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istanbul

Shopping

istanbul

Istanbul is a shopper's paradise catering to all kinds of customers. From covered bazaars and workshops continuing ancient traditions, to shopping plazas and deportment stores, Istanbul offers a wide variety of shopping opportunities. A visit to the Grand Bazaar is an experience rich in original Turkish carpets and gold and silver works. In the Egyptian Market, behind the large mosque at Eminönü square, you can find an exotic and mysterious atmosphere, infused with the smell of aromatic spices and herbs. In the row of shops around Sultanahmet Mosque, you can buy traditional Turkish handicrafts, while the shops in the museums offer souvenirs with which to remember your encounter with Turkey's history.

Daily Life

istanbul

In a city encompassing 3500 square kilometers, and with a population of 12 million, life is obviously constantly animated and hectic. With millions of people immigrating from all corners of Anatolia over the past 30 years, Istanbul has become a microcosm of Turkey. All of the various traditions, cultures, cuisines and folklore of Anatolia can be found here. The streets are always crowded, and the buses, trains and boats shuttling between the two shores of the Bosphorus ant the Sea of Marmara are constantly full to capacity. Nevertheless, the residents of Istanbul love their city, a city which has so much to offer. As soon as spring arrives, the sidewalk cafes, open air restaurants and fish places along the sea come to life. An unforgettable experience is contemplating the sun setting majestically in an explosion of color against the background of the Istanbul skyline and the silhouettes of monumental masques. Istanbul has a very active night life. The bars, pubs, night clubs and discotheques are plentiful and there are countless restaurants offering Turkish cuisine with all its local varieties, not to mention Italian, French, Japanese, Chinese and Lebanese restaurants. But the specialty are the "meyhanes", literally meaning wine houses, where the main drink served is not so much the wine, but the "raki", an alcoholic beverage made of grapes and anise. The tradition of the "meyhanes" goes back to Byzantium, and they still flourish today. One of the greatest pleasures of Istanbul is to go to these places, to drink, to eat the various hors d'oeuvres and to listen to the strolling musicians. Istanbul is a fascinating, mysterious, captivating, sometimes exasperating but always stimulating city.

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