• Start the day with sensational city views at a kitschy rooftop restaurant
  • Explore designer showrooms of silk dresses, organic candles and colorful lamps
  • Head to a hub of up-and-coming designers with standout denim and housewares

Don’t bother queuing to ride the elevator to the top of the 14th-century Galata Tower, at one time the tallest building in Istanbul. The views across the Golden Horn to the minarets of Sultanahmet are equally sensational at Konak, a kitschy rooftop restaurant where Turks flock for breakfast on sunny weekends (along with plenty of scavenging seagulls). A glass of industrial-strength Turkish tea will set you up for a morning exploring the designer showrooms in the surrounding cobblestoned streets. Studio does affordable silk separates by Bis Wear and beautifully cut dresses by Yasemin Ozeri. Around the corner, Serdar-i-Ekrem is lined with intriguing boutiques including NYKS, where the organic candles come in reusable marble and copper pots. The colorful brass lamps at Lightwork Design are also handmade. Boğazkesen Caddesi in the neighboring Tomtom district is another hub of up-and-coming designers: Check out simple marble coasters and wooden candleholders from Hamm. Wander past the old-school artisans on Kumbaracı Yokuşu to Yeni Lokanta, an upmarket meyhane. Order meltingly tender octopus with purslane and smoked eggplant and walnut-studded sausage on broad-bean puree, and mop it up with warm bread from the wood-fired oven.

For breakfast with a view, make your way to Konak, which is at the intersection of Bereketzade Medresesi and Bereketzade Cami. Studio is just a few minutes north, on İlk Belediye Caddesi. Wander the neighborhood and you’ll find the rest of the great boutiques. Make sure you stroll down Boğazkesen Caddesi.

KONAK: Bereketzade Mah.Hoca Ali Sk. No: 2; +90-(0)212-252-5346; galatakonakcafe.com

STUDIO: Ilk Belediye Caddesi 4/2; +90-(0)212-243-4356

NYKS: Boğazkesen Cad. No:90 +90 212 243 4364

LIGHTWORK DESIGN: 20/C Hoca Ali Sokak; +90-(0)212-245-7826; lightwork-design.com

HAMM: 71/A Boğazkesen Caddesi; +90-(0)533-234-1122; hamm.com.tr

YENI LOKANTA: Kumbaracı Yokuşu No: 66; +90-(0)212-292-2550; lokantayeni.com