The Long Lens blog: Photography with added snaps, art and culture

The photography site for sore eyes. Featuring: Art, photography, performance and theatre. With extra writing because I'm also a writer.

Istanbul. Pretty decent city actually

Istanbul. Massive city. Massive. Thriving, exhilarating, welcoming.

What it is not, is dusty, dirty, dangerous and daunting.

So pack away your pre-conceptions and send them to Cairo while you head for the delights of the city that straddles two continents.*

Having just spent a few days in Turkey’s biggest city of Istanbul, courtesy of Swissotel, I had my own preconceptions blown away.

I expected a sprawling city of busy streets clogged up with sand where tourists are treated like victims, to be parted with their cash by fair means or foul.

In reality, there were clogged-up roads. There is so much traffic in this city it seemed like the entire 12.5million population were trying to get to the same restaurant as me.

But the negative points stop there. Tourists are treated with respect. No areas are no-go to tourists and the history, culture, shopping and leisure trades were fantastic. That’s not to mention the tremendous food.

From the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia to a Bosphorus boat trip and the Istanbul Modern, this place is fantastic destination.

It’s like experiencing the grand scale Cairo without fear for your safety and without pestering from locals.

And here are the pictures:


The Love Town podcast from Istanbul coming soon at A full slideshow will appear at shortly which will feature images from the 2011 Istanbul Biennial. 

Swissotel The Bosphorus can be seen here.

*Those two continents in full: Europe and Asia.



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