Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Istanbul

Çukurcama
The winding streets around Faik Pasa Yokusu have a number of charming shops worth exploring.
Ìàukurcuma
The city's funky antiques district. Don't leave Istanbul without picking up one of the beautiful artefacts to be found on the streets of Çukurcuma.
Abdi Ipekçi Caddesi
Serious shoppers should head straight to Abdi Ipekçi Street for the best of Turkish design - be it fashion, jewellery or interiors. Rest tired arms and credit cards in the stylish Beyman Brasserie. =display:none"
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;"
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
Karaköy Fish Market
An array of simple yet authentic fare that's one of the most affordable in the city.
Karaköy Lokantasi
A taste of Italy in Istanbul, complete with hearty seafood - not to be missed...
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.
Changa
A pioneer of the super-fashionable fusion trend in Istanbul, Changa remains at the top of the pack. Well-groomed diners sit in a well-groomed space to enjoy excellent Asian/European cuisine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Markiz Café
Unlike most of our recommendations, this old-school Pera cafe is firmly on the tourist trail. Nonetheless it has a curious charm; tuck into delicious pastries and try to imagine its former glory.=display:none;""
Karaköy Güllüoglu
THE place to go in Istanbul for some proper local baklava...
House Café
Super-slick and ultra-hip chain of cafes filled with immaculately beautiful young things...
Enstitü
Practice cooking for the up-and-coming young Turks of the culinary scene...
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
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.
Armani Café
The spiritual home of chic Istinye the Armani Café is stylish to the core...
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
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.
Limonlu Bahçe
Just steps off the rather hectic Istiklal Caddesi, Limonlu Bahçe is more than just a garden cafe it's a haven a peaceful respite from the high-street madness nearby. You might never want to leave.=display:"
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.
Büyük Londra Hotel
Combining the charms of caged parrots, Victorian decor, Ottoman chandeliers and slightly incompetent (but bow-tied) staff, there is nowhere in Istanbul quite like the bar in the Büyük Londra hotel. =display"
Lokal
Effortlessly contemporary, Lokal is a sparse, minimalist space that gives local German cuisine a fresh reinvention. 
Marmara Islands
A few hours from Istanbul by boat are the Marmara Islands, home to the best beaches in Istanbul and worth a day trip if sun and sand worship is your thing
Turkish Grand Prix
First held in 2005, the Turkish Grand Prix is one of the largest sporting events of the year, often noted as one of the more exciting races on the calendar.
Galatasaray Basketball
Founded in 1929, Galatasaray Cafe Crown lays their home games in the 12,000-seat Adbi Ipecki Arena. 
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.
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.
Cagaloglu Hamam
A historical hammam that's had a bevy of royals and celebrities dropping in for a visit.
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.
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.
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. 
Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque
Located opposite the Hagia Sophia in Sultanahmet, the Blue Mosque was built to prove (unsuccessfully) that Islamic architects could build a structure as wonderful. Nevertheless, it's a must-see.

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