Date #1 A walk on the seaside, preferably between Arnavutköy and Hisar, which is about 2,5 miles long. You may grab a coffee or ice-cream on the way to keep you busy. Bebek is the best spot to do that with lots of options; Mini Dondurma, Abbas, Cup of Joy, Starbucks… Afterwards Bebek Park is a nice and free spot to just hang, enjoy the view, watch kids playing, dogs strolling.
Date #2 Fancy some history? Let’s visit Eminönü, Sultan Ahmet, Topkapı Palace, Gülhane. Gülhane is indeed the master garden of Topkapi Palace so it has the best view of the Bosphorus. Make sure you end the tour with a visit to Gülhane Park, have a cup of tea in the teahouse.
Date #3 How about a relaxing bed&breakfast? Şile is most popular with its boutique hotels and shore; you may simply swim&tan or try water sports, hiking, trekking, paintball or atv in the woods, depending on your adrenaline rush.
Date #4 Looking for something different? How about MiniaTürk? It has miniature versions of the monumental buildings in Turkey such as Anıtkabir, Bosphorus Bridge, Houses of Safranbolu. You sure will feel like a giant crossing the bridge within seconds with your huge steps.
Date #5 Want to enjoy some rooftop view? Try Maçka Swissotel. It has a great view and even better cocktails. DJ plays chillout, getting you warmed up after work, continues till 2 am. Keep in mind the kitchen closes at 11 pm, last order at 10:45 pm.
Date #6 History and romance combined: The Maiden’s Tower known as Kız Kulesi. It’s in the middle of Bosphorus but don’t you worry if you don’t have your own yacht just yet. Boats are available every 30min. from Üsküdar and Kabataş and it takes around 10min. to get there.
Date #7 Burgazada. It’s one of the nine Prince Islands. It kept home to famous Turkish literature Sait Faik Abasıyanık and his cottage transferred into a museum for his admirers. Kalpazankaya is a casual but delicious seafood restaurant, a fantastic view needless to say. Since motor vehicles are banned from islands, horse-drawn carriages will be your only mean of transportation if you don’t fancy walking.
Date #8 Somebody said bar-hopping? Teşvikiye is a solid option with its various types of bars; Kozmonot for beer lovers accompanied by rock music, Efendi for white-collar hipsters and Divine for a jazzy, red winey evening. They are all neighborhood spots, nothing too fancy with a sincere, elegant crowd.
Date #9 Do you like biking? İstanbul might not be the best place for bikers but Caddebostan offers a great track near the seaside and it’s also possible to rent if you don’t have your own. Enjoy the ride and don’t forget to make a picnic on the grass after the ride. There are plenty of supermarkets offering drinks&snacks for picnic lovers.
Date #10 Why do we have weekends if not for brunch? Backyard — Bebeköy, Nezih — Rumeli Hisarı, Big Chefs — Tarabya, Namlı Gurme — Karaköy, Sütiş — Emirgan, Van Kahvaltı Evi — Cihangir, Zapata — Moda, Divan Brasserie — Kalamış are some of the best for you. My personal favorite is Mangerie — Bebek, offering a wide range of pancakes and prosecco.
Stop Netflix and chill for a second, go out, go get loved up while creating your own fun memories.