For 91 Days in Istanbul

Adventures, anecdotes and advice from three months exploring Istanbul

For 91 Days we lived in Istanbul, one the world’s great cultural melting pots. With one foot in Asia and the other in Europe, this city was destined to play a starring role in the history of civilization, and we learned a ton while here. We also ate a ton of exquisite Turkish cuisine, visited museums and mosques, explored the markets and so much more.
Whether you're planning your own journey to Istanbul, or just interested in seeing what makes it such a special city, our articles and photographs should help you out.

For 91 Days in Istanbul – The E-Book

One of the world's most historic and fascinating cities, Istanbul was our home for three incredible months. We explored the city's museums, neighborhoods, markets, and were introduced to a lot of wonderful culture, food and interesting history. Perhaps the world's most diverse metropolis, Istanbul has it all, and we made a concentrated effort to see as much as possible.

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Allahaısmarladık, Istanbul

It didn't seem possible. Had our 91 days in Istanbul really come to an end? I couldn't believe it, so I opened my journal and counted the pages. Although it felt as though we'd just arrived... although we were still in the process of settling into the city's rhythm... that was it. Our time in Istanbul had reached its conclusion.

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Istanbul By Night

After the sun goes down, the usually lively neighborhoods of Istanbul undergo a transformation. Gone are the simit sellers, the shouting schoolkids and the turbulent traffic, leaving behind empty streets, silhouetted minarets and decrepit houses which look all the more haunting by moonlight. Striding down the cobblestone alleys in search of a stiff drink, with your collar up against the wind, you'll wish you wearing a fedora: Istanbul at night would be the perfect backdrop for a classic film noir.

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A Final Batch of Photos from Istanbul

Istanbul is a photographer's paradise. Both colorful and gritty, beautiful but deteriorated, and filled with people who always seem happy to have caught the camera's eye. We've had a fun time browsing through the tens of thousands of photographs we've collected during our 91 days here, and have selected some which show off the many facets of Istanbul. It's probably impossible to define a city with a few images, but this is our best shot.

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The Cats of Istanbul

It was a common sight in Istanbul. You'd be standing in front of some amazing building like the Hagia Sophia or the Galata Tower, and all the tourists would be completely ignoring it. Their cameras were trained on something cuter than some ancient old structure: a playful pack of mewling kittens.

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Addicted to Döner

Before our arrival in Istanbul, we had no idea how much döner we were about to eat... Ach, who am I kidding? We knew exactly. Scarfing down plate after heaping plate of delicious döner meat was our plan from the very beginning. It's part of the reason we chose Istanbul in the first place.

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Public Transportation in Istanbul

In a city the size of Istanbul, public transportation isn't just a nice option, but an absolute necessity. So it's lucky that using Istanbul's transportation system can be so entertaining. Whether riding a funicular, subway, ferry, tram or gondola (anything, really, except the bus) we almost always had a great time getting around the city.

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Modern Mosques

We visited a lot of mosques during our time in Istanbul, most of which were centuries-old architectural masterpieces built by the Ottomans. But Islam is very much a modern religion, so we felt compelled to check out a couple of the city's contemporary mosques, one in Kadiköy and the other in Umraniye.

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Orhan Pamuk and the Museum of Innocence

Orhan Pamuk, recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature, is easily Turkey's most famous contemporary author. And one of his books, The Museum of Innocence, is more than just a novel. It's a real museum, designed to exactly replicate the imaginary museum described in his story. A fascinating project which begs the question: does a thing cease to be fictional when it actually exists?

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