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Tips & Tricks

As of today, 19 July 2009, smoking in Turkey is banned in all enclosed public places. This is an extension of the existing anti-smoking legislation introduced in May last year which prohibited smoking in workplaces and public spaces. From now on cafes, restaurants and bars, who had 18 months to adjust, are also subject to […]

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People often ask me if booking a hotel online is safe. And if so, whether I can provide links to hotel booking sites that are trustworthy and/or offer hotel rooms at the lowest prices available. Since I’m merely running a blog about Istanbul (and not a travel agency), this has always been a tough question […]

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The New Turkish Lira (Yeni Türk Lirası, YTL) – which was introduced on January 1, 2005 – will be replaced by the Turkish Lira (Türk Lirası, TL) as of January 1, 2009. At the same time, the 200 Turkish Lira banknote has been introduced. Turkey Drops the ’Y’ in Its National Currency After a 4-year […]

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After you made up your mind about how many stars your hotel should have and in what area your hotel should be located, it’s time to pick and book one. You of course want to get it at the best possible rate, with the highest discount available. In order to get a good deal, you […]

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As a tourist, chances are that you’ll be visiting a mosque at one time or another. If not, you will be missing out on several of Istanbul’s most beautiful sightseeing spots, such as the Blue Mosque and the Süleymaniye Mosque. As a non-Muslim, you’re welcome to visit them, as long as you observe a few […]

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When planning a city trip to Istanbul, you may want to take a look at the opening hours of Istanbul’s main tourist attractions so you don’t find yourself standing in front of a closed door. Sightseeing spots such as the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Süleymaniye Mosque, Topkapi Palace and its Harem, Spice Bazaar, Grand Bazaar, […]

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On 19 May 2008, the first wave of the anti-smoking legislation comes into effect. From that day on smoking in Turkey is prohibited in all enclosed areas, except residences and designated places. Just like many other European countries, the Turkish parliament enacted a law to control and prevent the harm caused by tobacco products. However, […]

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Istanbul continuously confirms its status as one of the world’s metropolitans. First there was fierce voting to get Istanbul included in the first Global Monopoly board game. And recently, EarthTV has installed a brand new camera to give you ‘live’ daily impressions of the bridge between Europe and Asia. The Earth television network was founded […]

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After passing the border control and being let into the country, you normally go look for your luggage and head for the exit. But hold your horses, there is still a small surprise ahead. At the Atatürk International Airport of Istanbul, you can also buy duty-free goods upon arrival. Although you can experience this opportunity […]

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This may seem like a strange article, not in the least because of its length. But people who have ever queued the line at the Atatürk Airport passport control for half an hour or more, only to find out that they had to buy their visa somewhere else first and were therefore sent back to […]

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