Where to Stay in Istanbul – Beyoğlu or Sultanahmet

Picture of Sultanahmet by night in Istanbul, Turkey

by Erlend Geerts

in Practical Information

Should I stay in Sultanahmet or Beyoğlu? That’s a question people often ask me while they’re planning their trip to Istanbul. The problem is that there is no straightforward answer to it. It’s merely a matter of preference. Let me explain the pros and cons of both locations.

Golden Horn

Sultanahmet and Beyoğlu are almost neighboring areas, if it wasn’t for the Golden Horn (Haliç). The Golden Horn is a flooded river valley, connecting with the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara. This historical natural harbor is now a main departure point for ferries, both going up the Bosphorus and heading for the Asian side.

The Galata Bridge over the Golden Horn.

The Galata Bridge over the Golden Horn.

The Golden Horn actually separates the old heart of Istanbul (Sultanahmet, Eminönü and Fatih) from the modern part of Istanbul (Taksim, Şişli, Beşiktaş, etc.).

There are two bridges crossing the Golden Horn: the Unkapanı or Atatürk Bridge, and the Galata Bridge. Especially the latter is of interest to tourists because it is the shortest way between Sultanahmet and Beyoğlu.

On the upper deck you’ll pass by a seemingly eternal line of fisherman while witnessing the bustling activity on the Golden Horn. A visit to the lower deck will provide you with a ringside seat in one of the many cheap cafés to watch boats come and go.

Sultanahmet

The biggest incentive to book a hotel in Sultanahmet is obviously its proximity to major sightseeing spots such as the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, the Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, etc. They are all within walking distance of most hotels located in this area. The flip side is unfortunately that Sultanahmet turns into a pretty dead neighborhood once the sun sets. After dark the streets are empty and good night entertainment is scarce.

Beyoğlu

Nevizade in the Beyoğlu area.

Nevizade in the Beyoğlu area.

Beyoğlu is home to Dolmabahçe Palace, the Galata area with its famous tower, Istiklal Caddesi, etc. But the area is mostly known for its cozy neighborhoods (i.e. Cihangir, Galata), wide array of restaurants and cafés, and famous Istanbul night life. Beyoğlu is basically open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But no need to worry, hotels are located in quieter areas, still within walking distance of all the action.

My Advice

The truth is that it’s inevitable to spend time in both areas. So you’ll always have to travel between the two, being it by public transportation or by taxi. I stayed in hotels in both areas on numerous occasions, and always felt I had the best time staying in the Beyoğlu area. I love to arrive at my hotel after a full day of sightseeing, freshen up for a nice dinner, enjoy the nightlife and being able to walk back home surrounded by people whenever I feel it’s time to recharge the batteries.

Photo Sources [1] [2] [3]

What's Next

{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

Ikram April 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Would you lean more towards staying in Beyoglu (versus Sultanahmet) if told traveling with kids aged 2, 5 and 8 and an elderly lady?

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 29, 2013 at 7:49 am

Hi Ikram,

If you have no plans to leave the hotel let’s say after 19:30, then I would recommend staying in Sultanahmet.

Erlend

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Magdalena June 12, 2013 at 2:01 am

I planned my trip to Istanbul for July. I booked hotel in Sultanahmet area but with this protests I don’t know what to do….how safe it to go?!!!

Reply

Erlend Geerts June 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Hi Magdalena,

It’s as safe as before the protests. Moreover, it looks like the protests ended as of today.

Erlend

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janet June 18, 2013 at 4:45 am

It is a pleasure to read your very thorough and interesting presentation about Istanbul. We are traveling there from Miami, Florida in the U.S. and your informative blog has really helped us to organize our trip! Thank you for sharing all your knowledge and helping us get to know this city

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Erlend Geerts June 18, 2013 at 10:10 am

Hi Janet,

Thanks a lot for your kind words. Glad I could help.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Ara June 28, 2013 at 2:15 am

Excellent, very informative and detailed.
Would you name the hotels you would stay, trust and would be comfortable the most for a family or 3?

Thanks

Reply

Erlend Geerts June 28, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Hi Ara,

I can really vouch for Witt Istanbul. Its location is central, services excellent and rooms top notch.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Karin August 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm

I loved your small article, I’m travelling to Istanbul in a couple of weeks, never been there and just wondered where to book my hotel, now I know..thanks:)

Reply

Erlend Geerts August 14, 2013 at 11:36 pm

Hi Karin,

I’m glad I could help make the best decision.

Erlend

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Kalvin January 15, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Hi Erlend,

I’m happy to find this site in preparing my upcoming trip to Istanbul. I have reserved Hilton Istanbul Bomonti, from the map I saw it’s a bit of distance to everything else. Is it really inconvenient and does it have any nightlife around? I may cancel my booking with a penalty of 100usd if its really unfit.

Thanks for your advice.

Reply

Erlend Geerts January 16, 2014 at 10:09 am

Hi Kalvin,

It’s not exactly in the city center, but then again, it’s not that far away either. From your hotel to Taksim is about 3 km.

Basically, you just need to walk the street of your hotel to the main street, and there take the metro (Osmanbey) for one stop. Also by taxi it wouldn’t cost much.

Canceling your current hotel would cost you just over 200 TL. You can take a lot of taxis for that amount of money.

Your choice,
Erlend

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Cynthia March 6, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Hi,
Can you get from Atturk Airport to the Sultanahmet area by tram? If so, what is the route/tram number? Or, is it better to get a taxi – approximately how much should a taxi cost?

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Erlend Geerts March 7, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Cynthia,

Here you’ll find the details for going from Atatürk airport to the city center.

Erlend

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Arman M March 17, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Hi,
I am leaving for Istanbul in a few days for a week. My family has booked Hilton Garden Inn at Golden Horn. I have gone through some reviews and read that it has a bad location as it is very far. I loved your article, so can you please tell me whether it is a bad choice for hotel? Is there anything we can do around the hotel and modes of transportation from there as I have no idea about the locations there. Thanx.

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 17, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Hi Arman,

I never stayed in the hotel, but I’m sure it’s ok. The location however is not ideal. Close by are Pierre Lotti and Miniatürk, but for the major sightseeing spots you will probably need to take a taxi. There may be public transportation options, but you better ask the hotel staff for the best solutions.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Arman M March 18, 2014 at 10:08 pm

ok thanx so much. That will be of help. Could you tell me what would be good to do in pierre loti?
I love your blog btw! :)
p.s. I will get hotel shuttle to taksim and kabatas throughout the day.

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Erlend Geerts March 19, 2014 at 7:26 am

Hi Arman,

Except for drinking tea and enjoying the view, there is not much else to do at Pierre Lotti cafe.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Leslie March 30, 2014 at 5:51 am

Dear Erlend,
Your insights seem valuable. I will be leading a travel course of 15 college students in Istanbul for two weeks in January 2015. We will want convenient access major sites and also to feel as if we are taking part in the contemporary culture of Istanbul. Some of the students will be more independent than others, although limiting the temptations of nightlife appeals to me as the chaperone. Where would you have your 18-year-old stay in Istanbul, unattended full-time and left to his/her own impulses?
Thanks.

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Erlend Geerts March 30, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Hi Leslie,

Nightlife is very much part Istanbul and omnipresent in the city center. I would educate them about the rules you expect them to follow, and make sure they go out as a group and not as individuals. The social control of a group is strong and mostly common sense prevails. It seems only natural that they would want a taste of Istanbul’s nightlife given their age. The bars mentioned there are all safe. To be better safe than sorry, maybe go over these common tourist scams.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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E Satchell May 24, 2014 at 7:44 pm

We have recently stayed in the Sultanahmed area of Istanbul, as you say very close to the big sites like the Blue Mosque, Agia Sophia etc. We were on a group sight-seeing trip so were pretty tired by the evening. Our evenings consisted of choosing a restaurant – many fantastic ones and reasonable too – and looking round the shops that were open very late. Just hanging out in the area was enough for us, the bit square between the Agia Sophia and Blue Mosque is superb – perhaps having a drink somewhere, but in our situation we were not looking for nightlife as such. However, a younger clientele would probably fare better going to another area.
Must say, wherever you stay Istanbul is a fantastic place. We saw quite a lot of it during a very busy daytime, so appreciated a more leisurely quiet evening.

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saeed ur rehman May 25, 2014 at 12:20 pm

I visited Istanbul for the first time in 2011 and stayed in Sultanahmet area,very close to the historical sites.My advice to the first time travellers is to stay in Sultanahmet area and for nightlife take the metro to Taksim.

On your 2nd visit,stay in Beyoglu,where all the action is.

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almedina Buzo August 11, 2014 at 6:32 am

Hi Erlend,

My mother is turning 50 and my husband and I want to book her and my dad a trip to Istanbul. I haven’t travelled to Istanbul before and I am unsure what part of Istanbul would be good for them.

Their English is limited so I would like to book a place which is central and easy for them to book attrections.

They would be interested in markets, history and the culture.

Please share you knowledge and exprience.

Best Regards,
Almedina

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Erlend Geerts August 13, 2014 at 12:29 am

Hi Almedina,

Given your parents’ age and assuming they won’t go clubbing, I would suggest the Sultanahmet area. They will still need to travel a bit to catch a Bosphorus trip or visit Istiklal Caddesi and Dolmabahçe Palace (to name only a few), but many top sightseeing spots will be just a walk away.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Mostapha September 4, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Hello Erlend,

Thank you for your wonderful posts. I am planning a trip to Turkey during the end of September. We will be staying in Sultanahmet for first 4 nights. Then we will take the ferry ride to Bursa and spend 3 nights there. We have 3 additional nights which we are wondering where to go for. We were thinking of taking the UHT from Eskisihir to Konya and spending 2 nights there before heading back to Istanbul to catch our flight. Is there more to see in Istanbul which would require more than 3 days/4 nights? If we do decide to go back to Istanbul for the last 3 nights which area would you reccommend staying in? Is it worth while taking the trip down to Konya to spend a couple of nights there? We are a couple travelling with 2 young kids (3 and 2 years). Your input would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Mostapha

Reply

Erlend Geerts September 5, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Hi Mostapha,

I don’t know your interests of course, but I assume you want to go to see the authentic whirling dervishes and maybe even visit the grave of mevlana. But given the fact that you’re traveling with two toddlers, who are not allowed any performance, I don’t think it’s with the trip and time.

Alternatively, you could try to find cheap tickets to go down south (Bodrum, Antalya) and spend some time on the beach with your children.

You could of course return to Istanbul, too. I doubt you can see everything in three days. You could go to Yalova for instance in sit in thermal baths. There is so much to do in Istanbul and surroundings.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Alexandra September 5, 2014 at 5:23 am

Are there any areas of Sultanahmet to avoid, or is the neighborhood generally pretty safe?

Thanks!

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Erlend Geerts September 5, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Hi Alexandra,

During the day there are no worries. After sun down I would stay at the main roads or places that are still crowded. Just as in any major city, if a certain area doesn’t appeal to you, use common sense and visit it during daytime.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Samantha September 23, 2014 at 6:38 am

Hi Erlend,

Glad I chanced upon your article today! My boyfriend and I will be travelling to Istanbul in Oct and I’m having a hard time deciding where to stay – Sultanahmet or Cihangir. As I read in your article, both places have their perks so it’s still a tough decision for me. How long would you say it takes to walk from Defterdar Yokusu to Hagia Sophia?

Regards,
Sam

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Erlend Geerts September 24, 2014 at 10:35 am

Hi Samantha,

Most people just walk down to the first tramway stop (5 minutes) and take that tram to Sultanahmet (10 minutes). Walking to Taksim is only 10 minutes though.

You can walk of course, but that will take about 30 minutes or more at a decent pace.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Sonia September 30, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Hi Erlend,

My husband and I are planning a trip to Istanbul in November. We live in San Francisco and love to immerse ourselves in local culture when we travel. Ideally, we would like to stay in a place where the people dining next to us are local, so we can feel as if we’re part of the neighborhood. To us, getting a feel for the city is more important that seeing the tourist sights. We’re in our early 30’s and have no children.

Can you recommend a good neighborhood for us to stay in?

Thanks!
Sonia

Reply

Erlend Geerts October 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Hi Sonia,

If you would like to stay in a place surrounded by locals, you should look into service like couch surfing I guess.

If you meant to stay in a hotel in a local area, the Witt Istanbul’s Cihangir neighborhood is pretty authentic. To eat and dine in places where locals eat, just browse the streets and/or check out the Locals Share category and other eateries I wrote about.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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riaraj October 15, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Hi Erlend,
Thanks for your wonderful post. Me and my hubby along with toddler are planning to visit Istanbul in last week of Oct this year.we are quite worried about the ongoing demonstration and protests. We have chosen taksim area to stay. I would appreciate your thoughts on this. Is Sultanahmet a better place to stay as far as safety is concerned,
Thanks in advance
Ria

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Erlend Geerts October 16, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Hi,

No worries. At the moment there are no demonstrations. And if in the future there would be demonstrations, you see them (slowly) take form. Just walk the other way, and you should be ok. You’d do the same in your home country I’m sure.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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riaraj October 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Hi Erlend,
Thanks for your instant reply.
Will post back our experience after we return back.
Your website is wonderful and very helpful for those planning to see Istanbul.
Keep up that good work.
Regards
Ria

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malela October 21, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Hi,

We are going to Istanbul in november. That will be our second trip to Istanbul, for the first time we stayed at Sultanahmet, now we are interested on Asian side? Would that be ok to stay?

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Erlend Geerts October 21, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Hi Malela,

For the obvious reasons we do not recommend or comment on hotels.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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manu October 26, 2014 at 10:59 am

Dear Erlend,

Firstly thanks for your lovely blog. I am planning my travel on February 2015 for partying with my friends.

Is this the right month to visit and what area should pick to stay for partying?

Regards,

Manu

Reply

Erlend Geerts October 26, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Hi Manu,

February is a good month if you want to avoid the crowds and plan to visit Istanbul in winter. If you prefer lots of outdoor activities and hot, sunny weather, then it’s not.

For partying, I suggest you stay in the Beyoğlu area.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Laura November 6, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Hi Erlend,

Thanks for your wonderful post. My fiancé and I are visiting Istanbul for the first time in a few weeks, and we are having difficulty deciding where is the best place to stay. Your post is very informative but we are still confused!!

We will be there for 7 nights, and will obviously want to visit all the main touristic sights, but also like to mingle with the locals and go to “local” and cheap places to eat (not places with tourist menus and prices!). We like to have a few drinks, but we are certainly not party or nightclub types.

We are also on a pretty tight budget. We have found a hotel in Sultanahmet a friend recommended for EUR 40pn which seems reasonable, but we are beginning to think maybe the Beyoğlu side would be more suitable for us.

I would really appreciate your thoughts or any comments :)

Thanks,
Laura

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Erlend Geerts November 9, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Hi Laura,

Then I would go for Beyoğlu, it’s less tourist oriented than Sultanahmet.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Marc November 18, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Hi Erlend,

I agree with absolutely everyone on this chat, that your article was incredibly helpful. I guess everyone vacillates between Sultanahmet and Beyoğlu on their first trip across and that is exactly what makes your post so valuable.

Like Laura, myself and my wife are going across in a few weeks and based on the comments here we have decided that Beyoğlu would probably be the better side for us. We really enjoy heading out after a tourist day to a selection of restaurants to sample the local cuisine.

I just have one quick question for you. Everyone talks about the local neighborhood feel to the Beyoğlu side which is wonderful. Does this feel extend to the area around Taksim park? That is where we are thinking of staying but I wanted to ensure that there is still plenty of dining and drinking options around and we can still have a stroll and enjoy the area. How does it compare to an area like Nisantansi for example?

Thanks so much for the help and for the great post again.

Kind regards,
Marc

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Erlend Geerts November 18, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Hi Marc,

There is not too much around Taksim park. The good news is that your location is both not far away from Nişantaşı and within walking distance of Istiklal Caddesi, even late in the evening.

I hope this helps,
Erlend

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Rachael November 29, 2014 at 12:36 am

Hi i too am undecided. I love historic buildings and am looking forward to seeing the sights. I hate nightclubs but I like good cafes and restaurants. I am in my 30’s and have a well behaved 3 year old girl that I can take anywhere. I will be meeting my Turkish/ kurdish boyfriend in Istanbul. He is younger then me but doesn’t drink or like clubs. We like to be out until 11 ish. I really do not know what is best.

Any advice would be great. Also any historic hotels you could recommend. I do not want a ultra modern style :)

Many thanks,
Rachael

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Erlend Geerts November 30, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Hi Rachael,

In that case, Sultanahmet may be better.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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brian December 1, 2014 at 4:06 am

My wife (49) and I (55) will be travelling to Istanbul in July 2015 and are undecided between the Ritz Carlton Bosphorous and the Four Seasons Sultanahmet. We enjoy sightseeing and good restaurants so I am torn. Your thoughts?

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Erlend Geerts December 1, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Hi Brain,

For the obvious reasons, we don’t give hotel suggestions. Have you considered Witt Istanbul Hotel?

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Asif December 15, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Dear Erlend
Thanks for excellent review, your web site is very informative. I am visiting Istanbul for the second time and this time with my teen age kids 15 & 17. Last time I stayed in Aksaray area but the hotels in that area were outdated & old but grand bazar spice market Aaya Sophia Topkapi & several budget restaurants were easily accessible specially through tram, had great time except hotel. This time I have planned 7 days leisure trip in very plush modern and cheap Hilton bomonti hotel in sisli area. My plans are to visit all major tourist sites during daytime and evenings at Istiklal street or shopping centers.
My question is that weather there are budget and various restaurants around Hilton bomonti?
Is there any supermarket around?
Is the area around Hilton is lively or dump?
Is the area around is walkable and scenic or hilly and can only be accessed through taxi?
What difficulties we might face living in this area as compared to Sultan Ahmet?
Hope I will get answers early.
Regards
Asif

Reply

Erlend Geerts December 16, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Hi Asif,

I’m not too familiar with that area, but you’re only 600 meters from the Osmanbey metro stop. You can easily reach Beyoğlu from there.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Olga January 5, 2015 at 3:56 pm

Hi there. I love your post, it was really helpful. I’m going to Istanbul mid-April for 5 days. I want to see the touristic attractions but I’m also a fan of cool bars, cozy restaurants and occasionally nightclubs. I found a place in Beyoğlu 5 min walking distance from Taksim. Do you think it’s a good area for what I’m looking for?
Thanks in advance.

Reply

Erlend Geerts January 5, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Hi Olga,

Beyoğlu is a great place to book a hotel if you want the combination you described.

Have fun,
Erlend

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Khan January 6, 2015 at 12:37 pm

Hi,

I am planning to visit Istanbul with family, kindly advise which place is suitable for family specially if you kids between age of 4- 10 years.

Thanks,

Khan

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Erlend Geerts January 6, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Hi Khan,

Since you probably won’t be joining the late night party scene, I suggest to book in the Sultanahmet area.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Sandra January 12, 2015 at 9:04 am

Hi Erlend

What a great informative sight. We will be staying in the Rixos Pera in the Beyoglu area in February, we are in Istanbul for the football Europa League. Knowing that Besiktas have moved to the National stadium , what would be your suggestions on getting from hotel or even Taksim to the stadium with it being in the middle of nowhere. Do they lay special busses or transport on on a match night or is it just taking a chance in a taxi. A lot of our friends are staying in hotels round the Taksim Square area is it very far from were we are staying to there. thanks in advance Oh and how is the hotel if you know it .

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Erlend Geerts January 13, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Hi Sandra,

The Olympic stadium is located outside the city center, so don’t worry about your hotel’s location. You won’t find many near the stadium anyway.

Here are the direction: In Taksim, you take the M2 metro line to Şişli-Mecidiyeköy. There you connect to the Metrobüs in the direction to Avcılar. At the Merter stop, you get off and transfer to the M1B metro to Otogar. In Otogar, you transfer to the M1B metro until Kirazlı. At the Kirazlı stop, you hop on the M3 metro until İkitelli Sanayi, where you connect to the line going to Olimpiyat Parkı.

Good luck,
Erlend

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Sandra January 19, 2015 at 11:18 am

Really sorry Erlend asking this question in another place . Lol I couldnt find were I’d put the first question. Wow what a trek to get to the football stadium I hope the metros will still be running after the game finishes about 11. 30 pm. Thanks for your help Sandra . Would it be easier for me to take the metro from the Beyolu area instead of going into Taksim. or is that a no no . once again thanks x

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Erlend Geerts January 19, 2015 at 6:37 pm

Sandra,

Taksim is in Beyoğlu :-)

I think you’d better follow the instructions above.

Have fun,
Erlend

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John February 8, 2015 at 6:08 pm

Erland. I have been reading your blog and found it very helpful. We are planning to be in Istanbul mid-march and have booked an apartment on Piyerloti Caddesi in the Sultanhamet. My wife and I have 3 teenage daughters with us – but won’t be doing too much nightlife – just restaurants for local cuisine. A contact of our suggested this was a bad area to stay – suggesting instead Galata or Cihangir. Do we have anything to worry about the area of our apartment or are his suggestions likely preferential ones.

Also, we are football fans – and I though about going to a game. Are they safe for teenage girls and given the new ticket rules can I get tickets for either Galatasary or Besiktas. thanks

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Erlend Geerts February 10, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Hi John,

It’s not a bad area as such, just that once all the sightseeing spots and shops are closed, the area becomes pretty much dead. Galata and Beyoğlu are very lively areas, 24/7.

As for soccer games, that’s complicated. Ask your hotel concierge the moment you arrive.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Kay March 3, 2015 at 9:19 am

Hi there –

Kuddos to ur website

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Shelly March 15, 2015 at 6:35 am

Hi
I am so thrilled to have found your blog it’s really helpful I am planning for Turkey in May and as normal tourist will be in Istanbul for 3 nights and 2 nights each in capadoccia and kusadasi respectively . Like everyone I have been confused with our hotel choice in Istanbul
Me and my husband are travelling with a 14 yr old boy though we love lively hustle bustle but don’t party late nights and don’t want to be close to too old an area either
So what has left me confusing is that Modern side again is so vast where do I book thousands of hotels

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Erlend Geerts March 15, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Hi Shelly,

The Galata area is really nice, as well as Cihangir and the area surrounding Taksim Square.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Steve March 23, 2015 at 5:29 am

Thanks for the great information I am traveling on April to istanbul and thinking of staying near taksim and taking the hop on and off bus is it a good idea please advise
Thanks

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Erlend Geerts March 23, 2015 at 7:44 pm

Hi Steve,

Do you mean using the hop on and off bus as your daily transportation? If that’s what you had in mind, I would advise you to use regular public transportation.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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sangeetha April 2, 2015 at 4:15 am

Hi,
You have a wonderful blog & its very informative. Could you please let me know how is Lazzoni Hotel, is it at a good location. My husband & I intend to travel end of July for our birthday vacation for a week. We would want to see heritage site but since we are still in our late 20’s and like night life would prefer staying in an area which has restaurants or cafes to go out at night at the same time is not too far away from rest of the places for sight seeing & shopping. Please suggest.

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Erlend Geerts April 2, 2015 at 5:20 pm

Hi Sangeetha,

I’m sorry, but we don’t recommend or review hotels here for the obvious reasons.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Angela miller April 6, 2015 at 12:43 am

We will be coming to Istandbul in July what is the weather like at that time of the year? What area are the hotels on the beach or close to the beach. Thank you

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Erlend Geerts April 6, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Hi Angela,

The weather should be hot and dry. There are no beaches in the center of Istanbul. You can find hotels with nice views over the Bosphorus and/or the seas. We do not recommend hotels though.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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khalid April 6, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Hi all,
I intend visiting Istanbul during may 15, with my wife and kid. I am thinking to stay around galata area keeping inview the night life etc, definitely I would take a day to visit sultanahment area. I would be staying from 12-15 may. Can u recommend a nice budget friendly hotel foe mearound 40-50$ / night and can u chalk out a program for my these 3 days…
thankssss

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Erlend Geerts April 6, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Hi Khalid,

The Galata area is a good choice. We do not recommend hotels here though.

Good luck,
Erlend

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Mo Patel April 6, 2015 at 5:50 pm

Hi

its quite interesting reading your blog. its detailed as ever. im visiting Istanbul for 4 days in September and i was wondering if you could help me plan my trip in Istanbul if possible. From what i can gather Beyoglu is the place to stay but could you recommend how to start my itinerary and finish it ?

Thanks

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Erlend Geerts April 6, 2015 at 6:41 pm

Hi Mo,

I don’t make custom itineraries, as this is a free website, and this we take too much of my time. Beyoğlu is indeed a nice area to stay.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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mirella April 8, 2015 at 1:35 am

Dear Erlend,
It has been a pleasure reading your helpful and smart article! Although i would like to ask some questions since i have no one to help me. I am planning a trip to Istanbul with my boyfriend in september . I will stay for 4 days(3 nights) but i am really confused on which area to choose. should i prefer sultanahmet which is near the monuments but far from nightlife ,maybe taxsim which is a cheaper choice or beyoglu ?is there any other option or just these three? i can not separate the dangerous areas . please help!!
thank you for your time!!

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 8, 2015 at 10:06 am

Hi Mirella,

I really can’t answer that for you. I explained the pros and cons of each area in the article. If you’re young and want to go out after dark,then go for Beyoğlu.

Kind regards,
Erlend

Reply

mirella April 8, 2015 at 11:03 am

thank you for answering my mail!

I ve heard that the Istanbul’s tram is way better than metro. is that correct? and if so , Beyoglu area has a tram station?how much time is the distance Beyoglu-Sultanahmet?

thanks again!!! 😀

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Erlend Geerts April 9, 2015 at 12:27 pm

Hi Mirella,

Neither is better than the other. Taksim doesn’t have a tramway station, only a metro. To reach the tramway from Taksim, you must take the funicular to Kabataş or Tünel to Karaköy. Did you have a look at this page?

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Sarah April 23, 2015 at 4:06 am

Hi Erland,

Really appreciate all of the information you share about Turkey. I am travelling with my husband and no children in September and are thinking of spending a few nights in Fethiye. Would you recommend doing this over staying in Antalya? I am just not sure whether we should try to go to both places, or make more of our time just visiting one? Your advice would be very appreciated, thank you so much.

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Erlend Geerts April 23, 2015 at 9:19 am

Hi Sarah,

I’m afraid this site focuses on Istanbul only. I suggest you contact a travel agent for these kind of arrangements.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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MP May 7, 2015 at 2:52 pm

Hi Erlend,

I have learnt a lot from your blog. Thanks!

Kindly suggest some decent hotels in sultanahmet area for a family of 4 in the 100-200 euros range and also advise family-friendly activities (must see) in sultanahmet area. We have three days in Sultanahmet in July.

Thanks again.

MP

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Erlend Geerts May 7, 2015 at 6:47 pm

Hi MP,

Glad to hear you found the website helpful. Unfortunately, we don’t give hotel advice here for the obvious reasons.
You’ll find most typical sightseeing spots family friendly, and here are some top spots for children.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Suba May 18, 2015 at 10:05 am

Hi Erlend,

Thanks to you, I have very quickly decided where to stay-Beyoglu. It will be our 1st first to Istanbul. I would be grateful if you can guide me in recommending a few boutique hotels with good service. We are thinking of a 10-day trip. We are also thinking of going to Cappadocia. What’s the best way to get to Cappadocia? Is it worth it and how do I go about booking it. Do you by any chance know how much it costs? Thanks a million!!

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Erlend Geerts May 19, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Hi Suba,

I’m afraid you’d better contact a travel agency. We don’t recommend hotels here, and this site focuses on Istanbul only.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Petra May 23, 2015 at 1:25 am

Hi Erlend,

We are in Istanbul in June and I booked the Marriott Sisli. This is our first time, and the hotel looks fabulous, but also quite a ways out. Your input? I’m also looking at Swissotel, but it is currently under renovation. Thanks for this website. I just happened upon it.

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Erlend Geerts May 23, 2015 at 7:28 pm

Hi Petra,

True, it’s not in Beyoglu or Sultanahmet, but then again it’s only two metro stops (3 min) away from Taksim. The distance to both your options from Taksim square is almost the same. And if you love shopping centers, you’re closer to them in Şişli.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Petra June 5, 2015 at 1:49 am

Thank you, Erlend. Your site is such a treasure! Petra

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Rick May 27, 2015 at 6:59 am

First off, thank you so much. This is a great resource. I just booked a stay in Istanbul for 8 days. My hotel is located In Fatih and is called the new Fatih hotel. I’m an American male in my 20’s with tattoos all over my arm.

From my understanding Fatih is a very conservative population and I don’t want to draw too much attention to myself. I do enjoy the night life as well. Additionally, with it being Ramadan while I’m there do you think it’d make more sense for me to move my reservations to a more populated tourist area or is this something I shouldn’t worry too much about? Thank you so much.

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Erlend Geerts May 27, 2015 at 5:26 pm

Hi Rick,

Only from the nightlife point of view (and easy return to the hotel) I would suggest to change. Your second concern only amplifies my suggestion,not in the least because the time of the year. It’s your holiday after all, and you don’t want to get stressed.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Rick May 27, 2015 at 5:31 pm

Thank you for the quick response Erland. Just to clarify, you’re suggesting I should only change it because of the convenience right?

My primary concern was that of safety. You feel I would be no less safe in Fatih than I would in a more touristy area? Please correct me if I’m wrong. Thank you again. You are a huge help.

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Erlend Geerts May 27, 2015 at 9:31 pm

Hi Rick,

No, given your circumstances and timing, I would feel more comfortable with another location. The choice is obviously yours, but I feel obliged to share my thoughts about it.

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Randa Helmy June 3, 2015 at 8:26 am

I really so much grateful for all the interesting information you are giving. appreciating if you can advice me about where to go or way to stay. I’m 50 & my daughter is 18, we are planing to visit Istanbul by the next week 4 the first time. we r staying 4 10 days. we want to have a quick overview about the most attractions of the city, some reasonable shopping (clothes, accessories & silver ),place to relax having a sea view, swimming pool,reasonable eateries, I may go out once 4 an oriental evening just for her own sake. Please i want ur suggestions…thx/b.rgds.Randa

Reply

Erlend Geerts June 3, 2015 at 4:18 pm

Hi Randa,

I don’t make custom itineraries or have personal Q&A’s (at this time), but I suggest to have a look at these articles for:
things to do in Istanbul
places to shop and things to buy
pools in Istanbul (for this one you may want your concierge call first for the 2015 price)

Kind regards,
Erlend

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Mogongo June 4, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Hello,

Best location to stay in İstanbul is Beyoğlu.

It’s cheaper than the old town Sultanahmet. Sultanahmet is more touristic and life is finishing at the evening time.

But old town, the most vibrant district of İstanbul; İstiklal Street, some of the seaside places are all walking distance from Beyoğlu. It’s always alive and all the public transportation is available.

You can find hotel, hostel or you can rent a cosy flat from airbnb. Look for Aynalı Çeşme district. It’s so close to main attractions but also quiet and lovely neighborhood.

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