Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Istanbul

Darussaade Hotel
A charming boutique hotel with historical bona fides, the Darussaade Hotel is found in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district, near the Hagia Sofia.
Mama Shelter Istanbul
Mama Shelter Istanbul, the younger sibling of Mama Shelter Paris, has an enviable Beyoğlu location and bold, whimsical interiors.
Tarihi Selim Usta
Another meatball specialist (that sounds much better in Turkish), this elaborately named restaurant is one of the best places in town to experience köfte at their zenith.
Cibalikapi
Intimate and low-key, this sweet seafood restaurant is a local favourite.
Indigo
Foodies flock in their droves to Indigo Restaurant with a reservations book that's always fit-to-bursting with high-profile names...
Carnival
Good for breakfast and healthy lunches, refuel here before heading back onto the main thoroughfare to shop for sunglasses, denim and cheap and cheerful clothing.
The House Apart
Chic and cheap serviced apartments dotted around the city, the brain child of a slick chain of Istanbul cafes.
Galata Bridge Bars
The many indistinguishable Galata Bridge bars, though tacky, present beautiful views of the Bosphorus if you're looking in the right direction (away from the bridge), especially at dusk.
Approach to the city by water
Approach Old Istanbul as visitors over the millenia would have done and feel the years roll away...
Zarifi
More of a restaurant than a club, join large groups of Istanbullis for a raucous night of unashamed Turkish fun. As the meze get cleared away and the raki goes down the volume goes up and the dancing starts. =d"
Hamdi
Delicious kebabs have engendered a loyal following among locals and visitors alike. Just a stroll away from the Egyptian Bazaar Hamdi is perfect for a restorative lunch before taking on the Grand Bazaar.=display:none"
I’Zaz
Tiny and kooky boutique guesthouse with only four rooms is adored by young creatives.
Kiva Han
In the surprisingly cafe-empty area surrounding the mysterious Galata Tower, Kiva Han has found itself the perfect niche; the perfect spot for a quiet brunch in the open air.
The James Joyce
Despite a scandalous lack of Guinness, no other Irish cliche is overlooked in the James Joyce pub. Pretty, casual and popular with English speaking ex-pats.
Badehane
Located in lively Asmalimescit just off Istiklal Caddesi, Badehane offers simple often raucous fun. Join the studenty 20-something crowd of Istanbullis for beers and a spot of spontaneous dancing.di
2C Club Inn
Located near the unlovely Taksim square, 2C offers a taste of the down and dirty side of Istanbul nightlife. With banging techno and house tunes, a night here is unashamedly good fun.
Galata House
A former prison Galata House may not have the happiest history, but homely furniture and some comfort food from the Crimea have long dispelled any negative vibes.
Cuppa
Healthy juice shop and cafe to leave you glowing...
Dogztar
It's laid back with a down and friendly rock vibe reminiscent of our school years. If experimental music is your thing, then this is quite a discovery.
Riddim
If the hip hop vibe sets your pulse racing, then run - don't walk, all the way to Riddim.
Islamic Arts Museum
Turkish carpets, illuminated Korans, calligraphy wood carvings, porcelain and much much more is on show in this house-Museum. Located in the HippodRome just opposite the Blue Mosque.
Tokyo
Located just off Beyoglu's buzzing thoroughfare Istiklal Caddesi, the smart contemporary Tokyo is perfect for a quick sushi lunch. Pop in here before taking on the antiques shops of nearby Faik.
Taps
Located just a few streets away from the fabulous shopping on Abdi Ipecki Caddesi, men might like to retreat to Taps to sample their seven beers leaving wives and girlfriends to the chic boutiques.
Crystal
A good deal more casual than neighbours Reina and Anjelique, Crystal's clientele are more focused on the music than each other. Wander over here later and be prepared to dance.
Beyti
Although located a substantial taxi ride from the centre, meat lovers should follow in the footsteps of Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon and make a pilgrimage to Beyti.
Karga
Under the radar yet full of originality, Karga's subversive yet creative atmosphere is just the thing for an art-inspired, laid-back crowd. 
Picante
For those tired of the ubiquitous kebab joints, this new Mexican fast-food diner will come as a welcome relief. It's not the place for a romantic meal but perfect for refuelling on a quick taco.=display:none;""
Bambi
Only hardcore devotees of the kebab will head here during the daytime, but at night Bambi just could save your life - or at the very least your hangover.
Jolly Joker Balans
Harking back to our days of innocence, this college-inspired venue makes us nostalgic for yesteryears. 
Sultan Pub
Split-level and split personality, the Sultan Pub moves from European-style cafe to American bar and contemporary roof-terrace.
Yakup 2
One of the most authentic of Asmalimescit's meyhanes, Yakup 2 has a traditional earthly feel reminiscent of days gone by. Nightclub Babylon is just round the corner to dance off the meze.
Belgrad Forest
With 13 million people crammed onto both banks of the Bosphorus, every Istanbul experience is inescapably rich and intense. Which is why Belgrad’s 5,000 hectares of lush green forest is a particularly refreshing prospect.
Beyoglu Pub
A real insiders' find. Despite an unprepossessing location in a run-down shopping arcade, the Beyoglu Pub is a popular relaxed spot for a drink. =display:"
Nevizade Sokak
A stroll down Nevizade Sokak is instant immersion into the colour and energy of Istanbul: a great antidote to the 'high-street' feel of the nearby Istiklal Caddesi.
Babylon
At the vanguard of Asmalimescit's rise as party central, Babylon has been packing in the crowds for years. Conveniently located near many of Beyoglu's restaurants, it's a great post-dinner option.di
Swimming
Kösk Hamam
A men's only hammam, it's a straightforward and no-frills venue attracting a gay crowd during its opening hours.
Büyük Hamam
Treat yourself to an indulgent afternoon of blissful relaxation and get your culture-fix at the same time.
Karaköy Fish Market
An array of simple yet authentic fare that's one of the most affordable in the city.
Büyük Londra
This charmingly eccentric hotel in Pera is a good option for those on a restricted budget. Not only does it have a certain (shabby) chic, it's also well located to explore Beyoglu.

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