Tag Archives: Music

Top 5 things to do in Istanbul

Legendary Shopping District1. The Grand Bazaar
Four thousand shops, stalls, restaurants – even its own mosque. With goods that are both cheap and extravagant you’ll be sure to bag a bargain. Make sure you head over to Dhoku, whose hand-woven Turkish kilims bear ethno-cool designs conceived by the international architecture group Superpool. The best part is that prices are fixed and there’s no hard sell. A sure relief as throughout Grand Bazaar there is an army of arm-twisting  salesmen. For those looking for a piece of Turkish authentic furniture then head over to the Asmalimescit district for some curvy, organic wood furnishings from Turkey’s hottest interior design group, Autoban. Find out more here

Hotels near The Grand Bazaar:
Ottoman Hotel Park
Rast Hotel
Tan Hotel

Italian restaurant2. Lucca & Babylon
The Lucca, an Italian restaurant and cocktail lounge for people who want to  indulge in the city’s top after-work and pre-party scenes. The cozy interior sets the atmoshphere, plenty of artwork and even a few books, a DJ spins loud house and soul music while the professionals and socialites sip champagne cocktails and pomegranate mojitos. If your looking for a place with excellent music then Babylon is a must. The best live music from Turkey and around the globe, as well as the occasional star DJ, join the cool kids and dance until your hearts content. Find out more

Hotels near the Lucca & Babylon:
Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul
Radisson Sas Bosphorus Hotel

3. Mikla
For a fantastic view of Istanbul’s amazing skyline why not do it in style at the Mikla. This beautiful restaurant thanks to celeb chef Mehmet Gurs serves global-fusion food. Foie gras and porcini terrine, cherrywood-smoked lamb loin with walnut pistou, Turkish coffee, millefeuille and much more await if you can pry your eyes from the view.

Hotels Near the Mikla:
The Marmara Taksim
The Marmara Pera
Pera Rose Hotel

4. Topkapi Palace
The Topkapi oozes history, of course there are other attractions such as the ruins of the Roman Hippodrome, the massively vaulted Hagia Sofia Cathedral, the cobalt-tiled Blue Mosque. But the best stories lurk in the centuries-old walls of Topkapi Palace, where sultans plotted murders and invasions, eunuchs and harem girls cavorted in plush dens and court artists and artisans fashioned some of the most beautifully wrought creations in Islam. Make time to pop round the corner to the Blue Mosque – just avoid prayer time. Find out more

Hotels Near the Topkapi Palace:
Arena Hotel
Gülhanepark Hotel
Hotel Yasmak Sultan

5. Istiklal Caddesi
This 19th century, French influenced area is where Istanbullus eat, shop, drink and have fun. This cosmopolitan area includes cinemas, bars, theatres and restaurants as well as a wide range of shops. On the main drag there are cake shops of appalling sinfulness (Inci Pastanesi, Istiklal Caddesi, No 124), some of the best bookshops in the world (Pandora, Buyukparmakkapi Sokak, 3, and Simurg, Hasnun Galip Sokak). Nevizade Sokak is the place to go to drink beer and rakı. This is best approached through the Fish Market (Balık Pazar), which has its own Armenian church (Uc Horon). Find out more here

Hotels Near the Istiklal Caddesi:
The Marmara Taksim
Misafir Suites Istanbul
Nippon Hotel

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