Tracey has a very intriguing question for our Ask the Expat series:
Hi Barbara! Okay, I have a question that I have researched as diligently as I know how. It may not be of interest to a wide group of your readers, though. Here goes: Any idea if anyone offers "sunless tanning" services in Istanbul? I will be on the European side and would like to find a salon that offers this service that I can't live without here in Atlanta. Any ideas?
This question had me really stumped. In my three years of living in Turkey, I'd never seen a sunless tanning salon anywhere. Not even in Nisantasi or Cihangir, where I assumed they would be if Istanbul had any.
I did Google searches for "sunless tanning salons Istanbul", much like Tracey probably did, and came up with nothing. Emails to two of my favorite Istanbul salons -- Sultan's Place and California Nail Bar -- also came up with nothing.
Near the end of my rope, I did a search for "tanning" on My Merhaba and found this interview with an expat in Istanbul who said, "It is a real comedy to watch Turkish people ruin their gorgeous skin by living in tanning beds."
Aha! I thought. That's when I knew for sure that Istanbul did indeed have tanning salons. But where?
I then posted a message to InterNations to see if anybody had any suggestions and several people suggested I search for "solarium".
Oh. Is that what they're called? I had no idea.
InterNations was where I learned that BabyFace Salon, which is located in Taksim (on the European side) and is very popular with expats, also has tanning services! (And their site is in English!) Several people there also recommended Sun Vital as being very clean and professional.
Just to be thorough, I plugged "solarium Istanbul" into Google and got MUCH more results.
I also found this site which has an exhaustive list of solarium locations in Istanbul. (Tracey, look at "Istanbul Avrupa Yakasi" for salons on the European side.)
But that's about as much as I can help here. Do you have any experience with solariums in Istanbul? Know of any good places to go? Please let us know in the comments!
P.S. Want to learn more about InterNations? Stay tuned for a Q&A with the Istanbul coordinator later this week!