Best hotels in Istanbul
Istanbul HotelsIstanbul has a long history of being invaded by different cultures, and the city has gladly soaked up influences from each of them. However, this doesn’t mean the city is stuck in the past. Wander around its streets and you’re just as likely to come across an imposing shopping mall as an Ottoman palace, giving the city a distinctly cosmopolitan, European vibe. Even the local cuisine has influences from the Mediterranean, with spices from the Middle East, and the traditional Turkish yoghurt to cool it down. Things to seeThe contemporary Taksim Square is a focal point for the modern, European area. Sip coffee outside a chic café while you watch the enthusiastic shoppers in the pedestrianized area, or sit on the cool grass of the Taksim Gezi Park, an oasis of green amongst the concrete. Step inside the iconic domed Blue Mosque, taking time to appreciate the intricate tiling and peaceful atmosphere. Across the way stands Hagia Sophia, a similarly impressive building that has been a mosque, a cathedral, and now houses a museum. Light streams in through the grand stained glass windows, illuminating the golden décor. A livelier experience is found at the Grand Bazaar, where delicately threaded carpets hang from the walls, and racks of glimmering gold are just waiting to be haggled over. The clean simple lines of the Bosphorus Bridge connect Europe and Asia, much in the same way the city absorbs the culture of both continents. Hotels in
IstanbulMany Istanbul hotels combine traditional architecture with modern conveniences, ensuring a cozy and welcoming stay. The boutique hotels in the city center are perfect for romantic stays, many of them featuring designer toiletries, coffee makers, complimentary bottled water, and big comfortable beds. Istanbul also has some larger, luxury chain hotels, offering spas, indoor and outdoor pools, and international restaurants, as well as cocktail bars and gift shops. Clean and cozy budget hotels are often run by locals, and in addition to a comfortable bed, you can expect cable television, refrigerators, and daily housekeeping.Where to stayThe area of Sultanahmet is the older part of the city, on a peninsula once known as Constantinople. With many classic examples of Ottoman and Byzantine architecture, it’s a haven for amateur photographers, and families will love the cheap and friendly restaurants along the waterfront. The Taksim area is great for single travelers and younger groups, and the area around Istiklal Street comes to life at night, drenched in neon with music blasting from the numerous bars and restaurants. The area around the Grand Bazaar - Beyazit is ideal for adventurous travelers, with the spicy scent of kebabs and street food in the air, and streets just made for exploring. How to get to IstanbulThe modern metro network connects Ataturk International Airport to the city center, allowing arriving travelers to zip to their destination in just over half an hour. The metro system connects to the tram network, making it incredibly easy to get around the city. Because of the booming number of tourists arriving in the city, the Sabiha Gokcen International Airport was built to the South East of the city, easily reached on the E80 road. It’s also served by the major public bus lines, which can take under an hour at quiet times, although you should allow up to 90 minutes at peak hours.