by Nadia Iadisernia & Craig Stowe

Where: Flying with Turkish Airlines in business class to Istanbul, Turkey where cultural connections to Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires meet.

What:   Nişantaşı (pronounced ni-shan-ta-shi) is Istanbul’s most fashionable and upscale neighborhood. This is where Istanbul’s high society comes to shop, dine and people watch.  For your 3-day visit, we recommend staying in this particular neighborhood since it just feels worldly, vibrant – not chaotic. Nişantaşı showcases a modern engaged face of Istanbul; one that is fashionable, stylish and energetic. 

Why: Here, you will see successful residents of Istanbul chatting away in cafés, shopping in boutiques and entertaining international business clients.  As you wander through the posh streets of Nişantaşı, you’ll be impressed by the sheer number of independent cafés, fashion boutiques, upscale restaurants, casual lokantas (cafeteria-style restaurants), hipster and laptop-friendly coffee shops and burger joints.  

How: We spent three days eating, shopping and touring our way around this lovely neighborhood and compiled a list of our favourites.

We recommend: 


  • Staying at the SoFa Hotel (Autograph Collection) located in Istanbul’s chic Nişantaşı district, truly boutique, offering contemporary accommodation with state-of-the-art technology and comfortable furnishings, along with excellent spa facilities and rooftop restaurant/bar.
  • Adamo offers wide variety of off-the-rack high-quality leather coats and jackets, and if none meet your needs, they can custom make one for you – which we did!
  • Sunset Grill is a large glamorous restaurant and bar on a hilltop with views over the bridge, serving Mediterranean food and sushi.  This place is fabulous beautiful people watching – a must splurge while in Istanbul and definitely a splurge.
  • Taksim is a very busy nightlife, shopping, and dining area. Vintage trams shuttle along Istiklal Caddesi, the city’s main pedestrian boulevard, which is lined with 19th-century buildings housing international shopping chains, movie theaters and cafes. The dense network of side streets is filled with bars, antiques shops, and rooftop eateries with Bosphorus views.
  • Bosporus is a natural strait connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, thus being a very strategic waterway.  As a major shipping and trade lane, the Bosphorus Strait has attracted empires for centuries, and their remains are visible along the coastline. There are plenty of local ferries along the strait to you get on and off and see all the valuable sights.
For imbibing:
Glens – a rooftop terrace with a Bosphorus view enjoy cocktails created by Istanbul’s mixology legend Ceca Yildirim and DJ preformance until 4 AM follow @glensistanbul
Spago at the St. Regis Istanbul rooftop with a view of Macka Park and the Bosphorus.  Delicious food, cocktails  and impeccable service .

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