CONNECT TO ALI FOR SIGHTSEEING, CULTURE, HISTORY, NATURE, ENTERTAINMENT, SHOPPING, CITY TOURS, GASTRONOMY, AND THE BEST TIPS ABOUT THE AREA.
Following Ali Ermete’s insider recommendations, you can fully experience the thrilling one-of-a-kind ambiance that can only be found in Turkey’s breathtaking Istanbul. Having worked in the hospitality industry for the past 20 years, our on-the-ground local expert for Istanbul brings professional insight into what makes this city a unique destination for visitors from all over the world.

Read on to discover more about Ali and what awaits you in his destination.

How would you define yourself professionally?

I have been working in hospitality for almost 20 years. I’ve worked for international and local chains, boutique hotels and convention centres, specializing in luxury marketing, experience design and business development.

What do you love doing in your spare time in Istanbul?

I love traveling, especially exploring new destinations and cuisine. Being the meeting point of civilizations, Istanbul is an ideal base for discovering the historical footprints of European and Anatolian cultures. Other pastimes include walking alongside the Bosphorus and trying amazing food. Istanbul hosts many festivals and concerts.

What makes Istanbul such an incredible destination for visitors?

It is such a unique and dazzling cosmopolitan city, so alive. You can enjoy an extraordinary mix of different cultures, and experience the mesmerizing combination of east and west, modern and traditional, local and global, old and new. When it comes to cuisine, you can dine in the most luxurious restaurants or sample the most delicious street food. The people are super friendly, too.

What activities do you recommend?
  • Taking a boat cruise along the Bosphorus waterway, the natural strait connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. The Prince Islands tour is highly recommended.
  • Exploring the streets of the bustling Beyoglu neighbourhood where you can try amazing street food and fine restaurants.
  • Spending time at the Grand Bazaar and in the Old City.
  • Eating at a fish restaurant along the Bosporus.
  • Enjoying rooftop restaurants with 360-degree city views.
  • Visiting some of the many mosques, orthodox churches or the old Jewish quarter.
What is the shopping like in Istanbul?

A shopper’s heaven. Be ready to haggle. Carpets, rugs, silver, artwork, local fashion designers, spices, you’ll find it all!