Let’s talk about my last trip to Istanbul, more than one year ago. As you may know this amazing city was once the capital of the powerful Ottoman Empire, but also it was called Constantinople before its fall in 1453 by Sultan Mehmet. 

Istanbul is a magic city where all cultures, religions and flavours merge in one, nonetheless you can feel the edge of Europe and the beginning of Asia. There is a sort of tension in both cultures which, somehow, get along together until today.

This amazing city, which never sleeps, it is also known by having cats all over its streets. Cats which are cared,  protected and venerated by the local people as if they were sacred animals. Even Municipalities get involved during winter in providing wooden house – shelter displayed in many streets and corners around the city. In these wooden shelters cats can protect themselves from de snow and rain. 

I can definitely say, cats are the owners of Istanbul.

After reading this above you would asume that Istanbul is super pet friendly city itself, which I am afraid to say that it is just the opposite. Dogs are not allowed in many places, as well as, public transportation, restaurants, hotels, etc. So you need to struggle to find few places where you may take your doggo along without getting in any trouble. Worth to mention, that people, in general, are very friendly with dogs, but it would also depend on the area or neighbourhood you are planning to go.

Despite of these circumstances, my dad and I flew to this amazing city last year on august 2019. We booked a flight with Turkish Airlines, which accepts pets onboard. You only need to book in advance to check the availability for pets in the plane, since all airlines have a policy regarding the number of pets which are allowed to travel. Keep in mind to have you pet passport with all vaccinations requested, especially rabies vaccines, along with an export certificate issued by the local authorities, especially when you travel from the EU to a NON EU country.

As soon as we landed at Istanbul International Airport, everything was super smooth, the well known Turkish hospitality is also extensible to pets, in this case dogs. 

Once in Istanbul, we strolled around the city, just in all these places where it was easier to do so, bering in mind traffic, dog friendly policies, etc.  

There are two parks that I would like to mention in Istanbul, the first one is Maçka Park in Nişantaşı. Really nice  green area, in the middle of the city, where you can run and get relaxed, if the weather permits, the other great park is Yıldız Park, which is very close to Bosphorus strait. In all these places dogs must be on lead.

Since I like to sniff around a lot, I came ill, because of something I should not eat… so my dad had to tame to the Vet on emergency.  We found this amazing Vet Clinic called Anipoli in Cihangir (Beyoğlu) which is very central. All vets speak English and they were very caring with us. So if you have an emergency while visiting or living in Istanbul, please go to this Clinic is open 24h.

Worth mentioning Cihangir area,  is extremely dog friendly in Istanbul, I think it’s one of the few places where you can easily see relaxed dogs along with their parents while having coffee or just eating. Also I would like to mention, my Dad’s favourite Café called Journey. I would say the most dog friendly restaurant in whole Istanbul so far. We used to go there almost everyday, they have amazing coffee, healthy brunches and organic food. Also the crowd is quite international, so you may take your computer and work there too.

Istanbul is an amazing city to visit, even though it could look a bit of hassle to get there with your furry friend, it will worth it. 

Gus the travel beagle.