On the coast of the Bosphorus – the strait that marks the divide between Europe and Asia – Besiktas is one of the most dynamic parts of Istanbul. Cosmopolitan cafes and fashion boutiques make it a great place to wander all day, while a major landmark is Dolmabahce Palace, a formidable fortress of Baroque and Rococo grandeur, with opulent sights such like the Crystal Staircase, fashioned from Baccarat crystal and mahogany.
Separated from the Old City by the shimmering stretch of the Golden Horn, Beyoglu is a cosmopolitan quarter crammed with tempting cafes, bars, and restaurants – especially along the famed Istiklal Avenue, one of Istanbul's busiest streets. Look out for the ornate Art Deco and Neo-Gothic buildings all around as you head down to Taksim Square, the hub of modern Istanbul, which is home to the Republic Monument.
Get a taste of Ancient Rome in Turkey by visiting Beyazit. The ruins of the columns of the Forum of Theodosius still stand, while next to Beyazit Square is one of Istanbul's great attractions: the Grand Bazaar. Dating back to the 15th Century, its ancient warren of shops sell everything from glowing lanterns to ornate rugs, while the vintage fountains and tiled, arched ceiling make the market itself a must-see.
Sirkeci's train station is famous, and with good reason. It was the last stop of the Orient Express, and with its stained-glass decor and Ottoman architecture, it still exudes the glamor of a lost age. Sirkeci has plenty of hotels to choose from, and it's only a short walk to the Spice Bazaar, with its striking vaulted walkways lined with shops selling colorful heaps of sumac, paprika, and red peppercorns.
All the splendor of old Istanbul can be found in Sultanahmet. A stunning fusion of Islamic and Ottoman architecture, the Blue Mosque is a stand-out sight. Then there's Topkapi Palace, which with its stone towers, sprawling courtyards, and inner buildings is a city in itself – it houses some of Islam's holiest relics. For a classic Turkish experience, bask in the heat of one of the area's traditional baths, or hamams.
Istanbul Luxury hotels, Turkey
Spoil yourself on your next holiday and stay in a Luxury hotel in Istanbul, thanks to Hotels.com. With thousands of fantastic hotel deals in some of our favourite destinations, you really will be spoilt for choice. But be quick – all sale deals are subject to availability and are selling fast!
"5 Star Hotel that delivers"
Reviewed by a Hotels.com guest on Feb 26, 2013
Very couteous staff, breakfast is outstanding, room views are perfect. For the money it is the best value I get in all of Europe. I would highly recommend staying here whether you fly into either airport in Istanbul.
"Close to all must-see sights"
Reviewed by a Hotels.com guest on Feb 25, 2013
I highly recommend this hotel. The staff was very friendly and helpful and the room was clean and very comfortable. It's location is a 5-10 minute walk to all the popular attractions (i.e. Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Topkopi Palace, etc.).
"Good choice in Istanbul"
Reviewed by a Hotels.com guest on Feb 24, 2013
This hotel seems to cater to the German & Russian crowd but most of the personnel speak some English. The hotel is a bit old but clean and in a great location near the tram and walking distance to all the main sites. Internet works well and is free, there's an indoor pool and the view from the top floor restaurant has to be one of the best in Istanbul. The spa services are all extra and pricey. If you care mostly about location, basic comfort & good Internet, this is a great hotel. The front desk staff are helpful, breakfast is fine and the neighborhood is safe & convenient.
"A Great Hotel with Great Service"
Reviewed by a Hotels.com guest on Feb 23, 2013
Me, my wife, and our two year old daughter stayed here for four nights. While the overall condition of the hotel was on the older side, the service made the hotel stand out. My wife enjoyed the turkish baths there, the room service was quick and efficient, and the staff did everything in their power to make our stay a great one. A particularly nice touch was their offer (which we took them up on several times) to bring milk to the room for our daughter when we needed it. Just call room service. All on the house. No charge. We will stay there again!!