There’s this neighborhood you’re not supposed to go to in Istanbul. It’s poor, full of drug dealers and bums. They say that if you don’t want your valuables stolen, and you shouldn’t walk alone at night if you’re a woman. This neighborhood is called Tarlabasi.

But there’s one really GREAT reason to go to Tarlabasi: The Sunday Market. Tarlabasi’s Sunday market is epic. The whole winding main avenue is full of the cheapest produce in the city, including fruits and vegetables not often seen in Istanbul’s supermarkets. There’s also stalls and stalls of cheap clothes, scarves, toys, kitchen utensils… all of it for sale at whatever price you are able to haggle for.

This was our very first destination that we headed to less than a couple of hours after we landed in Istanbul. And we were not disappointed. The people we met there were warm, welcoming and friendly. We could not have received a warmer welcome in any another part of Istanbul than what we received in this supposedly dangerous part of this great city. Here are some images that we captured the afternoon that we arrived there,