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East Meets West: Istanbul, Turkey

The gateway between Asia and Europe, Turkey is a cultural bridge between East and West. This transcontinental country has a dual cultural ambiance, and offers those who visit a chance to step into both Eastern and Western traditions at once. The city of Istanbul glorifies Turkey’s Western-like culture and has the essence of a European city.

My personal Istanbul highlights include Hagia Sophia (a church-turned-mosque-turned-museum) and the Blue Mosque (named after its blue tile interior).

When it comes to shopping, Istanbul has you covered. Approximately 4,400 shops make up the Grand Bazaar, where you can get everything from Evil Eye trinkets to boxes of savory Turkish Delight. If it’s Western goods and apparel you’re looking for, head over to Taksim Square and wander down Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue) for shops along a lengthy stretch of cobblestone.

Istanbul is a food lover’s paradise. Along the Galata Bridge (which links east and west districts of the city that stand on either side of the Bosphorus River), you’ll find a variety of seafood restaurants and cafes. In the Beyoğlu district you’ll find the restaurant 360, where you get a panoramic view of the city, good wine and fine dining. And on many streets you’ll run into vendors selling mussels with lemon (whether or not you decide to partake in the questionable “street mussels” is up to you).

Beyoğlu is also home to many chic bars and other nightlife assortments. Many of these nocturnal watering holes can be found along the stony pathway of Istiklal Caddesi.

Don’t leave the city without trying a glass of Turkish raki, which is made of fermented grapes and anis and usually cut with water.

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The gateway between Asia and Europe, Turkey is a cultural bridge between East and West. This transcontinental country has a dual cultural ambiance, and offers those who visit a chance to step into both Eastern and Western traditions at once. The city of Istanbul glorifies Turkey’s Western-like culture and has the essence of a European city.

My personal Istanbul highlights include Hagia Sophia (a church-turned-mosque-turned-museum) and the Blue Mosque (named after its blue tile interior).

When it comes to shopping, Istanbul has you covered. Approximately 4,400 shops make up the Grand Bazaar, where you can get everything from Evil Eye trinkets to boxes of savory Turkish Delight. If it’s Western goods and apparel you’re looking for, head over to Taksim Square and wander down Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue) for shops along a lengthy stretch of cobblestone.

Istanbul is a food lover’s paradise. Along the Galata Bridge (which links east and west districts of the city that stand on either side of the Bosphorus River), you’ll find a variety of seafood restaurants and cafes. In the Beyoğlu district you’ll find the restaurant 360, where you get a panoramic view of the city, good wine and fine dining. And on many streets you’ll run into vendors selling mussels with lemon (whether or not you decide to partake in the questionable “street mussels” is up to you).

Beyoğlu is also home to many chic bars and other nightlife assortments. Many of these nocturnal watering holes can be found along the stony pathway of Istiklal Caddesi.

Don’t leave the city without trying a glass of Turkish raki, which is made of fermented grapes and anis and usually cut with water.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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