Gay Istanbul Istanbul City Guide City Guides > Turkey > Gay Istanbul Istanbul Curation by Yasmina Rodríguez, words by Laura TuckerThe heady collision point of continents and cultures, Istanbul is where Europe meets the Middle East, bringing diverse people, religions and philosophies together in a frenetic fusion of mysticism and modernity. Istanbul’s skyline melds minarets with sleek high-rises, Byzantine mosaic-laden churches with imposing Ottoman-era mosques, all sewn together with raucous, rakı-toasting Turkish taverns. The last stop on the legendary Silk Road and a key player on the global spice trade for millennia, Turkey’s capital has long been mesmerizing merchants with its bustling saffron-stained markets and lively ramshackle districts presenting a globally inspired food scene of flavoursome mezes, succulent kebabs and seafood that can’t wait to win your heart and feed your soul. By the last call to prayer, this Orphic city begins to glow with the light of a thousand domed mosques twinkling against an inky blue sky, the perfect set up for a night to remember. Wondering where to stay and what to do in Istanbul? For your definitive Istanbul gay scene guide, you’ve come to the right place. Feel like getting away? Take a trip planned just for you, and let us do all the work. Discover Trip Design Hotels Things to do Things to see Food & Drink Shopping Nightlife Trip Design The best hotels in IstanbulStaying in Istanbul can be a real treat, elegant in all the right ways with unmatched hospitality. Let’s start our Istanbul gay city guide with the best accommodation the city has to offer, beginning with The House Hotel Karakoy, a five-star lodging in the up-and-coming district of Karaköy on Bankalar Caddesi, the city’s sleek financial district, in close proximity to bohemian Beyoğlu and historic Sultanahmet. As well as all the luxury amenities, this hotel serves up daily buffet breakfast and global cuisine at the grand on-site restaurant, with relaxation areas in the library, garden and terrace, in addition to a full spa and fitness centre.A little away from the centre over in the wealthy neighbourhood of Çengelköy is the quiet retreat, Sumahan on the Water. Housed in a former Ottoman-era distillery, Sumahan has since been renovated into a modern boutique right on the edge of the Bosphorus Strait. All the sumptuous rooms here face the water with many boasting a Turkish-style marble bath and fireplace. In addition to the on-site wellness centre with its own Turkish hammam, Sumahan offers a waterfront bistro-cum-café, terrace and garden. Next up is Witt Istanbul Suites over in a quiet residential street in the Cihangir district beside an eclectic mix of antique shops, cafés and designer boutiques. Fitting right in, this award-winning design hotel brims with chic-bohemian vibes, kitted out with retro furnishings, monochromatic styles and architectural grandeur. With its own serene terrace garden, cosy lobby bar and a shared kitchen, Witt Istanbul is a great place to unwind in homely luxury.Another hip boutique known as Georges Hotel Galata also piques our interest, located in the city’s old European quarter in a 19th-century Parisian-style apartment building. Sat within a relatively down-at-heel neighbourhood, this place oozes urban chic, within walking distance of the fashionable Beyoğlu district. Discreet and understated, with exposed walls and salvaged wood doors, Georges Hotel Galata will woo you with its butterfly-inducing glass elevator and unmatched skyline views from the rooftop terrace. Those looking to be more independent can consider X Flats Tophane, a range of contemporary self-catering apartments in the historical locale of Tophane, just one kilometre from happening Istiklal Street. Enjoy the city views from your apartment window, while making use of the full kitchen and concierge services. Witt Istanbul SuitesThank you for reading Mr Hudson.Subscribe to City Guides or log in to continue reading. Subscribe now Log inSpecial SelectionExclusive Mr Hudson offersOut now from gestaltenMr Hudson Explores Browse the Book Explore more The most beautiful waterfalls in the worldWe want to introduce you to some of the world’s most stunning displays of nature’s force, of rapids flowing from glacial melt, some gushing into canyons and triggering rainbows all the while. Read story > Discover the best weekend trips from Los Angeles (quick getaways from LA)While the Californian coast and the Big Sur towards the north hold their own vacation-making intrigue, quick getaways from Los Angeles can put you in touch with the tranquil ski regions of Big Bear, the Hispanic influenced county of Ventura and the exotic poolside retreat of Palm Springs. Read story > Palm Springs Modernism Week: art, fashion, architecture, and much moreModernism Week is an annual festival (usually February time) that celebrates mid-century modern design, architecture, art, fashion and culture. Featured events typically include home tours, walking architectural tours, outdoor garden tours, talks, and special events to places not normally open to the public. Read story > Subscribe to our newsletterYou can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. 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