Suma Beach Good vibrations featured

The lovechild of Wake Up Call and Suma Han, it came as no big surprise when Suma Beach turned out to be the no-holds-barred party beast that it is. On the opening night in summer 2013, over 1000 of Istanbul’s most insatiable hedonists raved till last man standing – which is pretty damn late in the day… after next. Having set a high benchmark, they didn’t disappoint with weekend after weekend of blissed-out revelry. The lineups—featuring the likes of Dixon, Henrik Schwarz and Jennifer Cardini—are house music of the highest order, pitch perfect for those multiple sunrise-sunset moments.

In decoration and spirit, it’s clearly inspired by the late Bar 25 in Berlin. That translates into a festival-like atmosphere in which to discover the various wooded corners, swinging hammocks and curious party folk. By night, lasers and light installations provide an overdose of eye candy, and by day, the sun draws you out to the refreshing embrace of the Black Sea. (Said embrace is gonna cost you a few extra bucks by the way). It’s about 45 minutes drive from Istanbul so check their Facebook listings before charging out there. Better yet, make use of their free shuttles back and forth from Taksim or more regularly from the metro stop Hacıosman. Suma Beach reopens for the 2014 season on June 7th…

#Bunk Beyoğlu #istancool

We humans can be a lazy bunch sometimes. Instead of exercising the breadth of our creative being in the pursuit of originality, we make existing things a bit better, stick the word ‘boutique’ in front of them and then parade them anew. Thus, boutique hostels came into existence, and became the sanctuaries of those who wanted the design-led experience of a hotel without the hefty price tag, and the communal feeling of a hostel without the bed-bugs and Australians.

Now, where were we…? Right! The Bunk Hostel Beyoğlu. It’s a boutique hostel, it’s much slicker than your average and it’s got a hashtag in front of its name — so you know it’s bang on-trend and might struggle to apply grammar correctly. Jokes aside, there’s a really satisfying sense of locality here, with the decor mimicking the architectural style of the surrounding city. The in-house cafe, spilling out onto the street out front, is a great place to grab a beer, hang out with fellow explorers and soak up some sun, too.

Admittedly, you could accuse the rooms — twin, double or dorm — of being a little too clinical, but that’d be splitting hairs as a bed in a dorm’ll only cost you between 45 and 60 lira. If it is likely to rankle though, try and bag yourself a spot in the ‘Mosque’ room, and spend your time staring at the hypnotic silver ceiling design.

Şimdi A double shot of calm

Simdi is undoubtedly one of Istanbul’s superior shrines for coffee worship. Not that they’re restricted to caffeinated beverages—it’s brimful of alcoholic tipples too. A succinct pide menu chips in a worthy cameo, while tiled floors, diverse artwork and warm lighting make it feel like the bolt-on to your living space you’d always wanted. It’s the perfect spot to take five in whilst sparing yourself of nasty roaming charges over a coffee or two—there’s free wi-fi.

Giritli Meze madness

Hybrids don’t necessarily mean shortchanging a whole, Giritli being a fine example. A distinct partiality towards the cuisine of Crete predominates here, with a permanent prix fixe menu faithfully showcasing an array of mezes and seafood mains. Yet, with Raki and locally-sourced wines also on tap—in bottomless glasses, no less—Turkish cuisine is still in the game.

Civan The cut of your jib featured

There’s an elegance to Civan pieces—from the sharp-looking shirts, to their trousers and bow ties—that’s underlined by attention to detail and quality base materials. With vintage odds-and-ends arranged tastefully throughout the shop, the place has a certain nostalgic charm, while also being literally on the cutting edge: an in-house tailor is kept constantly busy. Their creations might cost more than your average H&M knockoff, but don’t skimp—you’re getting top class after all.

Le Fumoir Voulez-vous Fumoir avec moi?

Le Fumior might not be for the frugal hearted, but the menu delivers in spades with all the Gallic classics spoken for. All manners of the best French nectar keep the wine list up to scratch, and with a pavilion open during the summer, there’s the opportunity to laze beneath palms and survey the Bosphorus with the ultimate hot weather accessory: a cocktail.

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