Having just finished up a nearly sleepless week leading Orientation for the incoming J-term Class of 2013, I am incredibly thankful for a surprise upgrade to Business Elite Class (thanks Viral!) and the joy of a horizontal night’s sleep. Rested, with a little over an hour left in our flight, the sunrise gleaming through the airplane windows, and the smell of breakfast permeating the aircraft cabin, I start to feel the excitement of our upcoming Turkish adventure.

In class, we were told of Turkey’s recent economic growth and rising investment opportunities, so I am course looking forward to the opportunity to visit some of the nation’s most prominent companies included Turkven, a leading PE firm, BCG, which recently opened offices in Istanbul in January 2010, Dogan Gazetecilik AS, a giant publishing firm, Pegasus Airlines, and Özdilek, a towel producer.

However, I am also incredibly excited to check out the amazing restaurants, nightclubs and attractions that Turkey has to offer. Based on recommendations from my good friend and Turkish native Dewey (CBS ’11), the following is my trip bucket list:

  • Walk around Taksim/Beyoglu, which is full of bars, cafes, rooftops, restaurants, stores, and bazaars and could be equivalent to New York’s East Village / Lower East Side.
  • Enjoy sightseeing in Sultanahmet/Eminonu, the location of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Cisterns, Suleymaniye Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Grand Bazaar.
  • Check out the cute, independent cafes, shops and restaurants in Cihangir.
  • Visit the seafood restaurants in Anadolu Kavagi (on the Asian side of Istanbul) and explore the 2000-year old castle on the hill.
  • Do a boat tour on the Bosporus
  • Day trip to Prince Island, a 1.5 hour ferry from Kadikoy (a neighborhood on the Asian side) and ride bikes around the island.
  • Walk from Taksim through Istiklal Street towards Karakoy.
  • Check out Turkey’s great nightclubs / restaurants including Reina (one of the best clubs in Europe), 360 (rooftop club in Beyoglu), Angelique, Babylon, Kurucesme Su Ada (man-made island on the Bosporus), and 5.Kat
  • Eat Simit (kinda like pretzel), different variations and types of Borek (savory pastry), and Manti (kind of like lamb dumplings, and try Turkish Tea and Turkish coffee

More updates to come soon!

Liz Harrison

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