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Planning your trip to Istanbul, Turkey

Special to The Los Angeles Times


From LAX, Lufthansa, Air France, British and Delta offer connecting service (change of planes). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $644.


To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 90 (country code for Turkey) and the local number.


Seven Hills Hotel, Tevkifhane Sk. No. 8/A, Sultanahmet; 212-516-94-97; Comfortable rooms with plain décor, but the location's ideal for first-time visitors. Doubles from $228.

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet, 1 Tevkifhane Sokak, Sultanahmet-Eminonu; 212-638-82-00; Housed in a century-old prison, this graceful 65-room hotel feels more boutique than Four Seasons. Doubles from $508.


Hamdi Restaurant, Tahmis Caddesi Kalcin Sokak Eminonu; 212-528-03-90, A traditional kebab house on three levels with a rooftop terrace that offers panoramic views. Mezes (starters) $2 to $8.50; kebabs $10 to $15; desserts $4.50 to $8.50.

Mikla, Marmara Pera Hotel, 1174 Mesrutiyet Caddesi, Tepebasi; 212-251-46-46, Chef Mehmet Gurs turns out stunning modern Mediterranean- Scandinavian fusion cooking. Appetizers $15 to $23; main courses $30 to $48.

Istanbul Modern Restaurant/Cafe, Istanbul Modern Sanat Muzesi (Istanbul Modern Art Museum), Meclis-i Mebusan Cad. Liman Sahasi, 4 Nolu Antrepo Salipazari, Karakoy; 212-334-73-00, The day starts with breakfast and sandwiches, and an ambitious lunch menu is served starting at 1 p.m. Lunch appetizers $6.75 to $18.50, main courses $18.50 to $38.

Rumeli Iskele, 1 Yahyakemal Cad., Rumeli Hisari, Sariyer; 212-263-29-97. A traditional seafood house in Rumeli Hisari with a lovely patio right on the banks of the Bosporus -- and views of Asia just across the strait. (Note: Because evening rush-hour traffic can make for a very long cab ride here, best to go on a weekend.) Dinner meze about $1 to $8 each; main courses about $38.

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