Hello there ! I am now in Assos...having spent a few days in Istanbul and a few more touring the rest in Turkey. Just want to give you guys some of my recommendations :
1. Hotel - we stayed in Dersaadet Hotel Istanbul. It is superb...near all the sites and fantastic service.
2. We went to Imbat Restaurant and Adonin restaurant...Imbat has great views and food and service. Adonin has the Testi(? ) kebabs which is a casserole they baked in a clay jar and they break the jar right in front of you with some aplomb...the dish is enough to feed 2-3 people.
4. We went to the mandatory Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque and Tokapi ( for Tokapi ..use the audio guide for 10 lira. We went with Insight travel and the guide was uninterested and barely spoke for a few minutes before sending us off to see inside the palace. We were very disappointed. However, we also the the Bosphorous cruise with Insight with a different guide and he was very engaging.) The Bosphorous cruise is a must.
5. You must try to go to the Archeological Museum near the Tokapi Palace. It is amazingly rich in artefacts. You can easily spend 3 hours there.
6. We went to Nardis Jazz Club. It is superb. If you like Jazz , you will love it.
All in all....we loved Istanbul and would totally recommend that one spends at least 3 days there.