A few weeks ago I was invited by Blogger Casting to attend the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul. It was a great chance to visit this great city again and also stay at the seductive W Istanbul.. Although I was a bit unlucky with the weather, I did manage to shoot some photos which I have included in this post.
My first and only visit to Istanbul so far was a few years ago, back in 2009. I was there on a business trip and didn’t have much time to explore this huge city as much as I wanted but I can’t forget the special feeling of being there. A very alive city that uniquely combines its rich history with modern and traditional elements like nowhere else in the world. It’s one of Istanbul’s main characteristics that makes it so attractive; the way east meets west. Atmospheric with a mysterious energy deriving from it’s rich traditions, history and religion but also modern and constantly evolving at the same time. The way Mosques coexist next to world class restaurants and art galleries or the way international brand boutiques coexist with the traditional bazaars. The way the bridges on the Bosphorus connect Europe to Asia, the only city in the world to be located on two different Continents. As a Greek visiting Istanbul for the first time, I really felt very familiar being there, like I had been there before…but I feel everyone that visits this very special city, wherever they come from, have the same feeling in the end. The reason behind this, I believe, has to do with its rich heritage and so many different cultures that make it always stand as the world’s capital.
Some of the cool spots I visited while in Istanbul include Munferit for dinner and drinks, Soho House Istanbul for dancing & drinking with the cool crowd, Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami for an excellent turkish bath experience, The Populist a new venue for the beer lovers, Zübeyir Ocakbaşı for delicious grilled meats. But there is still so much more to explore and you definitely need the help of an expert in such a big city. Istanbulite do a fantastic job at taking you to the right places, but if you prefer something more cultural then Fest Travel is another great option!