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Daily Secret offers insider intel for Istanbul, Athens, Shanghai and more

Daily Secret offers insider intel for Istanbul, Athens, Shanghai and more Last month, I went to a designer-clothing pop-up sale in the back of a restaurant, scored an invite to an exclusive party with Champagne and gourmet truffles, and got the manager's private phone number of a hot new nightlife spot. I'm not famous or especially well-connected,...

Photo of the Day: Smoked Turkish cheese

Photo of the Day: Smoked Turkish cheese It used to be a common expression to say that someone "smoked like a Turk," and I can confirm after living in Istanbul for nearly two years, Turks still love their smoking. Even after the indoor smoking ban of 2009, cigarettes and nargile (water pipes) are very common...

Luxury Vacation Guide 2012: Istanbul

Luxury Vacation Guide 2012: Istanbul Travel like a modern sultan with design-conscious hotels, bespoke shopping, and high-end dining at the crossroads of two continents: Istanbul, Turkey. In 2010, Istanbul made headlines in every travel magazine and newspaper as it was home to one of the European...

Ten big travel adventures for 2012

Ten big travel adventures for 2012 A new year always brings new possibilities, particularly in the realm of travel. With 2012 now officially underway, it is time to start plotting our adventures for the year ahead. This year, rather than share yet another top ten list of adventure travel destinations, we...

Send a holiday greeting from above the clouds

Send a holiday greeting from above the clouds Procrastinated on sending Christmas cards this year? It's not too late to send a holiday greeting to say "Happy New Year" (or Mutlu Yillar in Turkish) with a travel theme. Turkish Airlines has a fun website for generating a virtual holiday greeting with a view of the...

New Georgia border crossing provides a whimsical welcome

New Georgia border crossing provides a whimsical welcome Customs checkpoints tend to be dreary, depressing places. A rare exception is the new Georgia border crossing with Turkey, located right at the crossroads between Eastern Europe and Western Asia. There, German architect Jürgen Mayer H. recently unveiled a modern,...

Mutlu Yillar (Happy Holidays) from Turkey

Mutlu Yillar (Happy Holidays) from Turkey Christmas Day has arrived, and here in Istanbul, it's just another Sunday but you could be fooled by all the festive decorations. Much of the city is festooned with colorful lights and ornamented trees, but with a Turkish twist. Most of the population is Muslim, while...

Boutique hotel in Turkey allows guests to sleep in caves and meander through underground tunnels

Boutique hotel in Turkey allows guests to sleep in caves and meander through underground tunnels Located in the center of Cappadocia, Turkey, on the site of an ancient monastery, there is the Argos in Cappadocia, a historical and experiential boutique hotel. The remains of the historical structures, tunnels, and caves have been restored and turned it into a unique...

Knocked up abroad: international travel with a baby

Knocked up abroad: international travel with a baby This is the third in Knocked Up Abroad's guide to traveling with a baby. Before you go, see tips on planning travel and flying with a baby. So you've decided to travel abroad with your new family addition, well done! You've chosen the best baby-friendly destination,...

Knocked up abroad: flying with a baby

Knocked up abroad: flying with a baby This is the second in the Knocked Up Abroad series on travel with a baby. Read more here about planning a trip with baby, from choosing a baby-friendly destination to booking an apartment rental. Before traveling with my baby for the first time, I was very nervous and...

Frommer's reveals top destinations for 2012

Frommer's reveals top destinations for 2012 What destination are you dreaming of for 2012? The staff at Frommer's have just unveiled their list of top travel destinations for the coming year. Included in the list is a little something for everyone: large metropolises, secluded beach towns, colorful riverside...

Knocked up abroad: planning travel with a baby

Knocked up abroad: planning travel with a baby Let's get this out of the way: you can travel with a baby. Many new parents feel that once they have a child, their travel days are over, but many parents will tell you that the first six months are the easiest time to travel with a baby. Is it easy? Not exactly, but with...

Knocked up abroad: applying for a baby's passport

Knocked up abroad: applying for a baby's passport As my new baby girl was born in a foreign country, getting a passport was a necessity for her to even return home to America. Though Vera was born in Turkey, she's an American citizen by virtue of her parents' citizenship and entitled to a US passport. For Americans born...

Tourism push threatens Turkey's ancient sites

Tourism push threatens Turkey's ancient sites The age-old battle pitting historical preservation against tourism infrastructure development is coming to a fever pitch in Turkey. In an effort to increase tourism, which is set to earn Turkey $21 billion in 2011, the Turkish government recently transferred some...

Göbekli Tepe: the ancient temple that changed our view of the beginning of civilization

Göbekli Tepe: the ancient temple that changed our view of the beginning of civilization On a dusty hilltop in southwestern Turkey is an ancient temple that shouldn't exist. In 9,000 BC, people set up a series of round buildings decorated with giant "T"-shaped pillars carved with pictures of animals and humans. The buildings are 10-30 meters in diameter...

Serial public art around the world

Serial public art around the world Public art exhibitions featuring a common sculpture that is multiplied and then embellished by various artists have been popping up in cities worldwide since 1998. Artistic director Walter Knapp first came up with the idea and convinced artists to dot Zurich, Switzerland...

Expat fusion cuisine: combining foreign foods with favorites from home

Expat fusion cuisine: combining foreign foods with favorites from home Part of the fun of traveling is trying new and exotic foods. Many travelers try to eat only locally and eschew the familiar, though eating at American chain restaurants abroad can be its own experience. But when you make a foreign country your home, you have to adapt your...

Photo of the day - morning coffee in Thailand

Photo of the day - morning coffee in Thailand How do you take your coffee? Flickr user LadyExpat posted this lovely setup from Chiang Mai, Thailand. Coffee is a thing beloved around the world and served differently everywhere. Turkey may be famous for its dense and tiny cups of coffee, but tulip-shaped glasses of tea...

Interesting indoor spaces around the world

Interesting indoor spaces around the world I love the outdoors, to the extent that I tend to bypass or overlook exceptional indoor spaces when I'm traveling or recounting a great trip. Fortunately, Lonely Planet author/former Gadling contributor Leif Pettersen's recent list on LP's website has reminded me that---as...

Bathing with strangers: what to expect at a Turkish hammam

Bathing with strangers: what to expect at a Turkish hammam In Turkey, one of the quickest ways to break the ice is to get naked in a room full of strangers. I'm talking, of course, about visiting the hammam. The hammam, or Turkish bath, has been around since the ancient Romans ruled much of Anatolia, and flourished during the...

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