Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Istanbul

Galata Tower
This 14th-century tower was converted by the Ottomans into a prison with one hell of a view over the city...
Hagia Sophia
Built by Justinian in AD537, the Hagia Sophia was the largest building on earth for a millennium. With its absolutely stunning interior, if you see one thing in Istanbul, see the Hagia Sophia.
Istanbul Modern
Housed in a former warehouse in Karaköy, Istanbul Modern is one of the few places in the city to see Turkey's more recent artistic achievements.
City Walls
Walk the length of the wall from the Yedikule Fortress on the Sea of Marmara or the ruined Byzantine Blachernae palace on the Golden Horn.
Calligraphy Museum
Well worth a detour from the nearby Grand Bazaar, the Calligraphy Museum houses a beautiful if fragmented collection of Korans, tugras, seals and calligraphic writing.
Adali Meyhane
Live Turkish music on the 8th floor of a hotel...
Arter
The most striking of the many appearing contemporary art spaces appearing in Istanbul...
Vefa Bozacisi
From boza (a fermented millet drink unchanged since Turkic pre-history) to sira (a fermented grape juice), a host of traditional pleasures are on offer at the pretty Vefa Bozacisi.
Smyrna
Fashionable and relaxed, Smyrma hits all the right notes. Designed with lounging in mind you might go for breakfast and find yourself still there for sundowners.
Mavra
Galata's hippest hangout comes equipped with free WiFi, funky tunes and delicious cake...
Mesale Cay Bahcesi
Although long on cultural splendour, Sultanamet is short on great places to stop for a snack - places that aren't uber-touristy that is. Despite a prime location next to the Blue Mosque, Mesale retains a local flavour. styl
Nature and Peace
Spiritual home to the doner kebab and lamb köfte, Istanbul has been slow to embrace vegetarianism. Nature and Peace is one of the few places with a meat-free ethos.
Leyla
Part of the Cihangir social scene - think fashionable creative types - the multi-facted Leyla is perfect for a coffee and mid-morning snack or light lunch whilst you're exploring the local boutiques.
Kumkapi Meyhanes
Although popularity with the tourist hordes has taken some of the joy out of eating at the Kumkapi Meyhanes, it is still a fun experience on a warm night. The fish is, as always, delicious.
Doga Balik
Delicious meze and fabulously fresh fish are served alongside superb views of the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque. Within easy reach of Beyoglu's bars and clubs; head to nearby 5 Kat for a post-dinner drink.
Empress Zoe
Stylish in its simplicity and located in the heart of Sultanahmet, the Empress Zoe takes some beating for cultural visitors. Relax with a drink in the garden or on the roof terrace and soak up the atmosphere of Old Istanbul.yEventWatcherDiv
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