where to stay in Istanbul
Istanbul has a long history of being one of the world’s most prominent cities. Because of its strategic position at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, it has long served as a bridge between the Western and Eastern worlds.
Because of its strategic location, it has a rich and varied history, serving as a crossroads for many civilizations, including the ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans. The city’s diverse architecture, gastronomy, and sights best demonstrate its civilization’s richness.
The different civilizations that formerly ruled here have left deep imprints. Near Ottoman baths and mosques, one can clearly see old Greek and Roman monuments among Byzantine and Italian-influenced churches, palaces, and architecture.
The city plainly stands out as the cultural and physical intersection of two large continents, and it spans over the Bosphorus Straits to lie on both the European and Asian shores. Istanbul restaurants
are also considered one of the best restaurants in Turkey
where is the best part to stay in Istanbul?
If you’re visiting Istanbul for the first time, the City Centre is the ideal location to stay. Istanbul’s European Center, which includes the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace, the Grand Bazaar, and Taksim Square, spans the Bosphorus. This old core quarter is also home to some of the best-rated hotels in Istanbul.
As previously said, the finest place for visitors in Istanbul is the city’s center.
Nonetheless, the city center is vast and may be split into several (official and unofficial) districts, each with its own distinct flavor and attractions.
Here are a few of the more interesting areas:
Sultanahmet, on the south bank of the Golden Horn, is the hub of Roman and medieval Constantinople.
Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Byzantine Hippodrome, and the Basilica Cistern are among the many attractions in this historic district, which also houses many of Istanbul’s best hotels, including the Hagia Sofia Mansions Istanbul and the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet.
The district of Beyoglu is located on the north bank of the Golden Horn.
This vibrant district, once known as Pera, is the city’s primary entertainment and nightlife attraction.
Galata, Taksim Square, and Cihangir are the three major subdistricts of Beyoglu worth highlighting.
The lavish 19th-century Dolmabahçe Palace and the Maritime Museum are located in the adjoining neighborhood of Beşiktaş.
Some of Istanbul’s best luxury and business hotels, like the Shangri-La Bosphorus and the Raffles Istanbul, are located in this upmarket district.
Işli, located inland, is another affluent neighborhood with a thriving nightlife scene.
The Atatürk Museum and the imperial Ottoman Ihlamur Kasr palace are both located here.
St. Regis is one of our favorite hotels in the area.
The Renata Boutique Hotel Sisli and the St. Regis Istanbul
Istanbul’s Asian Side, on the other side of the Bosphorus, offers a less touristy side of the city.
This region, which encompasses beautiful locations like Kadköy, Moda, and Üsküdar, provides luxury hotels like the Wyndham Grand Istanbul Kalamş Marina Hotel as well as top-rated budget and mid-range resorts like My Dora Hotel.
where should I stay in Istanbul first time
is it better to stay in Taksim or Sultanahmet?
Sultanahmet is, without a doubt, the most visited tourist destination in the city. This is the ancient core of Istanbul, back when it was Constantinople, and it is home to many famous landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia Church and the Blue Mosque. It makes the region a great option for first-time visitors to stay in Istanbul.
Sultanahmet, among Istanbul’s many attractive districts, is unquestionably the city’s cultural and historical center. It is not only the city’s oldest sector, but it is also traditionally surrounded by numerous straights and oceans to the south, east, and north.
The old city’s original Byzantine imperial walls may be seen on the west side. This is the greatest spot to stay in Istanbul for anybody traveling for the first time.
Visitors will find the bulk and finest of the city’s numerous cultural, historical, and religious landmarks amid the city’s meandering alleys and picturesque alleyways. Many, if not all, of the city’s most famous sites, are within walking distance of one another.
Visitors may, for example, be awestruck by the triumph of the Hagia Sophia, which was erected 1,500 years ago in a famous feat of engineering, and then go to the Blue Mosque across the street. The Hippodrome, which has served as the heart of Roman and Byzantine Constantinople for centuries, is also close by.
There are several things to do in this town. Travelers may enjoy delicious Turkish and Greek food at the 120-year-old Pandeli before visiting the Turkish & Islamic Art Museum.
You may also visit the Imperial Ottoman Topaki Palace, which served as the residence of the Ottoman Emperors for about 400 years. In its amazing collections of Greek, Imperial Roman, and Byzantine antiquities, the Istanbul Archaeological Museums alone claim nearly a million pieces.
While inexpensive rooms are hard to come by in this beautiful historic district of the city, there are plenty of mid-range alternatives.
Sultanahmet Hotels in Istanbul
Curio Collection by Hilton Istanbul’s Hagia Sofia Mansions
This luxurious complex, which is located near Hagia Sophia, comprises 17 distinct residences, each of which is uniquely adorned with baroque-style furniture and artworks. A minibar is included in each room, as well as an en suite bathroom with a Turkish Hammam and bathtub.
Istanbul’s White House Hotel
The White House Hotel Istanbul is situated in the center of Istanbul’s Historical Peninsula, close to various sights such as Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar.
Many historic attractions are within walking distance of the Peak Hotel, which is located in the center of the Historic Peninsula. The tram station, which provides convenient access to the city’s other key sights, is also within walking distance. In all places, there is a free WiFi connection.
Sirkeci Family Hotel & SPA is located in Sirkeci, Turkey.
In Istanbul’s Fatih neighborhood, the Sirkeci Family Hotel & SPA offers air-conditioned rooms with satellite flat-screen TVs. This hotel has family rooms as well as a patio for visitors to enjoy.
This guesthouse, approximately 200 meters from Aya Sofia Mosque, has a rooftop patio with magnificent views of the Sea of Marmara and rooms with hardwood flooring and free Wi-Fi.
Stanpoli Hostel is only 200 meters from the Blue Mosque and a 4-minute walk from Hagia Sophia. It has a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi throughout the property. Topkapi Palace is just 800 meters away.
2. Galata & Karaköy: Best Location for Foodies & Art Lovers
Galata was formerly a distinct town on the outskirts of powerful Constantinople, and it was home to the city’s prominent Jewish Quarter. Galata was a colony of the Republic of Genoa during the Middle Ages. The principal elements of the region, the citadel and Galata Tower, were constructed under the Genoese administration.
Galata is part of the broader Beyoglu district, which also includes the neighboring Karaköy region, and is located north of the Golden Horn and linked to the Historic Peninsula by bridges and ferries.
The Galata Tower, a 67-meter-tall defense tower erected in 1348 to protect the Genoese colony of Constantinople, dominates the area’s skyline. The Galata Tower, which was the city’s highest structure at the time of its erection, has served several roles over its centuries-long history, including military watchtower, fire protection lookout, prison, and, most recently, museum, events venue, and tourist attraction.
The Byzantine Church of San Domenico (now the Arap Mosque), the Church of Saint Benoit, the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, and St. George’s Austrian High School are just a few of the historical and religious landmarks in the Galata neighborhood. Galata is home to various synagogues, including the Zülfaris, Ashkenazi, Italian, and Neve Shalom synagogues, as well as the Museum of Turkish Jews, as Istanbul’s historically Jewish area.
In the meanwhile, adjacent Karaköy grew from a prominent port sector in the Middle Ages to the city’s primary financial center in the nineteenth century.
While most banks and businesses have relocated to Levent, Karaköy has rebuilt itself as a cultural and entertainment hotspot, including organizations like SALT Galata, a vibrant arts center housed in the ancient Ottoman Bank headquarters.
Galata and Karaköy are now regarded as the city’s creative centers and hipster neighborhoods, with a plethora of tiny cafés, foreign and traditional eateries, and some of Istanbul’s best-rated boutique hotels.
The neighborhood has a variety of transportation choices, including ferry ports, a funicular line, and a few trams (T1-T2) and metro (M2) stops forgetting about.
The Grand Bazaar may be found in the Eminonu district of Istanbul, which lies east of Sultanahmet.
One may find hundreds of businesses and sellers in this tumultuous and vibrant area, as well as religious buildings and functioning mosques. Its major attractiveness is that it shows to be among the top alternatives for a budget-conscious stay in Istanbul.
There are two marketplaces in the Grand Bazaar: the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar. Cultural, historical, and religious landmarks abound around the two marketplaces.
Families regularly rank this as among the greatest options of places to stay in the city. For tourists, it’s well situated between the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia Mosque.
Naturally, the largest immediate appeal for anyone staying here is the nearly 4,000 stores of the Grand Bazaar, which remains the biggest covered market in the nation. A scavenger hunt in the Bazaar is part of Alternative City Tours’ offering.
Turkish delicacies, sugary candies, and snacks abound in both this market and the Spice Bazaar, which has 80 separate stores.
At family-friendly establishments around Eminonu Square, you may sample cheap, delicious, and quick Turkish cuisine while taking in the bustle of city life.
For additional local neighborhood attractions, travelers have the Valens Aqueduct, the amazing Roman marvel that rises 29 meters high and spans 971 meters.
From the Eminonu Pier, you may embark on a ferry boat to cruise the Bosphorus and take in lovely views of the vast metropolis. This provides guests a unique and exciting viewpoint on the ancient part of the old city that they will never forget.
Balat and its environs are not to be missed (Faith). It has traditionally been the Greek and Armenian Orthodox and Jewish district in Istanbul. Beautiful historic churches and homes dot the area now.
The Church of St. George, which is still the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and the Fener Lycee brick-built castle-like structure, which towers above the neighborhood, are just a few of the attractions in the area.
Many younger persons have started companies in the ancient streets, such as pottery ateliers, micro coffee roasters, antique stores, and art galleries.
Istanbul’s city center shifted northward from the Historic Peninsula to the Beyoglu neighborhood, north of the Golden Horn, as the city grew.
The construction of this neighborhood, which is centered on the eponymous plaza, goes back to the late Ottoman era in the 18th century when it functioned as the city’s major reservoir and water distribution center (Taksim means “distribution” in Turkish). With the completion of the first underground train line and ambitions to make Taksim Square the core station of the Istanbul Metro network in the late nineteenth century, the whole distribution idea was given new life.
Taksim Square has been Istanbul’s principal public area since 1928 when Pietro Canonica’s Republic Monument was unveiled, and it is where local festivals, activities, and civic demonstrations take place.
Taksim is now regarded as the beating core of contemporary Istanbul, as well as a significant cuisine and nightlife attraction. The plaza is the start of Istiklal Caddesi, a lengthy pedestrianized boulevard lined with hundreds of stores, restaurants, cafés, pubs, and foreign fast-food brands.
The Ataturk Cultural Center is a multi-purpose cultural center and opera theater situated on the square. The Taksim Mosque, Taksim Gezi Park, Madame Tussauds Istanbul, and the Istanbul Cinema Museum are all local tourist sites.
Taksim, as a whole, is one of the city’s most frequented areas, both by inhabitants and visitors. Many of the city’s 5-star hotels, such as The Marmara Taksim, Sofitel Istanbul Taksim, and the Gezi Hotel Bosphorus, as well as a large choice of budget and mid-range properties, are located in the region.
Beyazit and Laleli are located in the European section of Istanbul. Beyazıt Square is located in the neighborhood of Fatih. It’s a great place to stay because of the low prices and near proximity to popular tourist sites.
The Beast II Mosque, which borders a fourth of the neighborhood, gave the area its former name, Freedom Square, which it has kept ever since. Theodosius’ Forum, built by Constantine the Great, stood here until it was demolished to make way for the plaza.
This region is largely dominated by the Beyazıt Mosque as well as the spectacular entrance to the Istanbul University, two remarkable architectural marvels in a neighborhood that goes back 1,700 years.
Sisli is located on the city’s European side. It does not front the water, but it may be accessed by departing the Bosphorus Bridge, which connects the European and Asian sides of Istanbul.
With a total area of about 30 kilometers squared, this neighborhood is rather huge. It is a newer enterprise that originated and flourished north of Taksim Square after the middle of the 1800s.
Following the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, Sisli became one of Istanbul’s most affluent districts, attracting upper-class citizens, non-Muslims, and foreigners. Within the area, you’ll discover a large number of historic Christian churches, mosques, and Jewish synagogues.
It has been a developing and vital hub of finance and small business in the city in recent years. The Cevahir Mall, one of Europe’s biggest modern-era retail malls, is located in the area. In this area, there are also a few motels for visitors.
On the Asian side are a few intriguing districts and communities that fail to obtain the prominence they should get since they have not been tourist magnets.
Moda is one area well worthy of the boat ride trek across to the Asian section. It has a genuine, down-to-earth vibe about it.
Visitors will locate Baghdad Avenue here. This is clearly among the trendiest and most sought eating and retail sections of the city. The cafeterias stay filled with both younger folks and local residents who are out enjoying life. Moda is justly famed for its cafeterias and eateries.
Visitors can discover various sailing clubs and a nice marina here in the Fenerbahce and Kalamis areas. The Fenerbahce also enjoys an impressive soccer stadium for its home team here.
Moda Beach is another charm of the region. This great site provides for longer treks and an enticing view over to the European side of Istanbul.
Moda’s Kadife Street provides nighttime and late-night nightlife. It’s here, in this area of the neighborhood, where all the cool clubs and pubs are, that you should go out at night.