Heading to the 2023 UEFA Champions League Final? Here’s how to enjoy a lavish Istanbul city break while you’re there | Luxury Lifestyle Magazine

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The Turkish city of Istanbul has it all, and with its rich history, vibrant culture and mouth-watering foodie scene, it’s easy to see why it has become such a popular destination amongst travellers seeking a sunny escape.

Packed with lavish luxury hotels and world-famous eateries and with a slew of notable monuments and sights to see, the city already has plenty to offer, but in 2023, things are set to get even more interesting, with Istanbul due to play host to the UEFA Champions League final on the 10th June. If you’re a football fan and are keen to watch the action unfold amidst an electric atmosphere at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium, then there’s no better excuse to book yourself a summer city break.

Here’s all you need to know about planning a luxury trip to Istanbul, Turkey – including where to stay, what to eat and what to do.

What to do

empty olympic stadium and the seats in Istanbul
The VIP hospitality experience at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium on match day is a must. Image credit: ilker canikligil/Bigstock.com

Starting with the obvious, and the VIP hospitality experience at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium on match day is a must. While which teams will be playing in the final remains to be seen, bookies are already beginning to release their UEFA Champions League predictions, and it’s guaranteed to be a thrilling day, no matter what – and an exclusive VIP package gets you the best seats in the house as well as luxury food and drinks and entertainment for you and your guests.

Included in all packages is a match ticket, drinks reception, match programme, TV feed and hospitality service to begin enjoying from three hours ahead of kick-off. If you’re planning on bringing a large group, then you can reserve an exclusive private table for ten in the Prestige restaurant for a cost of 44,000 Euros, while access to the Official Hospitality Club will set you back 3,900 Euros per person.

Of course, there’s plenty to do in Istanbul besides watching the big match, not least taking in some of the breath-taking historical sights that dot the city. From palaces embellished with spectacular frescoes and mosaics to elaborate mosques, it’s worth setting aside a few extra days to explore them – and the colourful bazaars, trendy pavement cafes and stylish boutiques are all additional attractions that will give you a real feel for Istanbul and the rich culture it has to offer.

Where to stay

Four Seasons Hotel at the Bosphorus
On the European bank of the Bosphorus – which flows through Istanbul’s history and heart – Four Seasons gives a 19th-century palace a fresh, eclectic spirit. Image credit: keladawy/Bigstock.com

Four Seasons Hotel at the Bosphorus

There’s no shortage of lavish places to base yourself while in Istanbul, but few offer quite the same level of luxury as the breath-taking Four Seasons Hotel at the Bosphorus. Set on the spectacular Bosphorus waterfront in a 19th-century Ottoman palace, it’s one of the most historic buildings in the city, and nestled amidst sprawling, verdant gardens and flanked by show-stopping fountains, it looks just as grand from the outside as it is inside.

Six Senses Kocatas Mansions

Over in the prestigious Sariyer district, the historic Six Senses Kocatas mansion offers stunning views over the Bosphorus Strait and, like the Four Seasons, still gives a nod to its Ottoman-era history through many of its architectural features. For those looking for stand-out facilities and the ultimate sense of exclusivity, it really doesn’t get much better than this opulent hideaway, which acts as a haven of tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of the city and is the perfect place to retire for a little R&R after a long day out watching the football or exploring.

Where to eat

Street with colorful houses and multicolor cafe in Istanbul, Sultanahmet. This is the most popular tourist place in Istanbul
This year, Michelin awarded stars to five different restaurants in Istanbul, so foodies and fine dining enthusiasts will have little trouble finding somewhere to enjoy a decadent lunch or dinner. Image credit: DTatiana/Bigstock.com

This year, Michelin awarded stars to five different restaurants in Istanbul, so foodies and fine dining enthusiasts will have little trouble finding somewhere to enjoy a decadent lunch or dinner.

It’s an exciting time for the city, as this is the first time its culinary excellence has been recognised by the guide – but with the likes of TURK Fatih Tutak, which was awarded two stars, leading the pack, it was only a matter of time before Istanbul became known as a foodie metropolis.

TURK Fatih Tutak

Reinterpreting traditional Turkish flavours, TURK’s sophisticated season tasting menu incorporates diverse ingredients such as Aegean octopus, milk-fed lamb and buffalo milk yoghurt and draws inspiration from Turkish street food. Headed up by chef Fatih Tutak, formerly of Michelin-starred eateries including Noma in Copenhagen and Hihonryori in Tokyo, tables tend to book up well in advance – but if there’s one restaurant you won’t want to miss out on trying whilst visiting Istanbul, it’s this one.


Trendy rooftop restaurant Mikla is the brainchild of Finnish-Turkish celebrity chef Mehmet Gurs, and has been rated as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world for the past seven years. Now, it has outdone itself and scooped a coveted Michelin star – so be sure to stop in and give it a try and to find out what all the fuss is about.

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