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.
Reviewed by a Hotels.com guest on Feb 26, 2013
We checked in late night coming from Zurich and we were welcomed by Ishmael and his assistant. Since we have our sleepy 3 year old daughter with us, he got us a family room right away and took care of our luggages and gave us 4 extra pillows. I asked for a bottle of wine to unwind and was told that they don't serve alcohol in the hotel but willing to go to the store for me. I told him it was not necessary. The service is superb from the front desk, housekeepers and to breakfast staff. The only thing missing is a lift to go to the rooftop for breakfast, otherwise it has great view.
"Excellent Place to stay in Old Istanbul"
Reviewed by a Hotels.com guest on Feb 25, 2013
Pros: Wonderful, amazingly wonderful staff run this place that do whatever they can to make your hotel stay more comfortable. Solid breakfast, comfortable rooms. Cons: Wifi can be a little spotty depending on where your room is, but access speeds are very good when you are connected. This was my third trip to Istanbul and I've stayed at the Adora all three times due to the excellence of the staff and the great location.
"A Lovely Place to Stay in the Old City"
Reviewed by a Hotels.com guest on Feb 22, 2013
Excellent service tops the long list of reasons to choose this hotel. I truly cannot say enough about the efforts the front desk staff take to make your stay comfortable and your visit to Istanbul all that you want it to be. The hotel's location near the many of the Old City sites, free wifi, and a lovely breakfast round out the key features. The hotel is housed in a former residence. It is small (which I like) and there is no elevator, which may be a problem for those who cannot climb stairs.
"Magical Stay at Hotel Poem"
Reviewed by a Hotels.com guest on Feb 19, 2013
My husband and I really enjoyed our 7 day stay at Hotel Poem. The hotel's location is close to all the main sites. We had been lead to believe via reviews that the hotel room was very small, but the room was clean and more comfortable than anticipated with a great view of Asian Istanbul. Breakfast was excellent. Best of all were the hotel staff. They were especially helpful in answering our questions about Istanbul. I would recommend a stay at this hotel, and I would certainly stay again. I considered it a great home away from home for a week.
It is the best hotel I ever stayed, room was very good, cleaning was very good, location of hotel is very good, service was very good, over all it is the best, and when ever I will go to Turkey I will stay in this hotel.
"Great budget Hotel Close to many historic sites!"
Reviewed by a Hotels.com guest on Feb 13, 2013
Had a great stay, room rate was very reasonable. Breakfast included, Hotel was close to many of the historic sites nearby. Walls were a little thin so I could hear everything my neighbor was doing but besides that great hotel!