What to do in…Istanbul

The Turkish city, formerly known as Constantinople, is a magical melting pot of cultures, thanks to its unique geography and a fascinating history that winds back through millennia. It’s the only metropolis that straddles more than one continent, extending into both Europe and Asia from its position on the Bosphorus river. This historical bridge between East meets West has seen the rise and fall of the Romans, the Byzantines and the Ottomans, each leaving their mark on the look and feel of the city. When it comes to exploring, the options are endless. Photographer and traveler par excellence Rhiannon Taylor explains her love of Istanbul: “You can’t visit without becoming fascinated with its history. The Ottoman architecture is absolutely intoxicating, and you end up being transported to another time and place. There’s something about the chaos, the hum of Turkish music and prayers echoing throughout the buildings and the smell of fresh bread that just wraps you up.” It’s also an uber-fashionable spot, home to many young Turkish brands, with the area around the Bosphorus being where the magic is: “It seems as if all the energy and life is down on the river, so I always like to stay somewhere on the water,” says Taylor. Without further ado, here’s a glimpse into this historical epicenter through her eyes…

Wedding pictures

Istanbul style is…

“Because Turkey is the home of production for some of the most beautiful fabrics in the world, you see a lot of locally-made designer kaftans, bold prints and smart tailoring. Comfortable yet elegant pieces are key for Istanbul. There are lots of little roads and a lot of walking, so I love a great flat sandal and a casual hat for the sun when taking the boat across the river.”

Aheste, Beyoğlu

“This meal was so mouth-watering; I ate here twice in 48 hours. A modern take on Turkish food with beautiful sharing plates. The vibe is really hip, and the cocktails are clever and delicious!“

Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamami

“If you don’t go to a Hammam, did you even go to Istanbul? I love the whole process of being scrubbed red raw in literally every crevice, having water thrown over me and then lovingly massaged with oil. There are so many great hammams but I particularly love this one.”

Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus

“A beautiful location with a lovely pool and great coffee. Although I hear there is a new Six Senses that has just opened, so I’m keen to check that out next time.”

Woman in workwear clothing
Most inspiring spot

The Blue Mosque

“For me, it’s any mosque because the architecture is so intricate and holds so much history. This is my favorite because of its pretty blue tiling.”


Whether the sun is shining brightly, on not, a great pair of sunglasses are fundamental to just about any time spent outdoors — especially if you’re cruising the Bosphorus.


The ultimate in one-and-done styling, a dress works anywhere and everywhere. Take a tip from Rhiannon and opt for exquisitely-patterned varieties for the Istanbul look.