Istanbul is a truly incredible city, one that seemingly hides its beauty behind two faces. On one side, the city is surprisingly lively and modern, but simultaneously the city’s ancient history and old traditions are clearly visible in the everyday life of the city and it’s inhabitants. This combination of modern and historic is what makes Istanbul the unique experience it is.
A day in Istanbul can be a vivid and diverse adventure. Shopping and a spot of lunch in the lively Beyoglu district, browsing the art galleries and stopping by trendy cafés in Karaköy, visiting the mosques and bazaars on the historic side, and ending the day partying at a sleek modern nightclub or experiencing a traditional ceremony with whirling dervishes in Galatasaray.
The whirling dervish are part of a traditional muslim ceremony in which these men basically just twirl around for an hour and a half. The whole thing is based on the belief that dancing takes men closer to their god. I know I’ve often felt closest to divinity while dancing, so it must be true.
Witnessing this ceremony can be disorienting, as the endless twirling and whirling of the dancers really takes you into a trance. The astonishingly beautiful Galata Mevlevihanesi offers a jaw-dropping background for the dancers, making this a very unique (and uniquely Istanbul) experience.