Istanbul’s best luxury hotels and restaurants for 2022

Previous summer the American billionaire crew, led by Invoice Gates and Jeff Bezos, steered their yachts to the Turkish Aegean to frolic in the azure waters off Dalaman and Bodrum.

This 12 months, we hear the yachts will be halting in the vicinity of reenergized and revitalized Istanbul, where they’ll refuel their boats, get in the sights and shop till they drop.

Here’s our tutorial to Istanbul’s ideal motels, dining establishments and procuring districts (so you can stop by before they seem as a backdrop in a TMZ shoot).

Immediately after all, the metropolis is a single of the rare planet capitals in which you can journey like the yacht group — with or devoid of the billions.

The guidebook

Open-air shot of customers at the Spice bazaar.
Istanbul’s bustling Spice Bazaar is for meals flourishers.

Istanbul can be an too much to handle spot — there is so a lot to see and do, take in and consume and, of class, store. When wandering by the Grand Bazaar or the Spice Bazaar by yourself is magic, if you are on a time crunch or want to very first get your bearings, or have a person convey to you the importance of — effectively, every little thing — you may well want to employ the service of a manual. Our select? Istanbul Tour Studio.

Started by Sinan Sokmen, a hospitality professional who is married to the former editor of Vogue Turkey, the enterprise employs art historians, archeologists, gourmands and vogue advisers to tutorial you through not just Istanbul but all of Turkey. 

The guides acquire you past the basics and exhibit you the authentic beating heart of this historical city’s espresso homes, tea gardens, bazaars and conventional workshops.

Exactly where to store


Interior of Galataport.
Galataport is dwelling to some 250 merchants and eating places.

Right up until lately, the Galataport in the Karakoy district was a daunting eyesore — stuffed with warehouses, a worn-down ship terminal and an overgrown park. But the space has been reworked into a showpiece on the Bosporus. The final result redefines Istanbul’s city area, and is almost nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Inside Istanbul's new Galataport.
The extravagant new port can host three huge ships at a time.
Ali Bekman

The cruise ship port, which can accommodate 3 added-big ships (not to mention the smaller sized non-public yacht port nearby) is now underground, so those prolonged strains of passengers and luggage no longer mar the view of Topkapi Palace or the Asian aspect of the metropolis.

Spanning a 3-quarter-mile stretch of coastline, the mixed-use enhancement will incororporate places of work as effectively as 250 retail and eating institutions, such as some within the previous Publish Office, which was renovated to retain its first footprint intact.

The lobby of the Renzo Piano-designed Istanbul Modern Museum
The Renzo Piano-created Istanbul Museum of Modern day Art.
Istanbul Modern-day Museum

A formerly overgrown park has been transofrmed into an open up house where by people congregate and musicians play — all future to the Renzo Piano-designed Istanbul Museum of Modern Artwork and the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture.

The Grand Bazaar

Interior shot of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar.
A Turkish flag hangs proudly previously mentioned the city’s famed Grand Bazaar.

The Grand Bazaar is the largest and oldest market in the environment, loaded with ageless materpieces crafted by Turkish artisans. Be warned: The position is massive. And overwhelming. But truly worth it. Especially the Cevahir Bedesteni (a k a the Antique Previous Bazaar), which dates to the 15th century. It nonetheless retains some of its first warehouse layout, and features additional than 120 retailers selling all varieties of handcrafted treasures. Professional suggestion: Scout for Turkish bath towels which are pennies on the greenback compared to what they offer for in the States, as perfectly as ceramics and (sure) rugs. Do not be frightened to cut price and sit for a cup of tea although heading in for the kill.

Serdar-ı Ekrem

Exterior shot of Serdar-ı Ekrem Street.
Serdar-ı Ekrem is a colorful and bustling shopping strip.

Around the historic Galata Tower is a very small cobblestone street packed with boutiques and compact outlets carrying the finest style Istanbul has to supply. There are no Zara’s, H&M’s or other intercontinental brand names, just modern spots to browse, like the Arzu Kaprol boutique, the Atelier 55 or the antique-crammed Kashif Sofa.

Wherever to stay

Ciragan Kempinksy Palace

If you genuinely want to really feel like a sultan, why not keep in a sultan’s household? The Ciragan Kempinski, the only Ottoman palace and resort together the Bosporus, was built by Sultan Abdulaziz in 1872 as his family members property (whilst he only lived there for four decades before he was mysteriously identified useless within following being dethroned).

The palace fell into a state of disrepair until finally the 1990s, when it was turned into a lodge by developers, who fortunately still left its grand architecture intact. A stay in this article is a correct as soon as-in-a-life span knowledge, as anyone who enters its doors is dealt with like royalty.

Exterior of the doorman at Ciragan Palace.
The doormen at the palace greet you as royalty.
Paula Froelich

Come for the check out and the architecture and remain for the impeccable services and the food stuff, some of which is straight from the authentic sultan’s menu. Although it could be extra than 200 many years previous, the Ciragan Kempinski also has the facilities a modern-day-working day VIP may possibly need: a helicopter pad, a new yacht dock and a lot of, a lot of electrical shops.

The Peninsula

Rendering of the coming Peninsula hotel in Istanbul.
Istanbul is welcoming a new ship-to-stylish Peninsula resort later on this year.
The Peninsula Accommodations

Afterwards this year, the Peninsula will debut its first Istanbul outpost, appropriate on the edge of the Galataport (so that perfectly-heeled cruise travellers can wander right from the ship to their five-star lodge). Intended to enhance the historic Article Business office future doorway, the lodge characteristics basic architecture, 177 guest rooms and a Turkish spa.

Six Senses Kocatas Mansions

This spectacular hotel opened in November 2019 — just in time for a worldwide pandemic. Comprised of two Ottoman-period mansions on the banking institutions of the Bosporus in the Sariyer district north of Sultanahmet, the “boutique” lodge re-opened late previous 12 months, giving 45 rooms, some with fireplaces. Interest has been paid to unique architectural specifics of the previous mansions. The result is a genuine city resort comprehensive with spas, a dedication to sustainability, and a houseboat to just take you and your mates on sunset cruises together the Bosporus.

Where to try to eat

Lokanta 1741

The new cafe inside of the Gaglogu Hamajmi, a 300-calendar year-old hammam, is a jewel box — a legitimate secret garden hidden amid the hubbub of the Cağaloğlu community. To get to it, you ought to move as a result of the hammam, enter a rabbit-gap-like corridor and last but not least wander into this hidden cafe, which has a wonderful terraced garden overlooking the historic hammam domes. While all the things on the menu is amazing, the Turitli Pide (which visually resembles a Turkish calzone — new bread stuffed with chopped lamb) is a will have to. It is served with assorted side dishes of bone broth, sour product and contemporary oregano, all of which really should be included to the Pide just before consuming. The result is a bit messy but miraculous — a dish we nonetheless desire about weekly.


This historic cafe inside the Spice Bazaar founded by PanDeli Çobanoğlu, reopened its doorways in December 2018 — but it has been open in just one way or yet another, serving traditional Istanbul delicacies, because the early 20th century. PanDeli was renowned for feeding the likes of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Queen Elizabeth II and Audrey Hepburn. The new homeowners have stored the original ambience and primary menu, although incorporating a few new, should-try dishes, together with sea bass cooked in paper, döner on pastry (su böreği) and hamsi pilav.

Foxy Istanbul

The personal wine bistro, in the SuB Hotel Karaköy, is a large cult strike with locals according to Sokmen, due to its uncommon pairings of normal local wines with imaginative dishes that reinterpret endangered culinary delights of the area, including lakerda (pickled bonito) and topik (the ever-well-liked Armenian dish manufactured of a potato and chickpea shell filled with a paste of onions, currants, pine nuts and tahini).

Avenue cafes

When in Istanbul, you need to try lahmacun — the Turkish street food items that resembles a pizza. Consisting of minced meat on leading of a slice, it’s topped with lettuce, lemon, parsley and paprika and is completely tasty. Search for a place with a very lengthy line of locals and dive in!