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Where to stay in Istanbul?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Going to Istanbul for 3.5 days. Looking for advise on what district and/or particular hotels accomodation that is recommended. Not looking for the Hyatts of the world.

It has been suggested to stay in Taskim?

Thanks
post #2 of 23
Ciragan Palace Kempinski. Best luxury hotel in Istanbul, well maybe four seasons is close. Amazing service, and good area - close to all the good stuff, the tram, and Taksim. And if you go there in the summer you can enjoy the huge infinity pool and sundeck right on the bosphorous.
post #3 of 23
what are you looking for? how much do you want to spend? both of the hiltons are close to Taksim. Taksim is sort of like the latin quarter in paris - tourist central, but with some locals coming in for shoping and entertainment, and a lot of locals working and living around. but I like it - it is "authentic", but more old fashioned than a lot of the city. a friend of mine recently told me that taksim "wasn't downtown" in the sense that she meant that the nicer shoping areas of town that toursists don't find are downtown.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ive realised since posting this that the old city where the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Bazar are all on the southern part of the city across a major water way relative to Taksim. I am now almost thinking of staying around there???

How hard is it to travel across this body of water? Is there a train that goes over a bridge, or would I need to catch a ferry?
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star View Post
Ive realised since posting this that the old city where the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Bazar are all on the southern part of the city across a major water way relative to Taksim. I am now almost thinking of staying around there???

How hard is it to travel across this body of water? Is there a train that goes over a bridge, or would I need to catch a ferry?

you can walk from taksim to the bazaar in less than an hour. you can cross the bridge on foot in about 5 minutes. that major water way is the goldne horn, veyr historically significant, but not such a big piece of water. there are at least 2 bridges that cross it in town. I am not sure what good hotels are in the old part of town - their is a new sheraton on that side of town, but it is actually farther away from things than the hotels in the center.

istanbul is a good walking city, there are also pretty good taxis, and there are water taxis and ferries that cross from europe to asia.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star View Post
Ive realised since posting this that the old city where the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Bazar are all on the southern part of the city across a major water way relative to Taksim. I am now almost thinking of staying around there???

How hard is it to travel across this body of water? Is there a train that goes over a bridge, or would I need to catch a ferry?

Cabs are expensive but there is a very useful tram that runs from not far to taksim to all the touristy areas. It's super easy and convenient. I would not wanna stay right in the craziness of the tourist areas - it was nice to come there and explore, but not to stay. And yes you can basically walk from taxim to the mosques/palace - done it before.
post #7 of 23
Taxis in Turkey are cheap and most of the cabbies around the major tourist attractions in Istanbul speak enough english to work out the destination and price. Be warned though, don't accept a pre-set cab fare outside large attractions like Hagia Sophia or the Bazaar. Some of the cabbies think they can pull a fast one and tell you a ride to your hotel will cost 25 TL when it really only costs about 15 if you let the meter run. Enjoy your stay in Istanbul. I lived in Izmir for a year and loved it.
post #8 of 23
taxis in Istanbul are pretty expensive - because the city is huge and the drivers can be douchebags. but for a few days you can live with it. one trick they do is give you wrong change - always count your change carefully in a taxi in Turkey - the assumption is that you won't notice is a driver gives you a 1 instead of a 10, or a 5 instead of a 50.
post #9 of 23
Gilt/Jetsetter will be having the A'jia hotel in Istanbul on sale in a couple of days.

I know nothing about it, but figured it would be worth checking out.
post #10 of 23
i am jealous. enjoy istanbul.
post #11 of 23
I stayed at the Swissotel Bosphorous.Its a luxury hotel with better prices,their food is amazing,location is close to everything and prices much better than the Kemp and Ritz and others.
Make sure you get a sea view room.

My inlaws stayed at the Hilton overlooking the Bosphorous and they liked it too..I think its cheaper than any of the above.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flambeur View Post
Ciragan Palace Kempinski.

+1 http://www.kempinski.com/EN/ISTANBUL/Pages/Welcome.aspx

Used it for a shoot way back when. . .

And befriend the very debonair white haired gentleman who looks like a count as he is . . . he is the owner and has a rather nice yacht that he parties hard on . . .
post #13 of 23
My own experience would suggest that - prior to locking in your hotel - you check with them just to get some assurances that there isn't any nearby construction project (or, for that matter in-hotel renovation) that might compromise your enjoyment of your stay. About 18 months ago I cashed in a load of airline/hotel points and took a small group to Istanbul where we had rooms at the top of the line Hilton. While the hotel and the location were both good, there was a giant construction project going on in the next block that never shut down (i.e. 24-hour a day pile driving sounds making sleep fairly impossible even with a pillow clutched over one's head.)
post #14 of 23
We stayed at the Intercontinental right at Taksim Square in December. Phenomenal hotel -- excellent service, their club lounge is awesome (comped us full buffet breakfast for 4 people every day, 30 euros each normally), and the rooms are modern. Club floors also get free internet access (30mb down, 100mb up!) in case you have piracy on your mind . I certainly did...

Getting around was no problem between the bus system (relatively reliable) and taxis (about 20 lira to go to Sultanamet/grand baazar). I'm surprised at all the comments about expensive taxis; we never paid more than 20 or 25 lira to get around to the majority of the city to/from our hotel.
post #15 of 23
I stayed at the Arcadia Hotel. It is minutes (walking) from the grand bazaar and 150 meters from the tram stop. Ask for the view side and stay on about the 7th floor. The view of the grand mosque is unbelievable. Staying here was just a lucky guess on our part but the view was breathtaking day and night. One of the best photographs I have ever taken was from the window of our hotel room there. Small and cozy with breakfast available on the top floor every morning. I will stay there again.
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