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Patronizing a hookah lounge in Istanbul

I just purchased the 2014 version of the RS guidebook to Istanbul and read about an activity that the author recommends: patronizing a hookah lounge. My questions are:

  1. I have probably smoked about a half dozen cigars and no cigarettes in my life. Will a one or two time exposure to a hookah/water pipe be hazardous to me? My lungs are in good shape (so I believe).

  2. I will be traveling on my own. Are there hookah lounges in Istanbul that welcome single patrons? As I recall from the book a hookah session costs about 15 Turkish lira ($8) for a group so how much will I pay? The only hookah lounge that I looked up on the internet did not give prices. Should I look for a lounge that caters mainly to Turks - will I be welcome - or should I patronize one that caters to tourists? This is kinda like asking a question about the "cafes" (you know what I mean) in Amsterdam.

Geor(ge)

Posted by
1173 posts

I went to Istanbul on the Rick Steves week long tour and we went to a place to smoke the hookah/water pipe. I never in my life smoked. We had the dried apple. it is not tobacco. it is not hazardous. It will be fine to be on your own. We went to a restaurant underneath the Bridge. Open air restaurant which was nice. We had beers and some of us had the pipe. The cost I don't know. I liked going under the bridge, there are a row of restaurants and the guide picked one and we sat and could see the water and the boats go by as we smoked and had a beer. Great experience and relaxing. I am sure you could get a hookah for yourself. The places that have the hookah pipes are not at all like the "cafes" in Amsterdam. There are no drugs and you don't get high. They are all over and not in just a specific location. You have the wrong idea about hookah's.

Have a great time in Istanbul!!!