Turkey Travel Guide

Wines from this tiny Aegean island are gaining prominence.

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).

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.

A pious, conservative district populated mostly by migrants from Anatolia (like Wasilla, but warmer), Üsküdar is positively hopping in the evenings; on summer nights, the boardwalk here is an Islamic Coney Island.

Just outside the lower entrance of Ephesus is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The temple was once a massive, colonnaded structure honoring the patron goddess of Ephesus.

A sultry waterside club set against the glowing Baroque Ortaköy Mosque.

The live-music venue that sparked the area’s renaissance. The live acts range from Cuban rap to Turkish folk music—but the club will definitely be packed with hip types swigging the signature Absinthe Ferrari cocktails.

The art museum in a former customs building was one of the most significant openings in the city's recent history. The collection pales in comparison to the show-stopping views of the city from the café—but that alone makes it worth the trip. The museum shop spotlights cutting-edge creations.

A day trip to Heybeliada, the second-largest and arguably the prettiest of the Princes Islands, feels remarkably refreshing after a few days of Istanbul’s traffic.

Towards the south end of the city’s main commercial drag, Istiklal Caddesi, Robinson Crusoe bookshop often teems with intellectuals, expatriates, and tourists, who come for the high-end English language books.

Located in the Beyoğlu district, this artisan shop sells handmade candles in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Translating to “pearl candle,” Sedef Mum uses patented production methods and European candle-making traditions to ensure quality, one-of-a-kind products.

All major flights to Istanbul touch down at Ataturk Airport, located approximately 14 miles west of the city center. On average, 82,000 passengers pass through it daily, and 700 planes arrive and depart, making it the 17th busiest airport in the world.

Time your visit with the sunset—and the evening call to prayer. That’s when young locals file in for cocktails, like fresh-ginger–and–muddled-lime mojitos, and jockey for steel stools on the open-air terrace overlooking the city’s two coastlines and the Bosporus strait in between.

At this, one of Europe’s biggest duty-free shops, prices are lower than comparable shops in the airport’s Euro Zone.