I had the opportunity to spend a couple days in the beautiful city of Istanbul, Turkey with my Mom. Not only was it wonderful place to travel with my Mom, the culture, the people, and the experiences were amazing. Some useful highlights:

1. Where to stay? Tan Hotel: This hotel was gorgeous, simple, quaint and had great service. Aside from enjoying a small business, it had spectacular views of the Blue Mosque from its breakfast area on the roof!

2. What to do? 

  • Cağaloğlu Hamami (or, Turkish Bath): According to the sign in from of the this turkish bath it is one of the 1,000 Places to Visit Before You Die, so I figured it had to be done. When you first enter, you can see the age and history behind one of Instanbul’s oldest baths. Men and women bath areas are separate and the service is classically Turkish: simple and good service with a smile. An old man scrubbed every knock-and-cranny on me…and I was probably the cleanest I had been in all my life.
  • Visit During Ramadan: The Blue Mosque, the cistern and the Topikapa palace were all amazing, but, the best part of Istanbul was visiting during Ramandan. Every evening at 5PM, we were able to enjoy the food, culture and people in the evenings.

2. Where to eat if you are vegetarian?  

  • Dubb Indian Restaurant: As a vegetarians, I noticed that all of the food was very similar for vegetarians: vegetable kabobs, yogurt and rice. This Indian restaurant was our salvation: the Indian food was better than most Indian restaurants in NYC and the service was quick and simple.