If you’re looking for a small, simple, quiet hotel roomin Old Istanbul for a stay of a week or two, or a month or two, at bargain prices, Gedikpaşa Efendi Apartmentsmay be just right for you.
Located on quiet Çadırcılar Çeşmesi Sokak in the Gedikpaşa neighborhood just 7 minutes’ stroll south of the Grand Bazaar and 3 minutes’ stroll north of Kumkapı (map), these 5 rooms are clean, tidy, and cheerful, with new, modern private bathrooms.
The building has a resident caretaker and security cameras even though this is a stable neighborhood, considered by its residents to be safe and hospitable.
How can a clean, tidy, safe hotel-type room with private bath in a newly-renovated building in the very heart of Istanbul’s historic district be “bargain-priced“?
Simple: Gedikpaşa is not touristic, it’s a real workaday Istanbul neighborhood of small workshops, and shops selling apparel items, electrical fixtures, etc. There’s nothing touristic about it—except that all the major sights are within 15 minutes’ walk, and the rest are easily accessible by tram or taxi.
If you really want to “live among the local people,” experience real working-class Istanbul daily life—but with the comforts of touristic Istanbul only a 5- or 10-minute walk away—you’ll probably like Gedikpaşa.
Each of the 5 rooms, reached by stairs (no elevator/lift) has either a queen-size bed or twin beds that can be pushed together to make a big bed, a flat-screen TV, free Wifi, air conditioner/heater, electric kettle for making coffee or tea, small refrigerator, and small private bathroom with shower.
The ground-floor apartment is quite small— the queen-sized bed in it pretty much fills it up—so it is normally rented to just one traveler. The 4 rooms upstairs above it are large enough to comfortably sleep two persons.
Views are of the street, but because the building faces south, the rooms receive plenty of natural light and, depending on the room, the hour and the season, some direct sunlight.
I must emphasize: these are small hotel-type rooms, not apartments in the sense of a suite of rooms. And the building has no other services. No breakfast, no English-speaking staff, etc. You’re just renting a room.
The rooms’ compact size and non-touristic—but very convenient—location keeps the rent delightfully affordable in increasingly expensive Istanbul.
*4-night minimum stay in Cibali apartments
—by Tom Brosnahan