HAVE A BREAKFAST FIT FOR A SULTAN
- Have your morning meal at a former Ottoman residence nestled in a lovely park
- The traditional spread features an array of authentic dishes with plenty to go around
- Work off brunch with a stroll to a castle-esque porcelain factory with exquisite china
The first meal of the day is a big deal in Turkey. The traditional spread features an array of little dishes for grazing and sharing: hot tea, crusty sesame bagels (simit), eggs scrambled with tomato and chili (menemen), spicy sausage (sucuk), olives, cheeses, fruit, preserves, pastries, and even clotted cream from buffalo milk (kaymak). At the Malta Köşkü, a 15-minute walk from the Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus, the breakfast buffet (weekends only, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) is piled with more than 60 dishes. The sumptuous former Ottoman residence is secluded in Yıldız Park—once the sultan’s private hunting grounds and now the largest and loveliest park in Istanbul. Work off brunch (you won’t need lunch) with an uphill stroll to the Yıldız Porcelain Factory, which looks more like a medieval castle. Pick up some exquisite hand-painted china and admire the unbeatable Bosphorus views.
Head to Yıldız Park on the north bank of the Bosphorus. You’ll find Malta Köşkü in the south section of the park. The porcelain factory is here, too, in the middle of the park. You can’t miss the factory’s medieval castle structure.
ADMIRE A FLEET OF GOLD-PLATED BOATS
- Head to a quietly thrilling museum housing one-of-a-kind imperial pleasure boats
- Gold-plated vessels paint a captivating story of the Ottoman sultan lifestyle
The crowds—and blinding bling—at Dolmabahçe Palace not your speed? Head to the quietly thrilling Naval Museum by the Beşiktaş ferry dock. A 10-minute walk from the Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus, this striking, copper-clad museum was purpose-built to house its one-of-a-kind collection of imperial pleasure boats. Once used to ferry the sultans (plus their extensive entourage) to their waterfront palaces, these gold-plated vessels are a throwback to the Ottoman Empire that will captivate adults and children alike. There’s a nautically themed play area for kids, too.
The Istanbul Naval Museum is on Beşiktaş Caddesi, nestled between the street and the waterfront. From the road, you’ll be able to spot this large, cream-colored building with a red roof. Now go inside and explore.