Best places to stay
The most 'tourist' part of Istanbul is not especially large, and any of the hotels near to the historic centre is likely to leave you satisfied. If you have the opportunity, our preferred area is Sultanahmet Square (where you can find the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque. The hotels in this area are quite small (20 rooms or so) and many have a warm, familial atmosphere.
Another common option for tourists is to stay in the new town. Taksim Square is where the large hotels and main chains can be found.
Although the prices of hotels in Istanbul has risen in recent years, this doesn't mean they are especially expensive, they have simply caught up to the prices in the rest of Europe. You can find double rooms in central hotels from 50€ (US$54) per night, and if your budget stretches a little further you can find luxurious hotels.
Lots of you have asked us which are our favourite hotels: with a budget of 90€ (US$97.2) per night, we recommend the following:
- Rast Hotel - an enviable location and fantastic views of the Hagia Sophia.
- Maywood Hotel - Built in 2009, this is considered one of the best in the city.
- Darussaade Istanbul Hotel - an Ottoman house from the 19th century, converted into a hotel. Just around the corner from the Blue Mosque.
Or, if you want to feel like a modern-day Sultan, here are some options in the 150€ (US$162) to 200€ (US$216) range.
- Witt Istanbul Suites - Chosen by the Sunday Times as one of the best hotels in the world, it boasts huge rooms and majestic views. Found in the new town.
- Tomtom Suites - This one has 20 suites with jacuzzis and is found on Istiklal Caddesi, the liveliest area of the city.
- Hotel Sapphire - Although it's not as charming as the others on this list, it is situated in the historic centre.
Apartments in Istanbul
Tourist apartments are more popular by the day, and many people prefer to stay in an apartment. At Apartamentos Baratos you'll find apartments around the world with a guaranteed minimum price.
Hostels in Istanbul
Prices of hotels in Istanbul begin at 10€ (US$10.8) a bed. If you're travelling in a group, you'll find great quality hostels throughout the city.
Recommended page for reserving hostels: HostelWorld