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Exploring Istanbul – Mosques, Monuments and Menus

Inside Istanbul is a wonderful guide for travellers to the ancient city. By travelling all over the city with a knowledgeable local host this series of short episodes offers practical, cultural and historical information for visitors to this stunning metropolis, its beautiful architecture and Islamic heritage making it a perfect destination for halal tourism.

Isra Morley

Halal tourism is a subcategory within the tourism industry that has flourished in popularity in recent years. Travelling to places with Islamic history, ease of access to prayer spaces and even staying at hotels that do not serve alcohol or pork all fall under this amorphous category. Numerous guides have been published and companies launched in the past decade to help accommodate the rising demand and guide Muslim travellers to their next destination to immerse themselves in Islamic culture. It is therefore unsurprising that Turkey is top of the list for most Muslim travellers and Inside Istanbul offers a perfect guide to its wondrous capital city.

Mosque in Istanbul

With its rich and varied cultural history, delicious food and links to some of the greatest figures in Islamic history, Istanbul understandably appeals to many Muslim holiday-makers. Turkey and Istanbul in particular are the perfect location for halal tourism, home to some of the most beautiful mosques in the world and some of the most precious artefacts in the Islamic world, for example the selection of the Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ personal belongings that are housed at the Süleymaniye Mosque. For this reason a travel guide tailored for Muslim travellers for the city is no less than essential.

Mosque dome in Istanbul in travel show guiding visitors around the city

This series operates as a visual guidebook but delves even more in depth, even listing various forms of public transport that can be used to reach these tourism gems easily as well as up to date information about visiting historical sites. Each of these episodes outlines a day’s worth of tourism activities, including the must-see sites, viewing points and incredible places to eat even naming specialities specific to each restaurant in order to give travellers a complete and rich cultural experience.

Restaurant food in Istanbul

This series is wonderfully presented by Edith Berenice Romo Ortiz, a young woman who had supreme knowledge about the city and the places that would most appeal to Muslim tourists. The benefits of following a local guide are unmatched. However I would recommend viewing this series with subtitles to make sure none of her fantastic recommendation are missed. From pre-planned bus routes (including stop names and service numbers) to her particular recommendations for traditional Turkish food all over Istanbul Ortiz is a perfect guide for the city. The first-person camera perspective makes it seem as if we are traveling with her and helps us envision ourselves in the city before we even arrive.

Gondolas in Istanbul - travel recommendations for seeing the city

‘Inside Istanbul’ is a fitting celebration of the city that allows it to become more accessible to any would-be holiday-makers or travel enthusiasts. Prospective tourists will be able to plan for their trip by viewing the city with a seemingly personal guide to help navigate. The perspective of the camera also allows future travellers to partially explore the streets for themselves from the comfort of their home, making it a worth-while watch even for viewers not planning an imminent trip.

Stunning stained glass and calligraphy in mosque in Istanbul in travel documentary guiding visitors around the city


Discover Turkey further with Alchemiya’s Treasures of Turkey collection, or take a lyrical walk through the streets of Istanbul in the footsteps of a young apprentice, hoping to master and carry on the dwindling spiritual musical heritage of meshk, in the meditative documentary Breath of the Beloved.

Isra Morley is an English Literature and Latin graduate from the University of Glasgow. Raised in Cardiff by an Indian mother and a Greek and Welsh convert father, Islam and the pursuit of its understanding have always been central to her life and writing. Having written articles for various Islamic publications, and taken part in assorted creative writing courses, she is currently an intern with the Alchemiya Journal.
'Circling the House of God' is an amazing documentary interviewing renowned writer and scholar Dr. Martin Lings (1909-2005) about his pilgrimages to Mecca in 1948 and 1976, interspersed with incredible archive material of the Hajj from the early twentieth century.
'Circling the House of God' is an amazing documentary interviewing renowned writer and scholar Dr. Martin Lings (1909-2005) about his pilgrimages to Mecca in 1948 and 1976, interspersed with incredible archive material of the Hajj from the early twentieth century.

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