From the labyrinthine bazaars to the chic shores of the Bosphorus, this mega city situated on two continents is a dizzying whirl of colors, patterns, spices, and scents. Multilayered with intertwining cultures, expect fun, fashion and intrigue with a thriving art scene, great Mediterranean fare and architectural wonders from Istanbul.
Start your day in Sultanahmet, Istanbul?s ?Old City? entry point into the cradle of European civilization. Venture beneath the golden minarets where some of the city?s hippest spots await discovery. The Grand Bazaar?s 4,000 shops are daunting for even the strongest shopper to conquer, but make sure not to miss Huseyin Hayrullah Textile Arts shop for gorgeous turquoise, ruby, and pearl pieces. Maya?s Corner (Yerebatan Caddesi 35) is bursting with vintage textiles and one-of-a-kind Afghani jewelry.
Just across the Golden Horn, Beyoglu boasts chic boutiques and vibrant nightlife. Wander down Istiklal Caddesi to the Galata Tower for a glimpse of Istanbul?s eclectic, artful street style and boutiques aplenty.
Mozk (Akahamam Caddesi 13) is an impeccably curated vintage store that radiates retro-cool. Run by Seda Bola, this three-story haven of leather goods and floral dresses warrants a stop. Anadol Antik (Turnacibasi Sokak 65) stocks an enchanting array of Turkish antiques: from carved wooden doors to hand-painted ceramics, treasures abound. Cezayir Caddesi swells with live music, nargileh smoke, and Istanbul?s bright young things come evening. Drift down this magical side street for a taste of the city?s notorious nightlife.
Looking for a bite to eat? Try swanky, Art Nouveau Changa for Kiwi chef Peter Gordon?s take on Turkish-Asian fusion or laid-back caf? bar Enginar for an ice cold Efes amid the buzz of Galata Square.
To escape Istanbul?s crowds, visit the mystical landscape of Cappadocia. Once a stop on the famed Silk Road, this destination is an easy 1.5-hour flight away (via Istanbul-Ataturk to Kayseri-Erkilet Airport). Experience luxe adventure Turkish-style: relaxation at the Assiana Cave Hotel, a sunrise hot air balloon ride (champagne toast included), and an afternoon spent perusing downtown Urgup?s tiny shops for the perfect kilim or camel bag are musts.
August 08, 2011
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