Hotels in the Talimhane neighborhood just northwest off Taksim Square (map) offer numerous advantages:
—Modern, comfortable hotels at good value prices
—Quiet pedestrians streets dotted with sidewalk cafés & restaurants
—Particularly favored by travelers from Islamic countries (some hotels serve halal meats, do not serve alcoholic beverages, and make other provisions for the comfort of Muslim guests)
—Easy, economical transfer from Atatürk Airport orSabiha Gökçen Airport by Havataş airport bus or value-for-money private transfer
—Easy access to M2 Metro & F1 Füniküler
—Close to İstiklal Caddesi, Beyoğlu restaurants & cafésand shopping.
—Walking distance to Elmadağ, Cumhuriyet Caddesi, Harbiye and even Nişantaşı with their luxury hotels, shops and offices
Talimhane has a street grid dotted with modern 4- and 5-star hotels, sidewalk cafés and restaurants, grocery shops, travel agencies, and currency exchange offices.
Transport to Old Istanbulis not difficult:
—A taxi can zoom you down Tarlabaşı Caddesi to the Old City in about 15 to 20 minutes—and the taxis you pick up here a far more likely to be honest than the ones inSultanahmet.
—The F1 Füniküker from Taksim Square to Kabataş, then the T1 Bağcılar-Kabataş tram, can take you to Eminönü, Sirkeci, Gülhane, Sultanahmet, Çemberlitaş and Beyazıt/Grand Bazaarcheaply in 20 to 35 minutes.
—M2 Metro from Taksim to Şişhane, then the Tünel to Karaköy, then the T1 Bağcılar-Kabataş tram, also gets you there.
By the way, a talimhane is a military drill field, where troops practice maneuvers. When present-day Taksim Park was a huge Ottoman army barracks, this large flat area now dotted with hotels was the soldiers' drill field.
Click here for a list of the best Talimhane hotels.
—by Tom Brosnahan