Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Istanbul

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.
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.
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.
Alti Café
This lovely cafe-cum-boutique is the perfect place to start a day of shopping around the antique shops of Cihangir and Faik Pasa Yokusu. Try the delicious Turkish breakfast in beautiful garden.
Approach to the city by water
Approach Old Istanbul as visitors over the millenia would have done and feel the years roll away...
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.
Arnavut Köfte
Small, simple and anonymous, Arnavut Köfte serves up uncomplicated köfte with side orders of rice salad and ayran - this is fast food in Istanbul. Located in the Old City, head here after a morning in the Egyptian Bazaar.yEventWat
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:"
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.
Büyük Hamam
Treat yourself to an indulgent afternoon of blissful relaxation and get your culture-fix at the same time.
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.
Café di Dolce
There comes a time when the only answer to life's questions is cake. If that's the case, during an Istanbul trip head straight to Cafe di Dolce for the ultimate sugar fix.
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.
Çiya
A local favourite, Istanbulis frequently cross continents to visit Çiya for a taste of its sophisticated Anatolian cuisine. A must if you are staying on the Asian Shore at A'jia or Sumahan on the Water.
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.
Çukurcama
The winding streets around Faik Pasa Yokusu have a number of charming shops worth exploring.
Çukurcuma Hamam
A go-to hammam for the gay crowd in Istanbul.
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.
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.
Efes Basketball
With a name that is probably not as recognisable as that of the other Istanbul teams, Efes are surprisingly the most successful club in the history of the Turkish Basketball League.
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.
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
Enstitü
Practice cooking for the up-and-coming young Turks of the culinary scene...
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"
Fenerbahce Ulker Basketball
Though a firm second to football, basketball is still largely popular in Istanbul and Fenerbahce, similar to the rest of the 'The Big Three' compete for honours on the court as well as the pitch.
Flash Gym
This quiet modest gym can be found on the 4th floor in Aznavur Passage and is moderately priced. Rates can be paid hourly, daily and monthly.
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.
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.
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.
Galatasaray Basketball
Founded in 1929, Galatasaray Cafe Crown lays their home games in the 12,000-seat Adbi Ipecki Arena. 
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.
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.

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