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3 Concierge Recommendations for a Perfect Day Out in Istanbul

By Chris |  October 4 2007


The Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar

Istanbul’s top concierges share their personal recommendations

ASLI YUDAKUL

CONCIERGE SUPERVISOR, TOMTOM SUITES

+90 212 292 4949

www.tomtomsuites.com

Enjoy beautiful views across Istanbul from Tomtom Suites’ Terrace – the perfect location for a leisurely breakfast.

Take an unforgettable cruise along the Bosphorus and visit the imposing Rumeli Hisari fortress built by Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. Now a museum, the fortress regularly hosts concerts and stage productions in its amphitheater. Classical 19th century Ottoman mansions, including the Sultan’s gingerbread palaces and hunting lodges line the banks of the Bosphorus Strait. With extensive views over the water, Topaz is one of the best fine-dining restaurants in Istanbul. For lunch try either the Ottoman or Mediterranean-inspired tasting menu. After lunch head to Istiklal Street, Taksim Square or Tünel for some retail therapy.

Tomtom Suites can organize exclusive private city excursions for guests. These include:

Hagia Sophia + Blue Mosque + Hippodrome + Grand Bazaar
Topkapi Palace + Süleymaniye Mosque
Rüstem Pasha Mosque + Spice Bazaar + Bosphorus cruise
Princes’ Islands

BEST RESTAURANT

La Mouette

Cuisine: Mediterranean

+90 212 292 4949

Tomtom Suites, Boğazkesen Caddesi, Tomtom Kaptan Sokak No.18, Beyoğlu, 34413

www.tomtomsuites.com

 

Topaz

Cuisine: Mediterranean and Ottoman

+90 212 249 1001

İnönü Caddesi, Ömer Avni Mahallesi No. 50, Gümüşsuyu

www.topazistanbul.com

 

Park Fora

Cuisine: Seafood

+90 212 265 5063

Kuruçesme Mh. 34345

www.parkfora.com

 

BEST SHOPS

The Grand Bazaar, although very touristy, is a must see. With more than 58 covered streets and over 4,000 shops it is one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world.

İstinye Park shopping mall has a glass-roofed indoor retail area with 300 shops and is situated on a natural topographical ‘amphitheater’ of residential neighborhoods.

Best to Do

Enjoy the local cuisine. The first thing you should do in Istanbul is sample the local cuisine at one of Istanbul’s kebab houses.
Shop at the Grand Bazaar.
Known the world over, there are some 4,000 merchants selling their wares on this series of covered streets.
Enjoy the Turkish baths. Whether you’d prefer to soak, steam or have a massage, a relaxing visit to a traditional Turkish bath is a wonderful break. Men and women bathe separately, so be sure to check the bath’s timetable.
Visit Istiklal Street. One of the city’s finer shopping and entertainment districts, Istiklal Street is just a five minute walk from the Tomtom Suites.
Cruise the Bosphorus. Enjoy the beauty of Istanbul from the river and marvel at how succeeding cultures have left their mark on the city’s architecture.

CENGIZ GÖRKEM

CHIEF CONCIERGE, CIRAGAN PALACE KEMPINSKI HOTEL

+90 212 326 4646

www.kempinski-istanbul.com

Start the day with breakfast at our Laledan Restaurant, before being driven in comfort by a private chauffeur to the top of Çamlıca Hill to take in the stunning views of the city and Çengelköy.

Ask your driver to take you to Kuzguncu, the starting point for a 45-minute cruising tour of the Bosphorus. Disembark at Emirgan, home to the renowned Sakip Sabanci Museum. After viewing the stunning calligraphy and archaeological collections, lunch at the Museum’s award-winning Müzedechanga Restaurant. For some retail therapy head to İstinye Park, a high-end designer mall, followed by afternoon tea or coffee in one of Bebek’s cafés, such as Midpoint, Kırıntı, Lucca or Divan.

BEST RESTAURANTS

Tuğra Restaurant

Cuisine: Classic Turkish and Ottoman

+90 212 326 4646

Çırağan Palace Kempinski, Çırağan Caddesi 32 Beşiktaş, 34349

www.kempinski.com/en/istanbul/Restaurants and Bars/

 

Sunset Grill & Bar

Cuisine: International Vogue

+90 212 287 0357/58

Adnan Saygun Caddesi, Yol Sokak No.2 Ulus Park, Ulus

www.sunsetgrillbar.com

 

VOGUE

Cuisine: Mediterranean – Asian fusion

+90 212 227 4404

Spor Caddesi, BJK Plaza A Blok No. 48 K13, Akaretler, Beşiktaş

www.voguerestaurant.com

 

BEST SHOPPING

Nişantaşı district and İstinye Park Mall

BEST TO DO

During the day explore the Old City on foot, and make your way to the famous Spice Market, one of the oldest bazaars in Istanbul. In the evening, catch a boat from Eminönü to Beşiktaş.

EVREN ESEN

CONCIERGE, PERA PALACE HOTEL

+90 212 377 4000

www.perapalace.com

Istanbul is the only city in the world that spans two continents.

The historic European and modern Asian halves of Istanbul are separated by the Bosphorus Strait. Istanbul is also unique for having capital status during two successive empires: Byzantine and Ottoman and the legacy from both is visible in the city today.

During the week eat breakfast at one of Istanbul’s riverside restaurants. However, be aware that these restaurants get very busy at weekends when most Istanbul residents eat breakfast out. After breakfast discover the treasures of the historical peninsula with a professional licensed guide, arranged by your concierge. Be sure to visit Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar and Topkapi Palace.

For lunch, dine like a sultan on traditional Ottoman food at Karakol Restaurant located in the gardens of Topkapi Palace. A tour of the Bosphorus is highly recommended, as it is the only way to fully appreciate the beauty of the river. Look out for Dolmabahce Palace, Rumeli Castle and Beylerbeyi Palace. In the evening stroll through the popular Asmalimescit, Tunel and Şişhane districts of the city.

BEST RESTAURANTS

X Restaurant

Cuisine: Turkish and Mediterranean Mikla

+90 212 334 0845

IKSV Deniz Palas, Sadi Konuralp Caddesi 5, Sishane

www.iksv.org/english/

 

MIKLA

Cuisine: Turkish-Scandinavian Topaz

+90 212 293 5656

The Marmara Pera 15, Meşrutiyet Caddesi, 34430 Beyoglu

www.miklarestaurant.com

 

TOPAZ

Cuisine: Mediterranean and Ottoman

+90 212 249 1001

İnönü Caddesi, Ömer Avni Mahallesi No.50, Gümüşsuyu

www.topazistanbul.com

 

BEST SHOPPING

Shopping in Istanbul is an exciting mix of old and new, antique and exotic. Souvenirs, spices, leather goods, carpets, kilims and earthenware are all good buys. The best places for shopping are the Grand Bazaar and İstinye Park.

BEST TO DO

  • Treasures of Sultanahmet
  • Cruise along the Bosphorus
  • Feel your head spin watching a group of whirling dervishes
  • Chill out Turkish style at a Hamam • Live like a Royal on the Princes’ Islands

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