Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Istanbul

Gizil Bahçe
Ostensibly no different from the traditional restaurants and bars serried along Nevizarde Sokak, Gizil Bahçe is quite a different proposition. A deliberately low-key, stylish bar attracting a cool youngish crowd.
Haremlique
Head to Haremlique for quintessential Turkish homeware.
House Café
Super-slick and ultra-hip chain of cafes filled with immaculately beautiful young things...
I’Zaz
Tiny and kooky boutique guesthouse with only four rooms is adored by young creatives.
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.
Istinye Park
A random roof design, swathes of designer outlets and Istanbul’s first IMAX theatre – what more could you want from a mall?
Kahve Dunyasi
If the Modern's cafe doesn't appeal, pop into the charming bustling Kahve Dunyasi for a chocolate fix.
Karaköy Lokantasi
A taste of Italy in Istanbul, complete with hearty seafood - not to be missed...
Kino Garden
This tiny, trendy Asmalimescit bar attracts a different cool crowd to the glamorati that frequent Leb-i-Derya and 360o - Kino is popular with younger creative types with slightly less cash.
Körfez
A must for guests of the A'jia hotel (also in Kanlica) Korfez attracts diners from across the city. Take the restaurant's water taxi across the Bosphorus for a memorable evening of excellent fish in a beautiful setting. sty
Leb-i-Derya
Stunning panoramic views and crisply contemporary styling make Leb-i-Derya a hit with Istanbul's fashionable crowd. The bar comes into its own as the evening wears on so it's perfect for post-dinner drinks.=display:n"
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.
Lokal
Effortlessly contemporary, Lokal is a sparse, minimalist space that gives local German cuisine a fresh reinvention. 
Marti Istanbul Hotel
The Taksim-located Marti Istanbul Hotel offers guests the chance to experience the best of modern Istanbul, including warm Turkish hospitality.
Mavra
Galata's hippest hangout comes equipped with free WiFi, funky tunes and delicious cake...
Mia Mensa
Located along the Bosphorus in Kuruçesme, home to super-clubs Sortie Angelique and Reina as well as the trendy Assk Cafe, the lovely Mia Mensa is in good company.
Mikla
With indoor and outdoor restaurants, a terrace bar and rooftop pool with resident DJ, European restaurant Mikla has much to recommend it. Dress to impress for a relaxed evening out.
Mimolett
Take taste to another level at this epicurean haven...
Minyon W Istanbul
Beautiful people and a trendy ambience make this your absolute go-to place for a night on the town.
Motus Wellness Club
Your health and fitness neighbourhood spot for a morning of pampering and exercise, to fit in before the bouts of sight-seeing begin.
Müzedechanga
Cuisine and culture are perfectly fused at this Museum-restaurant from the Changa team. With a wonderful terrace overlooking the Bosphorus, there is no better place for a light lunch or romantic dinner.=display:none;"
Nardis Jazz Club
Istanbul's most popular jazz club is tucked away behind Galata Tower. Jazz buffs should book a table at the front and dine in the club, or there's always the nearby Galata House.
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.
Nu Club
With a great fusion restaurant on the ground floor, panoramic rooftop bar and basement club, NuPera can keep you occupied for the whole evening.
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.
Nuteras
Around sunset on a summer's day, there are few places better than the sleekly modern Nuteras. Located on the 7th floor of a Pera building it is perfectly aligned with the setting sun.
Pera Museum
Classic and contemporary art gallery that puts on some amazing exhibitions...
Pera Palace
Once a favourite of the rich and famous, the Pera Palace has history and anecdotal interest in spades. In its heyday the Palace hosted every visiting star and dignitary to Istanbul.
Raffles Istanbul
Raffles Istanbul is a luxurious, modern Turkish hotel, found in the downtown area, offering high-end rooms, a spa, and numerous bars and restaurants.
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).
Reina
To truly experience Reina in all its glory, arrive by yacht thus bypassing the queues and instantly elevating yourself to membership of the elite. Just remember to leave the deckshoes at home.
Sakip Sabanci Museum
Past temporary shows have included Dali and Picasso, this Istanbul gallery is fast becoming an institution...
Sakirin Mosque
Beautiful contemporary mosque, designed by an avant-garde female architect...
SALT
Sapphire Bosphorus
Large? Chic? Good looking crowd? If that sounds familiar, it's because Sapphire Bosphorus is virtually interchangeable with Kurucesme's other clubs.
Seasons
If you are not fortunate enough to be staying at the excellent Four Seasons hotel in Sultanahmet, a trip to the Seasons Restaurant is a good substitute if you are in the mood for fine dining.
Sensus Turkish Wine Library
Cheese and wine shop-cum-bar concentrating on some serious local vintages...
Sevan Bicakci Grand Bazaar
Offering one-of-a-kind pieces of jewellery, the pieces on display at Sevan Bicakci Grand Bazaar are like wearable sculptures. And utterly covetable ones at that.
Shangri-La Bosphorus
A luxurious hotel looking out on the waterfront in Istanbul, the Shangri-La Bosphorus offers five-star amenities, great service, and sumptuous surrounds.
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.

Sign up for our newsletter

We'd love to keep you up-to-date with what's really going on around the world, from the hottest new restaurants and mind-blowingly beautiful hotels, to thumping underground clubs and world-class art galleries. Sign up to learn more - we promise you it'll be worth it...

X

Follow Us