The Sirkeci neighborhood just north of Sultanahmetand south of Sirkeci Station in Old Istanbul, has a nice scene on summer evenings, with two dozen small to medium-sized hotels, and several moderately-pricedtourist restaurants serving at outdoor/sidewalk tables, as well as the many simple local “workers’ restaurants” (esnaf lokantaları) next to the Hocapaşa mosque, with both streetside tables under hanging vines, and indoor tables for the rare (in summer) rainy day.
The relatively wide stone-paved street running more or less east-west and marking the southern boundary of this hotel-and-restaurant district. Its hotels are varied and mostly of very good quality: Hotel Erboy, Hotel Yaşmak Sultan and a dozen others. Because they are all on the north side of the street facing south, their front rooms enjoy abundant sunlight, but the traffic along Ebusuud Caddesi may make some front rooms noisy..
A short, narrow north-south street along the side of the Hotel Yaşmak Sultan. Rooms here get much less (or no) direct sun, but also less traffic noise.
The strange long name is a concatenation of two street names: northwest of Orhaniye Caddesi it is Muradiye, but between Orhaniye and Tayahatun Sokak it is Hüdavendigâr, which means something like “world-conqueror,” and was one of the many fantasy sobriquets favored by the Ottoman sultans. It’s the route for the Bağcılar-Kabataş tram, andis thus closed to most car traffic (although some are allowed to traverse it, dodging the trams). Because the hotels facing it are air-conditioned and double-glazed, noise is usually not a big problem unless you want to sleep with your windows open (though you will get used to hearing the tram bells). Hotels include the Orient Express Hotel and Hotel İlkay on the north side facing south, with more sun.
Running between Orhaniye Caddesi and Taya Hatun Sokak, this street is also lined with hotels, restaurants, and an entrance for the Marmaray underground train. Because Muradiye-Hüdavendigâr is closed to most traffic, vehicles use Nöbethane Caddesi to reach the hotels and restaurants to the north of Muradiye-Hüdavendigâr; but there’s no real through traffic, so it’s not too bad.
Running between and parallel to Ebusuud and Hüdavendigâr caddesis, it is narrower, but also not a through street, so there is little traffic. Restaurants fill much of the street, and if there is a noise problem, it’s usually from them (and minimal) rather than from cars. Hotels include the Hotel Sapphire (Safir).
A north-south street beween Ebsuud Caddesi and Sirkeci Station, crossing Muradiye Caddesi and its tram line. The prime hotel here is the Neorion, only a few steps from all the restaurants on İbni Kemal Caddesi and in nearby Hocapaşa. A smaller hotel nearer to Sirkeci Station is the Elanaz.
Taya Hatun Sokak
—by Tom Brosnahan