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Lifestyle in Istanbul

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Istanbul offers expats a wonderful lifestyle that is exotic yet familiar and full of comforts, surprises and delights. The Turkish metropolis is a culturally fascinating city for expats to relocate to, featuring diverse and unique leisure and lifestyle options for just about anyone. Expats can indulge in Ottoman restaurants, an abundance of bazaars and shopping opportunities, as well as a vibrant nightlife, world-class sporting facilities and Istanbul's famed Turkish baths.

Shopping in Istanbul

New arrivals will find a shopping landscape characterised by a hodgepodge of modern, antique, unique and kitsch buys.

The Grand Bazaar is an excellent starting point, and other famous shopping markets include the Egyptian Market, also known as the Spice Bazaar and the Beyazıt Square flea market, which can be treasure troves when it comes to bargains. Otherwise, Nuruosmaniye Caddesi is known for its exquisite jewellery, while its adjacent side streets are home to many art boutiques and independent stores.

Nightlife in Istanbul

There are many bars and nightclubs in Istanbul. The more distinctive spots are the open-air clubs near the Bosphorus which are only open in the summer. With everything from belly dancers to cutting-edge techno beats, those who enjoy a good party will be thrilled to discover Istanbul’s dynamic nightlife as trendy clubs, bars and cocktail lounges abound.

Culture and concerts in Istanbul

Expats can indulge in a wide variety of cultural activities in Istanbul. The city offers a comprehensive programme of concerts, ballet and opera. There are also concerts held at the time-worn Hagia Irene, which is a Byzantine church that has been reopened for cultural events.

Rock bands occasionally visit Istanbul and there are regular jazz performances at clubs. There is, of course, no lack of Turkish culture, including Turkish popular music and whirling dervish shows.

Cinemas in Istanbul

Istanbul has a number of cinemas, which are found mostly in the malls. The latest English films are shown with only a slight delay from their original release dates. All films are shown in their original language with Turkish subtitles.

Sports and leisure in Istanbul

The city presents many options for leisure and sporting activities. Football is enormously popular in Turkey and Istanbul hosts Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray, fierce rivals and the country's most celebrated football clubs.

In terms of exercise, there are many swimming pools and tennis courts around the city and gyms are widely available. There are also a number of golf and country clubs for expats to join.

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