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Where To Stay In Istanbul (Best Hotels In Istanbul Included!) For 2022
If you’re planning a trip to Turkey, then you may well be pondering where to stay in Istanbul. This city of over 15 million inhabitants has a range of neighborhoods, and it’s worth spending a little time when choosing the ideal area to suit your plans.
Often seen as the gateway to the East, Istanbul is by far Turkey’s most populous city. Although it isn’t the capital – that honor belongs to Ankara. Located by the Bosphorus Strait, the city is commonly referred to as the place where Europe and Asia meet – both geographically and culturally.
The Old City is home to various historical monuments that reflect the empires formerly ruling this part of Turkey. In the past, wealthy civilizations, including the Romans, ancient Greeks, Ottomans, and Byzantines, have all had a hand in shaping this vital city. This cultural diversity makes the city rich in terms of its architecture, cuisine, and culture.
Due to this rich and complex history, Istanbul is packed with all kinds of intriguing architecture. The city is a cultural melting pot and, as such, features ancient Greek and Roman structures, Ottoman mosques and Turkish baths, as well as Italianate and Byzantine churches.
This guide will take you through various central areas so you can decide the best place to stay in Istanbul for you. We describe the key Istanbul districts – so whether you’re looking for 4-star hotels in Istanbul or wondering where to stay in Istanbul for one night, we have you covered. We also list all the best hotels in Istanbul city center – in all price brackets. Read on for a brief Istanbul area guide, followed by a list of 12 incredible places to stay in Istanbul.
A Brief Area By Area Introduction To Istanbul
A point to note – Istanbul area names can be a little confusing, as the districts do tend to blend into one another. If you’re not sure, click on the link for each listing to see a map of each property’s precise location. We have also mentioned nearby attractions for each hotel or hostel to help you get your bearings.
We have also written a separate article on hotels by the Bosphorus Strait, so if this waterside area appeals, be sure to check that one out too.
The Best Places To Stay In Istanbul
Sultanahmet is probably the first place that comes to mind when considering what area to stay in when in Istanbul. It’s where the city’s world-famous sights are located, including the mind-boggling Grand Bazaar with over 4,000 stalls. The photogenic Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque are also here. The district also offers plenty of shops, bars, and dining options – as well as a range of accommodation.
The White House Hotel
The White House Hotel is undoubtedly one of the main contenders as the best place to stay in Sultanahmet. It is located at the heart of the historic peninsula, within walking distance of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Grand Bazaar. Perhaps surprisingly, not all of the luxury hotels in Istanbul are in Sultanahmet, but this one certainly fits the criteria. This deluxe four-star plus property has a range of well-appointed, elegant rooms, some with balconies. All have cable flatscreen TVs, and the hotel has a bar, lounge, and restaurant.
With its Ottoman mansion location, the Celine hotel could well be the best place to stay in Istanbul for couples. Its decor gives it an unashamedly romantic vibe, and this stunning property has a quintessentially Turkish interior. Public areas have stone walls and floors featuring exotic patterned tiling, while rooms feature carved wooden furniture and rich, luxurious fabrics. Celine hotel has an indoor garden with a fireplace, lounge, and bar, plus flatscreen cable TVs to all rooms. The Grand Bazaar is just over 500 meters away.
Romance Istanbul Hotel
Even those looking for 5-star hotels in Istanbul would not be disappointed with the boutique-style Romance Istanbul hotel. It offers a range of accommodation in a pleasant, green part of the southern peninsula, from city doubles to deluxe triples and luxurious suites with hot tubs. Guests rave about the property’s beauty, great breakfast, and helpful staff – as well as the location. The hotel has a cafe, bar, restaurant, and sauna, and rooms are classically elegant with an eastern twist.
Magnaura Palace Hotel
The Magnaura Palace Hotel is elegant both inside and out and is located less than 250 meters from Hagia Sophia. An outdoor terrace is a particular highlight, as it offers guests views over the historic Sultanahmet district. The Marmara Sea can even be seen from some rooms. Accommodation is decorated with Turkish textiles and have air conditioning, LCD TV, and seating area. Food, cleanliness, and comfortable beds are among the features most loved by previous guests.
Taksim is popular with all kinds of travelers. It is home to one of the best streets in Istanbul for its range of cafes, restaurants, and shopping. This area is very central, yet less crowded than Sultanahmet. Staying close to pedestrianized Taksim Square is an excellent option for couples and families alike.
Mukarnas Taksim Hotel
Wondering where to stay in Taksim? The Mukarnas Taksim Hotel is a favorite with visitors to this central area. With a range of rooms sleeping between two and six guests, this property is prized for its location, friendly staff, fabulous breakfast, and clean, modern rooms. The hotel has an outdoor terrace, fitness room, free WiFi, 24-hour reception, and air-conditioned rooms with flatscreen TVs. This hotel, just 400 meters from Taksim Square, is ideal for those wondering where to stay in Istanbul with a family.
Pera Luna Residence
If you want proximity to the metro line and Taksim Square, you’ve got it at Pera Luna. This highly recommended property offers rooms that combine classic and modern decor to a pleasing effect, and guests staying here can walk pretty much everywhere. The hotel offers air conditioning, free WiFi, flatscreen TVs, and a 24-hour front desk. Guests who’ve stayed here particularly love the comfortable beds, cleanliness, and convenient location.
CVK Taksim Hotel
Overlooking Taksim Square, this four-star hotel is undoubtedly in one of the good areas to stay in Istanbul. Each clean, modern room is elegantly decorated in its own unique style, and there are views over the Bosporus from the restaurant. Some rooms have private balconies. The property has a spa, including a marble hammam and a Scandinavian sauna. There are 3 bars, and the hotel serves a buffet breakfast daily.
Ayramin Hotel Taksim
Just five minutes walk from Taksim metro station and under 200 meters from Istiklal Street is the Ayramin Hotel. There is a huge range of rooms and suites available at this property – sleeping up to eight – meaning it suits all kinds of guests. All air-conditioned accommodation has flatscreen TVs, and some have either a hot tub or a seating area. Attentive staff, comfortable rooms, and a great location make this an Istanbul favorite.
Beyoglu is a vibrant part of Istanbul and probably home to the Turkish city’s broadest range of accommodation choices. With its red trams, museums, antique shops, eateries, and bars, this lively and interesting area close to the Galata Tower is one of the best Istanbul neighborhoods to stay in. Cukurcuma also forms part of this area and is home to a property with a traditional Turkish bath on site.
Hotel DeCamondo Galata
Past guests highly rate the location and facilities of this super clean hotel. Rooms have character features like exposed brickwork, wooden beams, and flooring and typically have white walls and indigo accents. This contemporary hotel has a restaurant, bar, and terrace and offers a 24-hour front desk, concierge, and currency exchange. A la carte or continental breakfast options are offered daily.
Located in a restored building close to Istiklal Avenue, Hammamhane offers a range of suites. The main highlight is the Turkish bath – Cukurcuma Hammam – on site, from which the property takes its name. Hammamhane is within walking distance of the shops, galleries, restaurants, and cafés of Cukurcuma. The air-conditioned suites here have high ceilings, cork flooring, flatscreen TVs, and fully equipped kitchens. Some also feature their own terrace.
Hostels make unique places to stay in Istanbul. Particularly suitable for solo travelers, they are a great way to meet like-minded people. Istanbul hostels don’t come much more unique – or highly rated – than Archeo. Beyoglu is under a mile from Taksim Square and just over a mile from the Spice Bazaar. Accommodation options include male and female dorms and double rooms, and there is a cafe on site. Archeo Istanbul is super clean, laid-back, and decorated in an appealing, quirky style.
Taksim Wooden House Hostel
In an area straddling Beyoglu and Taksim is this exceptionally clean and well-run hostel. The property is around 500 meters from Taksim Square, on the inland side. Rooms have city views, and the hostel has its own garden for guests’ use. There are double and bunk rooms and the property, and travelers can pick a four or eight-bed dorm to stay in. Some have garden views or a balcony. The excellent location and modern facilities like free WiFi, 24-hour desk with currency exchange, and shared kitchen make this a perfect option for those on a budget.
We hope this guide has helped you find an excellent base for your stay in the beguiling city of Istanbul. Whether you choose a sumptuous property in Sultanahmet, an affordable family hotel in Taksim, or a friendly hostel in Beyoglu, you’re sure to enjoy your time in this exciting East meets West destination.
Where will you stay in Istanbul?