Between Sultanahmet (the center of Old Istanbul) and Sirkeci Railway Station is the Sirkeci district, a neighborhood on both sides of Muradiye-Hüdavendigâr Caddesi (map) with at least 100 hotels, several dozen restaurants, a cultural center where you can see dervishes whirl, several laundries, and even a Turkish bath—all at prices lower than nearby Sultanahmet.
In Sirkeci you may pay 20% to 35% less for a comfortable hotel room than in other hotel areas near Sultanahmet, yet Sirkeci is only a 10-minute walk downhill from Sultanahmet, the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Ayasofya and even less far from Istanbul'sGülhane Parkı, Archeological Museums and Topkapı Palace.
You can shorten the walk to and from Sultanahmet by taking the tram.
All in all, this is the best-value area near Sultanahmet.
Most hotels here are newly-built or -restored. Many have some Ottoman-style decor, some have restaurants and/or bars, a few have views from a few rooms, and perhaps from rooftop terraces or restaurants
The hotel star in this neighborhood is:
Sirkeci Mansion Hotel
Formerly called the Sirkeci Konak, this is the flagship of the group, a 5-star boutique hotel right up against the walls of Gülhane, the Topkapı Palace park. More...
Opened in August 2015 in a beautifully-restored Ottoman-era building just around the corner from the Sirkeci Mansion Hotel, the Lalahan is the latest jewel in the crown of the Boyacı hotel family. More...
Istanbul on a budget? Not only possible, but a pleasure at the comfortable but low-priced İlkay. More...
Other Sirkeci Hotels
Those above are my favorites—and the favorites of many others—so if they're fully booked when you want to visit, there are plenty of other hotels nearby. More...
Sirkeci & Hocapaşa Restaurants
There are some quite nice Sirkeci restaurants in and right next to some of these hotels, and many simpler ones clustered near the Hocapaşa Camii (mosque) just two or three blocks from the hotels.
The Hocapaşa restaurants are lower-priced, patronized mostly by locals, but being discovered by foreign travelers as well.
Sirkeci Street Guide
Want to see what the Sirkeci neighborhood looks like? Here are views, street by street. More...
—by Tom Brosnahan