Normally we don’t review websites, but for NotonlyIstanbul we want to make an exception. Why? They focus on capturing Istanbul through the lens of ordinary people, and offer visitors an overview of what places locals visit and how they experience Istanbul. And that is exactly what we try to do here at Witt Istanbul. The only difference is, we use words, and NotonlyIstanbul uses videos.
NotonlyIstanbul wants to capture the charm of Istanbul’s streets. Whether it is the discovery of a nice restaurant with delicious (traditional) food, a venue to enjoy culture, eye-catching events, or just everyday people’s experiences and stories. The website wants to share Istanbul’s beauty through the eyes and lives of its inhabitants.
The website has a clear, sober, yet attractive and functional design. NotonlyIstanbul is available in both Turkish and English. At the moment, the website consists of almost one hundred videos organized in categories such as:
- food & drink
- art & culture
- experience (hotels, classes)
- stories (of locals)
- events (premieres, parties)
They also have a convenient overview by district (see picture). If you have something worth sharing, you are invited to contact NotonlyIstanbul so they can come and shoot a video … with you in a starring role. Although the website focuses on video, you can also share your favorite city pictures. While browsing the site, you can ‘save’ your favorite videos and pictures, but you need to create a free account first.
The videos look very professional, are nicely edited, and keep a good pace. Notonlyistanbul just records what you have to share, as is. They don’t review, criticize or provide their point of view. They just want to build a collective Istanbul archive.
Most of the videos are Turkish spoken, but have English subtitles for international visitors (see the ABC button in the control bar under the video).
NotonlyIstanbul is a great resource to discover hidden Istanbul pearls (not covered in printed city guides) or watch and learn how (traditional) dishes are made.