četrtek, 23. april 2015

Happy National Sovereignty and Children's Day!

23 April is a holiday (bayram) in Turkey and Northern Cyprus. This day is dedicated to children. The idea is that children are the future of the nation, so they also have their ''special day''. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk dedicated the April 23rd to children in 1920 and since than, this holiday has been celebrated in Turkey and Northern Cyprus.

ponedeljek, 20. april 2015

A tulip carpet

In April is all about tulips (lale) in Istanbul. First, the Tulip Festival (Emirgan park and some other parks around the city). Well, if you've missed that, you can still se, what is called the largest tulip carpet in the World. Visit Sultanahmet between April 18th and 30th.

ponedeljek, 06. april 2015

April in Istanbul: Film and Tulip Festivals

What to do in Istanbul in April? Spring in finally here and so are tulips! You must not miss the Tulip Festival if you are visiting Istanbul. The month of April is also known as ''lale zamanı'' (tulip time). Where can you see the tulips? The most famous spot is the Emirgan park, which is very close to the Sakip Sabanci müzesi. You can go there by bus (from Sarıyer, Beşiktaş, Kabataş) and during April, there are extra buses which run between Maslak metro stop and Emirgan.

Tulip in the Turkey's logo
If you prefer to stay closer to the city center, visit Gülhane park, which is just next to the Sultanahmet. There are also many other parks where see tulips. This is the official page of the festival.

Why TULIP festival?
Today many people associate tulips with Holland, however tulips came to Holland from the Ottoman Empire. The first tulips were cultivated by Turks already in 1000 AD. Tulip is  also a turistic symbol of Turkey.

Between April 4 - 19th, 34th Istanbul Film Festival is taking place. Besides movie screenings, you can also attend movie lessons and discussions. More info.

torek, 31. marec 2015

10 tips for your holidays in Istanbul

Travel around the city by boat
Since I live in Istanbul, Turkey, many friends and travellers ask me many questions before their visit. Here are some of the most useful tips I can give to you:

  • Before arrival, check if you need visa for Turkey. Some citizens do need it and most of you can order it online. You can still get visa on arrival, but eVisa will help you save time and money!

  • Buy a travel Istanbul kart. It costs about 10 TL. After this, you are required to top it up and you can use it to move around the city easily. It works with metro, tram, metrobus, ferries, funicular, etc. Here is more info in English. With Istanbul kart you can travel cheaper. Multiple  can use the same card. You can also use it to pay the public toilets with it :)


Almost 12 hours without electricity.  Somewhere we finally have it, but in some parts the electricity is coming and going. Some district of Istanbul are still without electricity: as you can see at the photo, the hill next to us is totally dark.
According to the media, trains, metro and tram are working again.


Since 10:30 am almost all Turkey is without electricity. In Istanbul, metro and tram lines are out of order due to electricity cut. The reason is still unknown.
You can get more info in social media, such as twitter, under #BuradaElektrikYok