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 Ekrem Başarır, aged between 26-35 and active as a manager, shares his Istanbul secrets.
1. Where do you live, and what makes your neighborhood special?
I live in Ulus. For locals it’s a very convenient place to live due to its central location. For tourists it’s a bit out of the way though. To give you an idea, it is the area up the hills across SuAda.
2. What does a perfect day in Istanbul look like for you?
As many locals would tell you, a day without traffic.
3. Where would you take first time Istanbul visitors to?
I would take them to the classics, the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. And for an original experience, I would take them for a drive over the Bosphorus Bridge. The view from there is just breathtaking.
4. Do you have any shopping preferences and/or secrets?
I don’t have a certain store, mall, or area I shop from. I just look for fair priced quality items.
5. What is according to you the best souvenir people should take back home?
What is more precious than memories of a nice time spent in Istanbul? But if it has to be something tangible, I’m a big advocate for one (or more) refrigerator magnets of Istanbul’s major sightseeing spots.
6. What is your favorite restaurant, and why?
My favorite restaurant is Sun Set Grill & Bar in Ulus. The food is great, and so is the view.
7. What Turkish dish should visitors really try out?
8. What is your favorite drink, and the best place to order it?
Since I don’t drink alcohol, I can`t comment on this.
9. What is your favorite bar or night club?
I’m a big fan of the Sun Set bar in Ulus, as I mentioned before.
10. What do you love and/or hate about Istanbul?
I love the food, and I hate the traffic.