By Virginia Villari
Istanbul is a city with many faces. Famous for its location between the West and the East, Europe and Asia, the city blends the two worlds in an harmonious and organic chaos. Past and future, tradition and evolution walk hand in hand in the architecture, the neighborhoods, the food, the people with their customs and styles. Vernacular buildings coexist with futuristic new developments, villas, luxury hotels, malls and older houses, side by side, without solution of continuity.
Istanbul is the 5th largest city in the world with 14 million inhabitants. The massive extent of this metropolis is perceivable from the top of the city’s seven hills, from which you’ll see densely built areas in every direction until the horizon. Every neighborhood feels like a town – in fact the locals refer to neighborhoods as such – with its own atmosphere, people and activities.
Istanbul people are welcoming, kind and jovial, probably the result of a multiculturalism that dates far back in history. And cats are considered sacred, how lovely is that!
If you are visiting just for a few days, here’s how to fight the inevitable FOMO with some of our must-do tips:
– Eat Turkish Pizza.
– Visit the Gran Bazaar.
– A tour of Aya Sofia is a must!
– Party at Suma Beach on Saturdays during the summer (One of the best international underground techno parties).
– Hang out in the Beyoglu District (art galleries, independent designers’ boutiques, hip and young culture, bars, clubs and restaurants).
– Art: Borusan Contemporary Art Museum (www.borusancontemporary.com)
– Take the ferry from Europe to Asia (or viceversa) at least once.
– Go to Dervish Cafe’ in the old town to see the traditional Turkish dance: the Whirling Dervishes dance.
– Have a drink or dinner in one of the rooftop restaurants in the old town: the view on the Bosphorus is breathtaking!
– Have Turkish brunch in the Bebek neighborhood: we recommend Mangerie Restaurant. (www.mangeriebebek.com)
– At the end of your trip there’s nothing better than a relaxing Hamam (or Turkish bath). We recommend Cemberlitas Hamami in the old town. (www.cemberlitashamami.com.tr)
For local, insider hook-ups email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Soon to be Creamhotel’s new destination. Stay tuned!