5 Star Hotels in Istanbul

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Five Star Istanbul hotels

Most popular areas in Istanbul for 5-star hotels

Istanbul fuses the opulence of the east with the elegance of the west in its patchwork of Byzantine palaces and Ottoman builds. The accommodations reflect this history, too, with areas like Beyoglu bursting with a medley of Arabesque come Baroque hotels that mirror in the Bosphorus below. To the south, the Golden Horn has luxurious chain hotels, soon giving way to the labyrinth of cobbled streets that is the Old Town; the home of smoky shisha joints and the Grand Bazaar, where boutique hammams and spa hotels hide in the nooks and crannies.

Top 5-star hotels in Istanbul

Soaring high over the bustling roadways and parks of Taksim Square – one of the nerve centers of modern Istanbul – the InterContinental hotel beckons with its palatial lobbies and verdant gardens loaded with pools and bougainvillea blooms. Just across the road is the Hilton Istanbul – another acclaimed 5-star option that's got tennis courts, an al fresco pool, a trio of restaurants and bars, and sweeping views over the tops of Beyoglu to the Bosphorus. Hilton's Bomonti hotel in Sisli is crowned with a panoramic rooftop pool and an indoor fitness center, and home to steaming Turkish bathhouses.

Where to find the best restaurants in Istanbul

Start your culinary journey between the weaving lanes and maze of streets that merge in the Istanbul Old Town. Here, the eateries of Sultanahmet waft the scents of cumin-doused kebab platters and cardamom-infused Turkish coffees into the air. Across the Golden Horn to the north, the ancient hill of Galata continues the earthy fusion of Asian and European tastes with its Ottoman-themed and Anatolian-inspired restaurants. The heart of Beyoglu is where you'll find rooftop bistros, each serving modern, edgy fine dining, and boasting breathtaking views over the Bosphorus Straits.

The most popular things to do in Istanbul

No journey to this mysterious city on the divide between Europe and Asia could possibly be complete without seeing the palimpsest of history that is the Old Bazaar and Sultanahmet areas. Wander the wonderful and frenetic cobbled lanes here until you discover the iconic domes and minarets of the Hagia Sophia – once an Orthodox church, later a mosque, and now a fascinating museum done out with illustrious marble inlays and glistening golden mosaics. When it's time to rest the legs and be pampered, make a beeline for the uber-luxurious Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami, where Turkish steam rooms and exfoliation rituals await. Boat trips across the Bosphorus to the Asian side of the city are also top of the menu, while others will opt for antique hunting between the emporiums of Cukurcuma, or a trip to the subterranean passages of the Basilica Cistern.

Best ways to get around Istanbul

There are oodles of ways to get around sprawling Istanbul. Taxis are abundant, and will often use meters to determine the price. Private taxis can be organized from your hotel desk, while shared taxis also run regularly on popular routes – these are known as dolmus, and are often more comfortable and convenient than a bus. Istanbul also has a comprehensive grid of public bus and tram routes, the latter of which are also linked to the underground metro system. Aside from a few rail connections, boats remain the most popular way to cross the Bosphorus.

Istanbul travel guides

Istanbul travel guides