I’m really excited to interview Andrea Lemieux of The Quirky Cork about Istanbul, Turkey. Andrea’s tips for the best things to do in Istanbul are awesome because she came to Turkey for a job, then fell in love with their wine and transitioned into writing about Turkish wine full-time. Andrea loves the rich tapestry of native grapes in the country and has earned formal wine certifications along the way.
We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out the Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau, the local visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.
If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.
Getting around Istanbul
Andrea says there are two airports you can choose from when visiting Istanbul. If you are staying on the European side of the city then fly into Istanbul International Airport (IST). Or, if you plan to stay on the Asian side of the city you can fly into Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW). Both airports are about a 50-minute drive from Istanbul. Use our Expedia tool below to find flight, hotel, and rental car options.
Andrea says that most should not rent a car. Driving is not for the timid, and it can be challenging to find parking on the street. If you want to explore outside of Istanbul, she recommends getting a car from the old Ataturk airport since they’re usually open 24/7 and you’re already outside the city. Click here for the best rental car offers, visit Avis, Budget, or Hertz.
When you only need a car for a couple of hours, you can rent by the hour with Zipcar. Join now to get $25 loaded into your account.
Places we talked about on the Istanbul, Turkey podcast
Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Andrea Lemieux about Istanbul, Turkey. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.
- Red dots = best places to eat in Istanbul, Turkey
- Green dots = best things to do in Istanbul, Turkey
- Yellow dots = best places to stay in Istanbul, Turkey
Who is Andrea Lemieux?
A casual wine drinker for years, Andrea’s “come to wine” moment happened, paradoxically, in Turkey. Her journey began when she discovered that Turkey did make wine, that it could make very good wine, and that it had a rich tapestry of native grapes. Since this revelation, Andrea has devoted herself to learning about and proselytizing Turkish wine, while giving some love to other underappreciated wine countries and garnering a few formal wine certifications along the way.
She founded The Quirky Cork, a website devoted in large part to Turkish wines and also contributes to online publications such as The Vintner Project and Turquazz. In addition to writing about wine, Andrea gives regular wine tastings in Istanbul and offers services to help locals and visitors alike discover the delights of Turkish wine country!
Here are a few articles that she’s written about Turkey and its wines:
Big thanks to today’s podcast partner – AwardWallet
This episode is brought to you, in part, by AwardWallet. Using airline miles and hotel points makes travel affordable, but keeping track of all of those loyalty programs can be a challenge. That’s why I use AwardWallet to track my miles and points balances, reservations, and special goodies like free hotel night certifications and airline companion passes.
Having everything in one easy-to-use dashboard helps ensure I don’t let any rewards expire and makes logging into my accounts super easy. Go to WeTravelThere.com/awardwallet to start your free account.
Stay tuned for our next episode
Listen to the next episode when Alex Veka of Vibe Adventures shares the best things to do in Mexico City, Mexico. In this episode, Alex and I talk about visiting the Frida Kahlo Museum, eating fried insects at Mercado San Juan, and exploring the Chapultepec Castle. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.
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Related episodes for Istanbul
To learn more about areas surrounding Istanbul, check out our episodes below: