Istanbul, Turkey
Irem, 28
Business Analyst & Bar Fly
see her Istanbul city guide

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What are the Istanbul spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

A Bosphorus cruise tour will give you the main theme. Then you can visit Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Galata.

Do’s and don’ts in Istanbul: (Ex: Tipping: yes/ no, public transport tips, safety tips etc.):

Use apps, BiTaksi for taxi or Scotty for motorcycle. Use metro line and ferryboats if possible. Pay with Liras.

What do you do and why do you do it?

I travel, listen music and read books to live. And work to keep going.

Your all-time favorite musicians:

The Doors, Queen, Radiohead. I recently watched Depeche Mode and Pearl Jam on the stage. They are definitely in this lists.

Which neighborhood is it best to experience during the day / night?

Day: Galata&Bebek, Night: Karaköy

What’s the area in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Istiklal Avenue

Drunk and hungry - where do you go in Istanbul?

I eat wet-burger or kokoreç. I go Çengelköy if i'm at Anatolian side.

Your perfect night out in Istanbul includes:

Good music and bosphorus breeze.

Which local creators do you admire?

Fazıl Say, Ayhan Sicimoğlu, Cem Yılmaz, Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Best place for a cheap bite on-the-go:

Fish bread at Tarihi Eminonu Balik Ekmek ( $3, at Southwest end of Galata Bridge)

Tomorrow’s your last day in Istanbul. How do you spend it?

I would definitely cross Bosphorus with ferry and walking along the sea. I may grab a few drinks and chill at Caddebostan Coast.

You’re meeting the mayor of Istanbul - what constructive criticism would you give them?

Hire a better city planner. Please.

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Alperen Ergin