I'll never forget seeing photos as a kid of these crazy cave houses in Turkey. I thought there could not be a more distant, exotic place, and I never imagined I could one day visit them, much less stay the night in one! The landscape of Goreme is made of a very soft rock which has been artfully formed by centuries of…

When planning our 2013 trip to Turkey we knew that Ephesus was a must-visit destination. The question was, where we were going to access Ephesus from. You have a few options: day trip from Izmir, stay in nearby Selçuk, or base out of Aegean resort town Kuşadası, which to us seemed the best choice, as we were able to work…

If you're looking to travel to Ephesus, your best bet is to either day trip from Izmir, or spend some time at seaside resort town Kuşadası. If you opt for the latter, the Hotel Carina is a nice, affordable option to inject some resort-like amenities into your Turkey adventure. Hotel Carina | From $60 Location: Most of the action in Kuşadası revolves…

For me, the name of Ephesus conjures visions of New Testament apostles writing their letters. When we visited in 2013, I was indeed overcome with awe to be walking the same streets they walked. Ephesus holds great importance in the history of Christianity as both the apostles Paul and John, and Mary mother of Jesus, spent time living and working…

Coming back from Egypt we spent a couple of nights in Istanbul to do some shopping before flying home. I wanted to take advantage of this quick return to get some time-lapse video of the Hagia Sophia, and the terrace of Ares Hotel has a wonderful view of the ancient cathedral. After researching extensively, I found Ares to have the best…

Divalis Hotel is a small boutique property in the heart of the Sultanahmet district. Its combination of excellent location, great value, and friendly service led us to stay here not only on our first visit to Istanbul but our second one as well. Divalis Hotel | From $90/night. Location: Divalis is located adjacent to the Old City Wall which runs next…

From centuries-old bazaars to glitzy strip malls, shopping in Istanbul runs the gamut. Whether you're looking to take back hand-made local crafts as souvenirs, or need some serious retail therapy, you're bound to find plenty of places to lose yourself shopping in Istanbul. Bazaars Whether or not you actually plan on shopping at any of the bazaars in Istanbul, you…

If you're visiting Istanbul for a few days, you may want to invest in a museum pass. This pass is 85TL (about $30) and grants entry to the following museums and attractions for 120 hours from your first visit: Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapı Palace Museum, Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Mosaic Museum, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, Museum for the History of Science and Technology in Islam, Chora Museum, Galata Mevlevi…

Istanbul has always been considered the point where East meets West, both culturally and geographically. It spans both sides of the Bosphorus Strait which separates Europe from Asia, making it the most iconic transcontinental city in the world. It was once the seat of the Holy Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire, making places like the Hagia Sophia a historical gem…

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