Where To Stay In Istanbul For Sightseeing
As mentioned above, Istanbuls Centre is the best location for tourists in the Turkish metropolis. That said, the city centre covers a massive area and can be divided into many different districts, each with a different flavour and attractions. These are some of the most exciting neighbourhoods:
The Best Areas To Stay On The Mediterranean Coast Of Turkey
The best area for first-timers and families on Turkeys Mediterranean Coast is Alanya, with its beautiful port and several vibrant festivals and events through the year.
Turkey is blessed with three coastlines: along the Black Sea to the north, the Aegean Sea facing Greece and its numerous islands to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea in the south. The latter is dotted with so many golden beaches and such crystal-clear waters that its often called the Turquoise Coast. Most major towns along this coast have an extended marina, ancient castle, old town with meandering cobblestoned streets, and, of course, plenty of tourists, especially from mid-May to mid-September. In high season all places listed below are efficiently connected by public buses and, sometimes, ferries. Buses run less regularly during the offseason and ferries stop altogether.
Where the coast along the Aegean meets the Mediterranean Sea, is one of the regions most appealing towns and especially popular for its active nightlife. About 50 miles via an inland road, Dalyan is so likably different to anywhere else on the coast: based along a canal, it features ancient ruins just across the water and boats to an inland lake and a protected beach.
Further east of Alanya and certainly beyond Silifke, tourist amenities, and attractions become fewer and/or more isolated. Thereafter, the coast is too close to Kurdish separatist areas and the Syrian border.
Best Budget Hotel In Konyaalti Beach: The Corner Park Hotel
The Corner Park Hotel is located near the Konyaalti Beach Park and Aqualand. The rooms are modern and comfortable and are fitted with air conditioning, a private bathroom, a balcony with either a mountain or a city view, a seating area and a dressing room. The hotel has a swimming pool, a bar and a restaurant.
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Hillside Beach Club Fethiye
More than two-thirds of guests at Hillside Beach Club on Fethiyes Turquoise Coast are repeat bookers and its easy to see why. Beehive-shaped rooms, all 330 of them, cling to a hillside that faces the star of the show: Kalemya Bay, where the Egyptian-blue waters of the Aegean are blotted with turquoise ink and a smattering of million-dollar yachts that come to lust over it from afar. Twenty-five daily exercise classes keep guests busy if they wish, though most choose to sun on one of three beaches: Serenity Beach is reached via a nature trail, Silent Beach, a sleepy cove where children, talking and mobile phones are banned and Main Beach, where waiters deliver freshly shaken cocktails at the touch of a button. Theres a traditional Hammam perfect for a pre-tan scrub and a Balinese spa, tucked into a pine-scented hillside. Standards dont slip when it comes to food the Main Restaurant rivals Borough Market, with its choice of stalls piled high with local honey, olives and everything in between, and DJs set up decks on the all-white Pasha by the Bay as you sip frozen mojitos while the sun dips.
Main photo: Avalon Hotel, Kabak Bay, see number 8 below
Ortahisar Coolest Place To Stay In Cappadocia
Ancient cobbled streets, ruins of stone houses, and charming town squares: Ortahisar is like the beating heart of a Cappadocia long lost to history. Donkeys pulling carts regularly trot through town, and old men linger over çay at street-side cafes.
Ortahisar is home to a growing number of boutique guesthouses and luxury hotels as the world gets wise to the surreal beauty of this small Anatolian town.
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Where To Stay In The Bazaar District
Istanbul Old City Hotel Located very near to the bustling Sultanahmet Street and opposite the historic Laleli Mosque, this upscale hotel is the place to stay if you want to be within easy reach of some of Istanbuls most historic parts including the Grand Bazaar itself. The interiors are classically Istanbul, with their mix of Ottoman and European styles, complete with a spacious, impressive lobby boasting marble floors and chandeliers. The rooms at this 5-star hotel feature plush carpets, floor-to-ceiling windows, and feel traditional and decadent. Guests can enjoy the spa, which features both a pool and a gym.
The President Hotel Boasting an onsite traditional Turkish restaurant, alongside a terrace restaurant that serves international cuisine, there is also a selection of bars including an English pub to choose from at The President Hotel. Guests can also take a dip at the hotels indoor pool, relax in the spa, or hit the gym for a workout. The rooms are a warm mix of calming colors, sleek but laid back furnishings, and soft lighting complete, of course, with large, comfortable beds.
Top Things To Do In Greme Turkey:
- Mountain bike through Göremes rugged valleys.
- Get lost in the stunning Göreme Open Air Museum a UNESCO World Heritage Site showcasing the rock architecture of the region.
- Try a pottery kebab break open the pottery to reveal your chosen dish.
- Catch a glimpse of the legendary fairy chimneys, Cappadocias mystical color-changing rock formations.
- Try a spot of valley hiking
- Feel the romance of the grassy Love Valley.
- Check out the varied natural rock formations at Devrent Valley.
- Wonder at the sharp scenery of Zemi Valley.
- Visit Cavusin Greek Village with its labyrinthine cave homes and the 5th-century Monastery of John the Baptist.
- Admire the famous rugs and carpets that Göreme is famous for and try your hand at haggling.
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Things To See And Do In Galata
- Enjoy dinner, drinks and amazing views of Istanbul at Leb-I Derya.
- Spend a night enjoying soulful jazz at Nardis.
- Sip and savour Turkish wines at Sensus, an underground wine bar.
- Want to get wild? Hit up renowned shots bar Indigo for a nightly block part with great music and a vivacious atmosphere.
- Enjoy a night of drinks under the stars at 5. Kat Restaurant and Bar, home to one of the citys best rooftop bars.
- Ride the elevator to the top and walk the parapet of the striking Galata Tower and enjoy 360 views of Galata, Istanbul and beyond.
- Spend a cozy evening at Galata Meyhanesi, an excellent pub that often features live Turkish music.
- Indulge in world-class wines and exotic cocktails at 360 Istanbul, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city.
- Dance the night away at Riddim, Istanbuls first and only R& B Hip Hop Club.
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Sisli/nisantasi Upper Class And Business Area
Sisli lies on the European side of the city. It does not front on the sea but can be reached from exiting the Bosphorus Bridge which links the two sides of Istanbul from Europe to Asia.
The area of this neighborhood is large at nearly 30 kilometers squared. A newer establishment, it arose and grew after the middle 1800s north of Taskim Square.
Following the creation of the Republic of Turkey, Sisli emerged as among the most elite Istanbul neighborhoods with the upper class city locals, non Muslim residents, and foreign inhabitants. Here you will find a great number of old Christian churches, mosques, and Jewish synagogues within the district.
In recent years it has emerged as a growing and important center of finance and small business in the city. The neighborhood boasts among the largest of modern era shopping malls in Europe, the Cevahir Mall. There are also a few hotels in this neighborhood for travelers.
Aside from this, Sisli boasts a number of other key venues, buildings, and sites. These include:
- the Cemal Resit Rey concert hall,
- the Lutfi Kirdar concert hall,
- the military museum,
- stage production theaters and cinemas,
- faculties of the university, Galatasaray football stadium,
- high end shops on the Nisantasi and Rumeli streets,
- expensive restaurants and quality bars in the Macka neighborhood, and more.
The house of the Istanbul Mayor Valikonagi also lies in Sisli.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN ISTANBUL IN SISLI/NISANTASI
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Best Hotel In Gmslk: Paradise Garden Apartments
If you want your own space as well as the convenience of hotel living, this is one of the best places to stay in Bodrum. Its located a short walk from the center of Gumusluk in a peaceful district thats only 50 meters from the beach. As an added bonus, the apartments include a living area and kitchen and theres also a swimming pool on site.
The Lycian Way/ Fethiye To Antalya
Located on Turkeys Tekke Peninsula, known historically as Lycia, the Lycian Way is a footpath that spans across 540 km of mountains, coastline, and valleys from Fethiye to Antalya.
A well-marked-out path takes you past many major archaeological sites, stretches of beautiful coastline and gorgeously lush pine forests and hiking the entire way would take you around a month to complete.
If you decide to walk this path, the route will take you past historical sites from the Greek culture and Roman Empires that date back to 8 BC, passing through traditional villages that seem untouched by tourism where you can find food and other supplies.
Your accommodation options whilst on this path are guest houses, village homes and basic B& Bs although, we might suggest camping as a fantastic option and depending on your location, it can be the easiest option whilst walking the Way.
It is possible to walk only parts of the way and depending on your hiking experience, you could choose the eastern part for the tougher hike especially close to Fethiye are particularly tricky.
The western part would be more suitable if you are not as experienced as this is the easier section of the way.
The best time to go would be either in the Spring March-May or in the Autumn months of September/October, that way youre not walking in the sizzling summer heat and avoid the larger crowds of tourists.
Imagine camping here for the night
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Safranbolu: One Of The Best Small Towns In Turkey
If youre on the hunt for Turkeys cutest small town, look no further than Safranbolu. Located in the Black Sea region on a former tributary of the Old Silk Road, Safranbolu used to be a centre for growing and trading saffron. Hence the name, which combines the name of the precious spice and the Greek word polis, meaning city.
The town revolves around Çar district, where hundreds of perfectly preserved Ottoman houses line charming cobbled streets. This style of architecture can be seen across the old Ottoman world, from Berat in Albania to Plovdiv in Bulgaria. Safranbolus houses are among the finest in the region no wonder the entire town was inscribed as a UNESCO Site in 1994. More than 1000 other registered historical artifacts can be found on Safranbolus streets, including an ancient sundial.
The 17th-century Cinci Han once a caravanserai now provides visitors with sweeping views from its rooftop, while the restored Tarihi Cinci Hamam offers the chance to experience a traditional 17th-century bathhouse.
Get there: 6-hour coach from Istanbul. Search tickets here.Where to stay: Mehves Hanim Konagi, design hotel in a heritage Ottoman mansion. Search rooms here.
Pera & Beyoglu: Historic Area On The European Side Of Istanbul
Located north of the Golden Horn, Pera offers a glimpse into the grandeur of 19th-century Istanbul.
- Why is this the best area to stay in Istanbul, Turkey:
- Heart of the European Side
- 19th & early 20th-century architecture
- Very well-connected through public transport
- stiklâl Caddesi
- Çiçek Pasaj
Following stiklâl Caddesi to the south, and sandwiched between Galata and Taksim, youll find the historic Pera area.
Originally an independent region next to the town Galata, historic Pera is now part of the district of Beyolu.
Traditionally, Pera was Istanbuls diplomatic quarter and many of its original grand palaces and mansions, including the former Italian, British, Swedish and Dutch embassies, are still in use to this day.
The historic tram line T2 runs along stiklâl Caddesi, which is also lined with Neoclassical, Beaux-Arts and Art Nouveau buildings, giving the area a very distinct turn-of-the-century European atmosphere. Çiçek Pasaj , a late 19th-century shopping gallery designed after the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, is home to many historic cafés, restaurants and boutiques.
Other cultural attractions in the area include the Pera Museum, an art institution focused on Orientalism in 19th-century art, the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art and the Historical Galatasaray Bath.
Beyolu is very well-connected to the rest of Istanbul through an extensive public transportation network that includes metro, tram and funicular stations, ferries and buses.
Pera Palace Hotel
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Best Hostel In Beyoglu: Jumba Hostel
This hostel is the perfect home away from home for budget travellers in Istanbul. Run by three sisters, Jumba Hostel is stylish, cool and impossibly chic.
Comprised of private and dorm-style accommodation, the rooms are spotless and comfortable, and the hostel has a cosy common room. Enjoy free coffee, tea and a personal touch at this Beyoglu hostel that is within walking distance of Taksim Square.
Fethiye Marina Where To Stay In Fethiye For Luxury Travellers
Just south of Fethiye city center is the marina, where luxury travelers arrive by yacht. Naturally, this part of Fethiye is a bit more upscale, with luxury resorts and boutique hotels filling the area. Naturally, there are also very nice restaurants and shops ready to cater to visitors staying nearby.
The main area of Fethiye is within walking distance from the marina, so you wont miss out on exploring some of the historic sites. The marina is also a great place to stay if you plan to take any boat excursions to neighbor islands. Snorkel trips also leave from the nearby marina.
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Kaleici Where To Stay In Antalya Your First Time
Kaleici is the name of the old town in the centre of Antalya. It shows the remains of the Greek, Roman and Ottoman past of Antalya and is definitely one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in the city.
The entrance to Kaleici is Kale Kapisi, which is the main square of Antalya. Notable things to see there is the clock tower, built during the reign of Abdul Hamid II, an Ottoman sultan, and the statue of king Attalus II of Pergamon, the founder of the city in 150 BC.
Inside the old town of Kaleici, take a walk around the narrow cobbled streets and look at the old Ottoman houses lining them up. A lot of the old Ottoman houses have been well preserved and are now home to charming little hotels and restaurants.
The historic harbour is also full of life, restaurants and cafés, and locals, as well as tourists, like to come here to relax in the evening.
Things To See And Do In Yalikavak
- Head down to the famous craft market for some unique and well-made souvenirs.
- Spend some time in the older section of this area and just explore the twisting streets.
- Check out the landmark stone windmill on the harbor front.
- Spend a little time and money at the Palmarina, set up to cater to luxury travelers.
- Find a restaurant overlooking the water and watch the most gorgeous sunset youve ever seen.
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Istanbul Airport : Best Location During A Stopover
The area around Istanbul Airport is the best location for passengers on a long stopover with Turkish Airlines.
Istanbul Airport, Turkeys busiest airport, is located northwest of the City Centre, on the European side.
IST is the main hub for Turkish Airlines and where most domestic and international carriers, with the notable exception of Pegasus Airlines, operate.
This is the best area to stay in Istanbul for travellers in transit.
Best Hotels near Istanbul Airport
Menalo Hotel Premium Istanbul Airport
Set in Arnavutköy, this hotel features a bar, a garden and a terrace. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi.
Loft Airport Hotel
Featuring a garden and views of the city, Loft Airport Hotel offers free WiFi. The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange for guests.
Melanj Airport Hotel
Melanj Airport Hotel features free WiFi throughout the property and views of city in Arnavutköy. Each accommodation at the 3-star hotel has garden views, and guests can enjoy access to a shared lounge and to a garden.
Best Hostel In Rgp: Naturels Cave House
This hostel provides travelers with authentic accommodation at an affordable price. Private and dorm rooms are on offer, with breakfast included in the majority of bookings. Guests can also enjoy free wifi in each room. The house is within walking distance to the town centre and numerous attractions, including the Dark Church and Urgup Museum.
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