SEVERAL YEARS AGO, I made İstanbul home. And like so many moves, it began with a visit.
I’d planned a typical three-day tour. From my perch at the Four Seasons in Sultanahmet, I’d hit the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, explore the ancient lanes of the Grand Bazaar and take in the tiled splendor of Topkapi Palace. I’d hop on a ferry to the Asian side for brunch in Kadiköy and maybe drinks in Moda. Then off I’d go with Turkish Airlines, non-stop to New York.
But that plan quickly fell apart. A chance encounter led to a feast of fish and raki, Turkey’s anise-flavored liqueur, with a group of new friends. And then an idea: What if I stayed?
I did. I spent the better part of four years in İstanbul’s Beyoğlu neighborhood, high up a hillside overlooking the Bosporus, the waterway that separates Europe from Asia. Once one of the world’s most polluted bodies of water, the Bosporus benefitted from intensive cleanup efforts over the past several years, and from my top-floor terrace I often watched the boats crisscrossing that ancient strait.
Beyoğlu is best known for İstiklâl Avenue, a pedestrian promenade lined with shops and restaurants, cafés and bars. And though much changed under the Islamist government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, it remains the pulsing heart of European İstanbul with its mishmash of old and new buildings, high-end dining and tantalizing street fare, underground wine cellars and rooftop pools.
For a taste of Black Sea cuisine, head to Hayvore, or go for the grilled kebab at Dürümzade, and wash it down with a cool, creamy ayran, Turkey’s national drink. For dessert, try the marzipan at Şirin Firin (maybe the baklava, too), and walk it all off with a hike to the iconic Galata Tower. From there, amble down the hill to the 16th-century Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamam and enjoy a Turkish bath at its best.
My husband and I arrived to The Water Club Hotel at the Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for our two-night stay and drove directly to valet parking. After the swift drop-off process, we took the escalator to the lobby to check in. With no one ahead of us in line, we were checked in and on our way to our room on the 30th floor in no time.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
Spirit Airlines recently announced new service between Oakland (OAK), California, and Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Florida, scheduled to launch April 1. The service is the only non-stop flight between the two destinations.
SkyTeam added a 147-seat lounge at the new Istanbul Airport. The airline alliance’s newest lounge spans more than 6,000 square feet and is open all day.
Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
Animals taking to the sky are getting a more comfortable journey thanks to a new innovation from Delta Air Lines.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises recently unveiled details regarding its new $5 million art collection, which will find a permanent home aboard Seven Seas Splendor, launching next month. The collection was curated over two years and contains 300 pieces.
oneworld is an alliance of 13 world-leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and connecting you to more than 1,100 destinations around the world.
Holiday Here This Year: Australians Encouraged to Vacation in Australia to Support Country-Wide Recovery Efforts
In the wake of the country’s devastating bushfires, the country’s tourism industry is encouraging Australians to staycation this year.