My Local Guide Istanbul
As 95 percent of the country population is Muslim and 5 percent is mixture of Orthodox Christians and Jewish. So Muslims don't celebrate the Xmas as it is known but the Orthodox celebrate it in a slightly different way then Catholics. They celebrate the Xmas on the January 6th with Christians from many Orthodox country come to the main church ( Patriarchate ) where Patric ( head priest ) throw the cross to the Golden Horn and people jump in to the water to bring the cross back. " in January!!! " However if you will be in Istanbul you will see lots of Xmas decoration in many district of Istanbul like Sultanahmet and Beyoglu - Taksim. Especially In Sulatanahmet it is almost every restaurant and hotel have a Xmas three at the door. That is to be aware of how important the Xmas is for Christians world and to welcome their guest and to make them feel at home as many Christians come to Istanbul in Xmas holiday. So there will be Xmas decoration but there isn't a proper Xmas celebrations at homes like it happen in Christian world. I hope this will help you to understand about the Xmas time in Istanbul. about 6 years ago
In wich neighborhood can i find more Multinational brands shops? Like Mac, body shop, etc. Is it in taksim?
The easiest destination for tourists is Istiklal Street. Taksim Square marks the start of this looong outdoor pedestrian street that is lined with the shops you're after. For better more variety in quality brands and airconditioning there is the Cehavir Shopping Mall in sisli; Metro City and Kanyon in Levent; Istinye Park (all the luxury brands are here); and on the other side of town is my favourite Istanbul Forum (IKEA is also here). These are all on the European side of Istanbul. To get to these you will need to get tram and/or metro (depending on where you are staying). over 8 years ago
Istanbul is a big city with conservative areas and modern areas. If you stick to Sultanahmet and Taksim areas then you can pretty much wear anything BUT in these areas you will also be mixing with conservative people. To be respectful of local culture my best advice is to make sure you wear something that covers your knees and shoulders and you shouldn't experience any problems and you'll be respectful at the same time. If visiting a mosque you will be given shawls to wear to cover your head. over 8 years ago
Is it safe, as a tourist, to show objects like cameras, ipads, etc while walking on the streets or in restaurants ou museums?
Phil gives some great advice. Istanbul is like any other city in the world, unfortunately there is the odd scammer and thief that ruins it for everyone, but all in all Istanbul is a safer city than most I believe. Istanbul is also a very modern city whereby most locals visit cafes etc with ipad, iphone etc in hand. Also it is such a "tourism" city and picturesque city that we are very used to seeing cameras out etc. There are hot spots for scammers/thiefs I would say be extra careful such as like crowded areas such as the bazaar areas, eminonu, trams etc but protect yourself as you would in your own hometown and you shouldn't experience any problems. Mix in clothing wise, zip up your bags, be safe/aware around ATMs and keep personal items close to you at all times and you shouldn't have any problems. over 8 years ago
10 unique, off the tourist grid cultural things to film in Istanbul for the Music Voyager TV series....?
Not sure if this fits what you're after but here's a couple of ideas. There are a couple of streets in the Galata/Taksim area that are popular with locals and musicians. Hasnun Galip Sokak (sokak meaning street) off Istiklal Street near Taksim square is where you will find locals listening (and often dancing traditional halay) to traditional live Turkish and arabesque music. Galip Dede Caddesi in Galata (at the end of Istiklal - going towards the Galata tower) is lined with musical instrument shops and maybe a good place to do some research with the local musicians for what you need for your videos. Other ideas for "off the grid" and culture is to make sure you find somewhere with Sulukale / Roman music - if you're lucky you could attend a wedding...likewise a kurdish wedding is an experience in itself where music and dance are the feature of local culture. Other ideas is seeing an authentic Sufi ceremony - just depends what music you're after. For modern club music then look toward Ortakoy - Angelic or Reina or Nomads.....Live music go with Babylon, Ghetto, Araf - all around Taksim Area. over 8 years ago