Every month we ask an Istanbul local the same ten questions. This way you can hear firsthand what they love and hate about the city, and learn about the best places to wine, dine and shop in town.
Today Dilara Inan Özbay, aged between 26-35 and active in the technology sector as a Marcam Specialist, shares her Istanbul secrets.
1. Where do you live, and what makes your neighborhood special?
I live in Kemerburgaz. This area is located 20 minutes outside the city center, but it is very green and quiet.
2. What does a perfect day in Istanbul look like for you?
First of all wake up a bit later, and head for Bebek to have a nice brunch, followed by a boat tour along the Bosphorus.
3. Where would you take first time Istanbul visitors to?
I would take first time visitors to Sultanahmet so they can see the major tourist attractions. I would also guide them through the Grand Bazaar for a shopping spree and get them acquainted with Turkish bargaining.
4. Do you have any shopping preferences and/or secrets?
As you could guess, I’m fond of the Grand bazaar where you can find almost anything. I also like shopping at vintage stores in Cihangir.
5. What is according to you the best souvenir people should take back home?
I would recommend jewelry with the evil-eye theme.
6. What is your favorite restaurant, and why?
I really enjoy having dinner at 360 in Beyoğlu. The food is delicious and the panoramic views are wonderful.
7. What Turkish dish should visitors really try out?
I’m sure it’s a cliché, but we have so many types of kebap that you should try a few different ones.
8. What is your favorite drink, and the best place to order it?
My favorite drink is Mojito, which I prefer to enjoy in 360 or Nuteras.
9. What is your favorite bar or night club?
I have no favorite bar or night club. I enjoy the nightlife in Blackk, Nomads or Al Jamal. Alternatively, I like to visit the pubs and restaurants lined up on Asmalımescit Street, close to Tünel (the end of Istiklal Caddesi).
10. What do you love and/or hate about Istanbul?
What I love about Istanbul is its cosmopolitan character, with a nice mix of modern and old parts and buildings. I hate the traffic though.