A visit to the Hodjapasha Culture Center is a must when you visit Istanbul!
Basically, there are 2 programmes offered: the "Hodjapasha Dance Show" and "Mevlevi Dance Ceremony (whirling dervishes). We went for the former, and it was amazing.
Booking the tickets online got us middle, front-row seats. It gave us the opportunity to see various traditional dances (and not only turkish belly dancing). The dancers were good and seem genuinely happy to perform. The show lasted about 1.5 hours, with a 15minute break in between (break for drinks and some turkish delights).
The only issue I had was, despite warning signs everywhere saying no flash photography, there were still ignorant guests who seemed more interested in taking photos throughout the 90 minutes: taking pictures with flash, or with lights on the dancers. This was particularly annoying when some dance routines were performed in the dark!
Tip: If you have bought your tickets online, there is no point arriving too early as it is often crowded. Seats numbers are fixed.
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