Where To Stay in Istanbul Taksim or Sultanahmet 2018

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Four Seasons Sultanahmet

Best Area to Stay in Istanbul 2018

It’s not easy to decide where to stay in Istanbul, considering that Istanbul offers variety of options to its visitors.

Should you stay in Beyoglu (Modern Istanbul) or Sultanahmet (Old City) or Bosphorus where hotels have a great view of the sea. All of this choices has its own pros and cons. Let’s check the options together.

Considerations about Taksim, Sultanahmet, Bosphorus

  1. Taksim is closer to action and nightlife. (sometimes noisy)
  2. Sultanahmet is so near to main tourist attractions (no fun at all)
  3. Bosphorus area is absolutely beautiful and classy. (but too expensive)

Ok, then what should you do? We will review the options with the help of maps.

Where To Stay In Istanbul – Best Areas To Stay In Istanbul Map
Where To Stay In Istanbul Taksim or Sultanahmet

Where To Stay In Istanbul? Best Area 2018

A Brief Information About Golden Horn

The Golden Horn is a natural inlet connected to Bosphorus. The Golden Horn separates Modern Istanbul (Taksim, Galata, Karakoy) from Istanbul Old City (Eminonu, Sirkeci and Sultanahmet).

Many new hotels have been opened around Golden Horn shores recently. That could be an alternative to Sultanahmet, Taksim and Bosphorus areas.

Best Area To Stay in Istanbul Map

Where To Stay In Istanbul Taksim or Old City

Map of Golden Horn and Bosphorus districts.

Where To Stay in Istanbul 2018

  • Staying In Old City Hotels – Sultanahmet, Sirkeci, Eminonu, Beyazit

Best Area to Stay in Istanbul for Sightseeing. Suiteable for Family

Sultanahmet is obviously close to major sights such as Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace and Grand Bazaar. All of these sights are only a walking distance from the hotels situated in Sultanahmet.

The downside of booking the hotel in Sultanahmet is that the area is not lively when it is dark. Streets get empty and there is almost no nightlife in the area.

This place is to find the peace and take a safe & quiet walk in the night.

Major Areas To Stay Istanbul Old City Neighborhood:

Eminönü > Sirkeci > Gülhane > Sultanahmet > Çemberlitaş > Beyazıt > Laleli

+ Pros: The area is closed to traffic, silent and safe neighborhood. It is nearby the must-see tourist attractions. You can easily get the tram to reach out to Modern Istanbul (Galata-Taksim neighborhoods)

– Cons: The only disadvantage of this area is that there is almost no nightlife here. After 23:00 in the evening, almost everywhere becomes silent and empty.

Staying in Istanbul Old City Sultanahmet For Sightseeing
Best area to stay in Istanbul for tourists

Hagia Sophia Square, Istanbul, Turkey

  • Staying In Beyoglu Hotels – Taksim, Galata, Cihangir, Karakoy

Best Area to Stay in Istanbul for Nightlife and Fun

Where to stay in Istanbul Sultanahmet or Taksim? A very common question. Let’s check the latter.

Taksim (district name Beyoglu) is nearby Istiklal Street, Galata Tower, Taksim Square and Dolmabahce Palace. There are also trendy neighborhoods around such as Cihangir, Galata and Çukurcuma. These places are adorned with cozy cafés and busy nightlife.

Istiklal Street is a lively area bustling with people 24 hours a day. You should note that some hotels are located in noisy areas. If you are looking for a peaceful night, perhaps you should choose a hotel a few streets away from Istiklal Street.

The fashion boutiques (in Nisantasi), the largest shopping malls (Levent, Sisli, Mediyekoy) located near to Taksim Square. They are accessible with a simple metro ride.

Major Areas To Stay In Beyoglu Neighborhood:

Karaköy > Galata > Pera > İstiklal Caddesi > Taksim Square >Tarlabaşı > Cihangir > Tophane

+ Pros: It’s where the heart of the city beats. It is closeby both Istanbul Old City and the Bosphorus. Art galleries, cinemas, cafés and bars all around Istiklal Street.

– Cons: Taksim Square and its surroundings are overcrowded during the weekend. The noise of people and cars may disturb you. It’s less safer than Istanbul Old City.

Istiklal Avenue Located In The Heart Of Beyoglu
Best area to stay in Istanbul for nightlife

Bustling Istiklal Avenue of Istanbul. This street where the heart of the city beats.

Map Of Major Districts To Stay In Beyoglu
Best area to stay in Istanbul for family

Map Of Major Districts Of The Istanbul Beyoğlu

Local Advice About Where To Stay in Istanbul

You will spend time in both areas for sure. You can easily use the tram, funicular and taxi to commute between Sultanahmet and Taksim.

My personal experience tells me that the best place to stay is the Sultanahmet. Almost everything related to history exists in the Sultanahmet. You can just walk back to your hotel after sightseeing and have a good rest.

You can visit the Taksim after a short taxi ride. You simply join the nightlife around Taksim and Istiklal Street then you can come back to Sultanahmet to have a good sleep.

Çırağan Palace Kempinski Hotel By The Bosphorus
Best hotels to stay in Istanbul for Bosphorus view

Ciragan Palace Kempinski is definitely the best hotel in the city.

  • Staying At Bosphorus Hotels Besiktas, Ortakoy, Bebek

Best Neighborhood to Stay in Istanbul for View. Convenient for jogging

If you want to be close to the unique beauty of Bosphorus, you can choose hotels located in this area. In general terms, these hotels are in the most expensive category.

Major Districts Of Istanbul Bosphorus:

European side: Besiktas > Ortaköy > Bebek  / Asian Side: Beylerbeyi > Cengelkoy

+ Pros: Districts alongside Bosphorus provide a wonderful scenery. Besides the life quality is considerably higher than other areas. Best restaurants & nightclubs are nearby. There is cozy Ortakoy & Bebek neighborhoods.

– Cons: The hotels are expensive and far from the major tourist attractions. It might take a long time to get Sultanahmet because of busy traffic. The roads that lead to Besiktas, Ortakoy and Bebek always busy.

Map Of Major Districts To Stay In Bosphorus
Istanbul hotel recommendation and area map

Map Of Major Districts In Bosphorus. Both Asian And European Sides.

This is a matter of preference after all. All areas are nice; some lively, some beautiful, some quiet.

I hope this short article help you decide about where to stay in Istanbul.

Latest Update: 12.04.2018


Further Recommended Reading:


Where To Stay in Istanbul Blog Post By Serhat Engül

Where To Stay in Istanbul Or Best Area To Stay 2018 & 2019

Where To Stay in Istanbul Taksim or Sultanahmet 2018 was last modified: April 20th, 2018 by Serhat Engül
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