THE BLOG
09/09/2010 02:04 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Hip and Historical Istanbul

Juliet Kinsman, editor-in-chief Mr & Mrs Smith, takes us on a tour of Istanbul, a dazzling mishmash of centuries-old and cutting-edge and a cultural capital.
Photography by David Giles.

Soul-stirring mosques vie for your attention alongside modern-art packed galleries in this Turkish city on the banks of the Bosphorus River. Standing astride both two continents, Istanbul is the unique collision of Europe and Asia. Cradling the wonders of the Ottoman and Byzantine empires, there's the breathtaking Topkapi Palace in Sultanehmet where sultans redefined the word 'decadence', and the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya), the great cathedral of Byzantium for over 1,000 years, and the greatest mosque in the Ottoman Empire for five centuries. Take a boat ride up the Bosphorus between the Asian and European shores and admire the yalis (summerhouses) as you cruise up to the Black Sea and back, then enjoy a caffeinated nightlife somewhere rad or trad before retreating to your hip hideaway. There is nowhere on Earth quite like Istanbul.

Istanbul