INSPIRING ISTANBUL

Written by root. Posted in TAKE 5

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Published on May 18, 2016 with No Comments

Half-Europe. Half-Asia. Istanbul is a sprawling metropolis where historical and modern times intersect seamlessly.

Images JACQUELINE WONG

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SEE Many of the historical gems are found in the Old City, with most located within a walking distance of each other in the Sultanahmet District. The Hagia Sophia was originally designed as a basilica, but became a mosque in the 15th century. Opposite it is the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, or more popularly known as the Blue Mosque, for the blue tiles decorating its interior. From there, it’s just a short walk to the Hippodrome and the Basilica Cistern, as well as the Topkapı Palace.

DO One of the unique things you can do in Istanbul is to have breakfast in Europe with the view of the sunrise coming up from Asia, then later in the day, have tea or dinner in Asia with the view of the sunset in Europe.

SHOP For fine carpets, jewellery and antiques, head to Nuruosmaniye Caddesi, a pedestrian boulevard that leads up to the Grand Bazaar. Along the way, tuck into local desserts, like Turkish delights, nougat and baklava through the many stalls that dot the street.

STAY Built as a bank, Vault Karaköy hotel oozes discreet exclusivity with a modern twist. Located in one of Istanbul’s artsy neighbourhoods, it’s a great launch pad to discover the densely packed city. It’s got a spa, plenty of elegant decor and an in-house art curator, but you’ll still find traces of the former financial institution, including the cast-iron bank vaults (hence the name).

 

 

Royal Brunei Airlines flies Dubai daily for codeshare connections to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines.

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