What you need to know this instant.

FOR:
packing

Summer Packing Guide: Istanbul

Whenever people make a big deal out of fireworks, the first thing I think is, "We have them every other night in Istanbul!" Weddings, grand openings, reunions…there's always an excuse to celebrate rockets in the sky. (Ironically, there's also a Turkish idiom that calls people who celebrate everyday crazy.)

Crowds that never cease? Shops and restaurants that stay open late into the night, including on Sundays? Istanbul definitely fits into the Frank Sinatra standards of never-sleeping, among many other similarities with New York, including a pretty equal number of Starbucks. As well as plenty of traffic. And there was at least one Topshop in every major neighborhood before New York had its one-and-only in SoHo.

But of course there are ways it's very different, too. Along with significantly less skyscrapers and more sea views, the food is much cheaper (an Istanbul bagel costs only a quarter!).

As I pack my bags for a few weeks in Istanbul, the city where I grew up, I'll make sure to bring the essentials below for each of the places I'll visit. This includes historical sites (there are so many and just as inspiring each time!), art exhibits, cafes and tea houses by the sea. So click through, learn more about Istanbul and see what I will be packing for my short summer trip.

file

You'll be on your feet 24/7, so make sure to bring comfortable shoes with you. Embroidered low-wedge sandals are perfect for touring the old city around the Sultanahmet neighborhood and visiting the Topkapi Palace, where the Ottoman sultans used to live–in all their embroidered robes and slipper shoes.

file

Since it will be too hot to layer, it's best to pack pieces with cool prints on them.

file

A generous tote is great for holding stuff you buy at the bazaars and flea markets, where you're sure to spend LOTS of time.

file

Abercrombie & Fitch is extremely popular in Turkey (and in the rest of Europe), so don't be surprised to see many people wearing knock-off versions. But the real thing is so much better! I pack something from A&F to give my sister each time I visit home.

file

Original Ray-Bans are way more expensive in Turkey, and there'll be a lot of sunlight. So, you better get a pair before you leave!

file

Istiklal Street is a melting pot of cultures and a major hotspot in Istanbul, where you can find everything from shopping and live music to art exhibits and Byzantine churches. Head to the cafes in Cihangir, along with local hipsters and artists, and then to Galata where independent crafts shops and boutiques surround the famous Galata Tower. A breezy boho dress should definitely be in your luggage.

file

If you love heels as much as I do, cork heels and wedges are best on Istanbul's old cobblestone–or new, but crooked–streets, and they match any casual outfit. I'm definitely packing my light and comfy cork-heeled sandals.

file

I don't know if you knew this, but Istanbul has a great nightlife, with tons of bars and clubs. Dance in one of the waterfront clubs by the Bosphorus where all the Turkish celebs hang out, and look fancy in case the paparazzi snaps a photo.

file

Sitting at a "family tea garden" against the Bosphorus sea is a Turkish tradition that goes back to the Ottoman times. Go for brunch and order Turkish breakfast, rest your tired feet and see how peaceful this seemingly chaotic city can be.

Keep up with the Lucky team on Twitter:

FILED UNDER
packing
KEYWORDS
packing

more on luckymag.com

That '70s Show: 12 Groovy Pairs of Flared Pants for Fall

You don't have to wait six months to get in on spring's '70s trend. Shop 12 pairs of our favorite flares right now.

WATCH: Emma Watson Got A Standing Ovation For Her Emotional U.N. Speech

Emma Watson’s stirring speech launched the “HeForShe” campaign, which looks to involve one billion men and boys as advocates for equal rights between genders

Dear Lucky: How Do I Style The Ribbed Sweaters From Céline, Marc Jacobs, And Nina Ricci This Fall?

We asked stylist Stella Greenspan for her tips on how to wear this season's coziest trend: ribbed sweaters.

From Heidi Klum To Poppy Delevingne: The 12 Chicest Looks From The amfAR Milano Gala

Versace and Missoni and Pucci, oh my!

The Six Beauty Rules Model Doutzen Kroes Swears By

The star of Calvin Klein's new scent, Reveal, sat down with Lucky to talk about her beauty must-haves, exercise secret and her off-duty model look.