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
- Taksim is closer to action and nightlife. (sometimes noisy)
- Sultanahmet is so near to main tourist attractions (no fun at all)
- 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
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 on a Map
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.
Best Area To Stay in Istanbul Old City:
+ 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.
More Reading: Best Hotels to Stay in Sultanahmet Old City
Staying in Istanbul Old City Sultanahmet for Sightseeing
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.
Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Istanbul Beyoglu:
- Istiklal Street
- Taksim Square
+ 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.
More Reading: Best Hotels to Stay in Istanbul Beyoglu
Istiklal Street Located in The Heart of Beyoglu
Map of Major Areas to Stay in Beyoglu
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 – Best Area to Stay in Istanbul with View
Staying At Bosphorus Hotels Besiktas, Ortakoy, Bebek
Best Neighborhood to Stay in Istanbul with 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.
Best Places to Stay in Istanbul Bosphorus:
- Beylerbeyi (Asian Side)
- Cengelkoy (Asian Side)
+ 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.
More Reading: Best Hotels to Stay in Istanbul with Bosphorus View
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
Asian Side Hotels: Best Hotels to Stay in Istanbul Asian Side
Recommended Activities in Istanbul
GetYourGuide offers budget-friendly Bosphorus Cruise tours, guided Old City tours, Hop on Hop off Bus tickets and Derwishes Show tickets. This Link for Istanbul Activity List might help you choose the one that fits your expectations. There is a variety of options with good ratings.
Further Recommended Reading:
- Best Things to Do in Istanbul
- Best Places to Visit in Istanbul
- Things to do in Sultanahmet Area
- Best Photography Spots in Istanbul
- Best Fish Restaurants in Istanbul
- Best Shopping Malls in Istanbul
- Best Restaurants in Istanbul Bosphorus
- Best Coffee Shops in Istanbul
- List of Festivals & Events in Istanbul
- Fun Activities in Istanbul for Kids
- Istanbul Museum Pass Card
- Istanbul Tourist Attraction Map
- Istanbul Half Day Walking Tour
- Fener Balat Walking Tour Map
Where To Stay in Istanbul Blog Post By Serhat Engül