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PASSPORT THE MAGIC OF TRAVEL Flytographer Quarterly Issue 4 Fall 2017
Front cover image: Kimon
in Santorini for Flytographer Back cover image: Božo in Dubrovnik for Flytographer Editor: Michelle Ardiel
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As summer turns into fall, it always feels like a new start a new school year blows in, and with it, new goals to look forward to and new adventures to plan. In this issue, we’re giving you a peek at several inspiring destinations as you think about upcoming travels. (Have you been to Kraków or Warsaw yet? Get there before everyone else does!) We’re sharing customer stories of fun and meaningful trips all over Asia, Europe, North and South America, and the Caribbean. So you have the insider intel, the pages are packed tight with tips from travellers and locals alike. There’s nothing better than tried-and-true advice that lets you dive a little deeper into the heart of a city! Where will your adventures take you as we roll up to 2018? We can’t wait to see! Nicole Smith CEO & Founder
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Ma dr id 6 C harleston
Ne w York Cit y
Munich 36 Warsaw & Kraków 44 L ondon 58 R ome
S e ou l
L as Vegas
Rio de Janeiro
Nass au 94 Vic tor i a
Ist anbu l
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Falling for Spain Photos by: Julia in Madrid for Flytographer
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Mallory’s story My boyfriend, Kris, and I decided to take a long Spanish holiday to celebrate the end of the school year. Kris teaches 6th grade Science at a charter school and I am a Graphic Designer for a non-profit. We live in Memphis and have been together for two years, but had never taken an international trip together, even though we love travelling. I am very interested in Spanish culture and fashion while Kris loves history and architecture. Kris also speaks Spanish, which was a big influencer for this trip. We knew that would help during our first international trip together. We spent four days in Granada, five days in Madrid, and a week in the Canary Islands.
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I did a lot of research on the different neighbourhoods, and ended up choosing Malasana for our stay in Madrid. It was very hip and young with a lot of vintage stores, art galleries, and record shops. We LOVED it! We spent an entire day just exploring the neighbourhood. There was so much street art and plenty of places to stop and have tapas y cerveza. That night we met our photographer at Plaza dos de Mayo. The plaza was buzzing with old and young people just hanging out with their friends and enjoying the beautiful weather.
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Kris and I were both shocked at how well we adapted to the lifestyle and how deeply we fell in love with Spain. Everyone was incredibly nice and willing to speak to us in Spanish or English (if we got stumped). The public transportation was also the easiest we have ever experienced. We choose to stay in Airbnb rentals instead of hotels, which gave us a lot more of an authentic neighbourhood experience. We loved going to the butcher shop to pick up chorizo or jamón for dinner if we didn’t want to go out. I honestly loved immersing myself into the foreign customs, and having Kris there to experience it all with me was the best part. We soaked up every bit of Spanish culture that we could, from siesta to sangria!
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Mallory’s top tips for travellers to Spain 1. Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path! Some of the best places we went to were “hole-in-the-wall” shops and restaurants. Take advantage of the public transportation. 2. You must go to the Alhambra in Granada and the Reina Sophia Museum in Madrid. Take a day to relax in El Retiro Park. 3. Eat as many tapas as humanly possible! It’s all so good.
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BFFs in Charleston Photos by: Mackenzie in Charleston for Flytographer
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Duquesa’s story I was turning 30 and wanted to spend it with two of my dearest friends. I thought what better place to have a weekend getaway with my girls than Charleston? I’ve visited Charleston in the past while my husband was based at the naval station there and have always loved the city. This trip was the perfect chance to reflect on the last couple of years of my life and realize how lucky and blessed I am to have a wonderful husband and a beautiful son who support me in every way, along with amazing friends who I proudly say are the very best extensions of me. Charleston was the perfect setting for eating and drinking, laughing, and chatting for hours about how life is simply beautiful!
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My favorite memory from the trip was our Flytographer session, because it really allowed us to come out of our shells. The results are pictures that we will cherish forever. The one story we will always look back on was the night we were going to paint the town red: go all out and bar hop after our 10pm dinner reservation ... but after drinking all day, we wanted to have a quick evening nap. We ended up sleeping while all dressed up, waking up at 11pm and collectively deciding that sleep was more important than going out. I guess this is what my 30s are all about now!
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Duquesa’s Charleston Tips 1. I highly recommend the boutique hotel we stayed at, the Restoration Hotel. It’s got a great location right off King Street and within walking distance from everything you’d want to see in Charleston. 2. Stop by at Xiao Bao Biscuit for flavorful dishes and make your way to the Vendue Rooftop Bar for some cocktails. 3. The best way to experience Charleston is to just simply take a walk and admire the beautiful homes, gardens, and streets and fall in love with its charm!
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Second Home in Singapore Photos by: Kelly in Singapore for Flytographer
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Harshika’s story Singapore is like home, as my husband was born and raised there, and my son, Jahaan, was also born there before we moved to Dubai. We never consider a trip to Singapore a “vacation,” but this one was different. It was just my son and me with absolutely no agenda! We stayed up late, slept in when we wanted, explored parts we never did before (Haji Lane was one of them), and of course caught up with family and friends, which is always so much fun.
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Singapore is a tropical country, very hot and humid. Everyone is very casually dressed so bring light airy clothing in your luggage, and always carry an umbrella. It could rain anytime! Chicken rice is a staple in Singapore. Chatterbox in Mandarin Hotel on Orchard Road is one of the most sought after places for a “real” taste of this dish. Another one (by the roadside if you’re up for it) is Five Star Chicken Rice in Katong (East). We love the local teas and coffees, and of course the very sinful kaya toast and “Milo Dinosaur” (Milo is a local drink from Malaysia). The best is always debatable, but I would say you could find it at Toast Box located in almost every food court in the city!
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My son and I have an unusual bond, I am told. I often call myself the “Unmumsy Mum.” My most memorable experience on this trip was when we had to meet my family for dinner and got completely lost. We decided to ditch our Uber and walk it up since the maps said it was just 10 minutes away. It was a lovely walk in the light drizzle and I kept telling Jahaan funny stories to keep him distracted from the fact that it was pitch dark and we were walking through some unknown lanes we had never been before! In the end, it was a really fab 10 minutes spent together. Even though we know Singapore so well, our photos are so fresh, colourful and vibrant. I love the energy and chemistry in them, and of course the bond that my son and I share is very apparent! Everyone who has seen them is now keen to explore Haji Lane.
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5 Questions with Jahaan How many Flytographer shoots have you done with your family and where?
Nine: Venice, Madrid, Vienna, Stockholm, London, Singapore, Amsterdam and Dublin. How old are you?
12! My birthday was on the day of our Dublin shoot. What do you love the most about travelling?
The food. I just love trying out the different cuisines and, of course, cakes! What is your favourite city you have visited so far? What was so special about it?
I really liked Liverpool (even though I am an ardent Manchester United fan). The city was very pleasant, historic and the countryside (Lake District and North Wales) was absolutely stunning. I also think it would be a great place for my dogs to live. Which place is on the top of your travel bucket-list?
I would love to go to Kenya in the migration season, though I guess I will have to wait a year. My parents have a few places planned to go before that, so I am not complaining.
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Rain, Rain ... Please Stay Photos by: Armando in New York City for Flytographer
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Flytographer Armando’s story This proposal shoot was all about the awesomeness of feeling the rain, energy, and love, and I’m so grateful I got to shoot it. While speaking on the phone the morning of the big day, a very worried and soon-to-be-engaged Vito expressed his concern about the rain and that he was really hoping for beautiful sunny skies for his big moment in Central Park. I offered him the option of rescheduling, but also told him that the rain may, in fact, not be an impediment but a gift. I pointed out the great opportunities the rain would give us, such as having no people around in a place where there are always crowds, that the light would be beautiful and even, that having wet streets brings a feeling of romance, and finally that they wouldn’t even notice getting rained on during such a big moment. I believe life is all about how we look at things and what we choose to focus on. Vito felt ecstatic after that and said, “Let’s do it!” When I got off the subway stop at Central Park, there was a big line to exit to the street as it was pouring outside, but I wasn’t letting that stop me. I was so excited for this shoot and ran outside into the rain, mentally energized as well as fully prepared with my gear - I had wrapped my camera with a fancy plastic bag and duct tape. I was ready for this!
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Once I got to the terrace, I set up my gear and was ready for the big moment. I spotted the couple walking to the fountain; they were completely alone with no one around. It was so romantic, even from my own perspective, so I can’t even imagine how they must have felt! When they got to “the spot,” Vito got down on one knee and owned his big moment with a huge smile and a heart full of love while the rain gently fell down on them. That was a truly beautiful moment that I felt could not have worked out any better! After the newly engaged happy couple had their time together, I approached and expressed my happiness for them being there and taking a chance on the rain (and love!). We proceeded to walk around the park and take photos, having the complete freedom to shoot where we wanted, to laugh, and to enjoy the weather with such positive energy and feeling so special because of it all.
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Memories Made in Munich Photos by: Gloria in Munich for Flytographer
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Suzanne’s story My husband, daughter and I love to travel and we pick a new spot every year. We try to keep it educational and fun. We all have a different “top things to do” list, so we end up coming up with a trip that meets all of our needs. The planning is sometimes half the fun! We research everywhere we are going and learn as much as we can about the destinations. We usually end up on whirlwind multicountry trips trying to hit everyone’s wish lists. Lilllian turned 10 in May of this year. She has already travelled to 12 different countries. She joked that she is going to run out of places to go by the time she gets old enough to travel on her own!
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We loved Munich as it was a great central location to visit the other cities we had planned on seeing. We also went to Rothenberg, Bratislava, Prague, Budapest, Vienna, and Salzburg. In Munich, we stayed right beside the famous English Garden. I would definitely recommend the area as it is quiet but still close to the bustling city centre. The park is a beautiful walking destination with a huge outdoor eating and drinking area that draws huge crowds of locals and tourists alike in the evenings. If you go, definitely try the German beer and huge pretzels! I also loved the street vendors selling fresh produce, baking and sausages. Walk and bike everywhere, hang out with the locals, and just truly enjoy the beautiful city. The blend of modern and old world is stunning.
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I highly recommend visiting Marienplatz (Old City Centre) and Dachau Memorial. It was a tough call whether Lillian would be ready for the experience of visiting the memorial site. In the end, we decided to go. It was a sobering experience, but so powerful; we all took a lot away from that visit. We also loved going to Hitler’s Nest in Salzburg and seeing the incredible views from the top of the mountains. Just being together and exploring so many beautiful historical cities made this trip really special. It’s amazing watching it all through my daughter’s eyes and seeing how much each trip changes her. She is so open-minded about other cultures because of the travelling we have done. Her viewpoints have expanded so much by all that she takes in on our travels. I also love seeing her confidence grow to try new things as she is pushed out of her comfort zone.
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Flytographer Gloria’s Local Tips 1. See the urban surfers at Eisbach. 2. Go to “der verrückte Eismacher” (the crazy Icemaker) and try one of his creations like sausage or sauerkraut ice cream. 3. Try all kind of German beers: “Helles” and “Weißbier” are musts! Or order a “Radler” or “Russ” - it’s beer mixed with lemonade so less bitter. Come for Oktoberfest - the party starts in midSeptember and goes until the first Sunday in October every year. 4. Enjoy the overall view at Olympiaturm. On a good day, you can even see the Alps! If you want to enjoy the view somewhere more cozy, there is a restaurant under the platform. It turn 360° in one hour so you can see every angle of Munich while enjoying very delicious food. Make sure to reserve in advance - it is very popular and getting a table on a whim is almost impossible. 5. Walk around as much as possible; that is what made me fall in love with my city. The old town is super small and easy to get around. If you love old and impressive buildings, walk “Prinzregentenstraße” - my favourite thing to do! You’ll even pass by the surfers.
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Photo by: Agnieszka in Kraków
Local Guide to Warsaw & Kraków Photos by: Diana in Warsaw & Agnieszka in Kraków
Diana and Agnieszka, our local photographers in Poland, let you in on their top local secrets for the best things to eat, see and do in their fabled cities.
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Eat - Warsaw 1. Barka Wynurzenie - Enjoy a drink on the river in this floating bar. (Bulwar Grzymały Siedleckiego) 2. ĆMA by Mateusz Gessler - Open 24/7 with top-level food and DJ-spun music. (ul. Koszykowa 63) 3. Tel Aviv - Vegan Israeli street food. So good. (ul. Poznanska 11) 4. Zielnik - Small and elegant with a family-run feel. Make reservations - they book quickly! (ul. Odyńca 15) 5. Nocny Market - Market stalls and food trucks come together in this eclectic modern market setting. (ul. Towarowa 3 - past Warszawa Główna Train Station) 6. Bazar Kocha - Fresh and tasty in a post-industrial interior. (ul. Mokotowska 33) 7. Prasowy - Milk bars were once a communist worker’s staple; they have since re-emerged as a trendy dining option. (ul. Marszałkowska 10/16) 8. MiTo - Avant-garde café, bookshop and art gallery. (ul. Waryńskiego 28) 9. Kieliszki na Próżnej - Modern Polish with extensive wine list. (ul. Próżna 12) 10. Elixir by Dom Wódki - Vodka bar meets stylish eaterie. (ul. Wierzbowa 9/11)
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Photos by: Diana in Warsaw FLYTOGRAPHER.COM • 47
Photos by: Agnieszka in Kraków
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Eat - Kraków 1. Portobello - The best Italian restaurant in Kraków! They import every little product from Sicily and then cook it in a special way. The owners go to Italy a couple times a year to discover new meals and bring them to their clients. They also have the best coffee, especially affogato! (ul. Królowej Jadwigi 248) 2. Gruba Buła - The best burgers in the city. (Na Przejściu) 3. Forum Przestrzenie - A favourite of the young crowd for its live music and chic industrial feel, it has great views of Wawel Castle and the Vistula river. (Marii Konopnickiej 28) 4. Pino Garden - It has great food, very tasty, in an open garden space. (Na Błoniach 7) 5. Bunkier Café - Great breakfasts in the middle of Planty Gardens. (pl. Szczepański 3a) 6. Charlotte - Come here for brunch. It’s special because of their bakery in basement, and they have homemade chocolate and jam which you can add to your delicious croissant. (plac Szczepański 2)
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See - Warsaw 1. After the devastation of WWII razed the city to the ground, the area of Old Town was carefully rebuilt to authentic perfection. Now a UNESCO-Heritage site, Warsaw’s architectural and cultural beauty is forever preserved for its citizens and visitors. 2. Spend a day lost in romance and art at the opulent Wilanów Palace, with gardens, ponds, an extensive painting collection and lavish architecture. (ul Potockiego 10/16) 3. Visit the Holy Cross Church and pay homage to Chopin. Though the great composer’s body lies in Paris, his heart is buried in Warsaw, and the story around it is fascinating. (ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście) 4. Once run-down and ignored, the Praga district on the other side of the river is turning into an up-and-coming hotspot. With lots of industrial grit and authenticity, it’s a good antidote to the crowds and colour of Old Town. See it now before it becomes too fashionable. 5. Warsaw looks good from on high. For best views of the city, ascend to the 30th floor of The Palace of Culture and Science (plac Defilad 1), or if you prefer your view accompanied by a trendy cocktail, book a table at Panorama Sky Bar at the Marriot (Aleje Jerozolimskie 65/79).
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Photos by: Diana in Warsaw FLYTOGRAPHER.COM • 51
Photos by: Agnieszka in Kraków
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See - Kraków 1. The stunning interior of St. Mary’s Basilica will be a highlight of your visit. (plac Mariacki 5) 2. Browse the shops and cafés at the Kraków Cloth Hall at the heart of Old Town’s Market Square. (Rynek Główny 1-3) 3. Venture south of Old Town to wander the narrow and historic streets of the Jewish quarter of Kazimierz. 4. The elegant Wawel is the city’s pride and joy. You cannot visit Kraków without experiencing this magnificent estate containing castle and cathedral. (Wawel Hill) 5. Capture views of the city from one of Kraków’s legendary mounds. Flytographer Agnieszka’s favourite is Krak’s Mound, especially during sunrise. 6. History buffs will relish in the exhibition at Oskar Schindler’s Factory, a museum dedicated to telling the story of Nazi occupation in Kraków. (ul. Lipowa 4)
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Do - Warsaw 1. Poster art in Poland is world-renowned for its artistic visionary and creative freedom. Pick up your favourite graphic at the Polish Poster Gallery at the University of Warsaw library. (ul. Dobra 56/66) 2. After the death of Stalin, the city attempted to brighten up with neon signs to add to more “glamour” to the streets. Modernist artists of the day produced fantastic creations throughout the Cold War, which are now housed in the Neon Museum. (Soho Factory, Mińska 25) 3. To better understand the climate of WWII and the extent of Nazi wrath unleashed on the city and its residents after the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, visit the Warsaw Rising Museum. (Grzybowska 79) 4. In spite of all odds against her, Marie Curie became one of the world’s most important and accomplished scientists. A museum dedicated to the life of this trailblazing pioneer exhibits artifacts at the home where she was born. (ul. Freta 16) 5. For quirky and original Polish fashion, homewares, and novelties, stop by Pan tu nie stał. (ul. Piotrkowska 138/140) 6. A perfect day out will include strolling the magnificent gardens of Łazienki Park, complete with palaces, galleries, theatres and concerts. (ul. Agrykoli 1)
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Photos by: Agnieszka in Kraków
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Do - Kraków 1. Experience the Vistula River on a boat tour, or command your own ship with a kayak rental, which incidentally gives you the freedom to go for a swim anytime you so desire! If you prefer to stay on dry ground, an evening walk along the river bank is a relaxing end to the day. 2. Sign up for a chocolate-making workshop at Krakowska Manufaktura Czekolady, one of the city’s most beloved chocolate factories, or immediately satisfy your sweet tooth with any of the tempting goodies ready to go. (ul. Grodzka 11) 3. Vodka is the national drink of Poland, and making a night of it at an authentic vodka bar is part of your duty as a visitor to the country! Try the flight at Wódka Café Bar before settling down with your favourite. (ul. Mikołajska 5) 4. Go underground to experience the tradition and history of the Wieliczka Salt Mine, one of the biggest tourist attractions in Poland. (ul. Daniłowicza 10, Wieliczka) 5. Nowa Huta was the Utopian dream community of the post-war socialists, and although it was never fully completed, it stands today as a fascinating monument to communist urban planning. (tram stop Plac Centralny) 6. Near Kraków is Auschwitz-Birkenau, the biggest and most notorious Nazi concentration camp. A visit to the site is a tough but important reminder of this sad history and our place in it today.
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London Celebration Photos by: Jimmy in London for Flytographer
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Christina’s story Why would you not capture the memories of your vacation through a professional photographer? So many people buy t-shirts, trinkets, and souvenirs on their vacations. Not me, I pay for photographers! I tell my family that it’s not the dollars spent, as our photographs are priceless; time stands still at this exact point in our lives for our photo shoot. I learned this after going to Paris a couple of years ago. There were great pictures of us individually but not one family picture turned out! Family selfies are just not sufficient. This year, I found Flytographer.
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My inspiration for this London vacation was to celebrate my 20year wedding anniversary to the best husband this side of eternity. In addition, our daughter is turning sweet 16, and we are catapulting her to the world. After our London trip, we are dropping the kiddo off in Madrid, where she is participating in a month-long study abroad program. This is her life and her story. An “a-ha” moment for me was when we allowed her to solely navigate us through the London Underground system. I knew if this kid could get around London on her own, she will be ok!
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Our memories are a-plenty. We enjoyed our Airbnb, our walk with our Flytographer Jimmy, visiting Buckingham Palace, National Gallery Museum, National Portrait Museum, Piccadilly Circus area including Chinatown, Warner Brothers Studio, Abbey Road, Arsenal Stadium, Florence Nightingale Museum, the Royal Mews ... and the food! Fish & chips, beer, Indian, pasty, pies, tea, cookies ... ! Our Flytographer Jimmy is a true artist - his eye for detail is impeccable, and I think we found a friend because of his warm demeanor. He was proud of his city, his family, and his passion for photography. Funny story: as Jimmy was taking a picture of us at Westminster with Big Ben in the backdrop, a group of tourists was watching us. We felt like “royalty,” but soon learned they really just wanted our spot for their own pictures.
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Christina’s London Tips Transportation: Walk all over or taxi to a few destinations. London Underground is great for getting to the whole city. I had planned on taking the Hop On/Hop Off bus, but the traffic was too gnarly. Coffee: Buckingham Palace Café Fish & Chips: Bag o’ Nails Pub: The Phoenix Pub & Eating House Favorite Sandwich: Pret A Manger’s Mature Cheddar & Pickle Mural: William Shakespeare at 1 Clink Street Must-see: The Royal Mews and Warner Bros. Studio Tour: “The Making of Harry Potter”
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The Joy in Solo Travel Photos by: Roberta in Rome for Flytographer
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Planning a solo trip? Congratulations! What a wonderful opportunity to see the world, meet new people, enjoy some solitude and experience new things! Read on for our top tips for planning the perfect solo vacation.
Get your bearings by taking a walking tour. Booking a walking tour early on in your trip will give you the chance to explore your destination with a guide, get a feel for its layout, find your way around and meet fellow travellers. Context Travel has an excellent selection of art, history and food tours led by experts in their field. And if walking tours aren’t your thing, take a day with a map and just wander to your heart’s content. Once you have your bearings, it’s easier to focus on simply enjoying the city for the rest of your stay.
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Carefully choose accommodation. Where you choose to stay is an important decision and should be based on your travel style, as well as your budget. Not all hostels are aimed at college students on their first European vacation. Staying in a hostel - and spending a bit more on it - usually means better facilities, free activities and a central location. Plus, hostel-hosted social activities will offer easy opportunities to meet like-minded people. Hostels like The Beehive in Rome host storytelling evenings and cooking classes. A cozy reading lounge and garden perfect for enjoying a glass of wine offer relaxing oases away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
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Take advantage of communal dining. There’s no shame in dining alone, but with the rise in popularity of communal dining, hitting these trendy restaurants is a great way to engage in conversation over dinner. Sure, you’ll have to feel out each individual conversation, but nothing makes people livelier and in the mood to chat than a good meal and a few glasses of wine. You can also browse EatWith and book a seat at communal dining tables around the world.
Be flexible! A huge advantage to travelling solo is the opportunity to meet new people and try new things. Be outgoing, chat with locals and fellow travellers, and be flexible with your plans. That way, if you’re invited to dinner or out to a show, you can take advantage of the pleasure of meeting new people and the experiencing a different culture, which is a big part of the joy of travel, after all.
Enjoy your alone time. Travelling solo isn’t all about meeting new people. In our hyperactive world, slowing down and appreciating the time you have to enjoy your own company is so valuable. Take a journal with you, savour the activities you have planned for the day, and then stop at a café and indulge with a drink while writing or sketching a recap of your adventures.
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Flytographer Roberta’s Top Rome Tips • The Monti neightbourhood is a must-see. Enjoy the local life: sit on the fountain steps of the magical Piazza della Madonna dei Monti (known here simply as “piazzetta”) and soak up the lively atmosphere with a regional craft beer. • Visit the largest park in Rome: Villa Pamphili, where it feels like you aren’t even still in the city! There are many entrances, but I suggest to enter from via Vitellia. After a nice walk through the park, you can get great food at Vivi Bistrot (via Vitellia, 102). • We love our coffee here in Roma and we usually drink it fast standing at the bar. If you want to try something really nice in a coffee shop and you are close to Vatican City, go to Pergamino Caffè (Piazza del Risorgimento, 7). • Just on the left from Pergamino Caffè, there is the king of the gourmet sandwiches - genuine, huge and really tasty! Go here and you will not regret it: 200 Gradi (Piazza del Risorgimento, 3). You’re vegan, you say? Head to Universo Vegano (Piazza del Paradiso, 18) and you will have the best vegan sandwich in Italy. • And how could I miss the gelato? Here you will find ice cream at practically every corner in the city. An insider tip: always go for a Sicilian gelateria. Sicilians are known for making the best gelato; you will never go wrong! • So you’ve had a lot of pizza and pasta by now and want to work it off by shopping? Then head over to via dei Giubbonari for some great finds for every taste. While window shopping, make sure to stop at Dar Filettaro a Santa Barbara (Largo dei Librari, 88) to have the best filetto di baccala takeaway - because when in Rome, you eat!
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Celebrating Asian Roots Photos by: Allen in Seoul for Flytographer
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Mikayla’s story This was our first vacation as a couple, and we both wanted to explore our Chinese ancestral roots. Leon was born in Hong Kong but moved away to Canada as a child, and my grandma was born and raised in Hong Kong before she immigrated to Canada. We wanted to taste the vibrant foods and sightsee this city together. My mom had booked two Flytographer shoots for us, one in Hong Kong with Keith for our family photos, and another in Seoul with Allen. Both photographers had a their own unique style in the way they capture photos. We had a good mixture of laughter, smiles, and capturing the love we both feel for each other.
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After exploring Hong Kong, Seoul was up as the second vacation spot. I’ve always loved Korean food, K-dramas, Korean skincare and beauty, and especially K-pop music. I really wanted to share this with Leon. We have found a new love making KimBap together to eat! We put love locks away up in Namsan Tower as a commemorative statement to our feelings for each other. Hong Kong captured our curiosity of our vibrant history of our culture, while Seoul captured our love.
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Flytographer Allen’s Local Tips to Seoul
Eat fancy From Michelin-starred restaurants to mouth-watering Korean BBQ, Seoul offers an astounding variety of world-class food. At the stunning Jung Sik Dang in Apgujeong, the highly regarded Michelinstarred chef will take you on a culinary journey of delectable Korean fusion cuisine. The divine dolhareubang ice cream, shaped like a Jeju island volcanic stone statue, is like precious, eatable art. Nosh like a local Eating samgyupsal, barbecued Korean pork belly wrapped in lettuce, is almost a national pasttime. The Palsaik Samgyupsal chain, like its namesake, offers 8 delicious flavors of pork belly. Maple Tree House, an upscale BBQ chain, offers top cuts of savory meaty Korean BBQ goodness in addition to mountain-size helpings of banchan, Korea’s awesomely endless side dishes. Lastly, no Korean TV drama is complete without a chicken and beer scene. The extremely addictive garlic fried chicken at the 24-hour Kyochon Chicken chain will complete your life and your Korean cuisine experience.
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Visit a tea house Travellers resolutely profess their love for the calm scenery of Cha Masineun Tteul, literally meaning “tea drinking garden.” Nestled in the heart of historic Bukchon Hanok Village and surrounded by lush green mountains, this hanok-styled wooden tea house is a soothing oasis of peace. The strawberry-laced “Ice Flowers Tea” is always a favourite and is a perfect way to end a Flytographer shoot. Indulge in dessert The Korean dessert scene in Seoul is a delight for the taste buds, and might dominate your Instagram feed. The stylish Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in Sinsa-dong will have you furiously snapchatting, “I GOT BAKED IN SEOUL”. Churro 101 in the charming Samcheong-dong district claims their churros are “Better Than a Boyfriend.” Go local with patbingsu, a Korean red bean shaved ice dessert, a great way to cool off in the summer months. Party at a speakeasy After hours, prohibition-style bars called “speakeasies” are currently all the rage in Seoul. If you fancy luxurious mixology service, drop by the Four Seasons Hotel in Gwanghwamun. Downstairs, tucked away behind a plain marble basement door, is the glamourous Charles H bar. Inspired by Charles H. Baker, the plush decor, elegant lighting, stylish crowd and coolness of being inside a hidden bar will entertain your fantasies of feeling like a suave, prohibition-era gangster.
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Vegas Family-Style Photos by: Belinda in Las Vegas for Flytographer
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Taryn’s story We only had a weekend to get away since my husband is graduating Physician Assistant school in August. He just got a job and we wanted to celebrate. Heading to Las Vegas was a great getaway for us to enjoy swimming, eating out and celebrating the next chapter in our lives as we prepare to move to a different state. It has been a long 28 months of studying and we’ve been living in a different place almost every month since January for clinical rotations, so we needed a weekend to just focus on us. Our favourite part of the trip was getting the call from the doctor my husband will be working for with a firm contract offer. Sometimes you just need a short little trip to recharge, to not worry about dishes, vacuuming, cooking, etc. Taking photos to remember that we survived grad school was a great way to celebrate.
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Our Vegas trip was a bit unusual since we have a 2-year-old and neither of us drinks! However, going to Las Vegas was the first trip that my husband and I took together with his family when we were dating, so it was fun to come back this time with our little one. Our Flytographer, Belinda, was so great to work with! My toddler was hating life and not even chocolate bribes could get him to smile, so we rolled with it and somehow she captured some of the rare instances when he did crack a smile!
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What to Eat, See & Do in Rio Photos by: Ana in Rio de Janeiro for Flytographer
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Eat 1. Get your fix of classic Brazilian sweets at Confeitaria Colombo, which has been around for over a century. 2. Carb load at La Bicyclette before a long day of exploring Rio’s botanical gardens just next door. This artisan bakery serves up fresh loaves in their bistro and via bicycle delivery. 3. After living abroad, Brazilian chef Rafa Costa e Silva decided to bring his talents back to his hometown. Since then, his restaurant Lasai has garnered accolades, such as being named one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and receiving one Michelin Star. Reservations are required. 4. Dine with the locals at Restaurante Siri. Fresh, local seafood is the star of the menu. Try the restaurant’s most popular dish, shrimp risotto. 5. Get your sushi and sashimi fix at Sushi Leblon, one of the pioneers in bringing Japanese cuisine to Rio. The spot is just as appropriate for a romantic dinner for two as it is for a group gathering - just be sure to plan ahead and reserve a table! 6. When in Rio, you must enjoy a sunset from the beach. At Riba Bar on Ipanema Beach, you can do just that with a drinks and a casual meal. Think sandwiches, burgers and drinks with an unbeatable view. 7. Rio is known for its views, and Bar Urca is in a prime position to enjoy a view of Guanabara Bay with a cold one in hand. From Bar Urca, you can enjoy views of the granite peak of Corcovado and the Rio–Niterói Bridge, as well.
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See 1. Skip Copacabana Beach, which is frequented only by tourists, and head to Ipanema for the true Carioca beach scene and the best people watching in town. 2. One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Christ the Redeemer, watches over the city from the top of Corcovado Mountain. Because of the popularity of the monument, tickets for the tram to the peak must be purchased in advance online. 3. Rio’s uber-modern Museum of Tomorrow (Museo do Amanha) is a must visit. The museum, which is closed on Mondays and offers free admission on Tuesdays, considers the future through questions, exploration and reflection while remaining focused on sustainability. How’s that for an afternoon well spent? 4. The Santa Teresa neighbourhood, perched atop the Santa Teresa hill, has always attracted those of the artistic bunch and is now a trendy hotspot filled with galleries, shops, restaurants and bars. Get lost down its narrow, winding streets for a day filled with discovery. 5. Many of Rio’s landmarks overlap in their appeal. Museu do Amanha is a stunning example of modern architecture, but also a destination for science enthusiasts. The futuristic architecture of the building perfectly embodies what is held within, exhibits which explore the possibilities of the future. 6. Rio’s sprawling Botanical Garden features enough green space to spend several hours getting lost among the plants. In addition to greenery, the garden houses animals such as sloths and capuchin monkeys.
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Do 1. Copacabana posto 6 is one of Rio’s best spots for stand up paddleboarding, thanks to the ultra calm sea there. Surf Rio offers board rental with instruction or private lessons every day. Simply get in touch via phone or Whatsapp to schedule. 2. One of the best ways to get your bearings in a new city is to hire a tour guide for a day. Context Travel’s History of Rio walking tour is led by a local historian and perfect for first-time visitors. 3. Take in a show at Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. You can catch classical music performances, ballet and more inside this beautifully constructed building. If you’re more interested in the architecture than the performances, take a guided tour to learn all about the fascinating history of the building. 4. The 2016 Summer Olympics may be over, but you can still experience the thrill of Brazilian sports by attending a football match at Maracanã, which served as the main stadium during the Olympics. One-hour tours are offered for those who want to experience the stadium without the fans. 5. Learn how to dance Brazilian-style at a class with Rio Samba Dancer. Learn to samba in a group class and then hit the clubs with your instructor to show off your new skills. If you’re confident on the dance floor, head to one of Rio’s biggest clubs, Lapa 40 Graus, for three floors of samba, forró and dance music until the wee hours of the morning.
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Caribbean Surprise Photos by: Eboni in Nassau for Flytographer
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Kawika’s story I gave this trip to Michael as a Christmas gift. He had never been to the Bahamas before, and it was the perfect time for us to get away for a week before Michael was on the road to travel with his work as a musician. Nassau was perfect for us, as it’s very beautiful and the neighbouring islands are some of my favourites in the area. This trip was actually a cruise, and since it was also Michael’s first cruise, this trip held a lot of surprises for him.
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Being alone together in front of the Queen’s Staircase was pure magic and where I decided to propose. Michael is a Lego lover, so I planned to give him a Lego minifigure that is a representation of me holding a ring and wearing a shirt that reads “Will you marry me?”
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I am always surprised by just how friendly the people of the Bahamas are, and the stunning, beautiful beaches and colorful towns. Michael was surprised by how serene the islands can be. We also visited Freeport and Half Moon Cay. Top tip on what to eat? Oh my gosh, the rum cakes! This trip will always be special because it allowed us to truly enjoy each other’s time. We were able to soak in the beauty of the islands and just relax. We never wanted it to end. Our photographer Eboni was so very kind to us, and captured moments before, during, and after the proposal that we will treasure for the rest of our lives. We will definitely be using Flytographer on our honeymoon.
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Flytographer Q&A Photos by: Stephanie in Victoria
Victoria, Canada Equipment:
Canon 5D Mark lll, Canon 5D Mark ll, Canon 85mmL, Canon 1635mmL, Sigma Art 50mm How long have you lived in your city?
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How did you come to be a photographer? Tell us a little about your background.
I had always been interested in making art. My mother had taught art lessons out of our home as kids. By default, I was one of her students! My dad had been into photography and my sister and I both had cameras from a young age. In high school, I had an art teacher who was paramount in revealing photography to me: film rolling, developing, all the darkroom processes. After a few years of pursuing a different passion, I enrolled in art school and majored in photography. I have been running my business ever since.
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How would you describe your personal photography style?
My photographs nearly always have people in them. I am a people person and that has led me directly to portrait photography. I love emotional content. I like to be close to the people I photograph. Symmetry and texture catch my attention, while beauty and presence of truth draw me in. The symbiotic relationship between myself and my subjects is integral to my photography style. My style tends to be organic, while leaning into design and photography principles. Where is your favourite place to shoot in your city and why?
Wherever the people are and the light is great! I love the shorelines of my city at Dallas Road, Cattle Point, Macaulay Point Park, and Mt. Douglas.
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Where do you find your creative inspiration?
Inspiration comes to me when I am able to spend time in nature or indulge in quiet times at home, such as gardening. These sources reset me and create space within myself. Listening to music, playing guitar and singing inspire me; dancing with a gathering of people who are part of the same experience deeply inspires me. I find the visual voice of other people inspiring. These days, I seek my fill of this on Instagram; however, I used to spend hours paging my way through fashion and editorial magazines. What are you currently reading?
I just finished reading “Through Black Spruce” by Joseph Boyden. I’m now reading a book by Brené Brown titled “Rising Strong.”
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What does a perfect day in your city look like?
My perfect day includes riding bikes into the city centre, wandering the boutique shops, the furniture and fashion strips, stopping at a thrift store, and jumping on and off the harbour ferries. Often the weather is warm and the ocean breeze is ever-present: refreshing and cleansing. Another must is a spell of time at Munro’s Books. The afternoon would bring lunch at one of my favourite restaurants, like Be Love, and there would always be coffee at one or two cafés throughout the day. Then we would ride home along Victoria’s stunning bike paths that lead so many of us out of the core and to our homes. Alternatively, my perfect day would be the day of the Times Colonist 10K Run. This is one of my favourite things in Victoria. If you ever get the chance, run this course for its beauty and the feel of the city when thousands of people run/walk together. Spectacular! FLYTOGRAPHER.COM • 107
Where are your favourite places in your city to get a coffee and or a cocktail?
Any of the Ferris’ restaurants will always have my heart. Perro Negro is my current favourite. The Kitchen. I love the decor of this restaurant. It’s perfectly executed! More of a dinner experience than a quick cocktail. Habit Coffee in Chinatown is my favourite café in the city. The other would be Macchiato Café on Broad Street. If I want a special tea experience, I will go to Terroir Tea Merchants. Where was the last trip that you took?
The last trip we took was camping in Tofino, B.C., which is only a 5-hours’ drive north of Victoria. We stayed at Green Point Campground - a true west coast experience perched right above Long Beach. Green Point is in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and halfway between the towns of Ucluelet and Tofino. Tofino is really a special part of the world and I am so grateful it is within reach.
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If you could live anywhere in the world for one year, where would you live and why?
I would move to Hamilton, Ontario to be close to my sister and her family for a year. I would love our children to have that time together and, selfishly, I miss her family. Otherwise, I would say Amsterdam. I lived there for a short time when I was 20 and fell in love with everything about that city. What do you most enjoy about shooting for Flytographer?
I loved the concept of Flytographer instantly. Nicole, the founder, runs a really authentic business, which is very aligned with what I value in my own life. All of the people that make Flytographer what it is are golden. Creating images that mark a special time in people’s lives is the best part of working for Flytographer.
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Friends Reunited Photos by: Erica in Shanghai for Flytographer
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Robyn’s story We took this trip because our good friends had moved to Shanghai and we wanted to see their new life in China. We thought that some beautiful photos of the visit would be the best present we could give them for hosting us. Our photographer, Erica, met us in the French Concession neighbourhood, which we choose because it is a favourite hang-out of our friends and we wanted the place to be significant to them.
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We loved the French Concession and were surprised at how many small, interesting businesses were there. We also did a sidecar tour of Shanghai that took us through the Bund and Old Town. We had a wonderful time taking the photos in the neighbourhood that they loved and wanted to share with us. These photos are a wonderful reminder of our trip to visit them in Shanghai.
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Exploring Istanbul Photos by: Ufuk in Istanbul for Flytographer
Exotic spices, rich textiles, and elaborate architecture - if you’re looking for an adventure filled with incredible cultural experiences, then Istanbul, Turkey may be the perfect destination for you! Stylish world traveller Siuli gave us her inside scoop on the best places to shop, eat, and stay in this beautiful historic city.
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Top things to see and do Rüstem Paşa Camii (Rüstem Pasha Mosque), Eminonu - A small jewel with walls dazzlingly covered with blue Iznik tiles. This little mosque is built more to a human scale and usually very quiet, so you can observe the Iznik tiles up close and actually feel at peace here, as opposed to tramping past crowds in the larger, more touristed mosques. (Rüstem Paşa Cami No:62) Süleymaniye Camii (Suleiman Mosque) - I much preferred this to visiting the Blue Mosque, which was far too crowded. Süleymaniye Camii has some stunning architecture which, again, you can take your time to savour and enjoy up close without having to battle crowds. The grounds are peaceful as well, and a promenade along the walls offers some stunning views over Istanbul. (Prof. Sıddık Sami Onar cad. No:1)
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ArtWalk Istanbul - ArtWalk Istanbul offers walking art tours throughout various parts of the city, and if you enjoy contemporary art or just want to see a different side of Istanbul, I highly recommend joining one of these tours. On the walk that I took through the neighborhood of Cihangir, we visited 3 galleries with a wonderful guide who gave us some good background on the artworks and artists. The tour ended with a visit to an artist’s studio, where we met a well-known Turkish painter and got to see some of the pieces she was currently working on. We were also invited to have coffee with a photographer at one of the galleries we visited. Art aside, it was a great way to explore a neighborhood in Istanbul on foot.
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SALT Galata - Formerly the headquarters of the Ottoman banking empire, this gorgeous building in Karakoy has been converted into a contemporary art and culture research centre and archive. Come here to browse their publications and bookshop, marvel at the architecture, and take a break in their café with stunning views over the city. Don’t forget to visit the impressive exhibition in the basement, which tells the story of the Ottoman banking empire. Fun fact: the vaults that serve as display spaces for some of the artifacts are the original vaults used back in the day. (Bankalar Cd. No:11) Take a day trip out to the Princes’ Islands! Catch the IDO speed boat from Kabatas, which is the fastest way to get there. I visited Buyukada, and it was really like stepping into a fairytale. Time stands still here, and there are tons of beautiful, evocative buildings where you can see the faded glory of yesteryear.
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Where to Shop Kilic Ali Pasa Hammam - This beautifully refurbished hammam is part of a complex which also includes a mosque of the same name, designed by Mimar Sinan, the Ottoman imperial architect who was also responsible for the gorgeous Suleiman Mosque in Eminonu. Turkish bathing experience aside, the small little shop attached to the hammam is also worth a look-in for some high quality bath accessories, including bathrobes, peshtemals, copper bowls, and a range of soaps made with natural ingredients. The soaps make great gifts, and while the range includes popular single-note scents you’d find elsewhere such as rose, there is a small range of soaps made exclusively for the hammam which is made up of a unique blend of fragrances and they are absolutely divine! (Hamam Sk. No:1)
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Spice Bazaar Shop #21 Dogu Pazari - They sell a wide range of flavored Turkish delight by the weight here, and you can of course try before you buy. I was never a fan of Turkish Delight which I found too sweet, but the ones sold here totally converted me. I loaded up on the honey & pistachio flavour, as well as the pomegranate and dark chocolate varieties. When I was in Istanbul, fig season was just starting, and I bought tons of dried figs and walnuts from this store as well. (For the perfect pairing, tear the dried fig in half, stuff in a walnut and eat.) Shop #82 Ozer - This little shop is highly recommended by several online guides. They specialize in exquisite fabrics - newly handmade as well as antique textiles. The display baskets outside the shop carry cheaper stock; the exceptional pieces are all inside. If textiles are your thing, this shop is a must-visit. (Erzak Ambarı Sok.)
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FEY - Find the perfect tee with just the right amount of slouch and a V-neck deep enough to be flirtatious yet not overly-plunging to be vulgar. The perfect button-down that looks like a borrowed men’s shirt but far more flattering. Silk blouses that can be worn several ways, all of them flattering to the female form. ‘50s inflected basics and clothing that is effortlessly elegant, evidently thought-through by a designer who has spent years studying couture and the female form, and all of the highest quality. If this is what you want in your wardrobe, then you have to visit FEY, a chic, perfumed boutique in Nisantasi set up by Fatos Yalin who headed Marie Claire (Turkey) for two decades. Ms Yalin is in the shop (together with her cats) every day and will help you find your perfect pieces and show you how to style them. FEY also carries vintage jewelry and handbags to complete the outfit. (Mim Kemal Oke Caddesi No: 9)
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Where to Eat Karakoy Lokantasi - excellent mezzes in the evening, which you can choose from the counter display, so no second-guessing what you just ordered! (Kemankes Cad. No : 37/A) Namli Gurme - for a traditional Turkish breakfast. (Katotopark Altı 1/1 and other locations)
Where to Stay Sultanahmet is overrated. It’s tourist central so the hotels tend to be overpriced and you get hassled every few steps you take. I opted to stay in Karakoy, an interesting area which used to be quite industrial and gritty because the port is there, but within the past few years it’s witnessed a wave of gentrification. Karakoy is in the “modern” part of Istanbul, where you’ll encounter mostly locals, and find hip cafés, stylish shops and galleries cheek-to-jowl with abandoned or dilapidated buildings. A walk will bring you to fashionable areas like Beyoglu, as well as the Istanbul Modern museum. It’s close enough that you can get into the historic part of Istanbul, either by walking across Galata Bridge (10 mins) or taking the tram (Eminonu is 1 stop away; major sights like the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia just 5 stops away). I recommend Karakoy Rooms, a 12-room boutique hotel right next to the famous Karakoy Lokantasi. Their most basic room is very spacious, and is furnished in a minimalist, modern-chic style. You can tell that the owners have put a lot of thought into the design of the room and the comfort of the traveller. (Galata Şarap Iskelesi Sokak No:10) If you prefer a full-service hotel, I suggest 10 Karakoy, which is just round the corner from Karakoy Rooms. (Kemeraltı Caddesi No: 10)
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Published on Oct 30, 2017