Beyazit/laleli Affordable Accommodation Close To The Main Tourist Attractions
Beyazit and Laleli lie in the European portion of Istanbul. Beyazt Square sits in the district of Fatih. It offers affordable accommodation close to the main tourist attractions.
It was named officially Freedom Square, but retains its old name which came from the Beyazt II Mosque that lines one quarter of the neighborhood. Constantine the Greats Forum of Theodosius was here until replaced by the square.
This area is mostly dominated by the Beyazt Mosque as well as the glorious entrance to the Istanbul University, two impressive architectural monuments in a neighborhood that dates back 1,700 years.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN ISTANBUL IN BEYAZIT/LALELI
Dont Try To Get To Everywhere On Foot
When I looked at the map of Istanbul, some sights seemed to be really close to each other, while in reality it takes a lot of time to get there. When we went to Yildiz Palace an amazing place, by the way, I thought that Dolmabahce is not really far from there. Trust me, it is, and I am glad we took the bus. If you like long walks, then it is not a huge distance for you, but for us, who attempted to get everywhere on foot as much as possible, it was quite an ordeal.
Do you know any other things not to do in Istanbul you would like to share? Anyway, if you are going to Istanbul, you will need a list of places to see there, so I am here to help! And I have a huge list of useful tips for Istanbul!
I guess it is safe to say you are interested in Istanbul. Why not to have a look at:
Best Area To Stay In Istanbul
i am planning a vacation to istanbul and antalya with my family. i have two small kids so wanted to ask which area will be the best to stay. lively area with access to some nice restaurants and cafe’s. and a lively surrounding.
If you like fun and entertainment, you should stay at Beyoglu/Istiklal street/Taksim area. If you like to be near the historical attractions, then Sultanahmet is your choice. Sirkeci on the other hand has them both. It is in the Old City, 10 minutes walk or one tram stop away from Sultanahmet and has quite a number of great budget or moderate hotels and great restaurants. Have a look: “www.sirkecirestaurants.com“. For more info on Sirkeci, have a look: “”.
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Kas Where To Stay In Turkey For Adventure
Kas is a darling seaside town perched on the Mediterranean coast. Its actually a historic fishing village that was once the ancient city of Antiphellos. Lucky for visitors, there are still incredible ruins to explore including the majestic Lion Tomb that dates back to the 4th century BC.
Make sure you check out Kaputas beach, which is tucked away in a mountain cove. Its one of my favorite beaches ever! It actually has a stunningly unique color of water as its where freshwater meets the sea. Snorkeling or scuba diving in Kas is a must. Under the turquoise blue water, youll get to check out underwater shipwrecks and even a plane wreck.
You know what else makes Kas the best city in Turkey to visit for adventure? Paragliding! If you are looking to get a huge hit of adrenaline, paragliding in Kas is the way to do it.
Where To Stay In Besiktas
Swissotel The Bosphorus A sizeable hotel, this branch of Swissotel covers a large area with grounds boasting gardens and an outdoor pool surrounded by sun loungers. Decidedly design-led, this luxury hotel mixes touches of classic Istanbul aesthetics with modern amenities. There are various dining options, all of which come with sea views. There is a wide choice of rooms here, all boasting chic, upscale interiors. Some even feature large, panoramic windows and seating areas. In terms of location, youll find this beautifully stylish hotel within walking distance of Nisantasi and all its luxury shopping opportunities.
Çraan Palace Kempinski Situated inside a 19th-century Ottoman palace, staying at this hotel means feeling like royalty yourself. The location is perfect right on the shores of the Bosphorus, and with a number of restaurants that line the waters edge. You can dine here with views of Old Istanbul. The selection of luxury rooms ranges from opulent suites decorated in traditional colonial style to rooms with park views, Ottoman fabrics, and large, comfortable beds. This historic hotel comes with an outdoor swimming pool as well as a traditional Turkish spa, amongst other amenities.
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Dont Take The Tram On Istiklal
I know how tempting it sounds: to take a ride in the historical tram in the center of Istanbul in its most famous street. Well, it was not that dashing when I had to stand in the tram packed with people and not being able to see a glimpse of Istiklal. So, dont do it, especially if you intend to actually see this wonderful street. Frankly, many people just take photos of themselves in front of the tram without getting in. But if you are tired and you will be, if you are going to peek into all the shops, of which there are plenty it is even advisable to take the tram to get to the other side of Istiklal.
Where To Stay In Istanbul What You Need To Know
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, as well as the most populous in the country, and throughout Europe.
This city, which in the past was known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is located in the Bosphorus Strait that separates Europe and Asia, which makes it a transcontinental city that mixes many cultures.
Istanbul is the tourist and economic epicentre of Turkey, despite not being the capital of the country.
Among the main attractions to see in Istanbul is Hagia Sophia, a basilica converted into a mosque and, later, a museum that is the symbol of the city par excellence.
Other points of interest worth visiting in Istanbul are the Galata Tower, one of the oldest in the world, the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, and Topkapi Palace.
This huge city has two airports, of which the most important and closest to the city is the Istanbul International Airport, the main hub of Turkish Airlines.
Its secondary airport is Sabiha Gökçen, located in the Asian part of the city, from where smaller airlines such as Pegasus operate.
It is also possible to reach Istanbul via a cruise through the Greek Islands or Turkey.
When choosing when to travel to Istanbul, you have to take into account that the city has a continental temperate climate, with winters where rains are abundant and there may be snowfall. Therefore, the best time to visit Istanbul is summer, with mostly clear skies that allow you to explore its attractions easily.
Heres a guide with the best areas to stay in Istanbul.
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Where To Stay In Beyoglu
The only hotel located right on Istiklal Avenue in Taksim, the centre of entertainment, culture and shopping, Richmond Istanbul is surrounded by historical buildings and churches. All rooms at Richmond Istanbul include a seating area and coffee maker. Rooms offer views of Istiklal Caddesi, the Bosporus or the Istanbul skyline.
Taksim Gonen Hotel
Just 100 yards from Taksim Square in Istanbul, this hotel offers luxurious rooms with a flat-screen TV and a whirlpool. The air-conditioned rooms of Taksim Gonen Hotel are elegant and decorated with warm colours and wooden furniture. All rooms have satellite TV, a minibar, and a hairdryer. Some rooms have a spacious seating area.
The Galataport Hotel
The Galataport Hotel is just 200 yards from the iconic Galata Tower. Up-and-coming Karakoy area is also within a walking distance. The hotel offers a terrace with views of Marmara Sea, Golden Horn and the Old City. Decorated in classic Ottoman style, the rooms at The Galataport Hotel are air-conditioned and soundproofed. Each room has a minibar, electric kettle, tea & coffee setup and a safety deposit box.
The Areas I Stayed In
The first time I went to Istanbul was in December 2010: the company I worked for organised a corporate trip for us. We stayed in a 3 star hotel in Sultanahmet not far from the Grand Bazaar. Later I stayed a couple of times in Sultanahmet: once close to the Blue Mosque in a not-very-good hotel and once in Palace Point Hotel behind Gulhane.
Çapa is a neighborhood relatively not far from Sultanahmet: here I stayed in a small Airbnb and I absolutely loved the place and the area!
In Beyoglu I stayed in a splendid Airbnb right at the entrance to Galata Tower, then in another, but not less splendid, apartment a bit far from Taksim Square.
When it comes to the Asian part, I stayed there as well, in Uskudar, but it is fair to say that our Airbnb was far from Haydarpasa.
Why am I saying all of these? It is mostly for you to understand that the opinions I share on the best areas to stay in Istanbul are based on my personal experience.
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Dont Stay Close To The Sights
Of course, it is much more convenient to stay closer to the sights, when you do not have to spend time and money to get to an attraction. But by doing this you will miss the real Istanbul and the authentic local life. If you stay in Sultanahmet close to the Blue Mosque or in Taksim near Istiklal, you will see crowds of tourists and locals alike. And it will be noisy. We stayed at Çapa, reasonably not far from Sultanahmet, and really enjoyed the neighbourhood. And it is cheaper
Check, for example, Hotel 1453, Best Garden Hotel, 5-star Ottomans Life Hotel Deluxe and Lemis Suite apartments. In addition, I have a post on the best areas to stay in Istanbul: click here to read it.
Besiktas/ortakoy Commercial And Residential Neighborhood
Among the oldest neighborhoods and districts found on the European side of Istanbul is Besiktas. This venerable area is regarded as one of the citys commercial and residential centers, particularly for smaller businesses.
With a dolmus terminal and important public bus terminal, Besiktas also claims to be one of the Bosphorus sea hubs where boats leave for a range of other areas on the Asian side of the city.
Following the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks, Besiktas rapidly grew into a crucial residential area as the Ottomans finished off piracy in the Black Sea. The plundering of small villages lying without the Byzantine city walls stopped and the area flourished.
A 2000 population census revealed that Besiktas counts 191,000 inhabitants. Besides this large residence base, the area is well known for containing among the best known and loved Istanbul city neighborhoods.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN BESIKTAS/ORTAKOY
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Which Area Should You Choose
First of all, here is a map of Istanbul so you can clearly see all the neighborhoods Ill be talking about:
As I mentioned before, Istanbul is a big city and it has plenty of different areas that you can choose from, each of them with its own charm and advantages. Below youll find my personalized list of recommendations for all types of travelers and interests:
- Where to stay in Istanbul for luxury: Taksim and Beikta
- Where to stay in Istanbul for families: Grand Bazaar
- Where to stay in Istanbul for budget travelers: Karaköy
- Where to stay in Istanbul shopping: Grand Bazaar
- Where to stay in Istanbul for nightlife: Galata and Beikta
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul Sultanahmet
Hotel phone: +90 212 402 3000This world-class hotel has been beautifully fashioned from a century-old former jail, and much of the architectural style still remains throughout. All rooms and suites are attractively furnished and most overlook the serene inner courtyard and lush gardens. The historical design precludes a pool, but guests can utilize all the facilities at the other magnificent Four Seasons hotel alongside the Bosphorus Strait. Whats more, its so convenient: only a few minutes walk to three of Istanbuls premier sights the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum, and Topkapi Palace and the excellent metro which links many of the citys other major attractions.
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Things To Do In Sultanahmet
- Wander over to The Haag Sofia Istanbul’s iconic site and once considered the greatest church in Christendom
- Marvel at the Blue Mosque from inside and out
- Go spice shopping at the Spice Bazaar
- Take pictures of the Basilica Cistern, the largest surviving Byzantine cistern in the city
- Buy a Turkish tea set at the Grand Bazaar
- Visit Topkapi Palace, the court of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th – 19th centuries.
- Get lost in history at one of Istanbul’s museums – Museum of the Ancient Orient, the Tiled Pavilion, or the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.
Apa And Hotel Recommendations
You may wonder why I mention this area first: after all, almost nobody has ever heard about it. It is true, tourists rarely stay here, but this neighbourhood has many advantages.
First of all, there are no crowds of tourists around. Despite the fact that it takes about 10-15 minutes to get to Sultanahmet by tram from here, not many travellers choose it for accommodation.
Secondly, you can see the authentic life here, though dont expect many people to speak English. Restaurants and cafes around cater mostly to the locals, and people are very nice, at least, I met nice people
Thirdly, it is easy to get to Sultanahmet from here: just take tram T1, and it will take you right to the Blue Mosque. If you ride it further, you will cross Galata Bridge and end up at Kabatas Pier from where you can take the ferry to the Prince Islands or go to Dolmabahce.
NB: when looking for hotels or Airbnb, make sure they are not far from Turgut Özal Millet Caddesi. Why? Because the tram T1 runs along this street.
Below are some hotels to consider in the area :
Personally, I like the area. It is lively both day and night and feels safer. Everything is close and many people speak English.
What to consider when looking for a hotel in Sultanahmet:
Below are some hotels to consider in the area :
Or just check all hotels in the Sultanahmet area.
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Best For First Time : Old City Sultanahmet
Beyolu Where To Stay In Istanbul For Nightlife
Across the Golden Horn is the more modern area of Istanbul, including the neighborhood of Beyolu. This area is also home to several Istanbul attractions, including the Galata Tower, Dolmabahçe and some of the citys best restaurants and bars. Taksim Square is the main square of Beyolu, with the famous Istiklal Street leading from the square to Galata Tower.
The cobblestone pedestrianized street sees more than three million people each day, who visit the restaurants, cafes, bars and movie theaters. With Taksim Square, Beyolu is the entertainment hub of Istanbul, so if you are looking for nightlife, this is a good option for you. Its the Ties Square of Istanbul, and home of many parades and festivals. There are many Istanbul hotels in Beyolu, and lots of good choices for budget travelers.
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Sultanahmet Palace Hotel Sultanahmet
Hotel phone: +90 212 458 0460This pretty little boutique hotel is very close to three of Istanbuls major attractions: the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia museum, and Topkapi Palace. Past the likable courtyard garden café is the lobby with Byzantine-style marble and tiles. All rooms are stylish, especially the Junior Suites which face the distant sea, while some others offer views of the Blue Mosque that brand-name five-star hotels would charge the earth for. Also a short walk to the excellent metro, which connects more of the capitals many sights.
What To Do In Istanbul Part Ii Love And Road Istanbul Travel Secrets
If you have spare time in Istanbul go to the Asian side. Most of the tourists and travelers dont have time to explore this area and they are missing a bunch of cool and interesting things. From the European side you can get a boat to Kadiköy and explore the neighborhood.
What to do in Istanbul Asian side?
Visit nice shops, food market and local restaurants. We didnt know about this area until our lovely Turkish friends took us there. Thank you Mert and Gökçe for the amazing day trip!
Around Kadiköy you can get a tram to Moda, another famous neighborhood. Full of upper-class buildings, this is where some celebrities live. What is so nice about there? The pier and the stunning Marmara Sea view. Sit, order a coffee or a tea, the seagulls and the nature will reward you!
Still on the Asian side you can also go to the Fernerbahçe Park for some sports, sunset, and fancy dinners.
To buy cheap and local stuff Kadiköy Sali Pazari is the best option. This is a massive Tuesday market where you can find food, clothes, shoes, houseware Everything you can imagine and can buy. I bought a pair of leggings for $5 TL .
To go back to the European side take the Marmaray. Only in Istanbul you can go from Asia to Europe by an underwater train. To cross the Bosphorus by train takes only a few minutes, you dont feel that you are submerged, but even though is a nice experience.
Please, leave your thoughts!
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