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.
A’jia Hotel
Located in the Asian Shore village of Kanlica, the sleek contemporary A'jia hotel is an excellent option for style-conscious travellers.
Aga Hamam
Dating back to the 16th century, Aga offers a simple yet satisfying bath and scrub treatment in an atmospheric and authentic setting.
Ansen Suite Hotel
Pleasantly informal, the Ansen Suite Hotel is a welcome addition to the more traditional hotels in the Pera district of Beyoglu. The hotel is within walking distance of the buzzing streets around Istiklal Caddesi.=d"
Antre Gourmet Istanbul
A gourmet shop in Beyoğlu, Antre Gourmet Istanbul offers its patrons – both visitors and locals alike – a real taste of Anatolia, from cheese to charcuterie.
Approach to the city by water
Approach Old Istanbul as visitors over the millenia would have done and feel the years roll away...
Aquarius Sauna
A gay-only venue, this hammam is open 24 hours a day. A perfect venue if you happen to be sleepless in Istanbul.
Archaeology Museum
For swift immersion in Istanbul's intriguing history, spend a day visiting the 20 gallery archaeology museum and the neighbouring Topkapi Palace.
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
Asitane
Tradition with a twist. This stylish restaurant, tucked away in the basement of the unremarkable Kariye Hotel, serves up excellent Ottoman cuisine in an elegant setting.
Atatürk Cultural Centre
One of the few reasons to go to unlovely Taksim Square, the Ataturk Cultural centre is the home of the State Opera and Ballet, the Symphony Orchestra and the State Theatre Company.
Atatürk Museum
The three floors of the Atatürk Museum are filled with memorabilia that gives an insight into the man behind the reinvention of the Turkish identity.
Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam
A luxurious traditional hamam from the 16th century, the Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam has had a million-dollar restoration and is more beautiful than ever.
Ayasofya Konaklari
This slightly old-fashioned hotel has one major advantage - an almost unrivaled location on the doorstep of Sultanahmet's cultural attractions.
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.
Bebek Balikçi
For an authentic taste of turkish fare, head out to this charming venue and get ready for a the freshest seafood Istanbul has on offer.
Bebek Hotel
Located in the smartest village along the Bosphorus Shore, the charming Bebek hotel, with its great rooms and terrific views, is a perfect place to escape the hubbub of Istanbul's centre.
Belly Dancing
Head to (where else?) Beyoglu for belly-dancing shows. If they prove inspirational, there are plenty of clubbing venues nearby for you to try out some belly moves of your own on the dance floor.
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.
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.
Borsa
A perenntial favourite despite its unprepossessing location, join the smart Nisantasi crowd at this chic 500-seat restaurant for some of the best Turkish cuisine in town.
Büyük Hamam
Treat yourself to an indulgent afternoon of blissful relaxation and get your culture-fix at the same time.
Cagaloglu Hamam
A historical hammam that's had a bevy of royals and celebrities dropping in for a visit.
Calligraphy Museum
Well worth a detour from the nearby Grand Bazaar, the Calligraphy Museum houses a beautiful if fragmented collection of Korans, tugras, seals and calligraphic writing.
Çemberlitas Hamam
Church of Christ in the Chora
A must for lovers of Byzantine art, this 14th-century Museum formerly a church and mosque is in itself a popped lesson in Istanbul's complex history.
Çiragan Palace
One of Istanbul's most impressive hotels, it is hard to beat the Çiragan Palace for all-round opulence - not to mention its fabulous location on the Bosphorus and excellent facilities.
Çiragan Palace Hammam
Spoil yourself within the ultra-luxe confines of this majestic hotel.
Çiragan Palace Kempinski Spa
The plush five-star Çiragan Palace boasts of an outdoor massage area, a heated infinity pool, and hamams fit for a sultan (or, indeed, a sultana).
City Walls
Walk the length of the wall from the Yedikule Fortress on the Sea of Marmara or the ruined Byzantine Blachernae palace on the Golden Horn.
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.
Çukurcuma Hamam
A go-to hammam for the gay crowd in Istanbul.
Develi
This excellent Anatolian restaurant overlooking the Sea of Marmara is perfect for frustrated mariners, as the large terrace allows a birds eye view of the Bosphorus' maritime traffic.y
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.
Dolmabahçe Palace
The superbly self-important ornate baroque style of the Dolmabahçe Palace speaks of a building designed to impress...
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.
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
Erenler Aile Çay Bahçesi
Nargile smoking isn't for everyone but imagine the scene - the atmospheric courtyard of an old Ottoman seminary, the last pink rays of the setting sun, the call to prayer echoing from the Old City's minarets...yEventWatcherD
Eresin Crown
One of the best small luxury hotels in Istanbul, this boutique 'museum' hotel contains a smattering of items from Istanbul's Archeology Museum. Tucked away behind the Blue Mosque, a drink on its roof terrace is the perfect way to end the day.d=

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