istanbul things to do

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We all have that one thing which we always put off; that thing we know will be great once we start, but we don’t. For some, it’s to start painting and for others it’s to finally learn playing an instrument. Everyone has that one thing they want to do; they know they will do;wait for the perfect time, knowing it will be perfectly perfect they know it will be great once they do, but they never actually get around to do.

We love the idea of it, romanticise it, wait for the perfect time, knowing it will be perfectly perfect. We even feed off of the happiness we get from the simple idea of doing it. And it is perfectly understandable since thinking about it is much safer than actually attempting it. No chance to fail, no struggle to get better and definitely no stage of inevitable incompetency in the beginning.

But, the things we fear in the beginning are usually the things we are most happy to have done in the end. And there’s no quite feeling like starting from scratch and becoming actually good at something. Not necessarily great, but just good. The learning curve is usually a reward itself once you reach a certain point.

In order to get that reward, you need two things: courage to attempt and time to spend.

As a silver lining of the Covid-19 lockdowns and isolation, we have more time in our hands than we ever did before, and this can be the perfect opportunity to spend some of that time on yourself and that one thing you never found the right moment to start. You just need to muster enough courage, and your isolation days can turn into a period of self-growth and the beginning of a new hobby.

And if you’re not sure about what would be the best thing to start and improve yourself on, here are a couple of ideas to inspire you:


We all have a favourite instrument that we always wanted to play. This is a great chance to start working on your skills. Thanks to YouTube and online courses, you can start learning your favourite songs without an instructor. And if you have friends who are also interested, you can even lay the foundations of a band. This way, you can rehearse for the songs you will play together once the pandemic is over!


Isolation and time spent by yourself can become a great source of insight and inspiration, many of the famous artists are known to self-isolate in their creative process. If writing is your passion, this period can become a huge opportunity to dig out some real emotion and put them on paper with a poem or a short story.


Painting is one of the most relaxing hobbies known out there. Oil and acrylic provide a safe space with thick and dense materials that can cover any mistakes and allow you to start over anytime you want with a fresh coat of background. Watercolour, on the other hand, frees up your spirit with its flowing and liquid form, allowing you to improvise and create with a touch of serendipity.


Far from the stereotypical granny-hobby that it’s made out to be, knitting is actually a very fun and creative hobby. If you have a sense of fashion, you can learn the basics in no time and knit scarves, hats, gloves and even shirts. These would also make a wonderful gift for your loved ones once the pandemic is over.


Almost all of us are mesmerised by the phonetic beauty of at least one foreign language. Even though you don’t know the meaning of the words, the songs just flow better in that language and speeches are more to the heart. Well, it is a great time to learn a new language and it’s relatively easy thanks to the many linguistic apps that provide tutorials. Just imagine: the pandemic is over, you’re at your favourite pub with your friends, your favourite French song starts playing and you sing along!

You can write your own history

Covid-19 has unquestionably changed our lives, created hardships that we couldn’t imagine in a lifetime and caused suffering for countless people. These days will be written in the pages of history as a grim era. But don’t forget, they will pass. So why not create your own history, and instead of remembering these days as what they are, reminisce them as the beginning of that thing you always wanted to do. A good start, the beginning of the curve, that perfect moment.

#StayHome #StayPositive

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The isolation and lockdown period have been especially hard on us during summertime. If it was rainy and cold outside all the time, everyone would’ve been much more comfortable with being confined to their homes most of the day. But with the sun shining and the birds singing in the streets, staying indoors becomes a struggle.

As we all follow with intent eyes through social and traditional media outlets, the Covid-19 pandemic is coming to a slow regress. Lockdowns are being lifted in many countries and social gathering places such as malls, restaurants and pubs are starting to open up again. There are also talks on flights to-and-from international destinations becoming active once more, which may mean the summer might not be completely lost. If everything goes well, we can take that very much needed holiday we’ve all been craving for.

Finding the right place to go

Even if everything goes perfectly well, we still have to be very cautious for the sake of ourselves and the other members of our community while taking a holiday. Following the necessary social distancing rules is very important during this period.

As the hotels will mostly be functioning with half capacity to protect the visitors, it may not be as easy to find a place to stay. Not to mention the risk of coming in contact with Covid-19 since hotels are inevitably places where we have to cohabit with people.

Another and maybe safer option could be to rent a house or stay at a smaller, boutique hotel in a more secluded region to avoid overcrowded streets. This can also be a nice way to get away from all the craziness of the world with everything Covid-19 brought and spend some quality time with your loved ones.

We gathered a selection of recommended places where you can take a vacation without exposing yourself to crowds. Here are some alternative, secluded, less populated holiday spots near Istanbul to spend some of your summer days in peace:



Surrounded by dense, green forests and situated right next to the coast of Black Sea, Sile is a small town in northeast of Istanbul. The town is known for its boutique hotels, small coffee shops, fish restaurants, small beaches and coves. If you’re looking for a peaceful small town to spend your summer days, Sile can be a wonderful option. Sile has a population of around 30.000 people, but the seaside town is almost never crowded and provides a peaceful environment.


Polonezkoy is a peaceful heaven inside the crowded and sleepless city of Istanbul. Surrounded by the forests of Alemdag in the Beykoz region, Polonezkoy is a calm place with small hotels and bungalow houses. There are also many traditional breakfast places and barbecue restaurants in the vast green of the forest, where you can safely enjoy your time and meals in the fresh air. Polonezkoy is a very small place with less than 1.000 residents.


Located in northeast of Istanbul, Riva is a coastal town with less than 2.000 residents. The town is very small and serene. There are a few sightseeing places such as Castle Riva, as well as beaches, cafes and fish restaurants. You can find a neat little house for rent or stay at one of the boutique hotels and spend your holiday in peace and quiet.

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antalya jewelery

The Mediterranean Jewel: Antalya
The first thing that comes to mind when you think about Antalya may be the mesmerising beaches, the warm and embracing waters of the Mediterranean or the famous nightlife, but there’s actually a lot more to Antalya than what meets the eye. Antalya has a long history as one of the most important locations of the region throughout centuries. From ancient cities and relics to waterfalls and caves, from museums to zoos and ski resorts, Antalya is filled with adventure and fun.

If you’re planning to visit Antalya for holidays, here’s a list of places worth seeing that we’ve picked just for you.

Lycia trekking path

Lycia trekking path has a history of over 3000 years. The path has a wonderful view and you can see over 20 ancient cities throughout its route, including Olympus, Sidyma and Xanthos. The total length of the path is around 600 KM and some travellers go through it with bikes and set up tent at night. Depending on when you visit Antalya, you may want to be careful on your walks since the sun and the extreme heats during noon can exhaust you pretty quickly.

Completing the route of Lycia trekking path on foot takes around a month and requires pre-training. Thankfully there are also tours and short routes to specific parts of the path.

Duden waterfalls

Located in the regional nature park, Duden Waterfalls is one of the most majestic natural beauties in the area. The cold water of the falls comes from Taurus mountains and pours into the Mediterranean Sea from 40-meter-high cliffs. The park also has other great sights to see and points of interest to visit such as the Cave of Wishes.

It is said that Alexander the Great quenched the thirst of his horses in this waterfall, which is why in some sources the waterfalls are also known as Alexander Falls.

Ancient Theatre of Aspendos

Built in around 2nd century B.C. by the Roman Empire, Aspendos is known as one of the most well-preserved ancient theatres in the world. The theatre was originally designed as a tribute to the Emperor family of Aspendos city and its gods by the architect Zenon, son of Theodoros. The theatre is still being used as an open-air concert hall in contemporary times.

It is said that the acoustic design of the theatre was so well built that if a coin was to fall to the ground on the stage, viewers at the farthest part of the audience could hear it.

Antalya aquarium

As one of the largest aquariums in the world, Antalya Aquarium is built on a massive 1500 square metre space. The complex has over 40 theme aquariums and holds the title of world’s largest tunnel aquarium with 3-metre tunnel width and 131-metre tunnel length. The winter room inside the complex has many different activities for the visitors as well as igloos and a re-enactment of St. Nicholas’s home in Antalya. The temperature inside the winter room can go as low as -5 degrees while it’s over 40 degrees outside.

There are also many cafes, souvenir shops and a cinema inside the complex, providing a full day of fun activities for you and your family or friends.

Karain Cave

Karain is considered as one of the largest caves in Turkey. The cave’s been subjected to continuous excavations since 1946 and the many findings can be seen in Antalya Museum and Karain Museum. According to the findings and studies, it is believed that the cave has been in this form and state for at least 500.000 years.

There are also numerous findings that suggest human inhabitancy in these caves through very early ages.

Saklikent Ski Centre

If you’re planning to visit Antalya on off season or you will be there for a long time, you can enjoy skiing between the months of December and March. Located in a 1-hour distance from Antalya city, Saklikent is a ski centre with a height of 2550 meters. The centre has medium and easy paths for skiing and over 400 houses for rent as well as small inns and hotels.

If you visit Antalya around March, you can go skiing in the morning and take a warm dive in the sea by the evening.

Archaeological Museum of Antalya

Gathering all archaeological findings from the many historical sites in Antalya at one place, the museum is one of the greatest examples of its kind in Turkey. Exhibitions from Karain Cave, Ancient City of Perge and Lykian ruins are a few of the most important items in the museum. Antalya Museum is divided into halls in order to categorise the exhibited items in the order below:
– Natural History Hall
– Pre-history Hall
– Halls of Ceramics and Small Objects
– Mosaic Hall
– Heads and Portraits Hall
– Emperors and Gods Halls
– Perge Theatre Hall
– Sarcophagus Hall
– Icons Hall
– Hall of Coins
– Ethnographic and Turkish – Islamic Period Works Hall

As seen from the quite long list of halls, the content of the museum is extremely rich and speaks to audiences with many different interests in historical eras and items. The Archaeological Museum of Antalya can be a once in a lifetime experience for you and your friends or family if you’re visiting the city.

The museum was awarded with Museum of the Year title by the Council of Europe in 1988.

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