Tag Archives: Culture

Vibrant Istanbul

Photo 01-03-017..Another city discovered. One more story added to many of mine.
A city designed multiple times, a city where the east meets the west.
A city with which you might fall in love – Istanbul!

The most important thing to do when planning a trip to Istanbul is to allow enough time to explore the city. Begin by choosing a hotel close to a district where you would like to spend your evenings. I began my Istanbul tour from Taksim, a landmark in itself; this area has everything a tourist might need. From shopping to nightlife, history to trade & street food to a variety of upscale restaurants. It is indeed a very interesting place to spend few hours as it spreads till the Istiklal Caddesi, one of the most touristy and busy street. While wandering on these streets, if you don’t feel like walking anymore then try the famous historic red trams. The experience will turn out to be a beautiful memory.

View of  Istiklal Caddesi during the day
View of Istiklal Caddesi during the day

In order to save yourself from “too much to see and too little time” kind of a situation, plan an old town tour the first thing. My suggestion is to take a Big Bus Tour. The ticket is valid for 48 hours, gives you unlimited rides throughout the city & saves you from the hassles of the taxi drivers.

File 09-03-16, 11 46 27 AM

For more information, visit – http://eng.bigbustours.com/istanbul/home.html

The Big Bus tour route is very carefully designed and takes you to all the major landmarks and historic sites.  At the same time you are connected to the free wifi and have access to your personal recorded commentary in eight different languages explaining about the history and culture of this city. If the weather is in your favour, you can take a seat in the upper deck of the bus and enjoy the magnificent view of Bosphorus Bridge, the Blue Mosque, Dolmabahce Palace, Galata Tower and much more. I think for solo travelers like me, the Big Bus tour is one of the safest and relaxing ways to discover Istanbul.

Sultan Ahmet Camii or The Blue Mosque
Sultan Ahmet Camii or The Blue Mosque
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Bosphorus bridge
Bosphorus bridge

Once done with the historic tour of Istanbul it’s time to turn towards the culinary side. When visiting the heart of Turkey, there is no need to comprise on taste. Food from all categories exists here and you should try it all! I personally started from the Simits (sesame breads), moved to the Doners (wraps) and continued shuffling between Pide (flatbread with cheese and meat), Kofte (meat balls) & Balik Ekmek (grilled fish in bread). However many other seafood and mezze options are widely available in addition to the famous food chains.

A vendor selling Simits or sesame breads
A vendor selling Simits or sesame breads
Freshly made  Balik Ekmek
Freshly made Balik Ekmek

Before your trip comes to an end be sure to take a Bosphorus cruise, bargain at the bazaars, get scrubbed in a hammam, sip the amazing turkish teas/coffees and sample a few varieties of Baklava or Lokum (Turkish delight).

Bosphorus Cruise Ship
Bosphorus Cruise Ship
A cup of hot turkish tea
A cup of hot turkish tea
The famous Hafiz Mustafa - Baklava shop
The famous Hafiz Mustafa – Baklava shop

Istanbul, with so much of diversity, history and art is definitely a full package vacation deal and I am sure with a bit of research and information you will enjoy it the same way I did.

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Diamond Lounge in Munich, Germany

Diamond LoungeFood has always been a major part of German culture. Even the well-known German fairy tale makes reference to food, remember?Hansel and Gretel!
German food is more varied than you might think. In fact Germany today has the most international range of food in Europe.

Millions of foreigners living here have brought their cuisine with them and have made important contributions to the overall culinary development. Practically you can find each and every cuisine in Germany: Asian to Mediterranean, Turkish to African, Thai, Chinese, Indian, Moroccan and Italian, to name a few.

Diamond Lounge

Local cultures have a passion for their own food and flavors that cannot be found anywhere else and also which makes them different. But how interesting it would be if you get to visit a relaxing place where you could get a glimpse of two cultures merging together.

While in Munich this time, I visited Diamond’s Restrobar & Lounge. Situated centrally at Orleansplatz 3, it’s just a 2 minutes walk from the Ostbahnhof. Fortunately, there are several places in Munich where you can indulge, along with a meal, coffee, or dessert but this place was somewhere different. It was more like getting both German-Turkish cultures together. The place is big enough for a large crowd, well managed and decorated combined with different genre of world music spinned by the in house DJ Cüneyt.

Diamond Lounge

Diamond Lounge is an all-day dining experience. Grab a coffee and cake in the morning, a quick bite at lunch or socialize till late in the evenings. It also brings together the warmth of Turkish hospitality and cuisine with the atmosphere of a high on life bar. Enjoy the soothing flavored vapor from a shisha as you relax with friends or grab a meal of shared dishes inspired by the cuisine of the Middle East. The restaurant has comfortable seating for up to 300 plus people and serves mostly everything ranging between breakfasts to late night snacks.

Diamond Lounge Diamond Lounge

It is a delightful experience in every sense of the term, if you are looking for an unusual place to eat out alone or in a group. Advance reservation recommended as this place is mostly packed at the weekends.

For more information or reservations:
Mr. Barbaros Tasdelen
+49 176 32976416
https://www.facebook.com/diamondskitchen

Disclaimer: Smoking shisha regularly possesses multiple health hazards similar to a cigarette; smoker’s discretion advised.