Istanbul travel guide. Where to stay in Istanbul.
The two main areas for tourists to stay in Istanbul are Sultanahmet, the Old City, and Beyoglu (Galata, Istiklal Street, Taksim area), the New City. Before giving details about these two main touristic areas, let us explain why we distinguished between “old & new city”.
Sultanahmet, or the Hippodrome area had always been the center of the empire both during the Roman and Ottoman periods until the bureaucracy and economy were moved to the other side of the Golden Horn in the 19th century, where foreign banks, consulates, restaurants, cafes opened and therefore this part of the city became more cosmopolit and international in terms of life style. It is still possible today to see this difference between the two areas.
Staying in Sultanahmet is a great experience if you wish to take in the history of Istanbul, one of the most important historical cities in the world and feel the history wandering around surrounded by palaces, mosques, churches and the Grand Bazaar.
Taksim, on the other hand, is a great place if you wish to enjoy busy and cultural side of the city with movie theatres, bookshops, restaurants, cafes, bars, nightclubs, which is alive late at night.
Whichever you choose, the distance between two areas is quite short to take a nice walk through the Galata Bridge to enjoy the historical and modern face of the city.
Staying on the Asian side, in Kadikoy or Uskudar, is another option if you think the European side is too busy for you. You can still commute easily to the European side from the Asian side by ferries and boats from Kadikoy and Uskudar.
Staying in Uskudar, a very central part of the city could be good for spending much time along the Bosphorus in addition to the European side, which only takes 10-15 minutes to travel by ferry and boats. Kadıköy is also good location to travel around in the city, to the European side, Bagdat Street and even the Princes Islands by seabus. The ferries, boats dolmuş (shuttle) run late at night (shuttles from Taksim to the Asian side until the morning).
Historic Hotels in Istanbul
Have you ever wanted to stay in a palace or a mansion during your travels? Istanbul offers to its visitors expensively and reasonably priced historic hotels, some of which are palaces, mansions, old buildings built with different reasons in the past but used as a hotel today. Below is a short list of historic hotels in Istanbul with a pleasant atmosphere during your stay in Istanbul.
- Ciragan Palace Kempinski, Besiktas – Check availability & price
- Four Seasons Hotel, Besiktas – Check availability & price
- Les Ottomans Hotel, Kurucesme – Check availability & price
- Pera Palace Hotel, Beyoglu – Check availability & price
- Legacy Ottoman Hotel, Eminonu – Check availability & price
- Georges Hotel Galata – Check availability & price
- Hotel Au Pera, Beyoglu – Check availability & price
- Galata Antique Hotel, Galata – Check availability & price
Hotels in Asian Side, Hotels in Bosphorus, Hotels in Sultanahmet, Hotels in Galata, Hotels in Taksim, Hotels in Ataturk International Airport, Hotels in Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, Hotels in Grand Bazaar, Hotels in Hagia Sophia, Hotels in Sultanahmet, Hotels in Taksim, Hotels in Topkapi Palace, Hotels in Beyoglu,
Enjoy your stay!