If you choose to stay here there are plenty of great boutique hotels to choose from, as well as a vibrant bar, cafe, and restaurant scene dominated by young locals rather than tourists, so you’ll really get a taste of city life. The Blue Mosque is less than a two-minute walk away. 2. A short walk from the ferry dock, this is where you should come to sample the city’s best Turkish coffee at city institution Fazıl Bey, eat at one of its most influential restaurants Çiya, and admire the top-quality fruit, vegetables, cheese, fish and other produce sold at the many street stalls and shops on colourful Güneşlibahçe Sokak. This pretty little boutique hotel is very close to three of Istanbul’s major attractions: the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia museum, and Topkapi Palace. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 518 8465 The stunning exterior of Istanbul's Ciragan Palace Hotel. The information you provide is really helpful and amazing. 2) Must do and must see top of the list while in Istanbul. With abundant gardens and a children’s pool, it’s also ideal for families. The best boutique hotel in the hip and happening Karakoy neighborhood – surrounded by bars, cafes, and art galleries. Its off-the-beaten-track location next to the massive city wall built during the rule of Emperor Theodosius II once meant that this exquisite monument remained unvisited by most tourists, but in recent years it has started to feature on a growing number of itineraries. The Shangri-La offers arguably the city’s premier location: alongside the Bosphorus Strait, surrounded by museums, facing a ferry terminal, and within a brief stroll of a metro station and the remarkable funicular to the classy shopping district of Taksim. This depends on which airport you’re landing at – Atatürk or Sabika Gökçen. We’d like to be central, close to the sights, and have restaurants and shops within a short walk. If you have a full day available there are a number of options. Frankly, I don’t think you’ll have time for a day trip. I am planning to stay for one week and I will be in Istanbul for 4 days and can’t decide where to go next!! Restaurant. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 518 0395 Thank you, Tanya. Best Hotels in Istanbul In the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, visitors could choose among a sparsely populated category of hotels that included decrepit aging blocks, guesthouses with dubiously reliable … There are many hotels in Istanbul … • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com. After taking the compulsory guided tour of its amazing interior you can head back to the ferry dock to catch the last service of the day back to Kabataş at 5.10pm. The W is at a V-shaped junction lined with refined bistros in a top-end residential suburb distant from the tourist buses. Many rooms offer fascinating street views and all can comfortably accommodate three to six people. If you are keen to stay in Sultanahmet but want to be in a relatively quiet area, choose a hotel in the Küçük Aya Sofya area or on the western edge of the Hippodrome rather than in Cankurtaran. The Sultan's Suite is one of the most expensive in the world. What’s more, the setting is historic and the location ideal: quietly set one block from the tourist buses, surrounded by quaint street-side cafés, and only a brief stroll to the major sights and excellent metro. We want to do lots of sightseeing, particularly the Agia Sofia, during our 3 day stay in Istanbul. gym and business center) are of a high standard expected of a hotel within the Marriott chain – and rooms are unfussy but certainly comfortable. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 245 1270 The hotel offers tours and free cooking courses and is located a ten-minute walk from the sights of Sultanahmet. From there, you’ll be able to take the return ferry after a three-hour lunch stop or hop on a local bus to take you back to the Asian suburb of Üsküdar, which is known for its Ottoman-era mosques and is only a quick commuter ferry ride away from Eminönü. This lovely and recently-renovated boutique hotel is on a prominent corner within a bustling area of the old town, and a stop for the excellent metro is just outside the front door. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 527 9090 In Istanbul, you're never stuck for something to do, see, eat or drink-- no matter what time of the night or day it is. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 511 0290 Consider signing up for one or two culinary walks – those offered by Istanbul Eats are excellent. These days the Bosphorus neighbourhoods tend to be divided along different lines – some trendy, some moneyed, some bohemian and some religiously conservative. Towering over an adjoining park, the InterContinental is the closest five-star hotel to Taksim Square, a vast pedestrian plaza surrounded by classy shops and cafés (and with a station for the excellent metro). Easily accessed by tram from both Sultanahmet and Beyoğlu, it’s a neighbourhood that is best explored during the day, particularly around lunchtime when the many local eateries and food stands do a brisk business (head to Hocapaşa Sokak on the Eminönü/Sirckeci border to find the best of these). • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 315 1234 The White House Hotel has topped TripAdvisor’s list of Istanbul hotels in recent years. It’s also where many business travellers choose to stay while in town, with a profusion of five-star and boutique hotels on offer. From there, the Sultanahmet Sights and Grand Bazaar are only a short tram trip away and there are hundreds of bars, restaurants, cafes, and shops within walking distance. And what would be the best area to stay in Istanbul that would be near the shopping areas and the monuments? Shopping opportunities of a different form are available at boutiques in the upmarket residential enclave of Moda and on glitzy Bağdat Caddesi, which is known for its luxury shops and pricey cafes. Food & Drink A Chef’s Guide to Istanbul With the Master of Midye Dolma. Visiting Istanbul in mid-May and are making our plans. No pool, but the other amenities (e.g. Rooms are clean and modern. Of the two major ferry routes between Eminönü and the Asian suburbs, most visitors choose to take the service to the predominantly residential district of Kadıköy, best known for its fresh produce market. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 327 2828 Some of the most popular pet-friendly hotels in Istanbul are The Wings Hotel Istanbul, Park Inn by Radisson Istanbul Atasehir, and Walton Hotels Sultanahmet. Start by walking through Gülhane Park, which is located next to your hotel, so that you can admire the thousands of tulips that bloom there in April. YOTEL Istanbul Airport - Landside. But even the most energetic travelers need somewhere to take a breather. With numerous shops on lower levels, the lobby is adorned with chandeliers and refined enough for a piano player. Go to Antalya to spend time in resorts and on the beach, and also take day trips to ancient sites including Termessos and Olympos. It is a little isolated, however: in the suburbs, about 2km from Kabataş with its waterside cafés, museums, ferries, metro station, and amazing funicular to the upmarket shopping district of Taksim. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 334 8300 For the most romantic hotel choice in the city, opt for Sumahan on the Water, which is located on the water’s edge in Çengelköy on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. Special offer. Being oriented mostly towards business people (especially Turkish) means that it’s more affordable than higher-rated tourist hotels nearby. Across the three basement levels are some impressive amenities, including an indoor pool with exotic wall decorations, and the main restaurant is just meters from the water. Places to Stay Make Sparks Fly at These 8 Romantic Istanbul Hotels. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 326 1100 After reading many reviews, we just can’t decide between the Witt Istanbul Suites and TomTom Suites. We will then spend 1 week in Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini before returning to London. İstanbul is often described as a crossroad linking east and west, and nowhere is this more apparent than at Eminönü. Just want to make a website that is super helpful. We are on a tight schedule and really only have time for 2 or 3 days in Istanbul, 2 or 3 in Santorini, and 1 or 2 days in between. Distinct advantages over small, old-fashioned guesthouses nearby are that rooms (as well as the lobby and restaurant) are more spacious, the views are certainly more memorable, and a gym and sauna are offered. There’s a pretty rooftop sitting area but it’s not possible to eat or drink there. #3 Best Value of 5,210 places to stay in Istanbul. What is the best way to get from the airport to central Istanbul? And within this compact hotel in this overbuilt district are an indoor swimming pool, spa, and hammam (Turkish bath). Pool. Should we go through the Greek Islands by ferry to Santorini or fly? • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 216 422 8000 From there, move on to Sultanahmet Square, home to both Aya Sofya and the Blue Mosque. Also, what is the fastest way from Istanbul to Santorini. Thanks! It’s also very close to the sprawling Gülhane Park, an inviting respite from the relentless tourist buses, and alongside the magnificent Hagia Sophia museum. The class is evident throughout – from the wall decorations in the restaurants to the stylish lobby and the helpful staff. Free Wifi. At night, most of the streets are graveyard-quiet. antique furniture) with the new (e.g. From Karaköy,, the major sights in Sultanahmet and around the Grand Bazaar are only a short tram trip away. Head here around lunchtime to grab a simple but tasty snack at one of the innumerable eateries in and around the bazaar, and also consider investigating one of the traditional çay bahçesis (tea gardens) where locals love to catch up with friends over a tulip-shaped glass of tea and a fragrant nargile (waterpipe). This is a fun and active area with many bars, restaurants, clubs, galleries, art museums, and shops in all directions. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 368 4444 Magnificently positioned alongside the Bosphorus Strait and with a nineteenth-century former palace onsite, the Kempinski is unrivaled in the capital, if not the entire country, for sheer opulence. Although the outside looks fairly bland, the interior is contrastingly very ornate: e.g. Congratulations… Which one would you choose? Towering over the surrounding parks, upmarket suburbs, and coastline, this majestic hotel is based in two enormous wings. Istanbul is a city of over 15 million people, and one of the largest cities in Europe, so finding the best part of Istanbul to stay is a key piece of planning your visit. Looking for a cool, hip hotel with a Turkish vibe in a neighbourhood with old streets, few tourists as well bars, cafes and shops. The Full Bosphorus Cruise is inexpensive (TL25 return, TL15 one way) but there’s not much to see in Anadolu Kavağı. A notable advantage of this hotel is the east-facing rooms that give you a perfect view of the beautiful Bosphorus. We have 4 nights in the city. Within a striking Art Deco building, the interior is contrastingly contemporary but no less appealing than the exterior. A ferry ticket costs TL15. The staff here is very friendly and helpful. Book your hotel in Istanbul and pay later with Expedia. Oozing so much charm and elegance, rooms also feature the lady’s portrait above the bed and a script explaining her history – as well as exquisite bathrooms and cute alcove seating. We’ll be on our honeymoon as part of a trip to Italy, Greece, and Turkey. The location is very close to the Tophane tram stop (making it very easy to get to and from the Old City) and the lavish and delicious breakfast here is one of the best in the city. What would you recommend for us? Firstly congratulations on the most informative and helpful travel guides I’ve ever read. Ferry is easiest though if you’re already in the Athens airport then you could fly to Naxos then ferry to Ios. Many rooms (all wonderfully soundproofed) face the fascinating streets lined with bistros, consulates, and parks – and the rooftop pool is long and shady. Rooms feature an enchanting fusion of the old (e.g. To head off the usual tourist paths and discover a very different İstanbul you need go no further than the neighbourhoods collectively known as the Western Districts. The roominess continues in the brightly tiled lobby, airy guest lounges, and sumptuous rooms and suites which overlook the street or pool and gardens. As in every city, stay away from ill-lit streets and alleyways after dark. You’ll see sights on both the Asian and European sides of the strait but there’s no opportunity to alight from the boat. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 283 0055 All rooms are lovingly decorated with old-style furniture and ceiling decorations, and some are large enough for families of six. Located where the Golden Horn, Bosphorus and Sea of Marmara meet, the atmospheric docks here are the busiest in the city. Then backtrack to the Grand Bazaar and head down Çakmakçılar or Mahmutpaşa Yokuşu to the bustling shopping quarter around the Spice Bazaar, which is close to your hotel. Or just busy? It’s along a side street distant from tourist buses, but still just a short stroll to several major attractions. If you want contemporary style, opt for Witt Istanbul and ask for the penthouse (room 61) or the king panoramic room with terrace (room 62). What are the best pet-friendly hotels in Istanbul? Best Places to Stay along Turkey’s Aegean Coast, Where to Stay along Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast, Best Time to Visit Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast. Ferries from the Asian suburbs arrive and depart regularly, as do large Bosphorus-bound tour boats and smaller Golden Horn commuter services. Majestically positioned between the main road and Bosphorus Strait, the Four Seasons is based around a nineteenth-century former Ottoman palace, though most rooms and suites are in stylish wings on either side. The most popular (though crowded and touristy) is the Full Bosphorus Cruise operated by Şehir Hatları. Where would you recommend for a romantic dinner. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 528 0806 All rooms (which are adequately soundproofed) are attractively furnished and decorated, some overlooking the delightful Gülhane Park. A former Ottoman palace built by Sultan Abdulaziz, the five-star. This is a good value hotel for the location and quality. 3 questions: The hotel is in a converted palace (yes, a different feel than a converted prison) and is all about luxury amenities, leisure, and comfort. Many rooms overlook Gulhane Park, and good restaurants and the tram are steps from the front door. Recent travelers are confident in their proclamations that the Read the reviews and book. And are there any can’t-miss restaurants near either hotel? Located just off busy, funky, and fun Istiklal Street. Check Availability & Prices. ), I would avoid Sultanahmet and instead stay in Karaköy, a hip area next to the Galata Bridge in Beyoğlu. All categories of rooms are very attractive: the soft colors of the sofa, cushions, linen, and carpet match beautifully, and as the only high-rise in the area, views from the full-length windows are among the city’s finest. This is a wonderful little hotel with charm and warmth. This is the best place to stay in if you enjoy watching the sunset as you enjoy a glass of wine. 3. Wonderful hotel with a tram stop, Taksim Square, and many good restaurants within walking distance. It does not have a pool, however (a big deal to some, not a high priority for others). For a more down-to-earth experience, Kadife Sokak and Moda Caddesi are littered with bars, cafes and clubs. It is a little isolated, however: about 2.5km from Kabataş, with its waterside cafés, museums, ferries, metro station, and amazing funicular to the upmarket shopping district of Taksim. All accommodations are lavish and spacious, and the resort-like pool is one of the city’s finest: sparkling blue, waterfront, flanked by sunbeds, and attached to a jacuzzi. In fact, a backpacker-style travel agency and office for the hop-on/off Big Bus Istanbul company is attached. It is in a converted prison and is just loaded with character and charm. The closest clean beaches are at Kilyos, Ağva, and Şile on the Black Sea coast. That said, be careful when walking near the ancient city walls (vagrants live there) and avoid the deserted Bazaar District, Süleymaniye, and Küçük Pazarı neighbourhoods at night. At the moment it’s the highlight of both the area and Istanbul’s food scene. Through the tiny (and easy-to-miss) entrance and glass corridor reminiscent of a nightclub is the ultra-trendy lobby and restaurant. Hi, Alternatively, buy a ticket for one of the shorter Bosphorus cruises leaving from the Eminönü and Kabataş docks, which travel in a loop to the Fatih Bridge and back, or for the handy hop-on, hop-off service operated by Dentur Avraysa. Externally similar to other hotels along the quiet backstreets of the energetic old town, the Sultania is still truly distinctive. These take between 90 minutes and two hours, and are most enjoyable. I suggest spending one day in Sultanahmet visiting Topkapı Palace, Aya Sofya, the Basilica Cistern, and the Blue Mosque. Please advise: 1) Neat and classy hotel close to Blue Mosque Walk along any of this neighbourhood’s cobbled streets and the layers of history are easy to discern – public squares where Byzantine emperors hosted chariot races, mysterious sunken cisterns built by Roman engineers, millennia-old churches commissioned by Justinian the Great and a profusion of mosques, tombs and medreses decorated with exquisite İznik tiles and richly coloured stained glass. Most areas in the city are safe. 2) The 2 best neighborhoods to stay are Sultanahmet and Beyoglu. Are there any unsafe areas of Istanbul that we should avoid? Rooms are cozier and more traditionally decorated and feature Turkish-style wall hangings and prints – and the exceptional views include the mammoth football stadium nearby and the distant ocean. 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