Istanbul's New City is a modern district north of Taksim Square. Its neighbourhoods of Elmadağ, Nişantaşı, Kurtuluş and Şişli were built up in the early 20th C, then more recently appeared the business district between Mecidiyeköy and Levent-Maslak. Most of Istanbul's steel-and-glass skyscrapers are located in Levent-Maslak. The district's main thoroughfare is Cumhuriyet Caddesi between Taksim Square and Mecidiyeköy (passing through or near Nişantaşı and Şişli) and its extension Büyükdere Caddesi, which runs through Levent and Maslak and eventually reaches Sarıyer on the Bosphorus bank to the north.
- The quickest way to reach New City is by metro which runs beneath Cumhuriyet Caddesi from Taksim to Maslak, with stations every couple of kilometres.
- Buses from other parts of the city run to Mecidiyeköy. Metrobüs, a rapid transit system plying along its own bus lane between western suburbs and Asian Side also passes through the district, calling at Mecidiyeköy and Zincirlikuyu stations (close to those metro stations).
- Dolmuşes ply between Beşiktaş and Nişantaşı.
- 1 Atatürk Museum (Atatürk Müzesi), Halaskargazi Caddesi 250, Şişli (on the main avenue of Şişli), ☏ . M-W Fr-Sa 09:00-16:00. The historical 3-storey house, easily recognizable among concrete apartment buildings with its pink exterior, which the founder of Turkish Republic, Kemal Atatürk rented while staying in Istanbul before setting sail to Samsun on Black Sea coast to start the Turkish War of Independence. Hosts Atatürk-related paraphernalia and photos. Free.
- 2 Military Museum (Askeri Müze), Cumhuriyet Caddesi, Harbiye, ☏ , fax: . W-Su 09:00-17:00. Among the exhibition of this museum are five thousand pieces from the Ottoman era through the WWII, with the most prominent piece possibly being the huge chain that the Byzantines stretched across the mouth of the Golden Horn to keep out the Sultan's navy in 1453 during the siege of Constantinople. In the yard of the museum, the Janissary Band (Mehter Takımı), world’s oldest military band gives concerts of march music in traditional uniforms each afternoon, at 15:00.
- 3 Nişantaşı. Nişantaşı is a neighbourhood east of Şişli/northwest of Maçka Park known for its Art Nouveau apartment buildings, ground floors of many of which are occupied by upmarket restaurants, cafes, pubs, and garment stores lining the sidewalks. Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, well-known Turkish novelist, is a lifelong resident of the neighbourhood which formed the background of several of his novels.
- 4 Radio Building (Radyoevi), Cumhuriyet Caddesi, Harbiye (close to Military Museum). This building dating back to 1945 houses the local radio branch of state radio and television corporation of Turkey (TRT). Not an architectural pearl for sure (although fans of 1940s' totalitarian architecture may find a thing or two on its stately exterior), its importance lies on the part it played in the political history of Turkey: It was occupied three times by the Army, in 1960, 1971, and most recently in 1980, when the local radio was decidedly the broadcast type ranging most wide and far, to announce that they had taken over the governance of the country (i.e., they have launched a coup d'etat).
- 5 Maçka Park (Maçka Parkı) (between Dolmabahçe Palace and that high-rise of Ritz Carlton). This is a park occupying two sides of a valley of this hilly city, with an avenue in between. Sides of the valley are connected to each other by a 4-person gondola lift line offering a shortcut when walking to Taksim Square as well as nice views of Bosphorus (access to northern station from Maçka Caddesi/Eytam Caddesi, every 5 minutes 08:00-20:00, 1.50 TL pp one-way), and by a wooden bridge over the bisecting avenue if you prefer to take a stroll along nice footpaths of the park. Free.
- When you are bored of Roman/Byzantine/Ottoman architecture whatsoever, this district—especially the northern sections around Levent and Maslak—is where you want to be to run an eye over steel-and-glass skyscrapers of Istanbul. However, southern sections around Harbiye, Elmadağ, Osmanbey, Nişantaşı, Kurtuluş, and Şişli has large numbers of neo-classical and Art Nouveau buildings which date back to the turn of 20th century, making a nice contrast to northern section of New Istanbul.
- Attend the Tataula Carnival (Baklahorani). Shrove Monday every year. Despite a 1943 ban on this Greek Orthodox pre-Lent carnival by the Turkish authorities, it has been revived since 2010. The tradition began in the 19th century or earlier, and even though the event was led by local Greeks, the celebrations were open to everyone. It's also a nice opportunity to look into Turkey's multicultural past. Takes place in the Kurtuluş (previously named Tataula) neighborhood.
This part of the city is characterized by having a modern shopping mall every few kilometers along the metro line. Here is a list of them:
- City's Nişantaşı, about a 10-minute walk (250 m) from Osmanbey Metro statıon.
- 1 Cevahir. Daily 10:00-22:00. The newest one of malls in Istanbul. At Şişli. Metro: Şişli-Mecidiyeköy. Also accessible from Mecidiyeköy Metrobus Station.
- 2 Profilo. Located a bit away from main street (about 10 min walk) at Mecidiyeköy. Metro: Şişli-Mecidiyeköy. Also accessible from Mecidiyeköy Metrobus Station.
- 3 Metrocity. Levent metro station has a direct exit to the mall.
- 4 Kanyon. one of the most exclusive shopping malls in Istanbul with sophisticated, modernistic architecture, has a conncection to Levent subway station and to Metrocity by an underground passage.
Additıonally, Nişantaşı, downhill from Osmanbey metro station, is quite literally full of upscale boutique shopping options (e.g.: Gucci, Prada, Armani).
- 5 Beşiktaş Market. Saturdays. This is where locals go shopping. If you are keen to buy fruits, vegetables, walnuts or olives at local prices, this is where you should head. It is always a good idea to bring rome walnuts (30 TL/kg) or olives (16-40 TL/kg) back home. Otherwise it is just nice to visit and soak in the atmosphere. This is an authentic market not to be missed.
- Sultana's Dinner and 1001 Nights Show. In Elmadag, near Taksim, has traditional Turkish cuisine (meze, kebabs, desserts) with a show every evening of belly dancing, Turkish folklore and live music.
- Set Kebap at Nispetiye Cad. No:13 in Levent. Has a wonderful meze table and delicious Adana Kebab. The staff speaks very little English but are most anxious to be helpful.
- Kosebasi Kebap. This Zagat-rated kebab joint serves traditional Turkish kebabs in modern/ upscale atmosphere. Levent is the main branch but they have 7 more locations (including 3 express versions) in Istanbul.
- Sosa. At Akmerkez Mall, Etiler. tel - +90 212 282 01 51. Fairly priced salads and wraps among others.
- 1 Kristal Ocakbaşı, Eşref Efendi Sokak 14 (At the southern entrance to Osmanbey Metro), ☏ . Classic Turkish steak-house.
- Reassürans Pasajı in Nişantaşı houses many bars and cafés and is a good place for bar hopping on a Saturday night.
- Taps. A bar, restaurant and brewery in one. The crowd is the general Nişantaşı crowd, it also attracts a lot of expatriates.
- The city's most reputable strip club, or gentleman's club, is Regina Revue, in Elmadag, near Taksim. It's not a sleazy place and has been running for nearly 30 years. Rather than a standard strip club with just a pole on the stage, Regina has many different decors and performances to music, with the girls acting out different scenarios on stage.
At its south end this district shades into Taksim / Galata, where there's more choice.
- Istanbul Suites, Ergenekon Mahallesi, Harbiye Çayırı Sk. No:111, 34373 Şişli, ☏ . Ranging from duplex to studio apartments which are all furnished with modern appliances. It's located in the city center and is within a 5 minute walking distance to Taksim. Possibility for short and long term rentals. B&B doubles from €50.
- Gallery Residence Hotel, Vali Konağı Cad. Süleyman Nazik Sk. 10, Nişantaşı, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Suites with fully equipped kitchens, DVD players, and fax machines. Free wi-fi, breakfast, sauna, jacuzzi, and fitness. Doubles 80€.
- 1 Jazz Hotel, Bahtiyar Sokak 1, Nişantaşı, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 3-star jazz-themed hotel with 12 rooms named after famous jazz artists. Free wi-fi and breakfast. B&B doubles from €70.
- 2 Arts Hotel, South of Osmanbey Station, ☏ . Check-out: 12:30. Modern and elegant hotel. B&B doubles from €90.
- 3 Grand Hyatt Istanbul (formerly Hyatt Regency), Taskisla Caddesi, Taksim (near Taksim Square), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 5-star with 360 rooms and suites overlooking the city and the Bosphorus. Hotel has formal dining, outdoor pool, Turkish bath, fitness center and business center. B&B doubles from €170.
- 4 Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus, Cumhuriyet Caddesi, Harbiye, ☏ , fax: . Hotel offers a business center, fitness facilities, pool and Turkish baths. Rooms have high speed internet access. Hilton have several other hotels in the city. B&B double from €120.
- 5 Park Hyatt Istanbul - Maçka Palas, Tesvikiye, Bronz Sokak No. 4 Sisli, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 5-star hotel in the residential and shopping district of Nisantasi. Rooms combine Art Deco style and historic Turkish decor with modern amenities: wireless internet access, DVD player and iPod docking station. The hotel is also home to a spa, swimming pool and restaurants. B&B doubles from €230.
- 6 Ritz-Carlton, Suzer Plaza, Elmadag, Askerocagi Caddesi No: 15, Sisli., ☏ , fax: . Standing tall near the Bosphorus, this 5-star hotel overlooks the Bosphorus and Dolmabahce Palace. B&B doubles from €220.