Showing posts from June, 2014

Antique & Flea Market in Bomonti

Every Sunday people gather in a normally rather ordinary parking lot in the Bomonti area to hold an antique & flea market. There are more than 200 workbenches put together offering whatever one can or can not imagine. From simple older pieces of any kind of household item, toys, cutlery, jewelleries, any kind of accessories, clothes, records, books, furnitures, decoration and so on to the very special and rare things one always wanted to have for the own collection.

Antique Market from Locals for Locals The marketeers are locals, so is the vast majority of the visitors, at least for now. Fingers crossed it stays like that, as it provides a certain unique atmosphere of a real turkish market with a lot of chatting, discussing and of course negotiations. Nevertheless the economic purpose of the flea market does not seem the main reason for the people, they all seem to take it more as a social event, what creates a quite unique atmosphere, a cozy street neighbourhood one.

And before yo…

Turkish Handicrafts Exhibition for free

Turkish handicrafts exhibition for free
Everyone who is interested to see, or even make, Turkish handicrafts in Istanbul should take a look at this hidden gem. The Caferaga Medresesi is a center for education with focus on Turkish handicrafts, the name Medresesi refers to the label for educational institution during the Ottoman period, Medresseh. Since a mere 15 years this special school, which was built in 1559, is a touristic centre run by the Turkish Cultural Service Foundation showing a broad variation of Turkish Handicrafts. Spread over 15 exhibition and class rooms, a big salon and a garden handicrafts like marbling, ceramics, jewelry or calligraphy are shown, but also taught, made and sold. Meaning besides being taught how to make traditional handicrafts in workshops or buy some of them, it is also possible to just visit the exhibits and enjoy a drink - like the typical Turkish tea cay - in the calm garden. 
And besides being free the Caferaga Medresesi is just a few steps down …

Viewpoints in Istanbul: Around Galata

The area around Galata, at the end of the main shopping street of Istanbul: Istiklal - serves basically two major viewpoints. Unfortunately they are both not for free, but nevertheless quite worth the view and at least with the latter option it is cheap and you get something for your money. And they are quite close to each other, both located in the southern part of Beyoglu.

Viewpoint Galata Tower The well known sight of the area, the Galata Tower, provides a nice view of Beyoglu and the historical district Sultanahmet. The downside is, normally there are even queues of people waiting to get in, and there is an entry fee of 10 TL. Alternatively one can reserve a spot in the restaurant which happens to be in the tower, to enjoy the view accompanied with some good food, but be prepared, the food price charges the view also. 

Viewpoint Konak CafeThe other option is the Konak Cafe, yet another viewpoint in Istanbul which is not for free, but at least it is easier to get in, and way cheaper…

Real Dervish Sema Ritual in Istanbul for free

As you may know, dervish lodges, madrasas and similar institutions and their rituals were outlawed during Ataturk's secularization campaign but the current AKP government has softened the rules, allowing for institutions like Yenikapi to reemerge. It was completely restored a few years ago and is quite beautiful. And more importantly it regularly host a whirling dervish ceremony, a sema, a sufi whirling

An authentic Dervish experience in IstanbulSo if you seek out the real thing, you should attend one of the dervish ceremonies held by the Mevlevi Sufi Lodge at the Fatih Sultan Mehmet University Istanbul. That one is not a dervish ceremony which is put on for tourists in various location around the sightseeing spots, but the real thing, a real authentic ceremony by a real Mevlevihane (Mevlevi Sufi Lodge). 
The Sema Dervish Ritual is normally held every two weeks on wednesdays, the actual dates can be found in the calendar of performances.The performance starts punctual and you shou…

Istanbul for free!? Yes, almost.

Istanbul, one of the most vibrant cities of this planet has a lot to offer, for every taste.

Unfortunately Istanbul can also easily crack ones budget, with high entry fees and relatively high prices when it comes to food and culture. Therefore I gonna try to loosely point at some free things to do and experience in Istanbul, or at least almost free or cheap, for the budget traveler and everybody who is interested in experiencing the beauty and life of Istanbul with ease. Also I will give one or the other advice about visiting Istanbul in general and whatever may be interesting or useful while being in Istanbul.

All the posts will only cover my own personal experiences and findings, comments and tips are therefore more than welcome!

For current free events and happenings in Istanbul make sure to also follow Istanbulforfree on TwitterGoogle+ and Facebook!