Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Istanbul

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"
Yakup 2
One of the most authentic of Asmalimescit's meyhanes, Yakup 2 has a traditional earthly feel reminiscent of days gone by. Nightclub Babylon is just round the corner to dance off the meze.
Witt Istanbul Suites
Witt Istanbul professes to provide home comfort in a boutique hotel ambiance, and indeed it does, but only if your home is an Autoban-designed interioristas paradise located in a trendy arty district. =display:"
Whirling Dervishes
Undeniably uber-touristy, we nevertheless recommend that you give in to your urges to watch the Dervishes whirl away... 
Vogue
As you would expect from the name, glamour is the order of the day here. Well-designed and slick decor complements the well-dressed crowd enjoying the international cuisine.
Urban
Not quite as 'urban' in design as the name might imply, this charming Parisian-style bar is perfect for an early evening drink.
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.
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.
The Sofa Hotel
One of the new breed of design hotels in Istanbul, the Sofa expertly combines personal service, excellent facilities and a wonderful central location, which sets it apart from the competition.
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.
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.
The House Apart
Chic and cheap serviced apartments dotted around the city, the brain child of a slick chain of Istanbul cafes.
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
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.
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.
Swimming
Sunset Grill & Bar
Well worth the taxi ride to Ulus Park, Sunset's enduring popularity with the smart crowd is due to its fabulous terrace with Bosphorus views, excellent varied menu and well-stocked wine cellar.
Sultan Pub
Split-level and split personality, the Sultan Pub moves from European-style cafe to American bar and contemporary roof-terrace.
Sugar Club Café
The Sugar Club is all about evening fun. Head over there when you're bored of shopping on Istiklal Caddesi to join the (mostly gay) crowd spilling out onto the street for drinks.
SuAda Swimming
Su Ada (it translates as ‘water island’) is a swish open-air swimming and general loafing joint housed on a pontoon floating in the Bosphorus.     
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.
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.
Simdi
Lovely Illy coffee in an elegant tiled room: what more could anyone ask for in cafe? Simdi has a varied menu and is a great place for breakfast, lunch and all points in between.
SALT
Sakip Sabanci Museum
Past temporary shows have included Dali and Picasso, this Istanbul gallery is fast becoming an institution...
Running
With all the beautiful sights to behold, going for a run in this historic city leaves us breathless.
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.
Riddim
If the hip hop vibe sets your pulse racing, then run - don't walk, all the way to Riddim.
Richmond Hotel
The only decent hotel on the entire length of Istiklal Caddesi, this contemporary hotel is ideally located for visitors planning to take in Istanbul's cultural and pastoral pleasures.
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).
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.
Poseidon
Located in Bebek, the smart village-cum-suburb on the European shore of the Bosphorus, a trip to this excellent seafood restaurant is something of a pilgrimage.
Pierre Loti Café
If you've ticked off Sultanahmet's cultural splendours, Nisantasi's chic shopping, Kurucesme's high-octane clubs and Beyoglu's restaurant scene (phew), now's the time to enjoy Pierre Loti cafe.
Picante
For those tired of the ubiquitous kebab joints, this new Mexican fast-food diner will come as a welcome relief. It's not the place for a romantic meal but perfect for refuelling on a quick taco.=display:none;""
Pera Museum
Classic and contemporary art gallery that puts on some amazing exhibitions...
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.
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.
Nevizade Sokak
A stroll down Nevizade Sokak is instant immersion into the colour and energy of Istanbul: a great antidote to the 'high-street' feel of the nearby Istiklal Caddesi.
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.
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;"

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