Istanbul Favourites of Simone

Favourite Attraction:
Cihangir Mosque
Favourite District:
Moda (Kadikoy)
Favourite place to go:
Bosphorus neighbourhoods (Arnavutkoy, Kuzguncuk, Cengelkoy, Beylerbeyi)
Favoutite Museum:
Istanbul Modern or Santral Istanbul
Favourite Restaurant:
Anything with Turkish 'home cooked food' ('ev yemekleri')
Favourite Food:
Imam bayildi
Favourite Cafe / Bar:
Badehane (Asmali Mescit) & Arkaoda (Kadikoy)
Favourite Drink:
Beer when it's hot, red whine when it's cold

Wizard profile of Simone

Simone loves music, reading, taking photos, philosophizing about life, drinking beers with friends
Simone has been in most of Europe (including Turkey), Lebanon, Syria, Canada, Ethiopia
Mostly travels for inspiration
Simone travels with friends or alone
Favourite Music:
Everything from Carlos Gardel to Hayko Cepkin and Lhasa to dEUS
Favourite Movie:
Spirited Away
Favourite Book:
The Discovery of Heaven
Favourite TV Show:
Miranda (BBC)

Before you go and visit Istanbul, let me warn you! The city is highly addictive and after your first visit, you might never want to go back home again! More or less the same thing happened to me. In the past 6 years I have spent a lot of time here. Even when I managed to ‘escape’ and relocate to my home country (The Netherlands) I continued visiting the city over and over again. It simply kept on calling and seducing me, like the sirens in the Odyssey. I’m afraid I wasn’t as strong as Odysseus though. I gave in to Istanbul’s frantic yet alluring calls to live, watch and describe the city, so that is what I do now: living and describing Istanbul life. Both as a freelance writer/researcher and with my company Istanbul Insiders. You can see some examples of my written work, which mainly concerns urban development and urban culture on or join me for an alternative Istanbul walk/tour at Or follow me on Twitter (@simonepekelsma) for regular updates on things going on in Istanbul and Turkey…