Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Istanbul

Besiktas
Established during the late Ottoman period, Karakartallar (The Black Eagles) were founded in 1903 and play their home games at the 32,000 seater BKJ Inonu Stadium.
Grand Bazaar
To really do justice to the extreme shopping experience of the Grand Bazaar, allow at least half a day - if not more. With antiques, leather, jewellery, fabric, clothes and much more, there's a lot to take in.
Istiklal Caddesi
Long and highstreety shopping on Istiklal Caddesi lacks the charm of the Old Town Bazaars and the style of Nisantasti's chic boutiques, but nevertheless there are some interesting shops.
Faik Pasa Yokusu
Antiques and goodies abound for those who don't mind a rummage.
Arasta Bazaar
A single row of shops running along the eastern wall of the Blue Mosque, Arasta Bazaar is a great interlude in the sightseeing for a quick shop.
Bagdat Caddesi
South of Kadiköy and Moda on Istanbul’s Asian shores, Badat Caddesi is leafy, lined with lovely high-end boutiques and definitively off the tourist radar. 
Egyptian Bazaar
Located just over Galata Bridge near the New Mosque, the Egyptian Bazaar encourages you to wander and soak up the sights and smells of the weird and wonderful spices.
The Bosphorus Tour
Whether by ferry, boat tour or private water taxi, a trip on the Bosphorus is an essential part of any trip to Istanbul. The full cruise is a 6 hour tour from Eminonu to the mouth of the Black Sea.d
Traditional Music Clubs
Book ahead to secure a table at Kallavi 20, one of the best meyhanes to hear traditional Turkish folk music. Knock back enough raki and you'll soon feel Turkish enough to join them on the dance floor.
St Stephen’s Cathedral
Still used by the Bulgarian community for whom it was originally built in 1871, St Stephen's Cathedral is located on the short of the Golden Horn.
Mosaic Museum
Tucked away by the Blue Mosque, this unprepossessing building houses a mosaic floor depicting bucolic and mythological scenes. Afterward invest in more modern artefacts in the Arasta Bazaar.
Rumeli Hisari
Built by Mehmet II in 1452 as part of his conquest of Byzantium, the castle played a pivotal role in the campaign. In its most recent incarnation, it is now an open air theatre.
Sakip Sabanci Museum
Past temporary shows have included Dali and Picasso, this Istanbul gallery is fast becoming an institution...
Kallavi
A fasil music bar that really gets the locals jigging about in an orgy of delight...
Kiz Kulesi
An immensely popular landmark despite its lack of historical or architectural significance, the Maiden's Tower is located just off the Asian Shore on a rocky outcrop.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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