Istanbul, Turkey travel tips

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For a true Turkish experience, visit the Spice Bazaar, which was built in 1663. Many traditional remedies can be purchased here, but remember that the Bazaar is closed on Sunday.

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When visiting mosques, remove your shoes before entering.

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For a cool nightspot with stunning view of the city, go to Club 29 across the Bosporus. There's also a pool and a sun terrace.

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Try and see a performance at the Ataturk Cultural Centre, which is home to both the State Opera and Ballet and the Symphony orchestras.

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One of the most popular nightspots in Istanbul is Babylon, where there is almost always live music--everything from Latin music to jazz.

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If you love art and music, be sure to see the Borusan Centre for Culture and Art, which has art exhibitions as well as classical music performances.

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One of the landmarks of the city's nightlife is Anjelique, and it offers great views of the city skyline.

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For live music and a young, energetic crowd, plan on going to Dogzstar, which has a relatively new location on Istiklal Caddesi.

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If you want to rub shoulders with Istanbul' well-heeled citizens while sampling some great cigars, head to Le Fumoir, the city's sleekest cigar bar.

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If you're looking for a hip nightspot in Istanbul, head to Karga, where you can regularly find local house and techno DJs.

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If you're looking for things to do, check out the Turkish Daily News, an English language daily newspaper, which has entertainment listings.

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Be sure to visit Markiz Patisserie, which was once the tea-time destination of Istanbul's wealthiest residents. It still features a lovely art deco interior.

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The Blue Mosque doesn't open until 9am, but go earlier in the morning and admire the architecture before the place is overrun with tourists.

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If you are looking for budget accommodations, there are many hostels in Istanbul.

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If flights into Istanbul are too pricey, look for flights into Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, which handles some of the low-cost carriers.

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Visit the Roman aqueduct. It is southeast of the Faith Camii.

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Walk the city walls. They run for about four miles and are the largest Byzantine structure still standing in Istanbul. Just avoid them at night.

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Kariye Mosque isn't as popular with tourists, so it's a good off-the-beaten-path destination.

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If you're interested in photography, try to capture the Blue Mosque at dusk, when it is at its most stunning.

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If possible, plan your trip for fall or spring. The city is overrun with tourists in the summer, and that's also when prices are highest.

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