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Ultimate Two-Day Tour of Istanbul

A waiter with cocktails at Muzedechanga.

Photo: Jasper James

Spend a day in Sultanahmet, then explore what else the city has to offer.

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Inspired by: Istanbul Restaurant Tour — by Anya von Bremzen, Published Aug. 2009

Restaurants (7)

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    Kallavi

    Beyoglu is known for its raucous drinking houses, or meyhane, where meze are an excuse for rivers of raki. This is the insiders' favorite: a brick-

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    Seyhmus

    Famished after haggling for kilims at the Covered Bazaar? It’s worth tracking down to this macho kebab dive colonized by gaggles of mustached vendo

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    Vefa Bozacisi

    It would be a crime to miss the Süleymaniye Camii mosque, an Ottoman masterpiece; it would be sadder still not to visit this nearby sweet shop. Dec

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    Tamara Restaurant

    On a street lined with carpet shops near the Arasta Bazaar, this restaurant, whose owners hail from Turkey’s eastern Lake Van area, serves up the r

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    Müzedechanga

    This museum restaurant is noted for its neo-60’s interior of unpolished oak and black-leather banquettes. Try the olive oil–braised celery root ... More
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    Istanbul Modern Restaurant

    Even if contemporary Turkish art isn’t your cup of çay, visit Istanbul this repurpose warehouse museum for its stylish café and waterfront terrace.

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    Balikçi Sabahattin

    Grab a seat in the garden of this Sultanahmet seafood restaurant. The mezes, small appetizer plates of roasted red peppers and marinated octopus, m

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Activities (4)

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    Sabanci University Sakip Sabanci Museum

    The 19th-century mansion in Emirgan houses an impressive collection of Ottoman paintings.

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    Mado, Istanbul

    Sample the goat’s-milk ice cream, which is thickened with the powdered root of wild orchids. Splurge on a triple scoop of pistachio, pomegranate, a

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    Seven Hills Hotel Bar

    Atop a drab tourist hotel across from the Four Seasons is an insider's secret: a rooftop terrace with an unobstructed panorama of the Blue Mosque,

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    Leb-i-Derya

    Time your visit with the sunset—and the evening call to prayer. That’s when young locals file in for cocktails, like fresh-ginger–and–muddled-lime

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