The romance of the Bosphorus, the bustle of the Grand Bazaar, the splendour of the architecture and the exceptional food all combine to make Istanbul one of the world’s most alluring cities. Explore it with us to discover even more.
Istanbul, formerly Constantinople, is the largest city in Turkey and serves as the economic, historical and cultural heart of the country. Known as the European Capital of Culture, the city is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites and hosts the headquarters of numerous Turkish companies.
Whether it’s the adventure of discovering iconic landmarks or the thrill of a world-class theme park Shangri-La’s curated experiences of attractions get you out of your comfort zone and into the realm of unforgettable travel memories.
Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque)
This mosque's name comes from the 20,000 shimmering blue-green Iznik tiles that cover its interior. Built in the 17th century, the Blue Mosque is still in active use, but tourists may enter through a separate entrance.
This opulent palace was the former residence of Ottoman sultans in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Boasting both European and Turkish styles, the palace abounds in decorative fineries such as crystal chandeliers, trompe l'oeil ceilings, and intricate carpets.
It has hundreds of Ionic and Corinthian columns supporting it, as well as two unidentified column bases with the Medusa head, turned upside down on them. The subterranean complex's cool, shady atmosphere is a perfect place to escape the summer heat.
Kadıköy Area (by ferry)
Hundreds of bars, cafés, restaurants, and shops in Kadıköy are ideal for experiencing the liveliness of the city. For this experience, you may take the historical Kadıköy ferries from the pier right in front of Shangri-La and enjoy the unique view of the Bosphorus.
Cistern of Philoxenos
Being the second largest cistern in Istanbul, the building stands out for hosting various events such as concerts, fashion shows and exhibitions in recent years.
It has ancient relics of the Byzantine Empire's water system that visitors can explore first-hand. It lies in the center of the historic district.
One of the highest and oldest skyscrapers in Istanbul is the Galata Tower. The tower is 63 meters (206 feet) in height and offers a stunning panorama of the ancient town.
With a wealth of history behind it, the beauty of the museum-turned palace stands out in every manner. Beautiful paintings, prized ornaments, plush courtyards, the lavish Harem and more will have you fascinated.
Located just a 5-minute walk away from Shangri-La, Akaretler is home to designer boutiques, chic restaurants, and some of the city’s trendiest and most popular pubs and clubs.
Arnavutköy & Bebek
For a fun night out, visit the seaside areas of fashionable Arnavutköy and stylish Bebek, where you could find a number of glamorous clubs and high-end restaurants.
The most iconic aspect of Balat is its colorful houses on its sloping cobblestone streets. Sweet cafes and restaurants accompany these historic wooden houses, which are among the most photographed buildings in the city.
Now a museum, Hagia Sophia was first built as a basilica in the 6th century and later converted into a mosque by the Ottomans. Under its massive dome, more than 18 storeys high, visitors may view galleries of beautiful mosaics from the Byzantine era.
Founded in 1897 next to Shangri-La, the Naval Museum showcases the maritime might of the Ottomans. Besides exhibits on celebrated Turkish sailors, the museum features an enormous collection of historical artifacts, including a 17th-century warship.
Whether it’s wandering some of the world’s greatest museums, exploring cutting-edge galleries and traditional artisan houses, or watching the latest blockbuster at a film festival, we have our finger on the pulse of all the hottest cultural happenings.
A cultural institution serving the public, creates research-based exhibitions, publications, online initiatives, and digitization projects in addition to creating exciting activities including conferences, screenings, and workshops.
Through the celebration of contemporary art in all its forms and disciplines, Arter continues to be a lively, sustainable cultural center, making its wide range of activities available to everyone at its new facility.
With the goal of being "the place where change never ends," Akbank Sanat presents more than 700 events annually, including exhibits, modern dance performances, concerts, panel discussions, kid-friendly seminars, and movie screenings.
This museum hosts a broad array of interdisciplinary activities by embracing a global vision, gathers works of modern and contemporary art, photography, design, architecture, and new media.
Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM)
This Museum provides a rich collection such as comprehensive exhibitions, conservation units, educational programs, concerts, and conferences with its location by the Bosphorus.
This is a performance venue, organizes classical, jazz, world, and new music concerts as well as dance performances and contemporary art exhibitions. Also, Borusan combines history with technology in the heart of Istanbul.
Istanbul Archaeology Museums
These museums consist of three separate museums provide over one million immense collection from various civilizations such as Assyrian, Hittite, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman civilizations that had deep effect throughout the history.
From a simple walk in the park to exploring dramatic natural scenery, we’ve got nature-lovers covered. Escape to a private island, ride a horse at golden hour, kayak beneath towering cliffs, or simply soak it all up on one of our sandy beaches. Nature never felt so good.
The Prince's Islands provide a pleasant getaway from the city. There are eight islands within one hour from the city offering a range of attractions, including beaches, historical buildings, and hiking trails.
This waterway is famed as a dividing line between Europe and Asia. A ferry ride on the Bosphorus yields enchanting views of city sights, especially in the evening.
Yıldız Park is one of the most beautiful and largest parks in Istanbul. It is the ideal and peaceful place to not only escape the bustle of everyday life but also feel yourself on another planet.
If your holiday isn’t complete without a little retail therapy, Shangri-La has you covered. We’ve scoured Istanbul to find the best shopping experiences, from high-end boutiques to the high street, hidden gems at one-of-one shops, private ateliers, and ancient markets.
This maze of a street market promises the shopping experience of a lifetime. Explore some of the 4,000 shops and establishments and bargain over the item of your desire, be it a leather bag or antique carpet.
The luxury shopping and fashion district of Istanbul, Nişantaşı is also known for Art Nouveau-style apartment buildings. Its upscale pubs and restaurants are popular with trendsetters and the well-heeled.
Mingle with the locals and experience the vibrant daily life in one of the city’s most colorful neighborhoods. Walking from Shangri-La (around 5 minutes), and crossing the busy avenue will take you into Beşiktaş Market, where you find a myriad of shops as well as the neighborhood’s quintessential fish mongers, restaurants, lively bars, and trendy cafés.
Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar)
Spice Bazaar, smaller than the nearby Grand Bazaar, features rows of spice vendors prominently displaying their colorful wares in large, pyramid-like mounds, making it a visual experience as much as a place to shop for spices, Turkish delights, and other souvenirs.