that’s awesome news that you’ll be visiting Istanbul soon. It’s an absolutely incredibly city and I know you’ll not only love the food, but the people you meet as well. Have an amazing trip!

  • Fikry

    7 months ago

    Hey mark! I will go to istanbul end of December.. I will try all the food you tried with your wife.. I hope everything will be fine…

    • Mark Wiens

      7 months ago

      Hi Fikry, that’s great news, hope you have an amazing trip!

  • Donna

    7 months ago

    Husband and I are all set to travel on the last week of November.Your videos and blog posts are extremely helpful.Thanks!

    • Mark Wiens

      7 months ago

      Hi Donna, great to hear that. Hope you and your husband have an amazing upcoming trip!

  • Hussain

    7 months ago

    I love your work, Videos and everything you do. I can’t wait to go to Istanbul and the main reason is the food haha.

    • Mark Wiens

      7 months ago

      Hey Hussain, thank you very much. Istanbul is an incredible food city!

  • Pravin patel

    7 months ago

    Excellent read.covers most areas of interest for first time visitor.Info on transportation options from airport would be helpful

    • Ren

      1 month ago

      From the airport, cheapest way to get to the city is to use the Metro. Follow the signs to the Metro, then look for the machine to purchase a coin or card. Tip: Get the card!.or Istanbulkart. 20TL loaded should be fine for a couple of days for one person. It can be used by 2+ people, but you will only get discounts (40%) on the first scan on the turnstiles. So once you get the card, head down to the Metro. If you are going to Sultanahmet area, take the Metro and stop at Zeytinburnu. Exit the Metro then go to the Tram heading East towards Sultanahmet. It takes about 25mins. The Tram goes all the way to Kabatas. The Istanbulkart can be used for Buses also.

  • aftab pasha

    7 months ago

    Mr mark wiens i honestly like you jordan trip about food coverges and irequest you to start travling city guides from the begning to end of the distnaction , you are the best and the very easy to understand about what ever your covreg and inshaalla after seeing you enter jordan epsode i like to travel jordan you re the one to rember to day & tomorro & for ever you are most favourite thankyou

  • ABHISHEK ROY

    7 months ago

    Watched all your videos Mark. Really great. Check my mail. Loved the way the ice cream man sells ice cream. Ohh. the kebabs.. umm just awesomee.

  • Diana Eka

    8 months ago

    Oh my God, Mark. Super details of your travel guide. Thank you so much! Thank you for stopped by in Jakarta, by the way! 🙂

  • Yakup

    8 months ago

    Thanks Mark. You inspired me to visit this wonderful place. Makes me want to live there forever 😉

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Yakup, you’re welcome, thanks for reading. Glad this makes you want to live in Istanbul!

  • Aryeh Goldsmith

    8 months ago

    Wow. That’s an incredibly thorough guide. Turkey looks like a fantastic place to visit. I’m so sorry you both had to be there for the attempted coup. I was wondering about that as I heard the news and knew you were visiting there. I’m glad everything worked out in the end. Thanks again for your amazing work.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Aryeh, thank you very much. No problem at all, things like that are unpredictable, and we remained safe. Thank you for reading, glad this guide is helpful.

  • Ross

    8 months ago

    Hi I really like your website it’s pretty badass🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄

  • Christian

    8 months ago

    Hello Joe,
    thank you for the information. I was about 5 months ago in Istanbul and we had a really amazing time. Your restaurant tips, I will try on my next trip to Istanbul. We found a Restaurant with really delicious food, it was the Antiochia Concept http://www.antiochiaconcept.com/ . It is near the Tünel Station.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Christian, great to hear from you, glad you had such a good experience visiting Istanbul as well. Thanks for your recommendation!

  • rockstar

    8 months ago

    Mark,

    “Visiting information: Ticket price – 40 TL; Open hours – 9 am to 7 pm from 15 April to 15 October and 9 am to 5 pm from 25 October to 15 April daily; Directions – Hagia Sophia is in Sulthanamet, you can get there by tram or on foot.”

    It is not closed those 10 days is it between the 15th and 25th of October?

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Rockstar, thank you for catching that, that was my mistake. I have just updated, but they are open everyday. Thanks for the correction.

  • Azmi

    8 months ago

    Hi Mark,
    Awesome videos! I will be visiting Istanbul this mid-October. Your city guide has really helped me with my itineraries and I can’t wait to try all the food places to fill my tummy 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Azmi, awesome to hear you’ll be going to Istanbul soon. Hope you have an amazing trip, and enjoy the food!

  • Andrew Lam

    8 months ago

    Hi, Mark..thank you for sharing your trips and eats again..Nice work, sure bring back all good memories of my last trip to Istanbul,,
    Yes, I had done those recommended stuff and eaten those food too

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Andrew, you’re welcome, thank you for reading. Glad this brought back some amazing memories.

  • Leilani Kapoor

    8 months ago

    Mark, I love what you said about safety in Istanbul in this publication. I found your sound advice to be quite even-handed and fair. Anything really can happen anywhere. That’s the point. Also, usage of common sense can usually never fail people:)

  • Seray

    8 months ago

    I just wanted you to know, you’re a reason why I’m still living, why I still didn’t give up.
    you’re my inspiration.
    you deserve the best! love all of your videos

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Seray, that’s great news and thank you for sharing. Never give up, you can do what you believe in and persevere at. Keep it up, you’re doing great!

  • Roy

    8 months ago

    Planning to travel this next January, hope the political situation does not change in between. But thanks for the wonderful vlogs.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Roy, great news, hope you have an amazing upcoming trip!

  • Füsun Yurtman

    8 months ago

    I am your follower, I live in İstanbul and resided for the last two years in Oman. So ıt was so interesting to see two places İ lived from a different eye. İf I had known, I surely have been honored to have you as a guest for a meal at my house.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hi Füsun, great to hear from you, oh very cool. Thank you for the kind invitation!

  • Tom Connell

    8 months ago

    Mark, For me this is your very best work.
    Great photos and lots of useful information.
    What a great life !
    Tom

  • Keysha Wineglass

    8 months ago

    I haven’t been to Istanbul yet, but I started making plans. Needing to get my passport updated so I’m working on that. Mark when do you think is the best time of the year to visit? Hello Ying! 😎

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Keysha, good to hear from you, and awesome that you’re planning to visit Istanbul. I’m not totally sure about the best time of the year, but from what I’ve heard, year round is pretty good. But when I went, in July / August, the weather was perfect.

  • Krisnawati

    8 months ago

    Your video is awesome, Mark. I wish I could visit Turkey one day. It is a beautiful country, friendly people and the food looks delicious.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Thank you Krisnawati, hope you can visit in the future.

  • silvato

    8 months ago

    These new episodes taken in the Turkey’s capital can show some new angles on food preparation and the city cultural heritage without judgments. Thanks for food captures and your comments.

  • Leilani Kapoor

    8 months ago

    Greetings, Mark! 🙂
    It’s “Leilani Kapoor” here: I have never been to Turkey, however, my parents have been to that richly historical nation a few times. When I was in secondary school, we had a Turkish foreign exchange student living with us. My parents tried to track her down when they visited Turkey. I late found her on Facebook, of all places. Hooray!

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Leilani, great to hear from you, and thanks for sharing that story. That’s awesome that you were able to reconnect!

  • Chad McCallum

    8 months ago

    Mark,

    Love your videos and love this guide. Istanbul is one of my favorite cities in the world and you have done a great job of capturing the sights and smells of the city.

    My six year old son and I watch one of your videos each night before he goes to sleep. You are broadening his world…and his tastebuds!

    Trust our paths cross at some point!

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Chad, awesome to hear from you, thank you so much for reading. Very cool, please say hello to your son for me as well. Would be great to meet!

  • Martin

    8 months ago

    Hi Mark

    I am still salivating – yet another great review! For me, other highlights were walking around Balat & Fener, visiting the Istanbul Catacombs (Basilica Cistern) and eating at the Haydarpasa Mythos Gurme restaurant in the old railway station – Istanbul Haydarpasa Terminal ( catch boat to Kadikoy – Kadıköy-Eminönü Ferry.) Have a great trip and I look forward to seeing more of your videos

    ps I really enjoyed your Delhi Travel guide

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Martin, thank you very much, and I appreciate adding in your extra highlights for visiting Istanbul. So many things to see and do and eat in Istanbul!

  • Candice Amatmoekri

    8 months ago

    Hello Mark & Ying,
    I never been to Istanbul, but by the looks of it i would really enjoy the culture of it and especially their food.
    Glad your guys are ok and that you still could enjoy the beauty of Istanbul.
    Greetings from Suriname

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hi Candice, great to hear from you, thank you very much. I know you would love Istanbul as well. Hope you’re doing well.

  • Yui

    8 months ago

    Hi Mark and หญิง, I have been following your videos with joy. Keep up the good work and thanks for taking us with you on your journeys. You and I share the same passion in life: travel ~ food ~ cultural Exploration and an overall appreciation of the world. Because of large Turkish migrants in Australia, we are quite lucky to be able to taste some remarkable Turkish food here and yes, I love it! I have been to Europe 12 times and have always wanted to include Turkey as a stop over, but never had a chance to do so. Will definitely put it on the “bucket list” in my next European trip.
    Question:
    Any chance you might do Greece, Portugal, Spain and South American nations in the future?
    ขอบคุณค่ะ
    Cheers,
    Yui.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hi Yui, awesome to hear from you, thank you for the kind message. I’m happy to hear you love travel and food and learning about cultures as well. On this same trip we visited Barcelona and Lisbon, so those are coming up, and will try to do some blogging about them as well. Hope you can visit Turkey in the future, and glad you can get Turkish food in the meantime in Australia. Thank you again, and hope you’re having a great day.

  • Jabed

    8 months ago

    Hi mark really enjoy your Istanbul vedio . I like to visit Turkey . Thanks mark keep it up .

  • Shorba

    8 months ago

    I like your thoughts about safety, and I thoroughly enjoy your guides and videos

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Thank you Shorba.

      • DANIEL BEAUVILLE

        8 months ago

        Bonjour MARK
        I like much of what you do , it is a good trade . I wish you continue in your activities
        and tells you with soon

  • Harshvardhan

    8 months ago

    Hi Mark, loved the inputs of Turkey and looks really worth a visit. Jordan also was excellent, especially Bedouin lamb.
    Looking forward for some more posts ………….

  • John Emmanuel

    8 months ago

    Yet another fantastic blog/vlog. Loving it. Cheers Mark & Ying!

  • Hans Tedjasaputra

    8 months ago

    Hi Mark. You are so lucky having the opportunity to explore this beautiful country famous because of the view, people and food. I hope to have the chance visiting Istambul soon. Well done report. Very useful for my upcoming trip. Keep up the good work my friend. Warm rgds

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hi Hans, thank you very much, and glad this guide is helpful. Hope you have an opportunity to visit in the future!

  • Graeme

    8 months ago

    That’s a great guide. I have bern wanting to go there for some time. Your guide provides all the essential information and with the focus on food it is perfect in matching my interests. Thanks for going to the trouble of putting it together for us all, Mark.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Thank you Graeme, glad this Istanbul guide is helpful!

  • joseph azaredo

    8 months ago

    hi Mark, your video on your trip to turkey was educative entertaining and very helpful, appreciate your keenness to cover detail from flight into Istanbul and thereafter, Great food great place and the best of both asia and europe with history culture and food

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Thank you very much Joseph, appreciate your watching the videos and reading this guide.

  • Fel

    8 months ago

    Hi Mark
    Amazing video, photos and information. I wish I had viewed your video for all the fantastic places to eat before we went to Turkey. All the same we had a fantastic time as you and your wife did – it truly is an awesome city – full of excitement, bursting with flavours and colour, and spectacular scenery, and wonderful people. Loving your work Mark.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Fel, great to hear from you, thank you for reading. Glad you had such a great time visiting Istanbul as well.

  • MURALI KRISHNAN

    8 months ago

    Congratulations on your recent trip to Istanbul (Turkey). Hope you enjoyed your trip. Visiting Istanbul is one of my long time dream too. Thanks for sharing very useful information in your Guide. Keep Traveling & Food Hunting… Cheers!!!

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Murali, thank you very much for your support, and glad this info is helpful. Hope you can visit Istanbul in the future!

  • Grace

    8 months ago

    I have watched your Istanbul youtube vedio and the food looked so mouth-watering! I planned a trip to Istanbul in Oct but canceled, because all the charter flights from my country to Istanbul were canceled after the terroist attacks. Hope I can visit Istanbul soon and I will surly try the restaurants you reconmended.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Grace, thank you very much. Sorry to hear about the cancelation, and I hope that you’ll be able to reschedule to visit again sometime in the future.

  • Erlina

    8 months ago

    Thanks so much Mark. I have been to Istanbul a long time ago. Your vlogs really wants me t go back and experience it all over again. Maybe I will. Anyways keep doing what your doing, it gives me so much happiness and anticipation every time you have new videos published. I’m looking forward for more to come.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hi Erlina, thank you very much and appreciate your words of encouragement. Great to hear that you enjoyed visiting Istanbul as well!

  • avi

    8 months ago

    hello again my friends
    as i said many times before
    i enjoy your writing with all the needed things
    for turky we as israelis for now we dont travel there
    we use to go a lot before and turky use to be
    very friendly
    any way the food is super good the people are nice
    and we use to get very good time
    for our money
    i hop things will get cool and we will go there again
    thank u guys from israel
    and take care everywhere you go
    the world become ugly
    avi

  • HEMANT

    8 months ago

    Hi mark
    I just love your video. I am addicting to your video, I also love street food. You are doing a good job. I never been to turkey but it’s my dream county to visit. I also love your Jordan videos too.
    I just found two video about Istanbul. How can I find all video about Istanbul?

  • Eddie Shroff

    8 months ago

    Hi Mark
    As always a job well done:)

  • Sean

    8 months ago

    Thank you so much hun for making this Mark, I’ve wanted to go to Istanbul for so long and from your videos already released me and my girlfriend have agreed its the next place we’ll be going. I’m sure we’ll be using this guide quite a lot. Thank you so much again, can’t wait to see the next place you go

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      You’re welcome Sean, and I’m glad this is helpful and that you’re planning to visit. It’s an amazing city!

  • Basak

    8 months ago

    As a Turkish citizen, i am glad that you enjoyed your trip.. your guide is great ! İstanbul is a never ending story, no mater how much you discover, there is always something more 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Thank you very much Basak, that’s a great way to put it – you could spend a lifetime discovering new things in Istanbul!

  • Saurabh shetty

    8 months ago

    Great videos again!! Loved the meat pics. I travel for food as well and Turkey definitely seems like a great destination to travel to.

  • Frank H.

    8 months ago

    Coups come and go, politics is always debatable, but food is FOREVER! And your comments and photos reinforce that statement. I only wish that science would invent a device for me to be able to smell and taste all the delicacies you mention. Maybe next year, I’ll drop by, when, hopefully, things calm down a bit for me to enjoy the real deal.

    A good high school friend who has been going to Istanbul every five years for the past umpteen years always regale us with wonderful stories of an exotic yet modern place, where East meets West, full of fun and discoveries that would take a lifetime to enjoy. Especially the folks there. So she says. Now, after a taste of your presentation, soko ga shiritai.

    Thanks again for allowing us to vicariously enjoy Istanbul—not Constantinople…

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Frank, awesome to hear from you, thank you for your added input, and I love that beginning statement, so true. Hope you can visit when things calm down a bit.

  • sana zia

    8 months ago

    Always waiting for your videos……nice work….would be pleased if you plan to visit Pakistan.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Thank you Sana, I’m hoping to visit Pakistan sometime in the future.

  • Riju Samuel

    8 months ago

    Hey Mark! The photos that you upload are high end quality photos. People like me can sit at home and watch different cultures and food get captured by your camera! Thank you for your great work Mark.

  • MomoChickoo

    8 months ago

    Remarkable work Mark, we found it very interesting and informative Keep it up 🙂
    God bless you.. 🎉

  • nui acain

    8 months ago

    Hi Mark, happy for you and your wife for taking trip to Istanbul and show awesome video. I love it and hope to visit there someday. Thank you so much.

  • Lindsay

    8 months ago

    I love this style of guide, Mark! It is so helpful and informative, and I know how much work you put into this. Thank you for making it a free guide open and available to anyone, without even needing to download it as a PDF. I am so inspired, I think I will do one of Kuala Lumpur for all the durian hunters.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Lindsay, thank you for reading, glad you found this helpful. Can’t wait to see you KL durian lovers guide!

  • Chhaaya Shridhar

    8 months ago

    Just loved the video.. absolutely delightful and scrumptious.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Thank you very much Chhaaya.

      • NEETU BHAVNANI

        8 months ago

        Hi Mark. thanks for sharing. God Bless You !!!

  • Jackie

    8 months ago

    Amazing! I love your pictures — so vibrant and colorful I can already smell and taste the food just by looking at it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • LadyPseudo

    8 months ago

    Glad to know you both are safe, and as always, a very well written guide. The pictures are lovely, as well. 🙂

  • jim parsit

    8 months ago

    Very interesting place and friendly people, you have a good job and a lot of work but worth it.
    Love your images, very nice looking it made me hungry.

    Thanks and keep doing it

  • Rick Pinnon

    8 months ago

    I would love you go, I’m trying you talk my wife into it as most people they watch the media too much. Thanks for the guide.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Rick, you’re welcome, glad this is helpful.

  • Mats Dackerud

    8 months ago

    Dear Mark
    A big thank you for the Istanbul tour. I have been there several times and I can agree that the food is amazing.
    Nice to see you in familiar places.
    Looking forward to your next project.
    /Mats

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Mats, you’re welcome, thank you for reading, and glad you love Istanbul as well. Thanks!

  • Yahya Kilic

    8 months ago

    Mark you are a legend. Your travel guide of Istanbul is awesome. You should be appointed as a Cultural Attache. I am an Australian Turk and was in Istanbul in 2014. You’ve managed to tempt me to visit again in a hurry.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Yahya, great to hear from you, thank you very much. Hope you can visit again soon!

  • Dreecs

    8 months ago

    Hello Mark . Thanks for bringing back fond memories of Istanbul .I was there in early March and enjoyed every minute of my stay .

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Dreecs, awesome to hear that you visited Istanbul recently, glad you enjoyed it so much!

  • Don Griffin

    8 months ago

    Nice travel guide, thanks

  • Sunil

    8 months ago

    i just loved the way you are introducing istanbul to us… Thank you Mark

  • Pamela

    8 months ago

    I loved your video. How do you eat all that food?? And stay so thin! I want to visit Istanbul after watching your video and reading your city guide! It looks like an amazing place and you make it seem so easy and doable.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Hey Pamela, thank you very much. Haha, lots of walking in between all the meals! Hope you can visit Istanbul in the future, it’s truly a breathtaking city.

  • Joe Webster

    8 months ago

    Congratulations on your recent trip to Turkey a great overall destination for eating and sight seeing history.

  • bagat

    8 months ago

    i haven’t been there but i would really love to visit there in winter btw awesome video mark i loved it. :*

    • Mark Wiens

      8 months ago

      Thank you Bagat, hope you can visit in the winter!