Turkey Travel Guide

Wines from this tiny Aegean island are gaining prominence.

A much more manageable affair than the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Market (a.k.a. the Egyptian Bazaar) is the place to find caviar and saffron, honeycombs and coffee, plus fun souvenirs like prayer beads.


Boutique specializing in vintage hand-embroidered scarves and shawls, many from Iran.

Locals flock to Bebop to sit in the garden and listen to jazz, handpicked by the charismatic owner (and Keith Richards look-alike) Kadri Balagzi, a friend of Charlie Parker and his wife, Chan.

Also known as the Egyptian or Gypsy Bazaar, this covered market’s main attraction isn’t, sadly, the eponymous spices (no, that’s not real saffron at an unbelievably low price—it’s safflower, which isn’t the same thing at all).

You can cruise between the continents for $1— plus 30¢ for a glass of tea on board—by catching a local ferry at the Eminönü docks on the Golden Horn and taking a leisurely cruise on the Bosporos.

Responding to complaints from villagers throughout Turkey about large-scale textile production, Metin Tosun opened Abdulla in the center of the Grand Bazaar to both support a more traditional, handmade approach and sell 100% organic cotton, linen, and silk products like towels, blankets, robes, a

At her cooking school, renowned gastronomist Engin Akin not only teaches Ottoman classics, she also takes travelers to some of the area's best bakeries and bazaars.

Better known as the Blue Mosque—for the 20,000 blue tiles that line its domed ceiling—this 17th-century architectural masterpiece is Turkey’s crown jewel.

Quartz comes in many colors and some of the world’s bluest is mined in the Eskisehir region of Anatolia. Deriving its name from Chalcedon, a district on the Asian coast of Istanbul (now Kadikoy), the stone remains a popular and affordable souvenir at Chalcedony in Sultanahmet.

This is not a luxury spa—don’t expect aromatherapy or an oxygen facial—but it’s a perfectly serviceable salon for basic freshening-up if you’re in need of a shampoo, blow-dry, shave, or manicure.

Visitors often overlook this spectacular but small mosque next to the Spice Market. Don't be among them. The inside walls are dramatically sheathed in colorful 16th-century tiles.

For a peaceful place to get right with God—or to get away from the PA system—prayer rooms, called masjids, are available throughout the airport (5 a.m.–11 p.m.). Men and women pray separately (and in modest clothing—no shorts or bare arms).