Istanbul - Citibank Singapore Istanbul ONE THING IS FOR SURE, THEREâ€™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
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
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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
• English is widely spoken in
• 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
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
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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!
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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