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Istanbul Hotels

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Featured Istanbul Hotels

Stretched across two continents, Istanbul is a city unlike any other. The cultural capital of the Turkish Republic draws you in with its ornate mosques, markets and nightlife. Istanbul's blend of ancient and modern, European and Middle Eastern, secular and Muslim adds up to something special: a city that never stops surprising.

Istanbul: city layout
Istanbul is surrounded by water, with the Sea of Marmara to the south and the Black Sea to the north connected by the Bosphorus Strait. The Golden Horn, a natural harbour off the strait, hems in Sultanahmet, Istanbul's Old City. Spanning the Golden Horn is the Galata Bridge, connecting Sultanahmet with vibrant Beyoğlu. The latter neighbourhood is home to the medieval Galata Tower, which you can climb for panoramic city views. It’s a great place to find Istanbul hotels.

Cutting through Beyoğlu, Istiklal Caddesi is the city's main pedestrian boulevard and the centre of shopping, dining and nightlife; you can follow it to bustling Taksim Square. Northeast from here is the seaside neighbourhood of Ortaköy, beneath the continent-spanning Bosphorus Bridge.

Top attractions in Istanbul
Standing pink and majestic at the tip of Sultanahmet, Hagia Sophia is Istanbul's most iconic landmark. Originally a church and later a mosque, it's now a popular museum. Cross Sultan Ahmet Park to visit the Blue Mosque, an active place of worship built to match Hagia Sophia's grandeur.

Want to buy a carpet? The Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest covered markets in the world, and an excellent place to perfect your haggling skills over steaming cups of Turkish tea. If you would rather shop for spices and Turkish delight, indulge yourself at the nearby Spice Bazaar. Hotels in Istanbul can be found close to all of these fabulous delights.

The concierge recommends…

  • Dinner with a view: eat fish and drink rakı, a Turkish anise liquor, at one of Istanbul's rooftop restaurants.
  • Taking a Bosphorus cruise. Both private and public boat excursions are available.
  • Crossing the continents from Europe to Asia and back again. Istanbul's intercontinental ferry takes just 20 minutes.
  • Exploring masterpieces of Ottoman architecture. The mosques of Mimar Sinan are highlights – particularly the grand Süleymaniye Mosque and the intimate Rüstem Pasha Mosque.

Hotels in Istanbul

Istanbul is a diverse, sprawling city and each neighbourhood has its own personality. The hotels in Istanbul also seem to reflect these personalities, so it’s worth knowing more about them before choosing where to stay. Sultanahmet is close to cultural and historical treasures, while Beyoğlu buzzes with nightlife. The Topkapı neighbourhood is on a tram line that takes you directly into Old City and beyond: close enough to Istanbul's main attractions, but far enough out to avoid the crush. Some of the quaintest hotels Istanbul offers can be found in this neighbourhood. 

Taksim is the fast-beating heart of the city, offering dynamic nightlife and culture. Across the Bosphorus, the neighbourhoods on the Asian side provide a calmer slice of Turkish life. Kadıköy is liberal and laid back, with a quiet seaside park and many cafés and restaurants.

Eating Out in Istanbul

Smoky grilled fish, garlicky yoghurts, sticky-sweet baklava and crisp cucumber salads: Turkish cuisine has something for everyone. It can be as simple as döner dürüm (slow-cooked shaved meat sandwich) and freshly squeezed orange juice from a street stand, and as elaborate as buttery octopus, vegetarian meze dishes and a glass of the anise-liquor rakı at a high-end Turkish tavern or meyhane.

Packed with restaurants, the streets and alleyways around Istiklal Caddesi and Taksim Square are difficult to navigate without getting hungry. Check out Nevizade Street for lively taverns with roaming musicians and tempting meze spreads. At the other end of Istiklal is Asmalımescit, a buzzing area where you can sample everything from spicy Southeast Anatolian cuisine to homestyle Turkish meatballs.

You can stroll along the Golden Horn in Eminönü for street food, including döner and grilled fish sandwiches. Tradition dictates you wash them down with a salty yoghurt drink called ayran. Across the strait, Kadıköy Market is a great place to buy fruits and vegetables, as well as fish directly from the fishmonger's daily catch, and Istanbul hotels are especially popular here.

The chef recommends...

  • Kebap: From minced meat with spices to fatty bits of lamb, from cubes of liver to smoky chunks of aubergine, Turkish kebap comes in many forms. They are grilled over glowing coals and served with hot peppers, fresh tomatoes and fluffy bulgur.
  • Balık ekmek: This humble fish sandwich is grilled on pushcarts next to the seaside and served with chopped onions, leafy greens and a generous shake of salt.
  • Menemen: Turks take breakfast seriously, and this is a highlight: lightly scrambled eggs mixed with tomatoes, peppers, onions and butter, scooped up with hot crunchy bread.
  • Baklava: For a punch of sweetness, nothing beats this filo pastry stuffed with nuts and covered in sweet syrup or honey.

Shopping in Istanbul

Ancient bartering customs and contemporary shopping habits coexist happily in Istanbul. You can buy intricate carpets in a bazaar, hunt for one-of-a-kind handicrafts by Turkish artisans or spend hours in a shiny multipurpose mall. Just remember when haggling: be patient and be persistent!

There's no better way to feel like a local than exploring Istanbul's covered markets. Haggling for traditional Turkish goods is expected in Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, whether you're after a carpet, a glass-encrusted lamp or tulip-shaped tea cups.

Craving a more modern retail experience? Head to Nişantaşi to find Istanbul's upmarket shopping district, where international designer stores and high-end artisan fashion boutiques proliferate. Istanbul hotels in this area are perfect for shopaholics! Shops of all stripes line Istiklal Caddesi, the city's most important shopping boulevard.

Istanbul's giant malls double as social centres, with cinemas, sports clubs and high-end restaurants tucked among hundreds of stores. To shop, dine and unwind under one roof, try Kanyon, Istiniye Park and Akmerkez.

Best souvenirs from Istanbul

  • Turkish carpets: Known for their high quality and unique beauty, Anatolian carpets are best bought in Turkey. Shops will ship them to your home country.
  • Tea and spices: To carry the tastes and smells of Istanbul home with you, stop by the Spice Bazaar and stock up. Look out for urfa biber – smoky red pepper flakes from Turkey's southeast.
  • Water pipes: Nargile (also known as hookah, shisha or water pipe), is a Turkish tradition. Molasses-soaked tobacco is smoked through a glass and metal water pipe. These can be simple and functional or ornately designed.

Culture & Nightlife in Istanbul

Late to breakfast and late to bed, Istanbul throbs with nightlife. Dinners last long into the night, drinks stretch into the early hours and dancing can go on till dawn. Music lovers can plan ahead to enjoy an international act at a major venue, or simply follow the sound of live music to a raucous late-night bar.

The centre of nightlife in Istanbul is Taksim, where the streets are packed with live music venues, dance clubs, rollicking bars and high-end art galleries, including SALT Beyoğlu. The Istanbul hotels located here are very popular with those who like to party the night away. A short metro ride away, Zorlu Center offers international dance, theatre and music.

To enjoy the best of modern and contemporary Turkish art, check out Istanbul Modern in Tophane. The permanent collection showcases an eclectic range of styles and media, and there's a small cinema for arthouse movies. Down the road is Karaköy, where a young and vibrant Turkish contemporary art scene has taken root, with many small venues displaying diverse works.

Live music venues in Istanbul

  • Zorlu Center: This sprawling performance arts centre brought a new kind of entertainment to Istanbul, with multiple spaces and wide-ranging local and international programming.
  • Sürreya Opera House: This important concert hall in Kadıköy hosts ballet and opera performances throughout the year.
  • Babylon: located in Asmalımescit, this trendy hangout draws hip bands both local and international.
  • Araf: a club and live music haunt that specialises in world music, with an emphasis on acts from Turkey and the Balkans.

Visiting Istanbul with a Family

Istanbul has something for all ages, and there are plenty of hotels in Istanbul that are suitable for family groups. Ancient history comes alive in its museums, theme parks enthrall and educate and playgrounds offer space for fun. Even venues aimed at children engage adults, making Istanbul a terrific destination for a family trip.

Cultural learning and play combine at Miniatürk, a theme park of miniature Turkey complete with a small Hagia Sophia and a shrunken Cappadocia. The re-creations are surreal but educational, and the theme park also contains a playground.

The light-hearted history lessons can continue in Başakşehir, where Ottomanya lets kids learn about the Ottoman Empire through art, puppets, costumes and games. Children can take home the art they create in Ottomanya's workshops. Maritime buffs interested in a hands-on exploration of the city's nautical history can visit the Naval Museum in Beşiktaş, which offers giant ships and interactive exhibits.

Family-friendly parks and playgrounds in Istanbul

  • Maçka Park: Centrally located, with sweeping green spaces and multiple playgrounds, this park lets you breathe fresh air without leaving the city limits.
  • Emirgan Park: The site of the annual April Tulip Festival is a year-round draw with its kid-friendly playground and manmade lakes.
  • Zorlu Center: The playground in the Zorlu Center Mall appeals to children of all ages. The contours of the ground and the colours of the climbing shapes shift as children explore deeper inside the playground.

Latest Istanbul Hotel Reviews

Average Rating for Istanbul Hotel
(4.3 / 5) of 1729 reviews
Good Hotel in Istanbul
By mujhass1
Hotel is nice and breakfast is really good. It is a bit far away from major attractions so commuting can easily take 1 to 1.5 hours. [Less]
very narrow bed but great services
By kmidris
staff are wonderful friendly and the hotel is quite and clean > security is remarkable [Less]
Good hotel
By Almalki
Overall its perfect hotel, i have had a good experiance [Less]
By Oscarjr Ren
Amazing staff, especially Iglin, she was very very professional and extremely knowledgeable about anything I went to ask. [Less]
Excellent Hotel - well worth a visit
By MichelleT
Stayed here just before Christmas and really loved it. The staff upgraded us to a suite and ensured we had everything we could ask for. Great atmosphere, staff couldn't be nicer, their spa was [More] excellent. My wife had a "Turkish massage" which she stated was the best she'd ever had. The lounge wasn't the largest I've ever been in but the staff went out of their way to be helpful. This hotel made my holiday. Istanbul is built on a hillside but this hotel gave me a perfect location for sightseeing and shopping. Great place to visit. Mike [Less]
Great service and uncomfortable bed
The hotel staff was really helpful and they did everything to provide us with the best service. I really recommend asking for Ramy at front desk as he was really helpful, knowledgeable and so nice. [More] He checked us into a way better room (spacious and corner room). My only bad review would be the fact that i couldn't sleep comfortably due to the fact that the mattresses were totally soft and unhealthy, the room was not sound proof and i could hear a lot of kids screaming in the morning. [Less]
Overall great experience, with exception of confusion about directions
By shells......
Excellent spa services, I very much enjoyed my Turkish bath and massage. The staff was very kind and helpful. My room was clean and comfortable with the exception that the toiletries were noticeably [More] opened and used :( (the lotion/shampoo) Would like to be clear that this hotel is not directly in front of the metro station.. it is directly in front of the TRAM station.. Which makes for easy transportation to the airport .. if you are aware of this.. I misread many reviews and thought it would be directly in front of the Metro station so I took the closest metro and ended up wandering the streets for 30min with my luggage before I finally got a cab. My ride back to the airport was smooth once I knew I needed to take the TRAM and then switch to the METRO.. [Less]
Istanbul - get away
By Manish1980
Hotel is far away from key tourist destination but still value for money, Reception staff is receptive and offered great help to arrange tour programs and provide necessary information. for meeting [More] all arrangement's are perfect for Indians, food is not so great ,breakfast was ok [Less]
Help in snow storm
By Taylor22
My flight was cancelled due to snow, the staff helped me contact the airline for rebooking. My group could not travel for 24 hours and the hotel set my group up with rooms for the additional day. [Less]

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