THE TOURNAMENT: WTA INTERNATIONAL Teb Bnp Paribas Istanbul Cup
From 04/24 to 04/30
Surface: Clay outdoor
Prize money: $ 226,750
Tournament location: Garanti Koza Arena – Sanayi Mahallesi 1638, Sokak 1 34415 Esenyurt/Istanbul, Turkey
How to get: On the way from İstanbul to Edirne, you have to take the Esenyurt Toll Booths exit to reach Garanti Koza Arena. (It’s situated right next to Akkoza Appartments and Akbatı Mall, there is also the Pelit Factory right behind the facility). On the way from Edirne to İstanbul, you have to take the Bahçeşehir-Esenyurt Toll Booths, then get on the other side of the road to reach Garanti Koza Arena.
Previous winners: 2016 Cagla Bayukakcay – 2015 Lesia Tsurenko – 2014 Caroline Wozniaki
Entry list: Elina Svitolina (Ukr) – Timea Babos (Hun) – Yulia Putintseva (Kaz) – Irina Camelia Begu (Rou) – Eugenie Bouchard (Can) – Qiang Wang (Chn) – Tsvetana Pironkova (Bul) – Sorana Cirstea (Rou) – Elise Mertens (Bel) – Lara Arruabarrena (Esp)
THE TOWN: Istanbul is a city of fantastic history, culture and beauty. Called Byzantium in ancient times, the city’s name was changed to Constantinople when it was rebuilt by the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine. It was renamed once again in 1928, becoming Istanbul, a name which had already been in use for centuries. The most populous city in Europe, it forms the financial centre of Turkey and confidently straddles the borders between Asia and Europe as it has for millennia: this is the result when you mix ancient Christendom, a medieval metropolis and the modern Middle East. Situated on either side of the Bosphorus, Istanbul still retains its metropolitan status: the city’s population is estimated to be between 12 and 19 million people, making it one of the largest cities in the world. Lauded in antiquity as “the second Rome”, this is a city where you most certainly should roam — culture and excitement lie around every corner and more than two thousand years of history await you.
Virginia Maxwell, a Lonely Planet’s writer, explains the reasons why she loves this ancient town: “Why do I love this city? Let me count the ways. I love the locals, who have an endless supply of hospitality and good humour at their disposal. I love the fact that when I walk down a city street, layers of history unfold before me. I love listening to the sound of the müezzins duelling from their minarets and I love seeing the sun set over the world’s most beautiful skyline. I love the restaurants, the bars and the tea gardens. But most of all, I love the fact that, in İstanbul, an extraordinary cultural experience lies around every corner.”
TOP 5 ATTRACTIONS:
- Aya Sofia
- Blue Mosque
- Basilica Cistern
- Galata Tower
- Grand Bazaar
BEST PLACES TO STAY:
- Apple Tree Hotel. Extraordinary *** hotel rated 9.4 on Booking and located in Sultanhamet just 300 mt from Blue Mosque. It offers a hammam, free WiFi throughout the property and a buffet restaurant. A 16 mq2 double room costs just 38€ per night with breakfast included.
- Bankerhan Hotel Galata. Wonderful **** hotel located a short walking distance from Galata Tower and rated 9.5 on Booking. A variety of dishes, beverages and refreshments are available at hotel’s restaurant. It offers cozy standard double rooms from 57€ per night (68€ in b&b) with free WiFi connection.
- The St.Regis Istanbul. Located in the heart of Nisantasi neighbourhood, this exceptional 5 stars hotel, rated 9.5 on Booking, provides an indoor pool and a terrace with city view, free WiFi access and spa, a delicious rooftop restaurant and a brasserie. Each room is decorated with contemporary artworks of Turkish artists. Butler service, 2 bottles of water and coffee&tea is offered for free in each room. Prices from 232€ per night. A dream!!!