Hot right now: Istanbul

22:00, Jul 31 2013

Istanbul, Turkey, is where the old world and the new world collide.

With half the population under 26, Turkey is a country of continuous change.

Istanbul is a city passionate about its art, its food, its history – but most of all, its people. You’ll never feel so comfortable being so out of place.  Whether you travel for food, sightseeing or relaxation ... it’s all here.

So how did we end up in Istanbul? Like most Kiwis, we needed a way to sustain  our ambitious goal of a life full of travel, so we combined Ben’s  production company, Stem Creative, and Kat’s communications expertise into Katherine & Benjamin, and we create videos for hotels and their partners around the world.

After we’d filmed luxury hotels on the shores of the Bosphorus, we went out exploring the city, trying to capture its  essence.

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Don’t ask for yoghurt in your kebab, they’ll think you’re really weird. Also you wont find what  you think is a kebab in Istanbul, it simply doesn’t exist.

Even if you don’t like eggplant, you  must try eggplant mezzes.

Hang out in Beyoglu; it’s where all the emerging artists and designers are. Also, check out the  Antique district.

Talk to the locals, they will help you with anything you need; they are amazing. Most people  speak English, but a few good words are: Tesekkurler (thanks), Merhaba (hello), Serefe (cheers).

Watch out for the taxi drivers, they will do their best to rip you off. Always give them the  directions or they will take you for a ride. Also, make sure they start the meter at TL3.95. One  of our drivers took us through the middle of the Taksim protests, just to make more money.  Ironically, he crashed soon after and we got into a new cab, escaping the rip-off fare. Wander the streets aimlessly and you’ll find great things.