Let’s talk about my last trip to Istanbul, over a year ago. As you may know, this incredible city was once the capital of the mighty Ottoman Empire, but it was also called Constantinople before its fall in 1453 by Sultan Mehmet.
Istanbul is a magical city where all cultures, religions and flavors merge into one, where you can feel the edge of Europe and the beginning of Asia. There is a kind of tension in both cultures that, in a way, they get along until today.
This amazing city, which never sleeps, is also known for having cats all over its streets. Cats that are cared for, protected and revered by the local population as if they were sacred animals. Even the municipalities get involved during the winter in the provision of wooden houses – shelter that are exhibited in many streets and corners of the city.
In these wooden shelters cats can protect themselves from snow and rain.
I can definitely say that cats are the owners of Istanbul.
After reading this, one might assume that Istanbul is a very pet-friendly city, allowing pets without problems everywhere, but I am afraid it is the opposite. Dogs are not allowed in many places, as well as in public transport, restaurants, hotels, etc. Therefore, you should spend a lot of time finding those few places where you can take your dog without getting into trouble. It is worth mentioning that people, in general, are very friendly to dogs, but it also depends on the area or neighborhood you plan to go to.
Despite these circumstances, we flew to this amazing city in August 2019. We booked a flight with Turkish Airlines, which accepts pets on board.
It is only necessary to book in advance to verify the availability of pets on the plane, as all airlines have a policy regarding the number of pets that can travel. Remember to have your pet’s passport with all requested vaccines, especially rabies vaccines, along with an export certificate issued by local authorities, especially when traveling from the EU to a NON-EU country.
As soon as we landed at Istanbul International Airport, everything was super great, the renowned Turkish hospitality also extends to pets, in this case to dogs.
Once in Istanbul, we took a walk around the city, only in all these places where it was easier to do it, taking into account the traffic, dog policies, etc.
There are two parks that I would like to mention in Istanbul, the first is Maçka Park in Nişantaşı. A very beautiful green area, in the center of the city, where you can run and relax. The other big park is Yıldız Park, which is very close to the Bosphorus Strait. In all these places, dogs must be on a leash.
As it usually happens to humans, sometimes our furry get sick when they are traveling, there is an incredible veterinary clinic called Anipoli in Cihangir (Beyoğlu) is very central.
All the vets speak English and they were very attentive to us. Therefore, if you have an emergency while visiting or living in Istanbul, I can recommend this Clinic, which is open 24 hours a day.
The Cihangir area is worth mentioning, it is extremely dog friendly in Istanbul, I think it is one of the few places where you can easily see dogs relaxing together with their fathers and mothers while having coffee or just eating. I would also like to mention my favorite Cafe called Journey. All these sites can be found in the App, you already know that it is free.
I’d say the most dog-friendly restaurant in all of Istanbul so far. We used to go there almost every day, they have amazing coffee, healthy brunch, and organic food. In addition, the public is quite international, so you can also take your computer and work there too.
Istanbul is an amazing city to visit, although it may seem a bit difficult to get there with your furry friend, but it will be worth it.