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.
Whirling Dervishes
Undeniably uber-touristy, we nevertheless recommend that you give in to your urges to watch the Dervishes whirl away... 
Urban
Not quite as 'urban' in design as the name might imply, this charming Parisian-style bar is perfect for an early evening drink.
Underground Cistern
Not the most important of cultural attractions, the Underground Cistern nevertheless has a rather zen charm...
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.
Topkapi Palace Museum
Sited on a promontory overlooking the confluence of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus, the Topkapi is within walking distance of Sultanahmet's other cultural treasures.
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 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
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.
Sultan Pub
Split-level and split personality, the Sultan Pub moves from European-style cafe to American bar and contemporary roof-terrace.
Süleymaniye Mosque
One of the three buildings that define Istanbul's skyline, the stunning Suleymaniye Mosque was built in the 16th-century as an Ottoman riposte to the Hagia Sophia.
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.
Sakirin Mosque
Beautiful contemporary mosque, designed by an avant-garde female architect...
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
MiniaTürk
Perfect if you have the kids in tow, tick off all the major sites with a quick trip to the MiniaTurk park on the Golden Horn.
Milion
Not exactly a destination but a point of interest as you walk past on your way to the Hagia Sophia, this broken column is a swift reminder of Constantinople's importance in the Roman Empire.
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
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
Mangerie
Home to some of the world's best marzipan, there are many reasons to visit the smart Bosphorus village Bebek. High up that list is this lovely cafe-restaurant.
Mama Shelter Istanbul
Mama Shelter Istanbul, the younger sibling of Mama Shelter Paris, has an enviable Beyoğlu location and bold, whimsical interiors.
Mado Ice Cream
Carrot, pumpkin or fig? Ice-cream fans probably think they've experience pretty much ever flavour under the sun, but Ben & Jerry's and Haagen Dazs certainly can't rival Mado for range and diversity. =display:none"
Kösk Hamam
A men's only hammam, it's a straightforward and no-frills venue attracting a gay crowd during its opening hours.
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.

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