“Despite a previously booked return trip, I extended my stay in Turkey for two days to make it to Istanbul. My dad and three siblings were going and I could not handle the FOMO of not being there too! I am so happy I made the trip, even if only for two days. It perfectly whetted my appetite and I can't wait to go back!”
8am | BREAKFAST
For a proper Turkish breakfast and coffee to get your day going, head to Mangerie Bebek. Better yet, order their breakfast in a box and take it to the Bosphorus (the river that runs through the city) and eat picnic style along the water!
10am | GRAND BAZAAR
Next, go shopping at the Grand Bazaar, where there is an overwhelming amount of things to see, taste, and buy! This is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops. I loved the Old Antique section most - fabulous for jewelry! We also scored on textiles and ceramics.
12pm | LUNCH
For lunch head to the oasis that is Pandeli! Hidden away on the top of the spice market, this is such a reprieve from the bustle and hollering of the markets. The meal is incredible, and the space is so unique!
2pm | RELAX
Now that you've shopped and dined, spend the afternoon relaxing at Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami, which was built in the 1500s to serve the Ottoman Navy. It recently went through a meticulous restoration process (that took 7 years!) and is considered one of Istanbul's most famous hammams. Go for the full service, which includes a steam, scrub, and massage!
6pm | DRINKS
For drinks over an incredible view of the city, check out the rooftop bar at SoHo House. It's always a bumping scene with an excellent DJ, cocktails, and apps.
8pm | DINNER
For an exceptional dinner that looks out over the city from the rooftop restaurant, head to Mikla, which is currently ranked as the 60th best restaurant in the world. Funny thing is, what stands out most was the bread service which came with a whole assortment of butters, salts, and oils to enjoy with.