Istanbul is a spectacular mix of history and modernity. From cuisine to culture, architecture to art, here are just a few of the cosmopolitan city’s best spots to chill out with a coffee or cocktail.
1) Cafe Smyrna is a relaxed, old-fashioned establishment in a former antique shop. Greenery and awnings shade patrons outside from the summer sun, and the bar is mishmash of old furniture and funky lamps, all of which serve to underline the laid-back, old-world charm of the Cihangir neighborhood where it is located. An easygoing and creative vibe flows through the place, which is popular with local artists as well as expats, writers, and journalists. The lovely outdoor tables, below the canopies of trees that line the streets, are a perfect place to enjoy an excellent morning mokka or an evening drink. Akarsu Caddesi 29, Cihangir.
2) 360 offers all its name implies - stunning vistas that stretch in every direction across Constantinople. While this glamorous hotspot is worth the (high) price of a cocktail for the views alone, it can’t compete with all the amazing food found elsewhere. And it doesn’t need to - come at sunset and ask the waiters for a window seat, enjoy the golden hour shining across the exquisite Istanbul skyline. Afterward, head out into the bustling streets to find a delightful bite to eat. Istiklal Caddesi 311, Misir Apartman, 8th floor, Beyoğlu.
3) SuAda is a memorable spot - not just because it is literally in the middle of Istanbul. This superchic lounge complex lies on an island in the Bosphorus, 165 meters away from the shoreline, which was created in 1872 by Sultan Abdulaziz - the ruler of the Ottoman Empire - and gifted to the palace’s chief architect Serkis Kalfa. Now, a complimentary boat trip from the Kuruçeşme shore brings guests to enjoy cocktails or a range of excellent culinary options in a remarkable location. Kuruçeşme shore, European Istanbul.
4) Büyük Londra (Grand Hotel de Londres) is a nostalgic step back in time to the turn-of-the-century Ottoman Empire in the Beyoğlu district. Built in 1881, just around the time the Orient Express chugged to the end of the line at Istanbul, the Büyük Londra evokes the neighbourhood's bohemian spirit of yesteryear. The antique furnishings and impeccably attired bartenders take you back to a more elegant and authentic time in the original cosmopolitan city. If you appreciate fin de siècle Ottoman aesthetics, this is the place to be. The Lobby Bar is more old-world, while the Rooftop Bar offers great views of the Golden Horn. Mesrutiyet Caddesi 53, Beyoğlu.
5) Black - and now for something completely different. Another establishment that lives up to its name - nearly everything in this elegant and massively popular Istanbul nightclub is black, from floor to furniture to ceilings to staff attire. The atmosphere is sleek, stylish, and superbly luxurious with many VIPs stopping by. Located on the shores of the Bosphorus in the Ortaköy district, trendy with locals and tourists alike, this spot is a place to see and be seen in fashionable finery. Reservations, but of course, are a must on weekends. Muallim Naci Caddesi 71, Ortaköy.
Don’t miss out on this city’s spectacular mix of history and modernity. For a place to stay that echoes the city’s personality, we ask that you please consider Hotel Büyük Keban. We won’t disappoint! Book your stay, contact us today.