Hailed as one of the world’s most trend-setting cities, it’s no wonder Istanbul is topping our list of places to escape to this year. With something for everyone; fascinating museums and mosques for the history buffs, sprawling bazaars for bargain hunters, and vibrant culinary markets for foodies, this hedonistic city is the perfect destination for a romantic city break. We’ll let you in on our favourite spots around the city on this luxury three night holiday to Istanbul.
What not to miss:
- Sailing down the iconic Bosporus River at sunset admiring the grand architecture.
- Discovering the city’s iconic Ottoman sites such as the Spice Bazaar and Blue Mosque with one of our expert guides.
- Exploring the food markets and trying your hand at cooking a delicious Turkish meal in a traditional Turkish home.
Touch down in Istanbul where you’ll be met by your guide and driver, from here you’ll be whisked off to your hip city crash-pad, the Tomtom Suites. Hidden away in the consulate district of Istanbul this chic hideaway houses the best rooftop terrace bar in the city, with views of the Bosphorus where you can enjoy a few cocktails as you take in the sweeping views over the city. Once you’ve settled into your new surroundings we’ll pick you up ready for your first experience to get acquainted with the city on the iconic Bosphorus River.
Sailing at sundown
The best way to get your bearings in this fascinating city is to travel down the Bosphorus at sunset where you’ll explore the iconic waterway that divides Europe and Asia, on board a private yacht of course. With a glass of champagne in hand you’ll drift leisurely down the river passing the lavish Ottoman summer palaces and decadent villas. We’ll provide you with one of our team of guides, an expert in the field of Turkish history, so you’ll be sure to pick up a few gems of information along the way. Once back on dry land we’ll send you off to explore the vibrant nightspots of Istanbul, where you can wine and dine in some of our favourite insider spots. Head to Karaköy one of the city’s up-and-coming districts that’s awash with cafes and street side restaurants serving up fresh Turkish and Middle Eastern fare.
Browse the bazaars
After a good night’s sleep in your stylish hotel you’ll be ready to delve into the cultural fabric of Istanbul. You’ll be met by your guide after a hearty breakfast to begin your tour of Istanbul’s most iconic sites including the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern & the Spice Bazaar. A fusion of cultures and influences are played out in the city’s majestic landscape, and with your knowledgeable guide at hand you’ll be let in on a wealth of historical and cultural insights to help you understand the wonders of the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires. For lunch you’ll stop off at The Grand Bazaar, known as the ‘world’s oldest shopping mall’. This market is a great opportunity to taste the flavours of Turkey, from flatbreads to dolmas, and of course it wouldn’t be a trip to the Grand Bazaar without a melt-in-the-mouth lamb shish kebab. Once feed, watered, and shopped out you’ll be driven back your hotel to enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Cook up a feast
For your last full day in Istanbul, you’ll be fully immersed in the culinary identity of Turkey. You’ll be met at your hotel and taken down to the port to get a traditional ferry across to the Asian side of Istanbul, a great way to experience the uniqueness of crossing continents in just a short boat ride. You’ll be met by your host who’ll take you around the local food markets in Kadaköy, here you’ll learn about the different products and buy ingredients ready to cook up a feast at their nearby home in the beautiful residential area of Kuzguncuk in the Üsküdar district. This peaceful area relatively off the tourist trail, and is dotted with galleries and workshops of artists and craftsman. Once settled into your host’s beautiful mansion home, you’ll begin cooking a traditional Turkish meal, including dishes such as kofti, dolma, and a selection of your favourite meze. For your last night in this magical city we recommend enjoying the rooftop terrace at Tomtom Suites, for one last chance to soak in the magnificent skyline before heading home the following morning.