Where to Stay in Istanbul: Guide to Neighborhoods and Best Hotels

Who I am
Valery Aloyants
@valeryaloyants
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Adoro Istanbul! Straddling Europe and Asia, Istanbul has historically been one of the most important cities in the world.

In this article I will try to help you decide where to stay in Istanbul: it is not an easy task, Istanbul is a huge city and there are many neighborhoods to sleep in, but here I will only tell you about the best and most comfortable to visit the city, whether you stay there a whole week or just a few days.


In addition to areas to stay, I searched for you too the best hotels.


Obviously I haven't been to all of them, but I did a lot of research, read dozens and dozens of reviews and in the end I chose the hotels that have the best value for money for every expense range, from luxury to budget.

  • Where to sleep in Istanbul for the first time: Sultanahmet
  • Where to sleep in Istanbul for nightlife: Beyoglu
  • Where to sleep in Istanbul with children: Kabataş and Sirkeci
  • Where to sleep in Istanbul on a budget: Beyazit (Grand Bazaar)
  • The best area to sleep: Galata and Karakoi
  • Conclusions: Better Sultanahmet or Beyoğlu?

Where to sleep in Istanbul for the first time: Sultanahmet

By LALS STOCK /

This neighborhood is the best place to stay in Istanbul though you visit the city for the first time or if you have planned a few days to visit the city: Blue it is the historical and cultural heart of Istanbul and all places of interest they are right there within walking distance.



La Hagia Sophia Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar they are all within walking distance of most hotels.

The only bad thing about Sultanahmet is that in the evening it empties completely and it becomes a kind of mortorium: it is very difficult to find an open place to spend the evening or just have a drink after dinner.

The best hotels in Sultanahmet

Second Home Hostel: if you are looking for a practical, comfortable and economical stay, the Second Home Hostel is for you.

The first point to its advantage it is centrality. In fact, public transport is easily accessible, and it is also close to major attractions such as the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia and, just 10 minutes away, the Grand Bazaar.

Il Second Home Hostel has modest but welcoming rooms for all types of travelers: both alone and with the family. They have air conditioning, wi fi, large and well-kept bathrooms, modern and essential furnishings. The kitchen is shared and there is also a laundry service. L'atmosphere is pleasant, the friendly, helpful and particularly sociable staff, so much so that they have regular customers! The owners also take care to give any kind of information and suggestions about the tours.

⇒ See here prices and availability of SECOND HOME HOSTEL

Saba Sultan Hotel: in a very central, strategic and perfect position for visiting the city, is the Saba Sultan Hotel. Away from traffic, the hotel delivers large rooms richly furnished and decorated, soundproofed, with large windows, air conditioning, safe and television, free wi-fi… the staff guarantees maximum competence and availability.



You can easily ask for information about the unmissable stops to visit, the best restaurants to go to for delicious meals and even the hotel itself will book for you! The same applies to the purchase of tickets or reservations for attractions and shows scheduled during your stopover period.
If you are a fast explorer and you like to move in an ecological way, the bicycle rental service is for you.

La breakfast is quaint as much as the style of the restaurant: you can taste olives and traditional Turkish bread. There position allows you to visit the city in the best possible way, you cannot fail to go to the Hagia Sophia (500m away) and even before that to the Blue Mosque, just 200m away!

⇒ See here prices and availability of SABA SULTAN HOTEL

Ahmet Efendi House: at a cheaper price, but which does not detract from the quality, you can find the Ahmet Efendi Evi.

This property has a central position, always excellent for visiting the city and easily accessing public transport to reach every destination on your itinerary.

Despite being in the historic center, the rooms of the Ahmet Efendi Evi offer quiet and tranquility.

The rooms are modest and simple, but welcoming, with a bathroom and a nice balcony at your disposal. Each of them has a TV with multilingual channels, a table and a practical minibar that is always well stocked. The comments on the breakfast are more than excellent, a meal based on always fresh and varied dishes is guaranteed: bread, fruit and cheese at will!


⇒ See here AHMET EFENDI EVI pricing and availability


Azade Hotel: if a structure that offers luxury and charm is better suited to your needs, the Azade Hotel is for you!

The structure is very characteristic. It is located along a cobbled street in the historic center and was born from the renovation of a wooden house. It offers spectacular views.

The Azade Hotel is ideal for a relaxing stay. In fact, it has a wellness center, which provides every type of care for the body and mind: from the sauna, to massages, to the Turkish bath. Other proposed activities are cultural meetings, to better discover the history of the city you are going to visit and the neighborhood in which you are staying, tours on foot or by bike and magnificent evenings with themed dinners!

The rooms are gorgeous and elegant, with oriental decorations and wooden flooring. In your room you will find a flat-screen satellite TV, a richly stocked minibar, private bathroom and safe.

The touch of class of the hotel is in the rooftop restaurant (where breakfast is eaten). This restaurant location allows guests to eat with a spectacular view!

⇒ See here AZADE HOTEL rates and availability

Where to sleep in Istanbul for nightlife: Beyoğlu

By Kayihan Bolukbasi /

Beyoglu it is located on the eastern side of the city, and is known for being a trendy area full of cobbled streets, great cafes, pubs and shops, as well as boutique hotels.

In Beyoğlu they are located Piazza Taksim, Galata (commercial area, Galata tower, also tourist), Karakoy (very trendy, young) and the Istiklal shopping street. Also in this area is Serdar-Ek Ekrem, a very popular shopping street.

A Beyoglu there is a huge choice of accommodation. From hostels to boutique hotels, this neighborhood is where travelers of all styles and budgets can find a great place to sleep. Prices have come down a lot lately and you can find high-end hotels at great prices.

The best hotels in Beyoglu

Il Corinne Art & Boutique Hotel it is an elegant and serious hotel. Inside are guaranteed competence and multiple services for every comfort of the customer: from shuttle services, to car rental, private parking, room service with the possibility of even having your clothes washed and ironed.

Bar and restaurant they are always on the roof to offer guests meals with a special view, with background music to create atmosphere.

The rooms are spacious, tastefully decorated and lots of style. Each of them has a bathroom (you can ask for a room with a whirlpool bath) in which the hotel offers free soaps and the necessary for the shower, some rooms have a balcony, all rooms are equipped with wi fi, satellite TV flat screen and minibar.

Corinne Art & Boutique Hotel is located in Beyoglu, in the heart of Istiklal Street, the main street where you can go shopping and access the main public transport for any trip.

⇒ See here rates and availability of CORINNE ART & BOUTIQUE HOTEL

Marmara Taksim Hotel: are you looking for a hotel to leave you speechless? The Marmara!

This hotel will amaze you with its magnificence, a very high building designed ad hoc for a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape, from the sea, to the city, to the Bosphorus.

In addition to the splendid landscape, the Marmara Hotel guarantees you services for a truly wonderful holiday. First let's talk about the SPA and the swimming pool. The hotel offers a wellness center where you absolutely must not miss the turkish bath, you can also take advantage of a large outdoor swimming pool and a whirlpool!

If you think you are spoiling yourself too much between body care and nothing short of great food of the magnificent rooftop restaurant, from which to enjoy a view that is nothing short of suggestive, do not worry: you will also have a well-equipped gym, complete with fitness courses held by professionals.

Because we are always in the center, it is not difficult to reach attractions such as the Dolmabahçe Clock Tower and its palace, the Galata Tower, Leandro's Tower, the famous Spice Bazaar, the Suleymaniye Mosque, the Hagia Sophia and…

After a good tour you can always return to enjoy the comfort of the spacious and bright bedrooms, thanks to the large windows that allow you to make the most of the hotel's tactical position.

The kind and courteous staff will be able to welcome you and advise you on the best for your stay and since you are practically on Taksim Square, do not miss the opportunity to go shopping!

⇒ See here prices and availability of MARMARA TAKSIM

Witt Istanbul Suites: In the Beyoglu district we also find this very interesting hotel, with a modern and charming look.

Il Witt Istanbul Suites offers spacious rooms, with superlative bathroom and breakfast also in the room, on its terraces, to enjoy the pleasant view of the city. The first point in its favor goes precisely to meals: from its kitchens 0 km foods come out, prepared with local ingredients, a real home-made cuisine!

You will favor of traditional Turkish breakfast which includes marinated olives and white cheeses. A good meal is always served in the presence of the magnificent view of the city.

In the rooms it is possible to use the TV with DVD player, in the hall there are books and DVDs available for guests. The rooms are air conditioned, soundproofed and there is free access to wi fi. There is free parking upon reservation, a library and a useful tour desk to contact to better plan your tour!

Although a little more inconvenient to reach, the Witt Istanbul Suites is always in the center, just a few steps from Taksim Square. This makes it easy to leave for the most popular attractions!

⇒ See here rates and availability of WITT ISTANBUL SUITES

Where to sleep in Istanbul with children: Sirkeci

Di Lizavetta /

Sirkeci is the neighborhood between Sultanahmet and Eminönü, very close to the Galata Bridge and the Golden Horn, and is known for its hotels, restaurants and transport.

Thanks to transport, Sirkeci is a fantastic solution to sleep in Istanbul: it is less expensive than Sultanahmet and more authentic, it is very close to various places of interest and the Porto di Eminonu from which ferries depart for the Asian part of the city and for cruises on the Bosphorus.

The best hotels in Sirkeci

Romance Istanbul Hotel Boutique Class. Class is the key word for this hotel. Its Ottoman style conquers the heart and the eye of those who choose it as a place for a stay in the historic center of Istanbul.

I colors of the furniture they are as varied as the choice of delicacies for breakfast, considered at the top as every day the choice changes and the quantity is always enormous. The staff does not forget to take care of its guests, in fact, sweets and chocolates are offered, a tea / herbal tea break with biscuits and a half-liter bottle of water offered to each guest every day.

Furthermore the hotel offers a SPA service with the possibility of booking massage sessions, with free admission are, however, the heated swimming pools, the wet and dry sauna, the hammam and the Turkish bath. The wellness center is small, but definitely up to par!

If after all this goodness you still have the idea of ​​going out for a walk among the historical beauties of Istanbul, you won't have to go far: all major attractions are within easy reach, the most distant just 20 minutes!

⇒ See here rates and availability of ROMANCE ISTANBUL HOTEL

THEHotel Sultania Boutique Class fully represents the richness and magnificence of the Ottoman style. Classic and elegant rooms, very welcoming and with guaranteed comfort. The staff is ready and available to respond to your every need and to show you the best routes for your tour thanks to the tour desk.

At any rate you are in the center and it will be very easy to reach with a few steps the Hagia Sophia, the Column of Constantine, the Mazadel Spezie, the Suleiman Mosque, the Galata Tower, the Maiden's Tower, up to Taksim Square. You have the Bosphorus 500m away, and the hotel offers you all kinds of pampering to ensure maximum pleasure.

In fact, you will have free chocolates and sweets, a delicious tea break with snack, a hearty and quality breakfast always on a terrace with a spectacular view. Don't forget to drop by the SPA where you will have free access to the swimming pools, while a small contribution is payable if you also want to use the Turkish bath or hammam.

⇒ See here rates and availability of HOTEL SULTANIA

Where to sleep in Istanbul on a budget: Beyazit (Grand Bazaar)

By Vitaly Titov /

If you are looking for a lively neighborhood with lots of budget accommodation options, you should definitely look to Beyazit. Beyazit is a colorful and chaotic neighborhood located in the center of Istanbul that has developed around the Bazaar. There are many low-cost options, but be careful not to end up in some hovel.

Below I have chosen 3 excellent mid-range hotels in which I hope you will find the one that suits you the most.

Located west of the Sultanahmet district, it is within walking distance of the city's main tourist attractions, including Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.

The best hotels in Beyazit

Hotel Miniature: The Hotel Miniature was born from an impeccably restored historic building in which modern and traditional characters are beautifully married.

The rooms have suggestive walls that follow the style of the country, they are graceful and quiet, all the furniture is brand new and carefully cleaned. There is a private bathroom with complimentary grooming products, a TV with cable and satellite channels, a DVD player, a telephone and books to entertain you, including guides to visit Istanbul or historical manuals.

Delicious sweets or chocolates are offered every morning, in addition to the buffet breakfast that can be enjoyed on the terrace, from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of the district that represents the historical center of Istanbul.

Given the fortunate position, public transport and main attractions will not be at all inconvenient to reach. Indeed, you can rely on the valuable advice of the staff at the reception who will be happy to show you, with a map in hand, the most suggestive places to visit and the attractions not to be missed for anything in the world! If you are lucky you can also sit at the table with the owner and enjoy a drink offered by the house.

⇒ See here prices and availability of HOTEL MINIATURE

Now Life Hotel: Always with its strong point the centrality and the wonderful view, we find the Agora Life Hotel.

From the outside it may seem uninspiring, it shows a simple facade, which blends in well with the other structures, but upon entering you will be amazed by the large luxurious spaces. The Agora Life Hotel makes elegance its strong point, the serious and professional staff will kindly provide for your every need and will accompany you on the threshold of your romantic room.

They never miss petals and a chocolate, the beds are long and comfortable, from the terrace you can enjoy a spectacular view of the sea, of the bosphorus and on the upper floors also of Santa Sofia. At your disposal there is free internet, a TV with DVDs, books and music. The bathroom is well maintained, with hair dryer and complimentary body care products.

Breakfast is held on the terrace and it is rich and varied, between sweet, salty and tradition.
The centralized position allows you to comfortably and easily reach the main attractions such as: the Column of Constantine, the spice bazaar, the Blue Mosque and that of Suleiman.

⇒ See here rates and availability of AGORA LIFE HOTEL

New Efendi Hotel - Special Category: with particular attention, the Nowy Efendi Hotel is suitable for all types of customers, including celiacs, as a separate menu is reserved for breakfast for those suffering from celiac disease. The Hotel introduces itself with a modern and elegant character, simple but very luxurious.

In the rooms there is no lack of comfort: they are just the right size, comfortable and made every day to perfection, impeccable cleanliness, equipped with air conditioning, television, safe. The bathroom is spacious and contains freebies for cleaning and body care.

Il staff is competent and welcoming, always ready to show his guests the best routes for their tour to Istanbul and the stops not to be missed. It is located in a very convenient area, a few steps from the Sultanahmet tram stop. The beauty, however, is to enjoy the city on foot and with a very central hotel like the Nowy Efendi Hotel - Special Category it is very simple.

The hotel, in fact, is only 400m from Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque (visible from the roof room, the terrace on the seventh floor where the tasty buffet breakfast is held), after an 8-minute walk you can reach Topkapi Palace and the Great Bazaar.

⇒ See here NOWY EFENDI HOTEL rates and availability

The trendiest area to sleep: Karaköy

Di arda savasciogullari /

One of the trendiest neighborhoods in Istanbul, at the mouth of the Golden Horn, is Karakoy.
Once one of the most important ports in Istanbul, this area was left to deteriorate for decades until 2010 when gentrification spread and old historic buildings began to house cafes and trendy boutique.

Today, Karaköy is one of the most elegant districts of the city. Here you will find a wide range of trendy restaurants and shops and the hotels are the best in all of Istanbul for value for money.

I migliori hotel a Karakoy

Cheers Porthouse it is a very nice hostel, in the Art-Nouveau style, with simple but effective furnishings.

The rooms are spacious and bright, and for a hostel that is rare, freebies for body cleansing are available in the rooms with private bathrooms. There is free access to the internet.

The location is great, since it is located in a very lively neighborhood, frequented mainly by young people, full of clubs and music ... but the rooms are not soundproofed and this can be a problem at night.

At any rate it is very clean and well maintained, with a homely atmosphere, with courteous and welcoming staff, always willing to provide the best information for the most popular tourist visits. Bike tours and fishing trips are organized (not on site).

There is no shortage of tourist attractions just 1km away: the Spice Bazaar, Istiklal Caddesi, the Suleymaniye Mosque, the famous Taksim Square etc… Furthermore, nothing detracts from the pleasure of the Bosphorus view.

⇒ See here prices and availability of CHEERS PORTHOUSE

Ada Karakoy Hotel: Thanks to the courtesy of the staff, the guaranteed quiet, the elegance and the good location, the Ada Karakoy Hotel has won the hearts of its visitors (including mine).

Let's start from the top: the continental and varied breakfast, it is served in a splendid room on the terrace with a view of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. But if you'd like more, breakfast can be served in your room upon request.

The rooms all have air conditioning and wi fi, are elegant and have an ingenious and original layout to ensure your comfort at best. Whether or not the windows are soundproofed does not matter, as the hotel enjoys a central but very quiet location on a pedestrian street with no premises. And here we are at its strength: the position.

The Ada Karakoy Hotel is located 10 minutes from the Galata tower, 15 minutes from the blue mosque and the Hagia Sophia, better still one minute you can reach the port of Karakoy from which to move with the ferry services.

⇒ See here rates and availability of ADA KARAKOI HOTEL

Conclusions: Better Sultanahmet or Beyoğlu?

Sultanahmet e Beyoglu are the best areas to sleep in Istanbul. They are completely different from each other, but very close, separated by the Golden Horn. So, which one to choose?

The truth is that spending time in both areas is inevitable. Then you will find yourself going from one side to the other multiple times, on foot or by public transport., Either by public transport or by taxi.

I have personally stayed in both areas, but to be honest I preferred Beyoğlu, as after a shower and rest in the hotel, you can go out and there is a huge variety of things to do, restaurants to dine and places to have a drink.

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