ciragan palace kempinski hotel

Ciragan Palace Kempinski

Condrad Bosphorus

Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus

Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus

Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

Rixos Pera Istanbul Hotel

Rixos Pera Istanbul

Arden City Hotel

Arden City Hotel-Special Category

Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul

Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul

Shangri-La Bosphorus Istanbul

Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul

Six Senses Kocatas Mansions Istanbul

Six Senses Kocatas Mansions Istanbul

The Marmara Taksim

The Marmara Taksim

Raffles Istanbul

Raffles Istanbul

Grand Hyatt Istanbul

Grand Hyatt Istanbul

The StRegis Istanbul

The St.Regis Istanbul

The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul at the Bosphorus

The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul at the Bosphorus

CVK Park Bosphorus Hotel Istanbul

CVK Park Bosphorus Hotel Istanbul

Pera Palace

Pera Palace

Soho House Istanbul

Soho House Istanbul

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus

Sumahan - on the Water

Sumahan – on the Water

Hagia Sofia Mansions Istanbul Curio Collection by Hilton

Hagia Sofia Mansions Istanbul, Curio Collection by Hilton

There are thousands of hotels and short-term rental apartments spread out across Istanbul, so there is no shortage of places to stay. Since 2005, the hotel business in Istanbul has grown a lot, and the city’s skyline is now full of brand-new hotels.

Istanbul boasts a vast selection of hotels and other types of lodging. The city is filled with tens of thousands of hotels and apartments. Since 2005, Istanbul’s tourist industry has flourished. The construction of new buildings continuously alters the city’s skyline.

Newly established in the Beşiktaş neighborhood, the Shangri-La palace is close to other major palaces like the Ciragan by the Kempinski Group and the Four Seasons Bosphorus on the Bosphorus. The Mandarin Oriental has a location on the Asian side of the Bosphorus in Istanbul. The rapid pace of the city’s construction frequently astounds visitors.

The two most common types of rental listings are:


These have recently become popular in Istanbul, and most of the apartments include a kitchen as well as other amenities. Luxury condos are more expensive to rent than standard condos, but they offer conveniences like being near hotels and having a 24-hour front desk (no room service, but the household is mostly done every day).

On average, these apartments are newer and larger than comparable hotel rooms.

This market segment represents the most promising area for product growth because it offers the best overall value, especially for extended stays. While the owners of some of the apartments occasionally rent out some of them, others are only for visitors.

Because apartment rentals are becoming more popular, we suggest making reservations at least a month in advance.

This is a wonderful way to get to know a hotel and its inhabitants, and they tend to pop up in areas where hotels are scarce. The apartment’s owner is typically the first person you meet, and if you’re lucky, you’ll also encounter friendly locals eager to show you around. Some apartments, for instance, provide breathtaking panoramas of the Bosphorus or the cityscape below.

The typical hotel guest stays for less than a week. In Istanbul, you can find one of the world’s largest concentrations of five-star hotels. Hotels representing every major brand and style imaginable can be found here. There are also numerous quaint inns. Being smaller than the standard, large hotel chains allow them greater flexibility in terms of location. They have a more personable, down-to-earth vibe because of this.



Most visitors to Istanbul will stay on the European side. This side of Istanbul also hosts the majority of the city’s best attractions and activities.

The tourist areas of European Istanbul can be roughly divided into two distinct parts.

Popular neighborhoods like Sultanahmet, Eminonu, Kumkapi, and Balat are in the Fatih district, which is on the south side of the Golden Horn. Sometimes, Sultanahmet is called Fatih, even though it is part of Fatih.

Some of the most popular neighborhoods in Istanbul, like Karakoy, Galata, Taksim, and Besiktas, are in the Beyoglu neighborhood, which is north of the Galata Bridge.

If it’s your first time in Istanbul and you can’t decide between Beyoglu and Sultanahmet (Fatih), you should probably stay in the latter.

The best areas to stay in Istanbul are in the Fatih district, which is located south of the Golden Horn Bosphorus harbor and is rich in history. The Fatih district encompasses the areas of Sultanahmet, Eminonu, Kumkapi, and Balat.

Sultanahmet, the Old City

Have you been debating where to stay in Istanbul? Is this your initial visit here? You can simplify your life by moving to Sultanahmet.

Sultanahmet, in the Fatih district of Istanbul’s downtown, is the city’s historic epicenter. Sultanahmet is the best neighborhood in Istanbul for tourists and first-timers because you can stay and visit most of the city’s major attractions in less than 15 minutes.

The Sultanahmet Mosque, also known as “The Blue Mosque,” was commissioned by Sultan Ahmed in 1609. The Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern, and the Topkapi Palace are just a few of the modern-day highlights.
Eminonu, home to Istanbul’s famed Grand Bazaar and Spice Market, and Kumkapi, a more economically friendly district, are both within walking distance.

To preserve the integrity of the historic district that is Sultanahmet, the roads are closed to vehicles between the hours of 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., every day. This also means that you will be unable to drive to the hotel’s entrance during those times.

Because of these closures, there is no chance of lively nightlife after 9 p.m.
Given that Sultanahmet is Istanbul’s most visited tourist attraction, you can anticipate aggressive hawking (selling) of goods and services. Typically, there will be a man standing in front of a restaurant, waving you in. Most of the restaurants here seemed fake to me and catered almost exclusively to tourists.

The Best of Sultanahmet
Hagia Sophia
The Blue Mosque
The Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern

With its prime location in the city, Eminonu is high on my list of recommended neighborhoods for families visiting Istanbul. Most of the city’s best-known sights are within a 15-minute walk of Eminonu, which is just west of the historic district of Sultanahmet.

The Grand Bazaar can be found at the top of the Eminonu district. More than 3,000 stores selling everything from candy to accessories to electronics can be found in the Grand Bazaar. It also holds the record for being the world’s first covered market.

The Spice Market is located down the hill from the bazaar (or Misir Carsisi). The spices sold in this covered market are exactly what the name implies. Sumac, saffron, oregano, and salt rocks from Turkey’s world-famous salt lakes are just some of the regional specialties on offer. The Spice Market, which has been around since 1664, is a great place to pick up some souvenirs for loved ones back home.
Located on the hill’s foot are Istanbul’s primary ferry terminal and transportation hub. From here, it takes less than ten minutes to take a ferry to nearby neighborhoods like Galata and Karakoy in Beyoglu and less than thirty minutes to cross to Istanbul’s Asian side. From Eminonu station, it takes less than 15 minutes to reach the charming alleyways of Balat via bus.

This area is a hub for commuters, locals, and visitors, so it tends to be noisy and a little chaotic.

Among the many attractions in Eminonu are the Grand Bazaar, Spice Market, Galata Bridge, and Suleymaniye Mosque.

Once known as Kontonskalion, the village attracted sailors who came to the area to repair their vessels, drink at the local watering holes (known as meyhanes), and feast on the fresh catch of the day. Authentic restaurants and a lively atmosphere have brought the area back to life. The ideal location from which to experience the chaos of everyday life in Istanbul

Kumkapi’s southern border is also shared by Sultanahmet, an old city center. If you want to visit all the best sights in Turkey but experience a more traditional way of life, staying in Kumkapi is the way to go.

The Kumkapi neighborhood’s southwest-facing coastline makes for a beautiful sunset viewing spot. Explore the local fish market under the train tracks and then enjoy a delicious seafood meal at one of the many restaurants along the coast.

The neighborhood is situated on a gentle incline, so you’ll be constantly making your way up and over modest inclines. Although the neighborhood may be a little run down in spots, I think that only adds to the charm and character of the place. As far as budget hotels in Istanbul go, I’d put this one at the top of my list.

Kumkapi Fish Market: Traditional Turkish Cuisine and Drinks
A Pier Near the Miniature Hagia Sophia Mosque

After exploring each neighborhood on this list, I can safely say that Balat (the old Jewish Quarter) would be my top choice if I were to relocate to Istanbul, Turkey’s cultural capital. While there are many charming residential areas in which to stay in Istanbul, I recommend Balat as the most picturesque.

Balat never ceases to astonish with its brightly colored houses, ivy-covered buildings, mismatched cafe furniture, and delicious home-cooked meals. You’ve probably seen photos of this neighborhood, complete with girls in dresses and colorful row houses, all over your Instagram feed. Fortunately, Balat lives up to his reputation.
Just a 12- to 15-minute bus ride from Sultanahmet, Istanbul’s main tourist district, you can easily reach all the city’s best sights and also take advantage of the wonderful setting right outside your door.

The kahvalti (a traditional Turkish breakfast spread) here is among the best you’ll find anywhere. My trip to the retro candy shop Balat Merkez Sekercisi was one of the highlights of my trip. Just grab a handful of assorted hard candies and thank me later.

Despite the neighborhood’s proximity to the Golden Horn harbor, visitors should not anticipate any seaside activities. Most of the area is perched on a hillside, up a series of steep, winding alleys.

Balat Attractions
The Stairs, or Merdivenli Rampa
Vibrant Balat buildings from the past
Boys’ Greek High School in Fener
Bulgarian Orthodox Church of St. George and the Greek Patriarchate of Fener
Take pleasure in a hearty Turkish breakfast

The following are some of the best areas to stay in Istanbul, all of which are in the Beyoglu area, which is the newer, European part of Istanbul. Karakoy, Galata, Taksim, and Besiktas are all parts of Beyoglu. It is on the northern side of the Golden Horn, across from old Istanbul. You can get there by crossing the Galata Bridge.

If I were to stay in Istanbul’s Beyoglu neighborhood, I’d choose Karakoy. Karakoy, a neighborhood in Istanbul, is situated on the Golden Horn’s shores and runs parallel to the water rather than uphill.

The northern side of the Bosphorus harbor’s main ferry terminal and transportation hub, Karakoy, provides convenient access to the city’s other major areas, including Galata, Taksim, and Besiktas, via foot and tram, respectively. Karakoy itself has a gentle landscape that makes it easy to walk around.

Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I saw so many places to eat within such a small area as this one, and it’s because the area is so densely populated with restaurants serving a wide variety of cuisines. You can eat from morning to night and never repeat a meal, as there is a wide variety of restaurants serving everything from traditional Turkish fare to international fusion dishes. The population of Karakoy has grown to the point where it is now the hippest district in all of Istanbul.
You can also get a traditional Turkish bathing experience by visiting a hammam, where you will be scrubbed and cleaned on marble slabs in a heated room. The Karakoy neighborhood is home to the best hammams, including the historic bathhouse Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami, which dates back to the 16th century.

Karakoy is at the mouth of the Golden Horn, on the northern side of the Bosphorus harbor. This gives it beautiful views of the water, the Galata Bridge, and historic Istanbul in the distance.

Attractions and Activities in Karakoy
Turkish bath, or hammam, in its traditional form
Float leisurely along the water
Get to know the surrounding areas

Galata, a bustling neighborhood with hilly cobbled alleyways and plenty of souvenir shops, was once a Genoese colony on the banks of the Golden Horn and a major port for the passage of goods.

Galata has quickly become Istanbul’s premier party district. Galata’s nightlife is more than just a bunch of dance clubs; it’s got a lot more variety and charm. There could be anything from quiet Turkish hookah lounges to lively Irish pubs or sophisticated underground wine bars.

Galata is the best neighborhood in Istanbul to stay in if you’re looking to experience the city’s vibrant nightlife.
The prominent cylinder shape and peaked roof of Galata Tower make it an instantly recognizable landmark in the Istanbul skyline. Once used as a lookout to detect fires in the city in the 11th century, today it is a popular tourist destination because of the breathtaking panorama it provides. From the forks in the road that leads to the Galata Tower, you can explore the neighborhood’s many quaint shops.

Across the Golden Horn, the Galata Bridge connects the trendy neighborhood of Beyoglu to the more traditional neighborhood of Fatih. Small souvenir shops and a marketplace can be found under the bridge, and fishermen can be seen working from the top.

From Galata Bridge, sunsets are beautiful, with dark mosques dotting the city skyline against a background of bright pinks and purples.

Galata Attractions
Shopping for souvenirs and small items, going to the Art Deco Camondo Stairs and the Museum of Modern Art, and check out the Galata Tower and the Bridge to St. Anthony of Padua.

The Taksim neighborhood is pumped full of life and commerce by the bustling main street of Istiklal. This wide path for walking is framed by the beautiful white fronts of wealthy homes and a charming old tram line.

Ultimately, the boulevard terminates at Taksim Square, the city’s most central public space. Nightlife, shopping, and dining all converge in Taksim Square. Istiklal Street has a wide variety of shops, including Sephora, Zara, and H&M, among many others.

Small Turkish restaurants, hole-in-the-walls, pubs, and fish markets crowd the dense network of side streets that radiate out from Istiklal. In Dürümzade, Anthony Bourdain frequents a restaurant known for its kebab.
Shopping in Taksim is like shopping in any other modern city. This is the best area to stay in Istanbul if you want to shop at major retail chains. If you want to see a more traditional side of Turkey in Istanbul, however, I recommend almost any of the other neighborhoods on this list.

If you can’t decide between staying in Taksim or Sultanahmet while visiting Istanbul, the latter is your best bet. Taksim is a great place to stay if you want to be close to restaurants, bars, and shops.

Attractions and activities in Taksim
Visit Taksim Square, the stores of Istiklal Street, and Cicek Pasaji (a historic passageway)
Take a look at the pink cathedral (Sent Antuan Kilisesi)

Northeast of the Beyoglu district, along the Bosphorus, is the neighborhood of Besiktas in Istanbul. The Dolmabahçe Palace, located by the water, is its most notable landmark. Visiting the Palace in Istanbul is a must, as it is among the most stunning palaces I have ever seen. Once a palace for the Sultan, this exquisite dome is now a museum.

Beşiktaş’s historic district can be reached by crossing the street and heading uphill, where you’ll find a plethora of restaurants, bars, and cafes. It is possible to visit the famous fish market in Besiktas, which is part of the city’s open market district.
Besiktas is a more affluent district of Istanbul, noted for its many high-end shops and commercial establishments. However, most of the time, it’s just fun to walk around and discover new things. The Bosphorus waterfront boardwalk is always available for your strolling pleasure. If you’re traveling as a couple to Istanbul, you should stay in Besiktas.

The Besiktas Ferry Port makes it easy to get to other parts of Istanbul, like the historic district and the Asian side of the city. As a result, Besiktas is more of a destination district than a neighborhood that is accessible by foot and close to other places.

What to See and Do in Besiktas

Visit the Maritime Museum of Dolmabahçe Palace in Besiktas

Have fun, eat, and drink a lot!

Go to the outdoor market area
Wander the charming side streets


I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t mention the Asian side of this cultural powerhouse in Istanbul, the only city in the world that spans two continents.

If you’re planning a return trip to Istanbul and want to see something different, or if you’re visiting for the first time and want to live like a local, head to the Asian side.

Getting around Istanbul is easy and stress-free thanks to the city’s excellent public transportation system. In under 30 minutes, a ferry can take you to the Hagia Sophia Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, and the rest of Istanbul’s historic district.

The Asian side of Istanbul, on the other hand, has fewer restaurants and shops aimed specifically at tourists, so it has a more authentic Turkish atmosphere. In Asian Istanbul, you can find the first kebab shop in the city, charming cafes that serve real Turkish coffee, and a lot of unique shops that sell handmade goods.

Both Kadiköy and Üsküdar can be found on the Asian side of Istanbul. Kadiköy and Moda are the two primary areas of Kadiköy that I have outlined because I think they are more convenient for tourists visiting Istanbul.

Kadikoy is a bustling neighborhood that combines modern and traditional Turkish culture and is located to the east of the mouth of the Bosphorus Strait. Imagine modern banks next to ancient mosques and sprawling department stores next to narrow streets lined with small shops. Kadikoy always provides a symphony of sights, sounds, and flavors.

Kadikoy’s proximity to the Kadikoy ferry port makes it convenient to travel to other areas of the city, such as the historic district of Istanbul, where sights like Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque can be found. You can also take a ferry to the Princes’ Islands, which have cute towns on hilltops and great hiking trails.
A further benefit of staying in Kadikoy is easy to access to Bahariye Street, the Istiklal of Asian Istanbul. An old tram line and numerous stores line this broad promenade, which is safe for pedestrians. There is an exciting nightlife scene and plenty of other activities to keep you occupied throughout the day and into the wee hours of the morning.

Kadikoy Sights and Attractions Bahariye Street Sureyya Opera House Ciya Restaurant People-watching from the Kadikoy Port

Anyone who is at all familiar with the Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood of Williamsburg will immediately understand what Moda is all about. We’re talking about places like independent bookstores, record stores, thrift stores, and trendy cafes that don’t stray too far from the norm.

Picture this: you and your friend are enjoying a cup of pour-over coffee by the side of the road while you catch up, and then you decide to stop at a hipster bakery for brunch. Spend the evening drinking and partying on Kadife Sokak Street. That’s how things work in Moda.
There will also be many young people sporting oversized clothing and knitted beanies. One of the most stereotypical hipster neighborhoods is Moda. This is the place to stay in Istanbul if you want to feel at home.

There is more to do in Moda than just indulge in the local cuisine and beverage scene. In Moda Park, you can take a stroll along the water’s edge while taking in breathtaking views of the Bosphorus and distant Istanbul from the rocks at sunset.

If you plan on staying in Istanbul for an extended time, you should stay in Moda.

Attractions and Activities in Moda
Moda Park at Dusk
Intake of food and liquids
Wander around and check out the various stores.

The Final Word on Where to Stay in Istanbul
This, then, is your complete guide to the finest areas in which to stay while visiting Istanbul. If this is your first time in Istanbul, I suggest staying in either Sultanahmet or Karakoy or another neighborhood on the European side.

Both Sultanahmet and Karakoy are conveniently located near the city’s best-known landmark, the Golden Horn. Karakoy, on the other hand, is a better place to learn about traditional Turkish culture and eat great food.

If you’re staying on the European side of the Bosphorus, you should take a ferry over to the Asian side of Istanbul for the day.

In any case, I hope you have a fantastic time exploring this cultural mecca. If you have any inquiries, please let me know in the comments section.

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