The former capital of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul encompasses an ultra cool balance of new and old world features - mesmerizing mosques, exhilarating hammams, bustling spice markets, chic little bars and enticing bazaars. Spend your days trawling through the architecture of this ancient city, engaging in a space that will truly bring you back to the ancient world.  

Alex, our GM of Brand & Strategy is giving you some of the best kept secrets and hottest spots in Istanbul…

Save for your next holiday destination, or as a welcome addition to upcoming Euro adventures. 

Part bistro, part bar, all parts glamorous party destination. With three venues - also in Bebek and Bodrum - Lucca is an icon in the Turkish party scene - home to excellent dining, drinking and after-hours activity. Start with a cocktail before making your way to the dancefloor - we can guarantee you won’t want to leave.
Bringing new meaning to east meets west. This sustainably focused spot is situated across two heritage mansions with an in-house spa, restaurant and more. 
For those who want to live like royalty. The self-appointed “Grande Dame of the Bosphorus” offers resort-style luxury in a former Ottoman palace - think luxe spas, acclaimed dining and those water views. 
You can’t walk through one of Istanbul’s cobbled streets without the temptations of its cuisine, a seemingly endless cornucopia of nougat, baklava, and other delights. While we’ve whittled down our three top pics, there's so much to explore and taste in this city. 
Ranking two stars on the Michelin guide,TURK FATİH TUTAK is an adventure in high-quality, sustainable dining, offering a modern take on Turkish traditions. Described as “Turkish 2.0” the venue works with local artisans and producers to offer some of the finest food in the city.
Coveted by locals, this institution boasts some of the best of traditional Turkish dining. Found in a small corner of the city, the spot’s retro digs are enough to appear to contradict its global awards. The lahmacun? Worthy of the appraisals from Anthony Bourdain.
I loved this intimate tapas bar in the Pera neighborhood. The upmarket, though laid-back atmosphere draws a hip crowd.  Floors are tiled, walls feature honey-coloured exposed bricks and tables are dressed simply with white tablecloths. A generous tasting menu offers a good range of sharing plates, along with great cocktails and a decent wine list.
This quaint pocket of Istanbul is situated in the European side of the city - its cobbled, narrow streets are lined with head-turning houses akin to a Wes Anderson set. Explore shops, tea rooms before taking in the views of the Golden Horn. 
Beautiful Mosques
What’s a trip to Istanbul without a mosque?  The two greatest of them all is the Blue Mosque and standing tall next door is Hagia Sophia.  The Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, was built in the early 17th century. It’s famous for its awe-inspiring interior, intricate 20,000 hand-painted blue tiles and stained glass windows. Truly beautiful. Famous for its massive dome, Hagia Sophia was originally built as a Christian church in 537, before being converted into a mosque in 2020. Its unique architectural style blends both Byzantine and Ottoman elements and is said to be considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture, quoted as being responsible for changing the history of architecture.  
Taking a boat tour in the Bosphorus is an absolute must, as well as visiting the Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, and maritime museums. And after a long day of walking through this enormous city, a great way to relax is visiting a traditional hammam.
Bosphorus Boat Tour
One one of the best ways to see both the Asian and European sides of the city and familiarize yourself with the whole area. Book it for the late afternoon so you can catch an epic candy-colored sunset.
Turkish Baths
Ottoman Turks took traditional Roman bathing rituals and made them their own, calling them hammams. A true Turkish bath experience is very different to western spas, with rigorous exfoliation and steam rooms - they’re intensely invigorating.  I loved the version at the Peninsula Hotel, which involved a firm full-body exfoliation with a textured kese glove, followed by a more soothing soap massage. Another great option that offers the full, authentic hammam experience is Çemberlitaş Hamamı. Bathers lie on a circular marble slab beneath a dome inset with glass stars, through which rays of light pierce the steam. Revive, rejuvenate and stay ready for more. 
Istanbul is a huge city, filled with lots of hills, alleyways and stairs, and crazy traffic congestion, so it's much easier to explore the city on foot… comfortable shoes are a must! My pick is Kinnon’s Amelia bag - it's oversized and perfect to carry everything including a scarf when visiting mosques, a swimsuit, a Turkish towel for an afternoon at a rooftop pool, and of course my camera. That way I don't have to dash back to the hotel and can enjoy the day in style.



Our iconic Amelia Travel + Weekender bag is the perfect low key luxury bag for short trips, long days exploring new cities. Casual luxury at its finest, the slouchy rounded shape is modern, feminine, fun and elegant.

Available in clay, black, butterscotch, metallic navy & bordeaux.



Level up your airport ensemble with a helping hand from our Hale and Earle duo. Crafted from Italian pebble leather, this sleek duo is super chic and can also be personalised with initials.

Available in a variety of your favourite colours.



Built to last and made from Italian pebble leather with nappa leather, the Magellan Backpack has been designed to elevate travel style. The Magellan’s clever construction delivers a compact carry, with dedicated spaces for all the essentials. It includes a padded laptop pocket and room for a compendium, tech and everyday essentials.



Buttery soft and incredibly durable, the Oxley is the ultimate travel companion. Crafted from sustainably sourced and certified full grain nappa leather, the Oxley includes every detail to make it the perfect travel, in-flight, and weekender bag.