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

Taxis in Istanbul: do’s & don’ts

Posted on 29 April 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 »

Turks drink most tea in the world

Posted on 23 April 2019

Not in China, nor in the United Kingdom people drink most tea in the world, but in Turkey. No less than 3.16 kg per person per year. Tea is part of Turkish culture. Offering a glass tea to any stranger and all guests is a traditional token of Turkish hospitality. Most restaurants offer tea for… Read more »

“Ottomania” is everywhere, even in burgers

Posted on 18 April 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 »

Bomontiada: live music, food, art, drinks

Posted on 13 April 2019

It was a Friday night and the kick off of the annual Akbank Jazz Festival in Istanbul. As a group of fresh-out-of-university people we were looking forward to enjoy Ilhan Ersahin’s tunes. (https://open.spotify.com/artist/5aweKNLI0ZyI48q5TmoCxT) They combine electronic music with saxophone and sounds from the Middle East. (I recommend you continue reading with Ilhan Ersahin playing in the… Read more »

Dogwalkers in Istanbul too

Posted on 8 April 2019

The first time I saw professional dog walkers was when I was posted in New York City as a foreign correspondent in 1999. Here in Istanbul I mostly saw stray dogs. Not surprisingly as many pious Muslims consider dogs to be ritually unclean. The last couple of years I see an increasing number of young… Read more »