It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere I go in Istanbul!
Now, I know it’s not actually Christmas. Turks do not celebrate Christmas. All the Christmas-y decorations are to celebrate the New Year.
But in my opinion, if it looks like Christmas and acts like Christmas, it’s definitely Christmas!
|This is what Abdi İpekçi Caddesi in Nişantaşı looks like right now.|
This year will be our first time EVER to celebrate Christmas in Turkey away from our friends and family members back home. We visited the U.S. in October and celebrated an early holiday with them. It seems like plenty of our friends also will be here in Istanbul so I think it’s still going to be a festive time.
I often walk from Beşiktaş up through Nişantaşı to get to the metro stop at Osmanbey. I started noticing all the Christmas decorations about two weeks ago. This week, I took a longer stroll through Nişantaşı and took photos of all the decorated storefront windows. You'll also find plenty of stores that are selling (often) overpriced, imported Christmas decorations.
|Mudo Concept is by far the best location where you can buy Christmas decorations and trees. But again, these items come with a price tag. For example, a 5-foot tree was 275 tl!|
Walking through Nişantaşı, you would never even know you are in Turkey! This wealthier neighborhood features all the fancy-pants stores of Cartier, Tiffany, Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, etc. I swear you’d almost think you were on 5th Avenue in my beloved NYC!
Nişantaşı is by far not your typical Turkish neighborhood. There are a couple places I like to frequent such as Kantin, a lokanta known for its incredible, seasonal food; Mama’s and Cento per Cento for decent Italian-style pizza; Şütte for its Italian domuz and imported cheeses and Bahar Pastanesi for its divine pastries.
But right now, Nişantaşı is a lovely place to stroll through and enjoy the Christmas lights, trees and decorations.
It makes an expat like myself feel right at home in Istanbul.
|All Happy Days is a cute store to wander through. I like to look but not buy!|
|Beymen is a fancy Turkish department-like store.|
|Damas - a jewelry store.|
|Another Christmas-y store window located on Şakayık Sokak.|
|At Lovells, located on Güzelbahçe Sokak, you can buy holiday chocolates.|
|This chocolate store is located directly across the street from Lovells.|
|Many of the Christmas items, like this one at Nezih Bookstore, are in English. This store actually has some cheap Christmas ornaments.|
|I thought this photo was funny with all the Efes beer kegs located outside the fancy restaurants and stores in Nişantaşı.|
|Red and green champagne glasses at Pasabahce. This is like a Crate & Barrell store. I love it!|
|Vakko's decorated storefront window.|