Istanbul - Citibank Singapore Istanbul ONE THING IS FOR SURE, THERE’S NOWHERE QUITE LIKE...

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  • Intro Blah Blah LUXE Insider LUXE Loves LUXE Loathes Fab vs. Drab LUXE ItinerariesP1 / LUXE ISTANBUL

    Citi Prestige SM

    Istanbul

    ONE THING IS FOR SURE, THERE’S NOWHERE QUITE LIKE ISTANBUL

    The legendary capital of two of the

    world’s greatest empires, built on seven

    hills and spanning two continents, has

    had many names over the centuries;

    nova roma, byzantium, constantinople,

    but one thing is for sure, there’s nowhere

    quite like Istanbul. Think of the glittering

    Bosphorus, Golden Horn and Sea of

    Marmara dividing Istanbul into an upside

    down ‘Y.” The top two segments are

    the European side; to the left is ancient

    Sultanahmet stacked with treasures; on

    the right are Beyoglu and Nisantasi with

    all their shopping and entertainment,

    while the bottom segment is the

    residential Asian side. And that’s all

    you really need to know.

    The cult pocket city guides and mobile

    apps for the busy, sophisticated traveler

    www.luxecityguides.comCITI PRESENTS LUXE CITY GUIDES

  • Intro Blah Blah LUXE Insider LUXE Loves LUXE Loathes Fab vs. Drab LUXE ItinerariesP2 / LUXE ISTANBUL

    Citi Prestige SM

    • Have your hotel’s number

    on you at ALL times.

    • Summer season (and the

    best time to visit) is May-Oct, winter

    gets cold and snowy. Check dates

    ahead to avoid Ramadan if you can,

    as the city fasts until sundown

    (2012 – July 21st-Aug19th,

    2013 – July 10th-Aug 8th).

    • Istanbul is seasonal, many places

    move premises or close altogether

    in winter (and for some of Aug),

    so do check ahead to avoid

    intense annoyance.

    • English is widely spoken in

    visitor-frequented areas.

    • Ataturk airport to town: 30-60 mins

    / ≈ TL50/€25 by cab.

    • Taxis are cheap and plentiful,

    but it’s meter on, or get gone!

    Or, hire a car and driver.

    Blah blah • There is no need to tip cabs

    and they have two rates: ‘gunduz’

    – day, and ‘gece’ – night (midnight-

    6am) which costs double; beware

    of rip-off cabs in Sultanahmet who

    often attempt to switch the rates.

    • Always allow extra time for any

    journey, as traffic can be heinous,

    even out of rush hours.

    • Visa on arrival (EU exempt) –

    pay in US$ or euro, cash.

    • There’s a smoking ban in all

    enclosed public spaces, bars,

    cafés and restaurants,

    but compliance varies.

    • Istanbul is very liberal,

    but modest dress is

    required nonetheless

    when visiting mosques.

    • ATMs are numerous and

    very easy to find.

    • Currency = Turkish Lira (a.k.a. TL/

    YTL), euros sometimes accepted but

    beware of atrocious exchange rates.

    • Caddesi (Cad.) = road,

    Sokak (Sok.) = street.

    • The dialing code for Istanbul is +90

    212 (Euro side) and 216 (Asian side),

    all numbers quoted in this guide use

    212 unless otherwise specified.

    • Directory enq. 118, intl

    operator 115, police 155,

    intl ambulance 505 7272,

    tourist police 528 5369.

  • Intro Blah Blah LUXE Insider LUXE Loves LUXE Loathes Fab vs. Drab LUXE ItinerariesP3 / LUXE ISTANBUL

    Citi Prestige SM

    Founder and designer of OYE swimwear,

    Ayca Sadikoglu is a lifelong Istanbul

    devotee who grew up on the European

    bank of the Bosphorus in picturesque

    Bebek. Ayca graduated from Johns

    Hopkins University with a degree in Art

    History and Film & Media Studies. Upon

    graduation, she moved to New York City

    where she worked for the legendary

    Merchant Ivory Productions. Her innate

    talents as a designer and her natural

    understanding of style came together

    after a trip to India and culminated in her

    starting the exclusive swimwear label OYE

    (which stands for “Open Your Eyes”). As

    the brand receives international acclaim

    with each new collection, her dazzling

    designs continue to turn heads on

    beaches and magazine covers

    around the world.

    www.oyeswimwear.com

    LUXE INSIDER

    Ayca Sadikoglu

  • Intro Blah Blah LUXE Insider LUXE Loves LUXE Loathes Fab vs. Drab LUXE ItinerariesP4 / LUXE ISTANBUL

    Citi Prestige SM

    1) WHERE DO YOU TAKE VISITORS WHEN THEY COME TO VISIT YOU AND WHY?

    I find a visit to the Hagia Sophia and a

    cool stroll in the Underground Cisterns

    immediately across the street to be an

    integral part (and the bare minimum)

    of any Istanbul trip. Obviously for

    those with more time on their hands

    and a propensity to stroll, Istanbul

    offers many more attractions such as

    the exquisite Kariye Museum with its

    well-preserved breathtaking Byzantine

    mosaics. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque,

    also known as the Blue Mosque for

    its multitude of blue tiles, is a close

    neighbor of the Hagia Sophia and

    its Byzantine design elements are

    considered to be the culmination

    of Ottoman mosque and Byzantine

    church development. After a long day

    of cultural immersion nothing relaxes

    the mind like cocktails on the rooftop

    of Mikla in Pera. It has a striking view

    of the Old City and the Golden Horn

    and the conquests of the day light up

    spectacularly at dusk.

    www.hagiasophia.com

    www.yerebatan.com

    www.choramuseum.com

    www.bluemosque.co

    www.miklarestaurant.com

    2) WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL DESIGNERS IN ISTANBUL? WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THEM?

    My favorite local designer is a brand

    called ELSE Lingerie. Ever since I

    discovered the brand, it has quickly

    become one of my favorites. ELSE

    Lingerie’s striking designs are extremely

    flattering and accentuate just the right

    curves. A quick trip to Harvey Nichols is

    a must to pick up this lingerie.

    www.elselingerie.com

    3) WHERE DO YOU GO FOR A PAMPER SESSION, MASSAGE OR SPA TREATMENT?

    The 45 minutes “kese” (body scrub)

    inside an authentic Turkish bath at Les

    Ottomans is the perfect way to pamper

    yourself in a unique setting. This

    traditional Turkish hammam treatment

    begins with a full body scrub and is

    followed with a silken foam massage

    that cleans and moisturizes your skin.

    At the end, you’ll be left with glowing

    skin, it’s also a great way to prolong

    your tan’s longevity.

    www.lesottomans.com

    4) WHAT’S THE BEST LOCAL DELICACY IN ISTANBUL, AND WHY AND WHERE IS IT WORTH TRYING?

    Lakerda! It is a pickled bonito fish. It

    is a quintessential part of the Istanbul

    experience to dine at a fish restaurant

    and sample this mezze. Tin cans of this

    heavenly treat can be sourced from

    the grizzled fishmongers in the historic

    Fish Market Balik Pazari and certain

    sympathetic maître d’s for a princely

    sum to smuggle back to your point of

    origin as one simply cannot do without

    after tasting lakerda.

    5) WHAT ARE 3 OF YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS IN ISTANBUL AND WHY? WHAT DISHES DO YOU ORDER AT THESE PLACES?

    Karakoy Lokantasi proves a great

    selection of appetizers (mezzes)

    with exceptional fish courses, with

    two standouts in particular; the fish

    pastrami (tastes nothing like what the

    mind conjures) and the black-eyed peas

    in extra lemon sauce are

    simply terrific!

    www.karakoylokantasi.com

    Balikci Sabahattin is an excellent

    restaurant run under the ever-watchful

    eyes of the most attentive father-son

    owners who strive to ensure the quality

    and the happiness of the patrons. The

    Fener kavurma (braised angler) is a

    must!

    www.balikcisabahattin.com

    Munferit is a completely different

    dining experience to the previous

    two with a similar cuisine but a lively

    after dinner scene in its bar. A very

    fun venue with great music and many

    patrons finishing up by dancing on top

    of the tables! Of course, the food is just

    as good and Turkish white cheese en

    papillote with porcini mushrooms and

    truffle oil is my personal favorite!

    www.munferit.com.tr

    LUXE INSIDER

    Ayca Sadikoglu

  • Intro Blah Blah LUXE Insider LUXE Loves LUXE Loathes Fab vs. Drab LUXE ItinerariesP5 / LUXE ISTANBUL

    Citi Prestige SM

    LUXE Loves

    LEB-I-DERYA Dining

    Handsome views and a sleek,

    contemporary interior of whites and

    blond woods is the backdrop for

    Leb-i-derya’s Eurasion/Turkish menu

    featuring plenty of grilled fish and

    meats, with an excellent cocktail list

    and elegant, relaxed crowd. Their

    sister restaurant and bar just a few

    minutes up Istiklal Caddesi has a

    lovely, relaxed open terrace for

    summer breezes.

    MIKL