Romantic getaways in Istanbul: a great way to enjoy time together
Everything from the spectacular sunsets contemplated from the Bosphorus, to the amazing mosques and terraces, to the busy bazaars, to the marvellous nooks and crannies make spending time in Istanbul an unforgettable experience. There’s nothing better than enjoying it together.
There is no end to the restaurants and cafés in Istanbul. You can choose between modern restaurants with avant-garde cuisine to small, family businesses serving typical dishes in venues with breathtaking views. They say that couples bond over food so don’t miss out on this opportunity to try some of Istanbul’s top restaurants (link: Where to eat).
- Ulus: this restaurant is at the top of a hill in Ulus and has spectacular views of the Bosphorus. It’s modern and cosmopolitan and a great place for dinner for two. It’s perfect if you fancy tasting some local Turkish cuisine in a very special location.
- Lokanta 1741: if you’re looking for a place where you and your partner can enjoy some private time together in a truly amazing venue, then this restaurant next to the domed roofs of some of Istanbul’s oldest Turkish baths is the perfect place for you.
- Roof Meze 360: in addition to excellent food at affordable prices, at Roof Meze 360 you can enjoy spectacular views of the city. This restaurant is a must when you visit Istanbul. The excellent food, affordable prices and views make it an all-round hit.
- Myterrace Café & Restaurant: this is where you need to be to enjoy the sun going down over the horizon from the terrace. Enjoy the atmosphere over a shisha and tea, then stay on for dinner. The venue is inviting and traditional, and the food is great.
- TurkArt Terrace: you can enjoy one of the best possible views of Hagia Sophia (link: Hagia Sophia). The food gets top marks and the prices are also very good.
A trip to some Turkish baths (link: Turkish baths in Istanbul) is the best way of relaxing in Istanbul. It’s something that you simply have to try at least once in your life. The steam baths and famous Turkish massages will leave you feeling like new. As you sit back, relax and wash away any impurities, you can marvel at the ancient architecture of the buildings that date back to the 15th century.
Most Turkish baths have separate sections for men and women. However, if you’d rather not be in an all-male or all-female environment, try Hamam de Suleymaniye, the only mixed Turkish baths in the city. The steam and aromas make it an unforgettable experience.
A boat trip and dinner
In Istanbul, the magic continues into the night. The lights shine brightly and the domes and minarets create a beautiful evening skyline. You can get a great view of both continents from the Bosphorus so a boat trip (link: Bosphorus cruise) either during the day or at night is one of the activities you really should not miss on your getaway.
Boat trips with dinner and entertainment tend to last between three and four hours. Many of them even include a transfer from your hotel to the boat so getting to the right place is no problem. The excursions are relaxed so you can just sit back and enjoy watching the monuments pass by as you try some delicious local food. After dinner, live traditional music and dancing round the evening off perfectly.
Romantic views of the city
Visitors to Istanbul tend to fall in love with the city skyline. There are a number of hills and hilltop terraces in Istanbul and here are some of the best places to enjoy the views.
- The Galata Tower: One of the oldest towers in the world. It was originally a sixty-one-metre-tall wooden lighthouse built in the year 528. You can enjoy one of the best possible views of the city from the top of the Galata Tower (link: The Galata Tower) and it’s a great place to visit with your partner.
- Pierre Loti Hill: This hill is right at the far end of the Golden Horn (link: The Golden Horn) and it’s perfect for watching the sun go down. It gets its name from the famous writer, Pierre Loti, who often sat there and enjoyed the sunset.
- The shores of Karaköy and Eminönü: Neither of these shores are actually real viewpoints but they do have wonderful spots with excellent views of the city. You can see the huge mosques towering over other buildings on each side of the Bosphorus as you enjoy a drink of tea or Turkish treats.
- Çamlica Hill: Located on the Asian, less-visited side of the city, this is the highest hill in Istanbul. There are some beautiful, well-kept gardens for you to explore with your partner, in addition to spectacular views of the Bosphorus.
The Princes’ Islands
If you fancy a bit of time away from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul, just an hour and a half away, there is an oasis in the midst of the Marmara Sea where you can enjoy some peace and quiet. There are no vehicles on the Princes’ Islands (link: The Princes’ Islands) so it’s a wonderful place to have a walk, rent some bikes, ride in a horse-drawn carriage and enjoy the delightful food served in the local restaurants. It’s close enough to be able to go there for the day.