Why Stay In Sultanahmet
It’s an ideal location to walk along the river, enjoy a fish taco from one of the vendors and explore nearby neighbourhoods over the bridge meaning you can enjoy the best of both worlds right on your doorstep.
Most of the accommodations here are nestled in the winding side streets and there’s no shortage of restaurants, stalls, local shops, and cafes here.
Even the famous Spice Bazaar and Grand Bazaar are within easy strolling distance.
The Haag Sofia and the Blue Mosque, two of the most iconic sights in Europe, seem to be around every corner ready to greet you as you get lost in this traditional area .
The downside is that it’s very quiet at night, the city’s nightlife s based elsewhere and there’s a lack of evening entertainment in general.
Most of the city’s accommodation is based here and there’s a nice range of prices meaning there’s something for everyone.
Try not to buy too many carpets while you’re in Sultanahmet!
Things To See And Do In Sultanahmet
- Stand in awe of the Hagia Sophie Church and Museum, an architectural marvel and engineering feat that was built in the 6th century.
- Visit the site of the Hippodrome, the former centre of Roman and Byzantine Constantinople.
- Dine on delicious Greek and Turkish food at the famous Pandeli, open since 1901.
- Wander through recreations of rooms and dwellings from Turkish cultures at the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum.
- Head underground and walk along the wooden paths as you explore the architecture and history of the Basilica Cistern.
- Visit Sultanahmet Mosque and explore the stunning architecture of this ancient mosque.
- Pull up a chair and enjoy the great atmosphere at Balikci Sabahattin, one of the oldest taverns in Istanbul.
- Explore Topaki Palace, an extravagantly decorated palace that was the imperial enclave of the Ottoman emperors for nearly 400 years.
- See more than one million works and collections of Greek, Roman and Byzantine artefacts at the Istanbul Archaeological Museums.
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul At The Bosphorus
Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel is another hotel that has an excellent location. It is located in the center of Sultanahmet. The best feature of this hotel is the botanic garden where you can take romantic photos and strolls with your loved one. Aside from the garden, enjoy the outdoor pool and sun loungers for additional relaxation. Wake up to complimentary tea and a buffet breakfast with a wide range of specialties. You can also have a spa date after a long and busy day. The spa offers a Turkish bath, sauna, massage, and beauty treatments. If you and your partner enjoy working out, you can also have fun workout sessions together in the fitness center.
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Eminonu & Sirkeci Staying In Istanbul Near Grand Bazaar
Eminonu was once an important administrative district within Istanbul. It covered what was once the city of Byzantium and therefore included Sultanahmet. While its administrative function has gone, it is still a very recognizable name to locals. Within Eminonu are the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Bazaar, and the waterfront district of Sirkeci which is the ferry terminal for boats crossing the Bosphorus.
The Galata Bridge links the Golden Horn and Eminonu with Karikoy on the Asian side. The port in Eminonu was the place where goods arrived during the Ottoman days and the industrial revolution and steam ships brought even more. The Orient Express ended here at Sirkeci Station.
While it lost its administrative status, Eminonu with its two bazaars, the square around Yeni Mosque, and the renovation of grand architecture lost nothing from a tourism point of view. It may be quiet at night and its population is small. However, by day the harbor activity, the shoppers, and major commercial presence has meant that it is a well-recognized district despite now being just a small part of the large Fatih District.
While the Blue Mosque and Haya Sophia get the most attention, the wonderful mosque down close to the Bosphorus, Suleymaniye named after Suleyman the Magnificent appears in many photographs of Istanbul.
Best Hotels in Eminonu/Grand Bazaar:
Where To Stay On The Asian Side
Crowne Plaza Istanbul Asia A large modern hotel, Crowne Plaza Istanbul Asia features a number of amenities for guests to enjoy. Theres a large indoor pool, wellness center, gym, and even a selection of different restaurants to choose from. The lavish rooms at this 5-star option are decorated in caramel colors with decor that feels definitively classic, whilst boasting luxury bathrooms. Some even feature antique furnishings and chandeliers. This hotel is next door to the Via Port Outlet Centre for all your shopping needs.
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Taksim The Best Area To Stay In Istanbul For Families
Despite being part of the larger area of Beyoglu, Taksim deserves a separate mention because it is regarded as the hub of the European side of Istanbul. It is located above the Bosphorus, directly up the steep hill from the Dolmabahce Palace and the Vodafone Stadium.
It is home to plenty of budgets and mid-range accommodation as well as top quality hotels that can offer stunning views over the Bosphorus.
Taksim Square is a meeting point into which coaches travel from both Istanbul airports. It was constructed in the 19th Century before the formation of the Turkish Republic. The Independence Monument in a circle at the south end was erected in 1928, honoring Kemal Ataturk. Gezi Park to the north was built on the site of former barracks and is a popular meeting place for locals.
Anyone who is unfamiliar with Istanbul and wants the comfort of knowing they can easily get on a bus direct to the airport, day and night, should think seriously about Taksim. They will have the security that staying in Taksim offers because they wont get lost or delayed.
There are bars, cafes, and restaurants aplenty with plenty of pedestrian-only areas in Taksim which is still very close to the main tourist highlights.
Stay in Taksim if you want convenient connections to either airport, you enjoy nightlife, you are looking for budget accommodation.
Best Hotels in Taksim:
Safest Area To Stay In Istanbul
Finally, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind during your stay in Istanbul. Like any other big city, its always important to be aware of your surroundings and not leave any of yourbags unattended, but specifically:
1. Be a bit wary of the taxi drivers. They have a tendency to rip-off foreigners. Uber is agood alternative, and the map in the app helps alleviate the communication gap.2. Be careful about going out late at night around Istiklal/Nevizade. It gets a bit rambunctious/aggressive around there.3. Keep an eye out for what I call joke stonesloose stones on sidewalks that canlead to a twisted ankle or a splash of gross city water on your shoes and pants.4. Cats. Theyre cute and fluffy and all, but some of them can get nasty and scratch you,and you never know what kinds of bugs theyre carrying.
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Four Seasons Hotel Sultanahmet
Staying with the Four Seasons, their hotel in Sultanahmet also cant be beaten when it comes to luxury.
And while it doesnt offer the sea views that its sister does, it does have spectacular views of Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque in the old town and is the top luxury spot for those who also want to be near the cultural center of the city.
Apartment By The Grand Bazaar: 2 Bedroom Near Hagia Sophia
Perfect for up to 5 guests, this furnished and serviced apartment, situated in the heart of Sultanahmet , where most of the top attractions such as Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, and the famous Grand Bazaar are located. The host offers one-way free airport transfer for guests staying for 6 or more nights.
Yalova Renowned With Its Hot Springs
Yalova is one of the best honeymoon destinations in Turkey due to its proximity to Istanbul. Thermal springs, hiking, trekking, gorgeous landscapes, biking routes, and numerous campsites are the numerous reasons that make Yalova a great honeymoon destination. Apart from giving you a chance to get indulged in various things to do in Turkey, youll get to explore a lot!
Why? For massages, hot springs with your partner and plenty of relaxation to spend a honeymoonBest Time To Visit: JanuaryBest Honeymoon Experiences:
Further Read:15 Experiences Not To Miss On Your Euro Trip
With its unending coastline, Turkey is one the best places to have a sun soaked honeymoon. Make sure you consider this list of best honeymoon destinations in Turkey to make the most of your time together. But dont restrict yourself to the sea and get a glimpse of the wonderful history and dip into the cultural marvel that is Turkey. Plan a trip to Turkey now and have a happy Honeymoon!
Beyoglu Where To Stay In Istanbul On A Budget
Located north of the Sultanahmet district, Beyoglu is one of the liveliest districts in Istanbul. Home to the popular pedestrianized Istiklal Caddesi , this district attracts locals and tourists day and night.
The famous and expansive Taksim Square is where youll find a great variety of architectural sights, trendy restaurants and vibrant bars.
Beyoglu is also where travellers can find the most accommodation options. From backpacker hostels to boutique hotels, this district is where travellers of all styles and budgets can find a great place to stay.
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The Galata Istanbul Hotel
Another great Galata-situated hotel with views of the tower and the Bosphorus, the Galata Istanbul Hotel features stylishly decorated rooms and a kick-ass terrace with a panoramic view of the Golden Horn.
It offers a spa for you and your significant other to relax in, and its just stepping away from one of the most unique and romantic areas in the city.
Why Stay In Sisli District & Besiktas
A museum and art hub, the village-like atmosphere draws musicians and artists to the area and you’ll always find live music playing somewhere.
It’s hard to believe that the modern Sisli district is right next door when you wander these alleyways and admire the medieval architecture.
Staying here really does offer the best of both worlds but also has some cheaper accommodation options than Sisli.
Sisli is an upscale area of Istanbul, finding luxury hotels, shopping malls , and fine dining here is no problem.
However, the neighbourhoods also boast a plethora of museums, churches, and mosques as well as countless museums and parks.
Both of these neighbourhoods are a pleasure to walk through and really showcase modern Turkish life, you’ll find a lot of the locals here enjoying the spacious areas and greenery.
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Best Hotels In Sultanahmet
Hostel: Cheers Hostel has private and dorm rooms, and a fun, friendly atmosphere thats great for backpackers. Its a very social hostel, an ideal place for first-time visitors to Istanbul to stay at!
Budget Hotel: Hotel Tashkonak is a great value place to stay in Sultanahmet. The rooms are clean and bright, with en-suite bathrooms. Its in a good location, close to all the main attractions and with friendly staff serving up a local breakfast each day. Read more about the hotel by clicking here.
Mid-Range Hotel: Armada Istanbul Old City Hotel is a great mix of luxury and value. The rooms are both modern and have historic features. Its in a great location, close to the sea, and has a restaurant and bar on site. Heres some more information about Armada Istanbul.
Luxury Hotel: Seven Hills Palace & Spa is one of the most opulent hotels in Istanbul. It has a full spa and a lush outdoor swimming pool that will make you feel like youre at a beachside resort. The rooms are majestic, decorated in individual styles with grand decor. There is also a bar and restaurant on site.
Modern Spa In Istanbul
Although trying the traditional services was amazing, I also wanted to try out modern spa services in Turkey so when the most prestigious spa in Istanbul, the Raffles Hotel Spa, invited me to try their Heavenly treatment, I was there in a heartbeat. BONUS: get there early, because it is built right next to a really good mall, Zorlu.
My treatment was 2.5 hours long and I never wanted it to end. It started with choosing my oil fragrance, and a dry brush of my skin. It sounds strange, but in Turkey, they are really into getting all the old dead skin off and its really meant to keep you looking young. I have to admit it hurts a little no pain, no gain. Next she rubbed on this warming lotion and I realized I had been laying on a space blanket she wrapped me up like a burrito in saran wrap then put the heavy heated space blanket around me while I baked and lost some water weight! Next came the hour-long massage and it ended with a facial! After all the sun and dirt my skin sees in Goa, I felt fresh as a daisy when I walked out of there. If youre looking to splurge on this vacation, I highly recommend it. I have had so many spa treatments all over the world, and this was one of the best.
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Why Stay Near The Asian Side
The Asian Side is also a great place to ‘live like a local’ and seek out some undiscovered areas in the Mediterranean style colourful streets.
There are more than a few cafes and restaurants here which serve top quality local food and the parks and beautiful views across the water make for a tranquil stay.
Travel Secrets Where To Stay & What To Do In Istanbul
We Love Istanbul! That is the best way to start this post! And because we like this huge and contrasting city so much, that we can share with you all our travel secrets. Details about where to stay, what to do in Istanbul and how to enjoy this fascinating place. Be prepared for great Istanbul travel tips.
In our previous post we talked about how to organize your trip to Istanbul, especially if it is your first time in Turkey. Now comes the fun party: Discover Istanbul! Most of the tourists just come and visit the city, what Im proposing to you is to experience Istanbul, feel, smell and taste it.
Probably you already heard that Istanbul is the connection between east and west. Where ancient and modern life walk side by side. Centuries of history, empires, cultures and faiths. I know this speech sometimes sound a bit cliché, but its totally true! Istanbul is made of beautiful contrasts, two worlds in just one place.
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Best Beach Resorts In Turkey 2021
20 January 2021 by Serhat Engül
Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of Turkey are ideal places for summer vacation. There are so many holiday hotels in these areas that you may have difficulty deciding which one to stay. In this article, you can find the best beach resorts in Turkey with high customer ratings on travel platforms.
The best summer holiday places in Turkey are on the west and south coasts. The beach resorts and hotels in this article are also located in the most popular seaside towns in Turkey such as Bodrum, Datca, Fethiye, Kemer and Belek.
Handpicked Accommodations For Solo Travelers
What would be better than an Airbnb where you can meet a local in one of the hippest and centrally located areas of Istanbul.
But you can find many others. We even wrote a guide on 43 alternative websites to Airbnb.
Just make sure you read the comments of the person so you have an idea about their taste, and send them a personalized message for better connection during your trip.
You can use this Airbnb discount code to get 35 off.
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Things To See And Do In Grand Bazaar
- Browse the more than 4,000 shops and bargain for goods at the Grand Bazaar , the largest covered market in Turkey.
- Make a game of it by going on a Grand Bazaar scavenger hunt offered by Alternative City Tours.
- Try Turkish delights, sweets and other tasty treats at the Spice Bazaar, where youll find no less than 80 shops.
- Experience the hustle and bustle of street life in Istanbul at Eminonu Square.
- Enjoy a delicious, inexpensive and fast Turkish meal at the family-friendly Express Restaurant & Café.
- See the impressive Valens Aqueduct , a Roman aqueduct that stands 29 meters tall and stretches 971 meters.
- If you like spice, head to Keyf-I Mekan Café and Restaurant and sample their delicious meals.
- Hop aboard a ferry at Eminonu Pier and see Istanbul from a different angle aboard a ferry cruising along the Bosphorus.
Taksim Square Where To Stay In Istanbul For Shopping
The neighborhood of Taksim Square also lies within the Beyoglu European part of the city. This significant leisure and tourism district is renowned for its hotels, shops, and restaurants. City experts call this the beating heart of modern day Istanbul.
It hosts the Istanbul Metro networks central station as well. This is also the home of the Republic Monument designed by Pietro Canonica and unveiled in 1928. It marks the five year anniversary of the Republic of Turkey that arose after the Turkish War of Independence.
Hotel choices are more abundant here, though the prices are not necessarily budget traveler friendly. Taksim Square area is one of the most popular areas to stay in Istanbul.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN TAKSIM SQUARE
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