Founders of Locally Istanbul
Erk Erkaya and Ümit Aggül of Locally Istanbul run tours of Istanbul to show visitors the real city, as it is lived by its residents, rather than the usual touristy sights, although they will of course take you around them if you insist.

“A walk around bohemian Faik Pasa and Çukurcuma streets in Çukurcuma and Çihangir present a completely different face of Istanbul than the usual itinerary.  Follow up with a cup of real Turkish coffee at Mandabatmaz (which means “the buffalo wouldn’t sink”—that’s how strong it is!) off Istiklal Caddesi, and an ‘içli köfte’ from the street vendor who stands outside Hazzapulo Passage further down Istiklal Caddesi towards Galatasary Lycee. No visit to Istanbul is complete without a dash to the Asian side, and there we recommend the ultra-modern and surprising Sakirin Mosque, the first mosque in the world designed by a woman, followed by a walk in Kadıköy Fish Market and lunch at the famous Çiya restaurant there. A non-shopping Grand Bazaar experience is another must. We think that the very best döner in town is inside the Grand Bazaar, a legendary but small spot by Gate 16 (by Mercan Kapisi) called Gül Ebru Kantin. Wash it down with a coffee at Ethem Tezcakar (opposite Fes Cafe), a family-run coffee house currently run by the fifth generation.”

Our Istanbul Recommendations:
Istiklal Cad./olivia Geçidi 1/A,
Taksim (off Istiklal Cad.)
Ethem Tezcakar
Halıcılar Cad., No. 61/63,
Grand Bazaar
T: (212) 513 2133


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