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.
Basileus Hotel
The Basileus Hotel is a charming hotel within walking distance of some of Istanbul’s best sights, including the Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace.
Adahan Istanbul
Set in a listed apartment building from 1874, Adahan Istanbul is an elegantly restored hotel in the Beyoğlu area with its own rooftop bar and restaurant.
Mama Shelter Istanbul
Mama Shelter Istanbul, the younger sibling of Mama Shelter Paris, has an enviable Beyoğlu location and bold, whimsical interiors.
Milion
Not exactly a destination but a point of interest as you walk past on your way to the Hagia Sophia, this broken column is a swift reminder of Constantinople's importance in the Roman Empire.
Indigo
Foodies flock in their droves to Indigo Restaurant with a reservations book that's always fit-to-bursting with high-profile names...
Galatasaray
Arguably the biggest side in Turkey, Galatasaray hold the record of Turkish League titles and Cups. Locked in an intense city rivalry, they now play home games at the Turk Telecom Arena.
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.
The House Apart
Chic and cheap serviced apartments dotted around the city, the brain child of a slick chain of Istanbul cafes.
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.
Balikci Sabahattin
Some of the best fish in Istanbul is served in this charming simple restaurant in the Old Town. Balikci Sabahattin is particularly recommended in summer for its pretty outdoor dining.
Kahve Dunyasi
If the Modern's cafe doesn't appeal, pop into the charming bustling Kahve Dunyasi for a chocolate fix.
Whirling Dervishes
Undeniably uber-touristy, we nevertheless recommend that you give in to your urges to watch the Dervishes whirl away... 
Approach to the city by water
Approach Old Istanbul as visitors over the millenia would have done and feel the years roll away...
The Kilisli Palace
Emirgan might be quite a trek out of the central pleasures of Beyoglu and Sulanahmet, but it's home to an increasing number of travel-worthy venues, including the wonderful Kilisli Palace.
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.
NuBlu East
A more sophisticated music policy - think groove reggae and disco rather than cheesy euro-pop - sets NuBlue East apart from its Kurucesme neighbours.
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"
Refik
To dine at Refik is to tap into the traditional tavern scene. Join Istanbul's political intellectuals for some top quality meze and put the world to rights (if you're Turkish is up to scratch).
Underground Cistern
Not the most important of cultural attractions, the Underground Cistern nevertheless has a rather zen charm...
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.
Urban
Not quite as 'urban' in design as the name might imply, this charming Parisian-style bar is perfect for an early evening drink.
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
Dulcinea
Sleek, cool decor attracts sleek cool customers to this popular bar just off the Taksim end of Istiklal Caddesi. To keep with the stylish set, head over to nearby fusion-restaurant Changa for dinner.
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.
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.
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.
Mangerie
Home to some of the world's best marzipan, there are many reasons to visit the smart Bosphorus village Bebek. High up that list is this lovely cafe-restaurant.
Riddim
If the hip hop vibe sets your pulse racing, then run - don't walk, all the way to Riddim.
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.
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.
Isis
Isis is located in Kadiköy on the Asian shore and is perfect for a break from super-smart cocktail bars...
Pera Museum
Classic and contemporary art gallery that puts on some amazing exhibitions...
5 Kat
Tucked away on the fifth floor and roof-terrace near Taksim Square, this slightly-out-of-the-way bar is a real find. The plush and eccentric furnishings make 5 Kat perfect for drinks all year round.
Fenerbahce
Fenerbahçe, on the Asian side of Turkey, were founded in 1907 and were Atatürk's and, traditionally, the army's team. 'Sari Kanaryalar' (The Yellow Canaries) are Turkey's most successful club.=display"
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.
Aga Hamam
Dating back to the 16th century, Aga offers a simple yet satisfying bath and scrub treatment in an atmospheric and authentic setting.

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