Istanbul is a large city that has wonderful history and a rich culture, and is one of the most visited cities in the world; we have a guide if you’re trying to figure out when to visit Istanbul. The city is where Europe meets Asia and it is divided in two halves by the Bosporus Straits – the bustling and contemporary European area and the more historic and traditional Asian area. Within these halves there are various districts with their own individual characters. It is worth spending some time deciding which area will suit you best, especially as it is easy to travel around the city to see all of its magnificent monuments.
The oldest part of the city is Sultanahmet and this is where many of the most important attractions are located. Fatih is very close by and although it is relatively conservative compared to the rest of the city, this is slowly changing. Fatih is a spectacular location for those who are keen to see all the famous sights of Istanbul.
Ajwa Hotel Sultanhmet
Newly opened in 2017, this hotel is designed in the same lavish and ornate style as the palaces and mosques that surround it. Each rooms features a handwoven carpet, furniture handcfated from solid wood with mother of pearl accents from masters in Damascus, and an authentic Ottoman feel. There is also an indoor pool and spa, along with a full gym. The restaurant is located on the 8th floor, giving you a stunning view of the city from above.
Emin Sinan, Piyer Loti Cd. No:30, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel
Only steps away from the brightest attractions in Istanbul, this design hotel is a quiet retreat with a peaceful outdoor pool and budding botanical gardens. Afternoon tea is served daily at 5 pm for those that wish, and the other restaurants offer traditional regional fares. Many of the guest rooms feature views of Hagia Sophia, allowing you to view this architectural gem in all its glory.
3 Emek Refa’im Street, Jerusalem, 9310402, Israel
The Ibrahim Pasha Hotel
A smaller hotel in the center of the city, Ibrahim Pasha prides itself on the highest levels of customer service, and they deliver. Rooms are airy and a perfect blend of local tradition and contemporary design. On their roof terrace, there are wonderful views of the Blue Mosque, which are truly unforgettable.
Terzihane Sok. No:7, Sultanahmet, Fatih, 34122 Istanbul, Turkey
This area is charming with historic buildings and cobbled streets, but is also lively and modern with a colourful night scene where you can party until late! The Tomtom Suites are situated in one of the area’s old buildings that dates from 1850s and used to be the home to French nuns.
The Tomtom Suites
Tomtom Suites are one of the leading small-scale luxury hotels in the city, located in a newly renovated historical building to serve all of your needs. Each of the rooms have luxe marble bathrooms, most with a full spa bath, and beds that feel like a cloud. The onsite restaurant offers refreshing Mediterranean cuisine from a lovely roof top terrace.
Karakoy is a young, trendy area with street cafés and numerous tiny shops for browsing. Situated close to the Golden Horn, there is easy access to the ferry that sails across the Bosphorus Straits to the Asian part of the city. 10 Karakoy Istanbul is a modern hotel with high ceilings and great city views. It is located just ten minutes’ walk from Taksim Square. If you are looking for something a little different, the
This fun design hotel with contemporary design with unique interiors and stylish furnishings is located right between the old and new parts of the city, dubbing itself a harbor for weary travelers. The hotel wants guests to enjoy a really comfortable stay and all its beds are fitted with special anti-stress mattresses, and they also offer full organic Turkish breakfasts. The hotel also strives to be more green, recycling many materials that pass through its doors and working on local sustainability initiatives. They also have a rotating photo exhibition by local photgraphers.
Necatibey Cad. 91, 34425 Karaköy, Istanbul
Colourful, trendy and the most modern part of Istanbul, Taksim is the perfect choice for those seeking numerous restaurants, cafés, shops and galleries. This area has plenty of good nightlife too so is popular with younger tourists. The focus of Taksim is its famous square and the nearby bustling Isitklal Avenue.
The Pera Palace Hotel
This elegant hotel prizes hospitality and their connection to history above all else, using their 127 years at this location to provide the best stay possible. Combining Ottoman and neoclassical design styles at this luxury stay, the rooms are timeless and comfortable while the spa offers a welcome respite for weary travelers and a full hammam. All of the bars and restaurants provide top notch food that combines a number of culinary styles, while high tea is available for more traditional guests, and they’re a favorite for Istanbul’s elite.
Mesrutiyet Cad. No:52 Tepebasi 34430 Istanbul, Istanbul Turkey
Gezi Hotel Bosporus
This gorgeous design hotel stands right next to Taksim Square and has plenty of character too. Guest rooms have stylish wooden floors and some even have views of the Bosporus from their showers! The hotel’s restaurant offers stunning views across the Straits to the Asian side alongside tasty Turkish treats.
Mete Cd. 34 Taksim, Beyoglu, 34437 Istanbul, Turkey
If you are looking for luxury hotels and are a food lover you will enjoy this part of the city! Beşikaş has the complete range from great street food to luxury restaurants.
Ciragan Palace Kempinski
Situated on the outskirts of Besiktas, this opulent hotel offers comfortable luxury to its guests with an infinity pool, a great culinary experience, and spa facilities. Modeled after an Ottoman palace, this is a hotspot for the city’s elite to dine and drink, and weddings can often be seen taking place on the romantic grounds.
Çırağan Caddesi 32, Besiktas, 34349 Istanbul, Turkey
This vibrant and pretty neighbourhood overlooks the waters of the Bosphorus and has charming streets to wander in with trendy restaurants and street cafes as well as galleries, upmarket boutiques and jewellery shops. After dark there are some good nightclubs too.
Stay Bosporus Hotel
This stunning hotel was built in the 19th century by the Balyan family who created much of the finest architecture in the city. The hotel offers the closest guest rooms to the Bosporus, with lower level rooms overlooking the water itself and upper level rooms showcasing the beauty of this sprawling city. The design is clean but luxe, and offers guests an elegant escape in the center of one of the most beautiful and historic districts.
Salhane Sokak No: 1 Ortaköy, Besiktas, 34367 Istanbul, Turkey
This part of Istanbul is situated across the Bosporus Straits in the Asian half of the city, with quaint cafes along the promenade. This area is mostly residential, and has a quiet village feel. This is one of the best neighborhoods to experience the authentic side of Istanbul.
Sumahan on the Water
This fabulous hotel which stands on the shores of the water and has a gorgeous waterside restaurant is the perfect blend of old-world Turkish charm and modern elegance. Originally a distillery built in the 19th century, the hotel still has the original wooden beams and fireplaces. There is also a full spa with a traditional hammam for an evening of relaxing. It is situated just a few minutes walk from both the Capitol shopping Mall and the jetty for the ferry across to the European side.
Kuleli Cad. No:43 Cengelkoy, Uskudar, 34684 Istanbul, Turkey