When traveling around the world, it’s easy to discover the top attractions in most cities. But sometimes you want to move beyond the historic sites and well-known areas to find those little treasures that the locals enjoy. If you’re traveling to Istanbul and want to make the most out of your visit, here are a few tips to help you experience this amazing city like the locals do.
Listen to the Locals
When you check in at the hotel, ask the locals for tips on where to grab a bite to eat or if they’ve seen a great deal on handmade rugs nearby. You’ll find that many people in the city are happy to share this information with you and will point you in the right direction. If you’re not comfortable approaching someone on the street, then sit down at a café and strike up a conversation with someone at a nearby table. You can also ask the hotel clerk or other employees for some tips and advice. You can also rely on a concierge service to help you with directions, transportation arrangements and other services.
The city is filled with fascinating markets, and the ones that are dwarfed by the Grand Bazaar may have just the thing you’re looking for. Rather than heading to the largest attractions in the area, go for some that are smaller, less crowded, and sure to have a hidden treasure. A few of the local favorites are the Balik Pazari, Fish Market, and Cicek Pasaji.
Break from the Mainland
Take a walk off the beaten path by heading over to the islands. The Princes’ Islands chain is composed of nine islands in the Sea of Marmara, and public access is available to four of them by ferry. The largest island is also the most crowded, so go for the smaller ones to take in more of the views without too many people.
Stay at a Boutique Hotel
Rather than going for a large chain that caters to tourists and focuses on the biggest attractions, choose a boutique hotel that focuses on the individual and wants to provide you with a great experience. At Hotel Büyük Keban, you’ll receive personal attention and friendly service. Our recently remodeled facility has all the amenities you want along with great customer service and excellent rates. Our friendly staff is happy to provide you with tips and ideas for seeing Istanbul like a local, and we’ll even help you prioritize your itinerary so that you can see the areas that are the most important to you.
When you’re planning your visit to Istanbul, start by calling Hotel Büyük Keban for reservations. Our concierge service can help you make transportation and tour arrangements ahead of time, and then we’ll help guide you to the local favorites once you arrive. Your satisfaction is our number one priority, and we hope that we can make your stay in Istanbul more enjoyable.