I recently spent a week in Istanbul, my 2nd visit this year.

Istanbul is a vibrant city which I really enjoy hanging out in to eat and work. The coffee shop culture is growing fast. The local cuisine is varied and delicious. The locals are very friendly. And due to the Turkish Lira weakening this year, it’s never been a better time to visit.

Here are my travel notes:

  • I like to stay near Taksim Square – the vibrant shopping area surrounded by restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. The InterContinental in the area is a great choice to base yourself.
  • Dinner at Zübeyir Ocakbaşı is a must (bookings needed) – it’s one of my top 5 restaurants and I always try to dine here twice on each trip (yes, it’s that good)
  • Talking of food, other good spots I enjoy include Ciya (good home-cooking, very inexpensive), Mikla (rated one of the best 50 restaurants in the world) and brunch at the Four Seasons for a blow out at the weekend
  • Get lost exploring the Grand Bazaar – one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world
  • Take a ferry ride. Each trip will set you back less than $1 and you’ll be guaranteed great views no matter what direction you head in
  • Enjoy a sundowner overlooking the Bosphorus. The bar at the top of the Conrad hotel offer’s excellent views
  • Uber is the easiest way to get around town – including to/from the airport. Not only are they always big vans with nice spacious seats, but they are crazy cheap too!

I’m now back in Bangkok for the winter. Hit me up if you pass through!