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.
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"Would stay here again"
Reviewed by a Hotels.com guest on Mar 24, 2014
Off the beaten path in Sultanahmet. Once you figure out the routes back and forth to the tram you are golden. Staff was friendly and breakfast reasonable. Rooms are tiny by western standards. Awesome roof terrace with spectacular views. Cleaning staff good, but not happy if you are still in bed at noon.
Reviewed by a Hotels.com guest on Mar 22, 2014
Clean. Nice employees. Great with information and gave us card to fill for metro. Nice breakfast included. 3 blocks from Hippodrome uphill. Great restaurants, shopping and the Palace, Mosque and Hagia Sophia just past the Hippodrome. That is also where you will find the metro to the shore for the boat cruises.
"Great Hotel Great Location"
Reviewed by a Hotels.com guest on Mar 22, 2014
We booked this hotel for 3 days but extended for another 4 days. This hotel is in great location. Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Basillica Cistern are close by. Topkapi Palace is also near by. Tourist Bus and Tram Line are in the walking distance. You can walk or take Tram to many historical places and parks. All in all we are happy that we stayed in this hotel. On the top of it this hotel has free internet and good breakfast. All the staffs are helpful and have good working knowledge of English. Betul has good command of English. She helped us in getting to places the best way without getting lost.
"Good hotel for the price"
Reviewed by a Hotels.com guest on Mar 21, 2014
Decent hotel with wifi, breakfast, and gym included.
Room was a bit small. Our room faced a wall.
Easy access to taxis and nearby shopping. Across the street from famous wet burger stand that Bourdain ate at.
Location is at the north end of the restaurant/shopping avenue. I would recommend staying a few more blocks south.
"Location location location"
Reviewed by a Hotels.com guest on Mar 19, 2014
I judge a business by things they do right and also by how they react when things go wrong. The hotel made a mistake with my reservation and my room was not available. They instantly resolved the issue by taking my bags to another hotel (80ft down the road) and checking me in and moving my bags back to the Admar hotel. They compensated me with a free dinner in their restaurant upstairs (which has an amazing view). They had a problem but they fixed it well. The hotel is located in the heart of the historic district in Istanbul you can walk to just about all the sites that guide books say are a must see. The hotel is clean and the rooms are good sized and comfortable. The upstairs restaurant has good food and an amazing view (this is a must see in my book). The staff of the hotel is very friendly and helpful. I would recommend staying here.