The designer's guide to Istanbul, Turkey

We accosted Malaysian designer Sonny San (from ready-to-wear label Eclipse) the moment he touched down from Istanbul, Turkey for an insider guide to the city that straddles two continents.


View from the Bosphorus cruise, Istanbul skyline, and the Hagia Sophia


You’ve just got back from Turkey. Describe Istanbul in 5 words.

A city of breathtaking wonders!


Grab a ferry for the ultimate cruise on the Bosphorus!
An art piece at Istanbul Modern Art Gallery


Say we only have 24 hours in this amazing city. What should we do?

The Bosphorus Cruise is a MUST! Visit Sultanahmet area for the Grand Mosque & baazar, see the majesty of Topkapi Palace Museum, wander through the Istanbul Modern art gallery and last but not least, head to Bebek Marina (the Double Bay of Istanbul) for posh bars, seafood restaurants and beautiful people-watching.


Your best of Istanbul?

For the best in cuisine, dine at Meze by Lemon Tree, try Kosebasi for high-end authentic kebabs and meats and go on the Bosphorus cruise for a different point of view of the city.


Lunching at Limonata, Latitude Hub and a hamam sign


What about partying?

Anjelique, situated along the Bosphorus. It’s a super-trendy bar-restaurant-dance club with an amazing view on the city’s skyline.


When in Rome (or in this case Istanbul), remember to…

Take your shoes off when entering the mosques!


Splurge on dinner at Tugra at the Ciragan Palace Hotel!


We want to drop it like it’s hot (money that is)!

Head to Beyman Luxury Emporium in Nisantasi or Istinye Park Mall for the best in luxury labels. For dinner, dine at Tugra at the Ciragan Palace Hotel by Kempinski!


Watch out for… 

Pickpockets and extremely bad traffic during rush hour!


Highlight of your trip?

The ancient Moorish village of Safranbolu outside Istanbul. The architecture and landscape enamoured me.


Your top picks for a daytrip outside of Istanbul?

Pamukkale is a favourite – the landscape is breathtaking. If you can afford more than a day trip, Cappadocia is out of this world!


(Photo credits: Sonny San via Instagram and Path)

The Luxe Nomad

Like you, we love to travel but we think that staying at beautiful places shouldn’t come with a hefty price tag. That’s why we’ve gone out there and snagged the best design and luxury hotels and resorts in the Asia Pacific region at rates you won’t believe. WanderLuxe is our little corner of the world where we share our inspirations and thoughts about travel!

  1. I went to Istanbul last year and it is absolutely beautiful!
    You should definitely check out the Cappadocia, it is a truly fascinating region.

  2. Totally agree on his suggestion to visit Pamukkale and Cappadocia! Went there last 2 years and I still yearn to go back there. Another good place is Bodrum, which is close to Izmir. Beautiful blue seas for you to swim in. 🙂

    1. Hi Kye Lin, we LOVE Turkey too! Thanks for taking the time to check us out and share your suggestions. We hope you book your dream holiday with us soon!

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