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10 Great Reasons to Fall in Love with Istanbul

Istanbul is a huge tourist favorite globally, but Americans are just beginning to discover its riches.

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[ii] Rick Steves’  Istanbul, actually written by two natives, Lale Surmen Aran and Tankut Aran, is fun, useful and informative in equal measure. It’s an indispensable companion for grasping and navigating the city.

[iii] 7 Oceans, in the Old City, has a fantastic view over the Bosporus and the Sea of Marmara, an extensive, tasty menu, and a great service team.

[iv] The Hotel Villa Zurich is a great reasonably priced hotel (rooms run between $125 and $150 a night) in a hip New District location. Try to get a room on one of the higher floors, or go for the suite.

[v] We had a creative and savvy guy named Caner Yucefaydali ( canercaner [at] hotmail.com ) who lives in Cappadocia (a fascinating area in the middle of the country known for its unique landscapes, cave hotels and "fairy chimneys"--more on all that later). Caner helped us plan our trip and handled and brokered a lot, including in-country plane flights, rides to and from airports, hotel rooms, etc. He also served as our guide when we visited Cappadocia.

[vi] www.ilhamiatalay.com

[vii] 49 Pizza, located in a beautiful, brick-lined building in the New District, offers great pizza in a relaxed setting.

[viii] We particularly enjoyed the selection of (Turkish-made) glass and textiles at Tribal Art, in the Old City.  tribalarthome.com

Don Hazen is the executive editor of AlterNet.

V.C. Dent is a freelance writer living in the Bay Area.

 
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