On first impression, Istanbul can seem a touch demure. But beneath its inimitable skyline is a teeming, triumphant metropolis with imperial history, intrigue, and entrepreneurial zeal written into its streets. It’s a city constantly being remade and reimagined, and the resulting sense of opportunity and vigor is palpable.
Monocle has sought out must-sees with an eye beyond the obvious, whether it’s visiting the next up-and-coming neighborhood—teeming with bars, discerning clothiers, and coffee houses—or dropping in to an old-school kuafor for a haircut. This guide will point you in the right direction for the finest places to eat, drink, and shop, and navigate you through the city’s architectural gems, from Ottoman follies converted into art centers to backstreet Byzantine beauties. So join Monocle for a cross-continental jaunt with bites of simit-size lore thrown in for good measure. Now don’t miss that ferry.