The DEPARTURES Guide to Istanbul

Courtesy of Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul

Where to stay, what to eat, and what to do in Istanbul.

This expansive, coastal town, built on the shores of the Marmara sea, has plenty of charms to keep visitors busy—including a range of fantastic restaurants, unique shopping experiences, and gorgeous historic sites. (For updates on the latest exhibitions and shows at The Guide Istanbul, an expertly curated culture guide for in-the-know residents.)

Where to Stay

Istanbul's Best Hotels
Hotels that used to be palaces, distilleries, and prisons make up some of the city's most luxurious business and vacation spots. See the slideshow »

Where to Eat and Drink

Restaurants in Istanbul You Cannot Miss
Taste nouveau and classic takes on Anatolian cuisine, dazzling mezzes, and the upscale restaurant of an Eleven Madison alum in this bustling city. See the slideshow »

Nightlife Around the Bosphorus
Get your Louboutins—or your Chuck Taylors, if you're looking for a more hipster scene—on for the clubby bars and lounges in Istanbul. See the slideshow »

Where to Shop

The Best Markets, Bazaars, and Shops in Istanbul
Colorful spices and dried fruits provide a feast for the eyes and the palate in Istanbul's markets, but there are also the luxury department and antique stores that you'll be hard-pressed to find anything like outside this city. See the slideshow »

Things to Do

Istanbul's Can't-Miss Cultural Attractions
From the world-famous Hagia Sophia Museum to the quirky Museum of Innocence (based on a novel of the same name), Istanbul has no shortage of cultural sights, due to its rich history and religious diversity. See the slideshow »