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Expat Exchange - The Essential Guide to Istanbul 2024
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Istanbul, Turkey


The Essential Guide to Istanbul

By Joshua Wood, LPC

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Summary: Our Guide to Istanbul: Top Attractions, Culinary Hotspots, Nightlife, and More. Plus, Tips on Making Connections with the Locals and Finding Fun Recreational Activities

Welcome to Istanbul! If you're planning to move to Istanbul, congratulations on taking the first step towards a new adventure. While there are many things to think about before you leave, such as visas, housing, and transportation, it's important to remember that once you arrive, the fun really begins. In this article, we'll introduce you to some of the best sites, restaurants, and nightlife that Istanbul has to offer, as well as provide tips on recreational activities and making friends in Istanbul.

Istanbul is a vibrant city full of culture, history, and entertainment. Tourists and locals alike can find plenty of sites of interest to explore. The Hagia Sophia is a must-see, a former Greek Orthodox church that was converted to a mosque in the 15th century and is now a museum. The Blue Mosque is another iconic landmark, with its six minarets and intricate interior. The Grand Bazaar is a bustling market with over 4,000 shops selling everything from spices to jewelry. The Galata Tower is a medieval stone tower with a great view of the city. The Topkapi Palace is a sprawling complex of buildings that was once the home of the Ottoman sultans. The Basilica Cistern is an underground reservoir from the 6th century. The Dolmabahce Palace is a 19th century palace with a grand staircase and ornate decorations.

Istanbul is also known for its vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene. Some of the most popular restaurants include Mikla, a modern Turkish restaurant with stunning views of the city, and Karaköy Lokantas?, a traditional Turkish eatery. For seafood, try Balikçi Sabahattin, a restaurant that has been serving up fresh fish since the 1950s. For a unique experience, try Asitane, a restaurant that serves Ottoman cuisine. For nightlife, head to Reina, a chic nightclub with a terrace overlooking the Bosphorus. Another popular spot is Anjelique, a club with a great view of the city. For a more relaxed atmosphere, try 360 Istanbul, a rooftop bar with a great view of the city.

Istanbul also offers plenty of recreational activities for tourists and locals alike. The city is home to several parks, including Gülhane Park, a large park with a lake and plenty of green space, and Yildiz Park, a park with a palace and gardens. The city also has several beaches, including Kilyos Beach, a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing, and Kalam?? Beach, a beach with a marina and plenty of restaurants. For a unique experience, take a boat tour of the Bosphorus, which offers stunning views of the city. For a more active experience, try a bike tour of the city, or take a hike in the Belgrad Forest.

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Insider Tips from Expats in Istanbul: Making the Most of Life and Connections

"Istanbul is a great expat post in many ways - it has the diversity of an active cosmopolitan city but also has a very nice group of expat population. There are associations here such as IWI (Intl. Women of Istanbul), AWI(American women), French group, Latino group, Die Brucke (Germans), Italian group and many others," said one expat living in Istanbul.

"Expats in Istanbul often join clubs and activities such as language exchange groups, book clubs, and sports teams. Expats can also meet people by attending local events such as concerts, festivals, and art exhibitions. Additionally, many expats find it helpful to join online forums and social media groups related to their interests, as well as attending meetups and networking events. Finally, expats can also meet people by simply exploring the city and striking up conversations with locals," wrote a member in Istanbul.

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Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.

Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

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Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.
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"The husbands lives of course revolve around work and golf as in all expat posts. There are some very good private clubs for all sports. The wives socialize a lot, are active in sports and many charity activities organized by the various associations. School events are also a good way to meet new people," commented an expat living in Istanbul.

"Living in Istanbul as an expat or digital nomad can be an exciting and rewarding experience. The city is a vibrant and diverse metropolis, with a rich cultural heritage and a unique blend of modern and traditional lifestyles. Expats and digital nomads can enjoy the city's many attractions, from its bustling nightlife to its stunning architecture and historical sites. The city also offers a wide range of activities and amenities, from shopping and dining to outdoor activities and cultural events. The cost of living in Istanbul is relatively low compared to other major cities, making it an attractive destination for expats and digital nomads. Additionally, the city is well-connected to the rest of the world, with excellent public transportation and an international airport," said an expat in Istanbul.

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Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.

Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

Traveling MailboxTraveling Mailbox

Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.
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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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Istanbul, Turkey

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