Stay at our hotels in Istanbul to explore the pleasures of Turkey’s cultural capital, from watching the sun set over the city’s mosques and minarets to haggling over carpets in the Grand Bazaar.
Istanbul is a city of rooftop terraces. Watch the setting sun from your rooftop perch and catch sea breezes and stunning skyline views of the city’s domes and minarets. Our Istanbul hotels are close to the old city of Sultanahmet, where you can visit Topkapi Palace, hub of Ottoman power for three centuries. Other Sultanahmet sights include the church of Hagia Sofia, with its massive Byzantine dome, and the six slender minarets atop airy Blue Mosque. From Galata Bridge, the 360-degree views take in the Bosphorus waterway, the city’s elegant landmarks and the hills beyond. At sunset, head for a rooftop and toast the lights of the Old City as the evening call to prayer rings out from surrounding mosques.
Be ready to haggle with the shopkeepers in the exotic Grand Bazaar, near our Istanbul hotels—it’s all part of the entertainment. Browse the stalls for Turkish carpets and gold jewelry. Then name your price and seal the deal over a bottomless cup of sugary tea. Snack on a juicy shawarma (wrap) and fresh lemonade from a sidewalk cafe in Ortaköy, close to our hotels in Istanbul. Or visit harborfront Eminönü, where the inexpensive street fare includes grilled fish on a roll and meaty kabobs. For a traditional Turkish meal, head for the stairs in busy Beyoglu: Summer dining is enjoyed on building rooftops with views of the glittering city below.
Book a room in one of our Holiday Inn® Istanbul hotels during fall for the Istanbul Biennial, Turkey’s largest arts festival, or in spring for the Tulip Festival, when thousands of colorful tulips carpet Emirgan Park.