Where to Stay in Istanbul? Best 4 places!


Istanbul, the mesmerizing city where East meets West, offers an incredible blend of history, culture, and vibrant energy. When planning your visit to this iconic destination, choosing the right place to stay is crucial to make the most of your experience. In this travel blog, we will explore some of the best neighborhoods and accommodations options in Istanbul, ensuring you have a memorable stay. Travel with the best flights.

Sultanahmet: The Heart of History

Sultanahmet is often referred to as the “Heart of History” in Istanbul, and for a good reason. This historic neighborhood, located on the European side of the city, is a treasure trove of ancient monuments, architectural wonders, and cultural richness. If you’re a history buff or simply looking to immerse yourself in Istanbul’s rich past, Sultanahmet is the ideal place to stay.

Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya):

  • Historical Significance: The Hagia Sophia, originally built as a cathedral in 537 AD, has served as a church, mosque, and museum. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and a symbol of Istanbul’s diverse history.
  • Proximity: When you stay in Sultanahmet, you can wake up and walk to the Hagia Sophia within minutes.

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque):

  • Architectural Marvel: The Blue Mosque, named for its stunning blue tiles, is an architectural masterpiece. Its six minarets and cascading domes make it an iconic sight in Istanbul.
  • Accessibility: Staying in Sultanahmet means you’re just a short stroll away from this incredible mosque.

Topkapi Palace:

  • Imperial Residence: Topkapi Palace served as the residence of Ottoman sultans for centuries. Today, it houses an impressive collection of artifacts, including the Topkapi Dagger and the Spoonmaker’s Diamond.
  • Convenience: Being in Sultanahmet allows you to explore the palace and its lush gardens at your leisure.

Basilica Cistern:

  • Hidden Gem: This ancient underground cistern is a mysterious and atmospheric place to visit. It’s known for its rows of columns and the famous Medusa head pillars.
  • Closeness: Sultanahmet’s central location means you can easily explore this subterranean marvel.

Grand Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı):

  • Shopping Extravaganza: The Grand Bazaar is one of the world’s largest and oldest covered markets, with over 4,000 shops selling everything from spices to textiles and jewelry.
  • Shopping Paradise: Staying in Sultanahmet means you’re not far from this bustling market, where you can haggle for souvenirs to your heart’s content.

Archaeological Museums:

  • Rich Collections: Sultanahmet houses the Istanbul Archaeological Museums, which contain a vast array of historical artifacts, including the Alexander Sarcophagus and the Treaty of Kadesh.
  • Educational: If you’re interested in delving deeper into Istanbul’s history, this is a must-visit.

Accommodation Recommendations in Sultanahmet:

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet: This luxurious hotel offers unparalleled views of the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque. It’s an elegant and historic choice.

Hotel Amira Istanbul: If you’re seeking a more budget-friendly option, Hotel Amira provides cozy rooms and a welcoming atmosphere, all within walking distance of major attractions.

Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel: This boutique hotel offers comfortable rooms and easy access to the city’s historic treasures.

Sultanahmet Palace Hotel: A charming hotel with a rooftop terrace, perfect for enjoying stunning views of the city’s iconic landmarks.

The Byzantium Hotel & Suites: Located just a stone’s throw from the Hagia Sophia, this hotel offers comfortable accommodation with a touch of Turkish hospitality.

Staying in Sultanahmet immerses you in Istanbul’s captivating history and allows you to explore its most famous landmarks with ease. It’s a captivating neighborhood where the past and present seamlessly coexist, making it an unforgettable destination for any traveler.


Taksim Square: The Hub of Modern Istanbul

Taksim Square and its surrounding areas are the epitome of modern Istanbul, offering a vibrant mix of culture, entertainment, shopping, and nightlife. Here’s an in-depth look at what Taksim has to offer and where to stay in this bustling part of the city:

Taksim Square (Taksim Meydanı):

  • Epicenter of Activity: Taksim Square is the heart of modern Istanbul. It’s a bustling hub where locals and tourists congregate, especially during special events and celebrations.
  • Gezi Park: Adjacent to the square, Gezi Park provides a green oasis in the midst of the city, offering a peaceful escape from the urban buzz.

Istiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi):

  • Pedestrian Paradise: This iconic pedestrian street stretches from Taksim Square to the historic Galata Tower area. Lined with shops, cafes, restaurants, and street performers, it’s a must-visit for shopping and people-watching.
  • Galata Tower: At the end of Istiklal Avenue, you’ll find the Galata Tower, an impressive medieval structure with panoramic views of Istanbul.

Cultural Institutions:

  • Pera Museum: Located near Taksim Square, this museum features a diverse collection of art, including Orientalist paintings, Anatolian weights and measures, and temporary exhibitions.
  • Akbank Sanat: An art center showcasing contemporary exhibitions, performances, and workshops.

Shopping and Dining:

  • Çiçek Pasajı (Flower Passage): This historic arcade is known for its seafood restaurants, making it a great place to sample fresh seafood dishes.
  • Demirören İstiklal: A modern shopping mall on Istiklal Avenue with a variety of international and local brands.


  • Beyoğlu’s Nightclubs: The Beyoğlu district, adjacent to Taksim, boasts a thriving nightlife scene with a wide range of bars, clubs, and live music venues.
  • Nardis Jazz Club: A renowned jazz club where you can enjoy live performances by local and international musicians.

Accommodation Recommendations in Taksim:

Taksim offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels, ensuring that there’s something for every traveler’s preference:

Gezi Hotel Bosphorus: A stylish hotel offering contemporary amenities and stunning views of the Bosphorus. It’s within walking distance of Taksim Square.

The Marmara Taksim: An iconic hotel with a prime location right on Taksim Square. It offers luxurious rooms and unparalleled views of the city.

CVK Park Bosphorus Hotel Istanbul: This five-star hotel offers elegant rooms and a spa, making it perfect for a luxurious stay in the heart of Taksim.

Taksim Istiklal Hostel: If you’re on a budget, this hostel provides comfortable dormitory-style accommodation and is just a short walk from Istiklal Avenue.

The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul: For a truly lavish experience, The Ritz-Carlton offers top-notch amenities, including a spa, upscale dining, and breathtaking views of the Bosphorus.

Taksim Square and its surroundings are the perfect choice for travelers who want to experience the modern, lively side of Istanbul. With its vibrant street life, cultural attractions, shopping districts, and lively nightlife, Taksim promises an exciting and memorable stay in this dynamic city.

Taksim Square

Kadıköy: The Asian Side Retreat

Kadıköy, located on the Asian side of Istanbul, is often described as a local and cultural retreat away from the bustling European side. It offers a unique blend of history, contemporary life, and a strong sense of community. Here’s an in-depth look at what Kadıköy has to offer and where to stay in this charming part of Istanbul:

Moda and Kadife Sokak:

  • Seaside Promenade: Moda is a picturesque neighborhood known for its seaside promenade along the Marmara Sea. It’s a perfect place for a leisurely stroll or to enjoy a cup of Turkish tea at a local café.
  • Kadife Sokak (Velvet Street): This charming street in Moda is lined with boutiques, antique shops, and artisanal stores, making it an excellent place for shopping and exploring.

Kadıköy Market (Kadıköy Pazarı):

  • Local Flavors: The bustling market is a food lover’s paradise, with stalls selling fresh produce, seafood, spices, and a wide variety of Turkish and international cuisine.
  • Street Food: Don’t miss the opportunity to try street food favorites like simit (sesame-crusted bread rings) and döner kebabs.

Cultural Institutions:

  • Kadıköy Bull Statue (Boğa Heykeli): This iconic bronze statue is a symbol of Kadıköy and a popular meeting point.
  • Kadıköy Söz Sahnesi: A theater showcasing local talent with a focus on contemporary and experimental performances.

Bars and Cafes:

  • Barlar Sokağı (Bar Street): A lively area filled with bars and pubs, perfect for a night out with friends.
  • Kadıköy Cafes: The district is known for its cozy cafes where you can enjoy a cup of Turkish coffee or tea while people-watching.

Haydarpaşa Railway Station:

  • Historic Landmark: This iconic train station, though currently under restoration, is a stunning example of early 20th-century architecture. It once served as the gateway to Istanbul for travelers arriving from Anatolia.

Accommodation Recommendations in Kadıköy:

Kadıköy offers a range of accommodation options, from boutique hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses, allowing you to experience the local charm of this Asian side neighborhood:

Bristol Hotel: This boutique hotel offers comfortable rooms and a convenient location in the heart of Kadıköy, close to the ferry terminals.

Anka Hostel & Pension: If you’re a budget traveler, Anka Hostel provides affordable dormitory-style rooms and a friendly atmosphere in Kadıköy.

Wyndham Grand Istanbul Kalamış Marina Hotel: For a more upscale experience, this luxurious hotel boasts stunning views of the Bosphorus and a marina, providing a tranquil retreat within Kadıköy.

Bunk Hostel: A stylish and modern hostel with a rooftop terrace, offering a comfortable stay for budget-conscious travelers.

DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul – Moda: Located in the heart of Kadıköy, this upscale hotel offers spacious rooms and easy access to local attractions.

Kadıköy’s relaxed atmosphere and strong sense of community provide a refreshing contrast to the busier European side of Istanbul. It’s an excellent choice for travelers looking to experience the local lifestyle, explore hidden gems, and savor the flavors of the Asian side of the city while still being well-connected to the rest of Istanbul via ferry and public transportation.


Beyoğlu: Arts, Culture, and Shopping

Beyoğlu is a vibrant district in Istanbul, known for its rich arts and culture scene, historic streets, and diverse shopping experiences. It’s a lively and cosmopolitan area on the European side of the city that attracts both locals and tourists. Here’s a detailed look at what Beyoğlu has to offer and where to stay in this culturally rich neighborhood:

Istiklal Avenue (İstiklal Caddesi):

  • Iconic Pedestrian Street: Istiklal Avenue is one of Istanbul’s most famous streets, stretching from Taksim Square to Tünel Square. It’s lined with shops, boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and historic buildings.
  • Shopping: Istiklal is a shopping paradise, offering a wide range of international and Turkish brands, from fashion to cosmetics, books, and more.


  • Historic Tunnel: Located at the southern end of Istiklal Avenue, the Tünel area is famous for the Tünel funicular, one of the world’s oldest underground railways. It’s a quaint and historic part of Beyoğlu.

Museums and Galleries:

  • Pera Museum: This museum hosts a diverse collection of art, including Orientalist paintings, Anatolian weights and measures, and temporary exhibitions.
  • Salt Galata: A contemporary art center and library located in a historic building along the Golden Horn.

Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi):

  • Historical Landmark: The Galata Tower offers panoramic views of Istanbul and is an iconic symbol of the district. It’s also a popular spot for photography and enjoying the sunset.
  • Cafes and Restaurants: The area around the tower is home to numerous cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy Turkish cuisine and stunning views.
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Asmali Mescit:

  • Nightlife: Asmali Mescit is known for its nightlife scene, with a plethora of bars, clubs, and live music venues that come to life after dark.

Accommodation Recommendations in Beyoğlu:

Beyoğlu offers a wide range of accommodation options, from boutique hotels to budget-friendly hostels, ensuring you have a comfortable stay while exploring the cultural richness of the neighborhood:

The Marmara Taksim: Located on Taksim Square, this upscale hotel offers luxurious rooms and stunning views of the city.

The Marmara Pera Hotel: A stylish boutique hotel with a rooftop terrace providing panoramic views of Istanbul and the Golden Horn.

Pera Palace Hotel: An iconic historic hotel that once hosted notable guests like Agatha Christie. It offers a luxurious and nostalgic experience.

Bunk Hostel: A trendy and budget-friendly hostel with a vibrant atmosphere, ideal for backpackers and young travelers.

Tomtom Suites: A boutique hotel in a restored historic building, offering elegant rooms and a peaceful retreat in the midst of the bustling city.

Witt Istanbul Suites: A contemporary and design-focused hotel with spacious suites, perfect for those seeking a stylish and comfortable stay.

Beyoğlu’s dynamic atmosphere, thriving arts and culture scene, and vibrant street life make it an excellent choice for travelers interested in exploring Istanbul’s contemporary side. With its mix of historic charm and modern flair, this district provides a unique and enriching experience for visitors looking to immerse themselves in the city’s arts, culture, and shopping opportunities.

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Where to Stay in Istanbul: Conclusion

Choosing where to stay in Istanbul greatly impacts your overall experience. Whether you opt for the historical charm of Sultanahmet, the modern buzz of Taksim, the local feel of Kadıköy, or the artistic vibes of Beyoğlu, Istanbul has something to offer every traveler. Explore these neighborhoods and accommodations to find the perfect base for your unforgettable adventure in this magical city. Travel with the best travel insurance. Enjoy your stay in Istanbul!

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