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Mystical Istanbul


My creativity peaked when I lived in Istanbul. I studied Art and Design there for one year and it was one of the most magical times I probably ever had. I came there in a time before the current political and cultural crisis though and got to experience all facets of the city.


Melancholically, yet spirited is how I would describe the energy of the city. There is so much going on and it has very dirty and abyss about it, but the beauty and the incredible kind nature of the people can be seen in the little moments of life and small actions. I took a lot of photographs, because the everyday life just inspired me so much.


As a woman it can sometimes be tough to be or even live there. The separation of the genders is still a huge theme and plays out in the interactions of people and how people behave. I never had a threatening experience while living there, but a few unpleasant moments of men following me, giving me stares or talking inappropriately to me.

Be aware to take your safety measurements whilst being there (especially as a woman) in terms of not being out alone at night, staying in safe areas and learning to ignore uncomfortable pickups.


Dressing accordingly in a Muslim country is important at some places, like Mosques or some neighbourhoods. Although specifically young people are quite progressive in their way of thinking, dressing and behaving, I´d still recommend to rather choose more covered up, modest clothing for going to Istanbul. When entering a holy space, a headscarf is needed.


Getting around in Istanbul is mostly easy with public transport, which includes the many ferry lines through the Bosporus. With the Istanbulkart you can use all means of transport by tapping on and off and one travel costs around 1-2€.

Taxi or Uber are also available everywhere, but as the city has a traffic problem, it might be slower than walking or public transport. Depending on the area, walking can be exhausting because it is built on hills and streets are steep.


The Asian and the European part of the city are quite different from another and neighbourhoods are constantly changing their vibes and the crowds they attract. At the moment, the European part is leaning more towards being very touristic with all the sights but also more conservative in some areas. However Galata, Cihangir and Karaköy are very hip and full of amazing restaurants, cafes, art and culture.

The Asian part is more local and more progressive and has a very vibrant cultural life. I´d definitely recommend checking out Kadiköy, Moda and Caddebostan.




Coffee:

Williams Roastery

Kronotrop

Norm

Borderline

MOC

Village Coffee




Food: (vegetarian)

Galata Kitchen

Vegan Istanbul

No19Dining

Helvetia

Kuffette

Azzurro Pizza

Ciya Sofrasi


And definitely get a sesame Bagel (Simit) for breakfast. There are many mobile street venders, but you can also get them in any breakfast place.


To Do:

Bebek (beautiful old part of town)

Dolmabahce Sarayi

Istanbul Modern Museum

Yildiz Parki



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