Sunday, 19 April 2009

Try out a hookah

You don't have indulge in a tipple to enjoy a weekend night out on the town with friends in Istanbul. Try one of the Tophane nargile, or hookah, cafes within walking distance of both Karakoy and Istiklal Caddesi (just!). In the open air or inside you can lounge on bean bags and drink elma çay (apple tea), regular Turkish çay or a throaty Turkish coffee, try out a nargile which comes in all sorts of flavours (banana even) and play a game of backgammon or catch up on gossip. Oh, and there are also flat screens for football matches. Forget being stuck in an airless smokey Beyoglu club, come and see how the Turkish young enjoy their weekends. It can be packed to the rafters on a Saturday night so make sure you come early and if you're not willing to smoke at least one nargile you won't even be shown to a table.
What it is: A great social spot where you can mingle with the Turkish young and it's off the usual tourist track.
Where it is: Just by the Kiliç Ali Pasha Mosque at Tophane and the Tophane tram stop. Within walking distance of Karakoy and Istiklal (at Galatasaray Square head downhill for 10 minutes and it is across the other side of the main road and tram line).


Anonymous said...

My wife and I will be visiting Istanbul in October (for the third time) and seeing your wonderful photographs made us wish that we were travelling tomorrow!

We will be there on Republic Day and hope that we can get a good view of the parades. Is there one big one or smaller ones in the various districts of the city?

We've put our photographs on our website at:

William & Cynthia

Rebecca Erol said...

Hi William & Cynthia

Apologies for this late reply but I've been in Istanbul actually working on a book on Turkish food!

There tend to be parades up and down Istiklal (Taksim) on such festival days and apart from the Children's Festival in May I have not heard of a bigger event. I will see what I can find out....

Now, I'll take a peek at your photos....



Rebecca Erol said...

Predictably my favourite photo is the one of girl sketching at the Archaeological Museum...

Anonymous said...

Hi Rebecca

Thanks for the info - we will camp out there the night before to be sure of a good view!

We will definitely try Siirt Seref, it is exactly our kind of place.

Have you got any more publication details on the book? When do you think it will be available?

William & Cynthia

Rebecca Erol said...

Hi there

In which case be sure to take a look at the view from the terrace of Burger King on the corner of Istiklal which overlooks Taksim Square.

The book will be published in Norway and in 2010 I guess. I have been contracted by a publisher in Turkey who in turn have been commissioned by a guy in Norway so I don't have any more details at the moment. But I can keep you informed if you want. No doubt i will write about it in my blog once it's out.

By the way thank you for the link to my photos on your website, I have had plenty of hits!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for that - I know exactly where you mean.

Please use the contact form on our site to pass on details of the book. Obviously I'll keep checking your site too.

Good to hear that the link's generated some extra traffic!