raki (an anise-flavoured spirit) and seafood without spending a fortune; a plate of calamari or fried local fish with a salad costs about ten lira (five euros). In Kanlica the speciality is the homemade creamy yoghurt, which is sold from little stalls on the street during the summer. Some of the best seafood restaurants, such as Cengelkoy Iskele or Lacivert, can be found along the Asian shore. Advance bookings are recommended. Wealthy customers arrive in style via private boats, and water taxis can also be hired for a comfortable journey along the Bosphorus (+ 90 533 777-7718). Price for a water taxi ride starts at about 60 lira (30 euros); larger boats can take up to fourteen passengers. Lacivert, Sumahan and A'jia hotels offer pick-ups with their own shuttle boats. MArkets And UpMArket shOppinG in kAdikOy Across the road from Kadikoy ferry terminal is a lively, pedestrian area of street markets with many antique shops, food stalls and restaurants. The area comes alive in the evenings; terraces become crowded with diners, and along the side streets one can find several bars with a bohemian feel. Despite the fact that it serves no alcohol, Ciya Sofrasi is one of the most popular places for dinner; The New York Times called it "a go-to for the culinary set." Three branches are now open in the heart of this area. A meze plate here will set you back between ten and 20 liras (five to ten euros). For a more relaxing stroll, the neighbouring district of Moda is worth a visit. Surrounded by a park along the water, there are many pleasant cafes for afternoon tea or drinks. This is a wealthy residential area in which grandiose balconies protrude out of 20th century apartment buildings alongside wooden Ottoman houses. The legendary ice cream parlour Ali Usta can be found in the heart of Moda, and there is also the famous Moda Pier with a restaurant and cafe. The Moda Teras restaurant, meanwhile, was designed by the award-winning Istanbul design-team Autoban. The Soundshift festival, a showcase of sound installations and musical performances, began this year at Moda and the Hayderpasa station and will continue until the spring of 2011. The main shopping road on the Asian side is the Bagdad Caddesi, which runs a few blocks inland along the waterfront and stretches over several kilometres. Here you can find Turkish luxury stores such as Vakko (www.vakko.com) and an array of top international brands. The area feels cosmopolitan, almost American, with big stores and cafes filling up with locals over lunch. islAnd life Located just a 30-minute ferry ride away, Istanbul's cluster of nine islands on the Marmara sea, Princes' Islands, are perfect for escaping the summer heat in high season, but equally nice for long walks during the cooler months. There are no cars here only horse carriages. The Princes' Islands Museum (+90 216 382-6430), which opened in September on Büyükada Island, educates visitors on the area's history with installations, tours and thousands of historical documents; over the centuries, Princes' Islands have been home to several minority communities. The Suadiye Hotel near Bagdad Caddesi is conveniently located for both island and shopping excursions. The east coast gets the best out of the golden sunsets reflected over the water. A good place for catching the evening view is the Kiz Kulesi, also known as the Maiden's Tower. This former lighthouse and watchtower by the harbour has been converted into a cafe and restaurant. Just a short boat ride from Üsküdar, it is also visited by Istanbulites who want to enjoy a panoramic view of their hometown in the red, trembling light of the setting sun. As it descends behind the domed silhouette on the European side and daylight softly turns in, the city looks truly magical. finnair flies to istanbul five times per week. LUXBAG, Helsinki Airport, Gates 34-35, www.luxbag.
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