in Old Istanbul are in all
hostels to five-star
luxury, with most being charming
mid-range inns. (By the way, here are the laundries.)
Here are my choices for best hotels in Sultanahmet.
you're coming to Istanbul primarily
for sightseeing, your first visit to the city, the
hotels and inns, hostels and short-term rental apartments/flats in
the neighborhoods of historic Old Istanbul ("Stamboul"),
the peninsula on the south shore of the Golden
easy access to Istanbul's major
Prime sights here include the Sultanahmet (Blue)
Palace, the Basilica
Cistern, and Hagia Sophia, with the Grand Bazaar, Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar, and the docks for Bosphorus cruise boats also fairly close.
(If you're coming more for boutique shopping, cafés, music clubs and the
arts, you may want to stay in Beyoğlu, on
the north shore of the Golden
Lodgings closest to the Hippodrome tend
to be more expensive than those a bit
farther from the main attractions,
but distance is not the only consideration. Istanbul is a city of hills, and the walk to and from each hotel is different. Also, a more distant
location with a variety of good restaurants
and cafés may prove more appealing
than one closer to the Hippodrome with its annoying
Southeast down the slope from Ayasofya,
near the posh Four
are dozens upon dozens of conveniently-located small hotels and hostels in all price ranges. This is perhaps the most popular hotel district right near the Hippodrome. More...
You can't get any closer to Istanbul's
major sights—in some cases, right
next door to Ayasofya (Turkish for Hagia Sophia)—but that can also mean
there's noise. If you have limited mobility, however, this may be the area for you. More...
Called the At Meydanı (Horse Plaza, ie, Hippodrome) in Turkish, the center of ancient Byzantium has
hotels on its edges, all convenient,
some quiet, each with particular advantages, though prices can be high because of the convenient location. More...
West of the Hippodrome up the hill,
the underground Binbirdirek Byzantine cistern is topped by
a quiet park, with some fairly quiet hotels nearby, yet they're only a few minutes' walk from the major sights. More...
About 800 meters (1/2 mile) downhill southeast of the Hippodrome right next to the historic city
the shore road and
the Cankurtaran suburban
train station, these hotels
are a bit of a walk up and downhill
from the Hippodrome (and taxis, flouting the law, may refuse to take you), but they offer other
Not to be confused with "big" Hagia Sophia, this district between the Küçük Ayasofya mosque (the former Byantine Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus) and the Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque has many hotels large and small. Those closer to the Hippodrome save you a walk uphill, but you should also consider noise: a quiet street is important here.
Down the slope southwest of the Blue
Mosque to the Küçük
every third building is a boutique
hotel or hostel. Dozens and dozens to choose from, lots of variety,
but few good restaurants, some
noise, and the highly useful tram is farther away. More...
Typical old-time Istanbul residential
area farther downhill about 1 km (6/10 mile) southwest of the Hippodrome, west of Küçük Ayasofya and south of Beyazıt,
a good choice if you want real Istanbul
neighborhood life slightly off the beaten path, but you'll have
to climb that hill. In some cases, taxis won't
help you. More...
Some of Istanbul's best lodging values are in Sirkeci, a diverse and growing hotel
area located between the Hippodrome and the Golden Horn, and only a 10-minute walk to either. This is where 19th-century travelers arrived at Sirkeci station aboard the fabled Orient Express, and many still choose it today.
Staying in neighboring Eminönü puts you within steps of the New Mosque, Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar, and Bosphorus cruise docks.
Just down the hill from Sultanahmet, Sirkeci is
also near the Kabataş-Bağcılar tram, train
docks and Galata
With dozens of lodging-places
in all price ranges, it has great
variety and selection, prices
tend to be lower, and it has distinct transport advantages. More...
Bustling with commerce—and traffic—but
right in the hub of shopping and
transport, with the Egyptian
(Spice) Bazaar, Galata
Bridge, and ferry
docks (think Bosphorus
by. You can't get more central to
all of Istanbul, and both the Hippodrome and Beyoğlu are easily accessible by tram. More...
The Roman road that is Old Istanbul's main avenue from the Hippodrome westward past the Grand Bazaar to Beyazıt Square has numerous
hotels, restaurants and other services on and off it.
You're near the great
but prices for everything may be
higher, and there may be
noise, so choose carefully. More...
West of Binbirdirek along Divan
Yolu, this quiet dead-end street named for the famous 19th-century French naval officer and novelist Pierre Loti has
several fine, conveniently-located upscale
boutique hotels. More...
Square, dominated by the lofty
gates of Istanbul University and
the minarets of the imperial Beyazıt
Mosque, is right next to the Grand
Bazaar and the Old
Book Bazaar, and only a
12-15 minute walk along Divan
Yolu from Sultanahmet,
even quicker by tram.
Prices are lower here, too. More...
More Istanbul Hotels
Haven't found what you want? Have
a look at the hotel
areas in Beyoğlu, north of the Golden
Horn; or along
the shores of the Bosphorus;
or near Atatürk
—by Tom Brosnahan