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Fascinating Istanbul where old and new co-exists; time to take it all in

Over looking the Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia from the Istanbul Modern Museum

It’s my last few days in Istanbul, the city I love, the city I feel alive – is there any city in the world you feel this way? Today, I have been visiting a few of my favorite spots in Istanbul, old and new, both breathtaking in their own ways.

Istanbul is a city, where old and new co-exists. I have been to the wonderful Istanbul Modern – Istanbul Museum of Modern Art-  in Karakoy, Istanbul today. İstanbul Modern embraces a global vision to collect, preserve, exhibit and document works of modern and contemporary art and make them accessible to art lovers; a fascinating place to be.

Istanbul Modern is also now hosting some wonderful exhibitions like Fifty Years of Urban Walls: A Burhan Dogancay Retrospective

and After Yesterday; an exhibition of images from the İstanbul Modern Photography Collection.

While at Istanbul Modern, you can have a nice break at their cafe, with stunning views of Sea of Marmara, Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia.

Just next to the Istanbul Modern is one of my favorite mosques, Nusretiye Mosque (Cami), built in 1825; it still looks stuning, though unfortunately in need of repair.

Wonderful Nusretiye Mosque, Istanbul

From Karakoy, you can take the tram to Eminonu; our next stop is Spice Market, Misir Carsisi!

Entrance of the ancient Spice Market, Misir Carsisi

Built in 1664, Misir Carsisi, Spice Market is a feast to all senses; it’s the place both Turks and visitors come to stock up spices, nuts, dried fruits and nuts.

Time to shop; Spice Market

Dried apricots, figs and dates stuffed with nuts, very inviting!

Fruit teas and cezves - long handled pots to make Turkish coffee

You can also get herbal and fruit teas at Spice Market; Turks love cay, black tea leaves, but the fruit tea is not a traditional drink with us. It is always a surprise to see the popularity of apple tea in Spice Market.

Stalls and shops are friendly and generous to share the treats!

I am happily accepting the offer of Turkish Delights, who couldn't?

And here are Turkish Delights with different flavors; plain, with rose water, with pistachios, walnuts and many more. Did you know you can make your own Turkish Delights? Here is the recipe if you would like to have a go.

Make sure to stock up your spices at the Spice Market

How about spices, with their mesmerising smells and colors? We add wonderful flavors to our dishes with the use of spices in Turkish cuisine. Make sure to stock up on dried red pepper flakes, dried mint, cumin, ground black pepper, sumac, zahter (wild oregano) at the Spice Market.

Nuts stall, full of delicious pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts and more

There are other treats like these colorful lamps, decorations, scarfs, even kaftans and costumes at Spice Market!



My daughter helping to prepare our Bayram - end of Ramadan - breakfast

I hope you enjoy these shots from different parts of Istanbul; so live, so vibrant. And I hope you can make it here sometime : )

Until next time,  Mutlu Bayramlar &  Best wishes from Istanbul 🙂


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10 Responses to Fascinating Istanbul where old and new co-exists; time to take it all in

  1. CuisinedeProvence August 20, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art is spectacular – we had a long visit there last time we were in Istanbul.

    • Ozlem August 22, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

      I love the Istanbul Modern too, such a gem; great contemprary art, fantastic location, I am hoping to see it even busier after the holidays.

  2. Peri's Spice Ladle August 21, 2012 at 6:30 am #

    Beautiful, beautiful pictures, Ozlem, what an amazing city:) So much of it reminds me of Mumbai (Bombay)…the food, the sights and the pure spirit of the city which merges the old and new so effortlessly….now I am homesick:) Enjoy your time there, dear friend, and thanks for sharing these pictures! Makes me want to get to Istanbul even sooner! Much love, Peri.

    • Ozlem August 22, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

      Dear Peri, I can just imagine the resemblences with Mumbai – one of the top cities I long to go too! Here is a wish for both of us to make it to both amazing cities, ideally together: ) much love, xx Ozlem

  3. Elena August 21, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Wonderfull pictures Ozlem! Kiz cok tatli 🙂
    Sanada iyi bayramlar 🙂
    Gretting from Slovakia!

    • Ozlem August 22, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

      Merhaba Elena,
      Cok tesekkurler, sana da iyi bayramlar 🙂

  4. LorrieB August 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    Those markets are just out of this world!! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Ozlem August 22, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

      Hello Lorrie,
      The markets are indeed very vibrant, full of color and life – it’s a pleasure to share!


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