Istanbul is unique. It is the only city in the world where two continents meet. Enjoy old and new in the cultural capital of Turkey with Istanbul expert Marc Guillet

Turkish is easy!

Posted on 13 November 2019

Reading and speaking Turkish is easy: all words are written and pronounced phonetically. Even if you don’t know what the words mean, you can still pronounce them without any mistake, after learning the pronunciation of the letters. I will teach you in 15 minutes! Until 1928, Ottoman Turkish – the language of the educated few… Read more »

“Ottomania” is everywhere, even in burgers

Posted on 2 November 2019

The first thing that struck me visiting Istanbul again in the summer of 2006, after having spent seven years in the U.S., was the fast changing face of the city. Many squatter’s houses (‘gecekondu’ in Turkish and translated as ‘built overnight’) in shanty-neighborhoods had been destroyed or were gradually demolished and replaced by modern mass-housing compounds developed by the… Read more »

Street vendors give Istanbul extra charm

Posted on 14 October 2019

One of the many charms of Istanbul is that you still find lots of street vendors, also called hawkers, everywhere. They sell all kinds of merchandise or provide services like shining your shoes. It reminds me of my youth in the south of the Netherlands where I saw them selling sweets, or shoe shine, or sharpening… Read more »

Taxis in Istanbul: do’s & don’ts

Posted on 29 September 2019

Here are my do’s and don’ts when using taxis in Istanbul. Based on my own experiences and those of friends and other visitors who send me their experiences on my site. I have met a lot of nice, helpful and friendly taxi drivers in Istanbul. But there are also cabbies in this city who want… Read more »

Shortest ‘metro’ line in the world: Tünel

Posted on 24 July 2019

Istanbul was the second city in Europe – after London – that had an underground rapid transit system constructed. When it opened in 1874 it got the name “The Metropolitan Railway of Constantinople From Galata to Pera”. It is an impressive name for the shortest ‘metro line’ in the world: it has only one stop!… Read more »