Turkish delight family itinerary
Beside the shimmering strait, a landmark 19th-century Ottoman palace is reinvented as Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus. We are splendidly located for exploring the opulent palaces and waterfront parks of this city so rich in historical and contemporary delights.
The following is a sample itinerary for a family. Please feel free to contact the Concierge to personalise your visit with us.
A greeter will meet you at the airport with a personalised welcome amenity for your young ones and drive you to the Hotel. Take in the city during the 30-minute ride. Once you reach the Hotel, relax in your room or revitalise with a massage.
Day 1 – Museums and villages of the Bosphorus
On the north shores of the Bosphorus Strait, small historic neighbourhoods offer a delightfully breezy escape from bustling Istanbul.
- After a leisurely breakfast in Aqua, head over to the village of Emirgan and its stunning 1920s villa built for Egyptian royalty, now the Sakip Sabanci Museum.
- For an excellent introduction to Turkish art, tour the museum’s collections. The intricate calligraphy on display is sure to amaze young and old.
- Have a light lunch at the museum’s restaurant, Changa, which is famous for its menu interpreting traditional Turkish dishes with a Mediterranean twist.
- Continue along the strait to visit the imposing fortress of Rumeli Hisari, built in 1452 as part of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II’s efforts to control the waterway.
- From the top of one of the fortress’s three towers, take in the panoramic view of the Asian side of the city and the similarly impressive 14th-century castle of Anadolu Hisari.
- If the family is looking for more fortress fun, drive across the bridge to explore Anadolu Hisari, built by Sultan Bayezit I while laying siege to Constantinople.
- On your way back to the Hotel, stop in at the neighbourhood of Bebek, home to some of the area’s most exclusive seaside villas.
- A favourite retreat for trendy Istanbulites, Bebek’s charming shops, open-air seafood restaurants and cosy cafés are sure to draw you in.
- Make sure you get a taste of the famous Bebek marzipan before you retire to the Hotel.
Day 2 – Imperial Istanbul
Start your day by visiting the Dolmabahce Palace and then the fashionable area of Nisantasi.
- Have a fun breakfast in bed ordered through In-Room Dining before embarking on your trip to Dolmabahce.
- Get the kids’ imaginations going. Gaze in wonder at some of the palace’s highlights, which include the throne room, its four-tonne crystal chandelier and the crystal staircase.
- After the visit, a very short ride will bring you to fashionable Nisantasi. Have lunch at Beymen Brasserie, a place to see and be seen amongst Turkish jet-setters.
- Spend your afternoon strolling through the streets of the Nisantasi and Macka areas, which are chock full of stylish boutiques featuring a wide range of international brands.
- While you are window shopping, stop in at some of the trendy studios and contemporary art galleries.
- Dine at Ulus 29 just a little way up the coast on Ulus Park. Try the Turkish pizza while soaking in the beautiful atmosphere and breathtaking views of Istanbul.
Day 3 – Old Pera
You cannot leave Istanbul without experiencing the 19th-century charm of Beyoglu, also known as Pera, which is home to many of the city’s cultural institutions.
- Indulge in a rich breakfast in Seasons at nearby Four Seasons at Sultanahmet.
- Then, take the short drive to Beyoglu, which is on the other side of the Golden Horn. Its location gives Beyoglu its other name: “Pera” means “across” in Greek.
- Stop in at the Pera Museum to see its superb Kutah tile and Oriental painting collections. The architecturally significant building also houses a cultural centre.
- Still in Pera, walk to Cukurcuma, the city’s antique district and the ultimate souvenir shop, selling everything from glass and porcelain to Ottoman screens and chandeliers.
- Head back to the Hotel to relax and get ready for dinner at X Restaurant, located on the top floor of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts.
- Savour your last night in Istanbul with top-notch service and views overlooking the Golden Horn.