Infinitiy Pool, Çırağan Palace Kempinski Infinitiy Pool, Çırağan Palace Kempinski

Istanbul activities: Top 5 things to do in summer Featured

Explore Istanbul with these top summer activities.

Some cities have a wintery feel – Istanbul is not one of them. The dark blue waters of the Bosphorus glistens with the hot rays of summer sunshine and the many minarets of mosques take on warmer colours. The city is beautiful and vibrant with travellers and locals who are enjoying the sun. Listen to the best advice from our local team and jump into a summer fling with Istanbul.

Related: 10 things you need to know about Istanbul

Poolside at the Çırağan Palace Kempinski

Ciragan-Palace-Kempinski--BosphorusCiragan Palace Kempinski & Bosphorus

The infinity pool at the Çırağan Palace Kempinski makes you feel like you’re swimming in cool waters of the Bosphorus – minus the crazy currents that can drag you against your will along the coast! Nothing better than sipping a beautifully-crafted cocktail while gazing the at the magnificence of the historical architecture all around you.

Drinks at the Four Seasons Sultanahmet roof terrace

feature---roof-of-four-seasons-at-sultanahmetRoof of Four Seasons at Sultanahmet

The elegant building that houses what is now the Four Seasons Sultanahmet used to be a prison in the early 20th century. Its A’YA Rooftop Lounge is one of the most awe-inspiring terraces in Istanbul with its unbeatable view of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.

Related: 6 of the best Istanbul landmarks

Lunch at Elio on the Sedef Island

Splendid1Splendid Palas Hotel

There is only one restaurant open to the public on the privately-owned Sedef Island, and that’s one of the best seafood restaurants in the entire city. To get to Elio by boat takes about an hour from the European side of Istanbul, but you’ll have a chance to see the whole panorama. Better still, be smart and book a room to spend the night at the beautifully restored Splendid Palas Hotel at the nearby Büyükada.

Dinner at Mikla Restaurant

miklaMikla Restaurant

Perched at the top of the Marmara Pera Hotel, Mikla Restaurant, helmed by top Turkish chef/restaurateur Mehmet Gürs, has unparalleled views of the Golden Horn and a killer tasting menu with authentic recipes and ingredients from all over Turkey.

Related: What's on in Istanbul this summer

Shopping al fresco

shopping-al-frescoShopping al fresco

No trip to Istanbul is complete without immersing yourself in the shopping scene, and enjoying the vast selection of luxury brands that have set up shop in open-air shopping streets and malls, such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Chloé, Lanvin and Saint Laurent. Take your time and explore İstinye Park, Zorlu Center, and Abdi İpekçi Street in the chic neighbourhood of Nişantaşı. These are amongst the top shopping meccas in the city.