Our Insider’s Guide to Istanbul
The largest city in Turkey, Istanbul is famous for seamlessly merging cultures of the East and West. The only city in the world that encompasses both Europe and Asia, Istanubul simultaneously showcases the ancient and the modern, set on the magical shoreline of the Bosphorus.
Stay: Four Seasons At The Bosphorus · 22 Ciragan Caddesi · 00.90.212.381.4000
This former 19th Century palace sits on the European Bank on the Bosphorus Strait and is one of the chicest spots around, exuding an exclusive resort ambience. With magnificent views, flawless service and a stunning waterfront terrace, this is one of the most desirable places to stay in Istanbul.
Sip: Leb-i Derya · Kumbaraci Yokusu 57 Galata· 00.90.212.293.4989
With fantastic views and an extensive cocktail list, Leb-i Derya is a chic spot with a stunning vista. Savor the view and sip on the notorious Balalaika while watching the sunset from the terrace
Shop: Grand Bazaar · Beyazit · 00.90.212.519.1248
One of the oldest and largest bazaars in the world, the Grand Bazaar is home to over 4000 shops. From jewelry and pottery to spices to rugs, there’s nothing you can’t find at the Grand Bazaar. Pick up a rug from Dhoku, a store that sources to Anthropologie, for a fraction of the cost.
For delicious Turkish cuisine, this chic spot is a favourite of in-the-know locals. With a lively atmosphere and fresh seasonal meals, it’s a must-visit on any trip to Istanbul. Just be sure to make reservations!
See: The Blue Mosque·Torun Sk No.19, 34400 · 00.90.212.292.7368
The most recognized structure in Istanbul is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, better known as the Blue Mosque. Famous for its stunning blue tiles and glass mosaics covering the walls, no trip to Istanbul is complete without a visit here. Another standout is the Hagia Sophia, conveniently located directly across from the Blue Mosque. Once the largest cathedral in the world for 1,000 years, this Byzantine landmark dominates the skyline of Istanbul.