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1 City 5 Ways


Photo courtesy of Georges

There's more than one way to discover Istanbul.


Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah photo by Gerrit Meier.        

Where to Stay // Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah
Built in 1892, this historic hotel has hosted the likes of Hemingway, Hitchcock and Agatha Christie, whose room is maintained in memory of the author.

Morning // Cihangir
Enjoy the antiques shops and cafés as you wander the bohemian neighborhood where Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk lives.

Lunch // Journey Lounge
This cozy yet modern restaurant draws Turkish literati and media types. Its fresh produce is supplied by organic farms and the breads are homemade.

Dessert // Lokum
Paris has Ladurée and Istanbul has Lokum, where confectioner Zeynep Keyman will tempt you with all sorts of Turkish delights.


Akdeniz Hatay Sofrası.

Breakfast // Akdeniz Hatay Sofrası
Start with a breakfast platter from the southern Turkish province of Hatay or an all-you-can-eat brunch, served every day.

Morning // Eminönü Egyptian Spice Bazaar
The 350-year-old mammoth gastronomic paradise is the best place to purchase gifts for the trip home. The dates are the size of submarines and the smell of freshly ground coffee permeates everything.

Afternoon // Istanbul Culinary Institute
Take a workshop to help you channel your inner Turkish grandmother. Cook your heart out before enjoying the fruit of your labor at a table overlooking the Golden Horn.

Dinner // Kuzine 34
Chef Petek Çirpili opens up her home for small groups interested in something beyond the traditional restaurant experience. Visit her charming neighborhood of Kuzguncuk before enjoying a feast at her restored, old-Istanbul house.


Rahmi M. Koç Museu.        
Where to Stay // Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet
At this well-situated hotel, parents will appreciate the babysitting services and the calm oasis in the middle of a busy city.

Breakfast // Beyaz Fırın
Cross the Bosphorus to the famous patisserie, which has been in business since the mid-1800s.

Morning // Blue Mosque
Short lines, free admission and lots of space to explore in your socks will make the old city's Sultanahmet Mosque a hit with everyone in the family.

Afternoon // Rahmi M. Koç Museum
With its trains, boats, planes, and racecars, this museum celebrates the history of industrial transportation and is home to Istanbul’s first public planetarium.


S.U. Sakıp Sabancı Museum photo by PAKART.        
Where to Stay // The Divan Hotel
After opening its doors to help protestors during Istanbul’s riots last summer, the hotel’s understated elegance has since been fully restored.

Morning // S.U. Sakıp Sabancı Museum
Get away from the throngs of tourists by taking a ferryboat up the Bosphorus for a look at the impressive Turkish/Ottoman collection here.

Lunch // Müzedechanga
Poke around the gift shop and gardens at the museum before having lunch at its award-winning restaurant.

After Hours // XLarge Club Istanbul
Set your inhibitions aside at this riotous gay club where the costumes dazzle and drag queens put on a fantastic floor show nightly. Doors open at 11 p.m.


Reina photo by Yavuz Kaynar.        

Where to Stay // Georges
This exclusive boutique hotel is located on Sedar-ı Ekrem Street, known for its trendy shops. It features in-room yoga sessions and rooftop views of the city.

Afternoon // Abdi Ipekçi Caddesi
Lined with exclusive shops in the neighborhood of Şişli, Abdi Ipekçi is where you’ll find high-end labels such as Chanel and Prada, as well as Turkish designers such as Arzu Kaprol, Atil Kutoglu and Hakaan Yildirim.

Dinner // Reina
On the breezy banks of the Bosphorus, this restaurant/club attracts Istanbul’s jet set. Come for dinner and stay for a spin on the dance floor.

Night // Lucca
It’s see and be seen at this after-hours bistro/bar, a hot spot for posh locals and minor celebrities. It hosts homegrown DJs who helm the turntables into the wee hours.

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