Last week I went to Taksim and it was great! There weren't as many people selling mussels as I expected, and when I finally found one it didn't taste that good... but everything else was awesome. I was watching a vice documentary about the Istanbul protests back in early summer, who knew I would see one with my own eyes!
This time, I get there at 5:35 am and leave at 1:40 pm. I have 2 places in mind. One is go to the Sultanahmet area, the other is Bebek. Sultanahmet seems like the most popular suggestion on here, but there's that starbucks in bebek I really want to go to. Would it be realistic to go to Bebek because it's so far away from the airport? Is there anything else to see around there? Also, if I do choose to go to Sultanahmet, are there any liquor stores in the area? I'm looking to buy some to bring back to the states. It being such a religious place maybe there are no liquor stores?