Istanbul – The city that urges you to come back!

Since turkey is one of the destinations that we, as Lebanese, are allowed to travel to without a visa, I’ve been there multiple times and I really enjoyed Istanbul, especially Taksim and Istiklal street!
This street is really magical! Car-free Street apart from the red traditional tram that connects Takism Square with Galatasaray.
Thousands of people day and night are wandering there, the street is as crowded as a beehive…despite it’s rarely that someone touches you or pushes you!
You can find everything in this street and each time you go, you discover new shops, new restaurants, new corners…It’s never enough!

You feel as if you’ve been there, you feel you want to come back there…

The roasted chestnuts “Kestane kebab” all over the street, there are a lot of chestnut vendors as well as street singers or performers, each few meters you can witness people in group using their mobiles to record a street performance and leave some coins as well!
 People walking or rushing in both directions but no accidents though! Fresh Juices wagons, especially the pomegranate juice that you should really taste! The Cafes on your right and on your left, sometimes they are hidden inside the side streets. You feel that as much as you walk in this street, you always discover new places, shops, cafes, moments and charm!

 Don’t forget to visit Mado and taste the best Tomato soup and the Kunafa! I can tell you that during all my stays, I used to have tomato soup every day, It’s divine!  First look at Mado restaurant, you think it’s only sweets shop but don’t be fooled, inside you can find all kind of food starting from breakfast to the dessert and Çay!

You should taste the tea or the “Çay”, the tastiest Çay you can have is in Istanbul, you can chose Mado or Simit Sarai the very popular Turkish pastry-café chain that you can find in every corner in Istanbul and Taksim as well!

Simit Sarai

One of my favorite restaurants in Istiklal Street is Midpoint! It’s really a great restaurant! International cuisine and a very tasty food and high professionalism and great staff! With a view on the Bosphorus of course! Most restaurants have a view on the Bosphorus and it depends on the seat you can settle to have.

Al Madina restaurant is too famous to be missed! You need a reservation most of times, otherwise you’ll be taken to the other part of restaurant, they hardly find you a seat but you settle for one eventually, they made sure to hang hundreds of pictures for famous people that have been there!

Tasty food of course, the guys there are really food artists! You’ll see the fire the entire time, dishes burning and stuff…oh yes, they’re just cooking your meat or chicken, don’t worry, all peace! 🙂

You should taste the burger, a tiny small burger for 5 liras but so tasty! For me the Lebanese Shawarma is way tastier but I tried the Turkish Shawarma and it’s tasty! The Potato with cheese or the “Kumpir”, the chocolate, the Turkish delight or known as the “lokum”…You should taste all this!

The money value is great of course, during 2018 the Turkish Lira was in real crisis and the fall has accelerated dramatically against the US dollars (at some point 1 USD = 6.80 Turkish Lira and more) for the country it’s a crisis but for the tourists it was a great value of money! 100$ = 680 Turkish Liras, it’s an amazing money value especially that the prices didn’t change! So 2018 was mainly a shopping year for many Lebanese! 

There are lots of things to say about Istanbul, I didn’tmention Top Kapi, Hagia Sofia, all the touristic monuments that you shouldvisit, the Bosphorus cruise tour, the princess islands, the Grand Bazar, theTurkish bath experience… And so many other things!

But the gist of this post is to describe the Istanbul charm, the Istiklal street charm, mostly this sweet magic in Istanbul city that begs you silently to come back!

Have you ever been to Istanbul? Would you like to visit it? Please feel free to share your thoughts

Huguette Antoun – February 27th 2019

27 thoughts on “Istanbul – The city that urges you to come back!

  1. As a Turkish person who lived in Istanbul for 7 years and now kinda misses it, I agree to all of the above with all my heart. My favorite place is also Taksim. It has a vibe.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and for your interaction 🙂 I’m glad that a Turkish person is confirming what I feel and what I tried to transmit through this post!
      Hope you will be able to visit your country anytime soon 😊

  2. Had been there many years back. I love the city, a link between two cultures and where layers of history rest upon one another. And I love Orhan Pamuk 🙂

    1. Hello Deepa 🙂 Thank you for reading! Well yes the two cultures and layers of history need really more than one post, if I’m still didn’t fully discover one street (Istiklal), I can imagine how much I need to dig into the Turkish culture and history 🙂 Well I should read something for Orhan Pamuk, he’s a great novelist!
      Thank you for your valuable interaction!

  3. True Huguetta, one needs multiple visits to fully explore the city, the old city particularly. You should read Pamuk’s memoir ‘ Istanbul’. 🙂

  4. Good evening, looks so beautiful, i a food lover i can say the food looks super tasty , the view is breath taking, the price looks correct and i hope i will visit soon🍒

    1. Good evening Ilona 🙂 Hope I’m spelling your name right! Thank you for stopping by again and for your comment!
      Well I’m a food lover as well and there are many kind of foods that you can taste there, the value of money is great and hope you will be able to visit soon, I’m sure you will enjoy 🙂

      1. I will take the holiday this summer, but i’m not sure where to go, still have some time to think🤔

      2. I’m sure there are many factors to choose a travel destination, when you gather them altogether, you will know where to go 🙂 Hope you will enjoy anyway

  5. Never been to Istanbul and it’s a shame…I think is one of that places that one need to visit with a local so that you can discover its beauty and tastes 🙂 Definitely a city to be seen 🙂 Thank you 🙂

    1. Oh this post wasn’t about the great places there that certainly need a guide especially top kapi and Hagia Sofia and many other places, I visited them in 2010 but I should visit again, nowadays I just go for chilling eating and shopping 😊
      Istanbul has a charm really😊 thank you for reading 🤗❤️

      1. My aunt was used to go quite often to Istanbul and always used to bring me home little dolls 🙂 Great memories! You found a place nearby when you just want to chill out a little bit 🙂 Wonderful 🤗

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