Where to stay in Istanbul
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Sep 25, 2012 6:20 AM Last Post By: sarikanarya
Sep 24, 2012 10:02 AM
Where to stay in IstanbulWe will be in Istanbul for the first time from December 26th, leaving the 4th of January. There are so many distinct neighborhoods, that we are confused as the where we should stay? Most often, we dislike touristy and crowded areas such as Times Square in New York, the First and Eighth Arrondissements in Paris, Bourbon Street in New Orleans. In NYC, we usually stay near Tribeca or Soho, in Paris, we try to rent an apartment in the Seventh or in the upper regions of the Sixth towards Montparnasse, in Rome, we try to get a place close to the Tiber near the Ghetto. While most tourists gravitate towards the old city of Istanbul, it sounds too touristy for us. The Taskim-Beyoglu area sounds kind of young and loud for us. We were leaning towards the Nisantasi area, but then started to think that may be too isolated with long walks in the winter cold. We want to be near elegant restaurants, cafes, shops, galleries, and bars. Although we are middle aged, we are in good shape and love to walk. In addition, we may be old, but we still think we're hip and love to drink and listen to music. If you have any suggestions, we would love any information as we are quite confused at this point. Thanks much.
Sep 24, 2012 11:54 AM
1Welcome to the forum Enofile!From what you say about yourselves I think Beyoğlu would actually be ideal for you.In Sultanahmet there are very few locals living there,it is truly tourist central :) but in Beyoğlu there are many locals living so the area has real regular neighbourhood feel to it.Travelling to other districts is easy enough by funicular and tram or up Istiklal Street by the nostalgic tram.Around Galata there are not only hotels but plenty of rental apartments too,many offering wonderful sea views.
Taksim Square is I guess rather like Times Square,a noisy,busy,shopping and business district.There is nightlife there too so you can soon get there from Galata if you wanted to as a change from the Beyoğlu area.
Another area which visitors are starting to pick up on as a more regular environment is Cihangir.Still with the Beyoğlu district but nearer to Taksim(between there and the Bosphorus).Again there are nice apartments to be found and the atmosphere is very relaxed and hip(in fact rather bohemian in parts) with nice resturants,live music venues for all tastes and good transport connections too.It is close enough to the Bosphorus shore to be able to walk easily.
Either of these districts would give you the non touristy but still convenient location you want with a wide varity of of nightlife options within walking distance and daytime sightseeing easily accessible.
Do a bit of research on them and see what you think and then come back to the forum again with any more questions you may have.
Sep 24, 2012 12:31 PM
Sep 24, 2012 9:58 PM
Sep 24, 2012 10:51 PM
4All 4 are excellent,good quality choices.All way out of my price range :) but I do know where they are located and I know people who have stayed in all but one of them.I would put them in this order.
1st choice-Witt Suites.Ideal location in Cihangir,convenient for everything,very nice elegant,modern accomodation.Tram stop is only a couple of minutes walk away.
2nd-Tom Tom Suites.This is pretty close to Witt Suites but further inland.Hard choice between these two but I put Witt first as it is closer to the water and tram stop.
3rd-Residence Galateria.This is at the southern end of Istiklal Street, very close to Galipdede Street where the Galata Mevlevihanesi is(whirling dervish sect).It is also close by Tünel so you can take the nostalgic tram up Istiklal or the funicular down onto the seafront(or walk down for the exercise!) to pick up the tram over to Sultanahmet(or again walk over).Nice neighbourhood and plenty going on around there but I put it 3rd due to the greater need for using transport which may or may be be a concern to you.
4th.Jazz Hotel.Yet again lovely place but I put this last simply due to it's location.You would have to go across town by bus or tram each time you wanted to visit anywhere.There are some very good upmarket restaurants etc.for evenings but daytime visiting could see you get a little fed up with battling traffic down town and back again especially if the weather is wet.
I know people who have stayed in 1,2 and 4 and would gladly return to each again,on quality there is nothing to choose between them so my choice order is based purely on the location,what is in the vicinity and ease of travel to other area's of the city.
Hope this is a help.
Sep 25, 2012 5:10 AM
5You are the best! Your descriptions of these hotels have helped incredibly and have even saved me money! The Tomtom Suites and Witt Suites are about $500 more for our 9 day stay then the Residence Galateia which sounds quite nice. If I can save this money, I can spend it in the shops or in the restaurants. Now, I am going to ask your indulgence again since you have been so helpful.
1. Any ideas for New Year's Eve for two middle aged folks who still thing they're 28 years old? I must admit we are "over" the street scenes and being amused by sloppy, inebriated dudes who think screaming and drooling makes them attractive and sexy.
2. Since we will be in Istanbul for 9 days, is it worth taking a side trip to Northern Cyprus, Skopje, or Sofia? The airfare from Istanbul is quite low, and we have never been to these places.
Thank you very much.
Sep 25, 2012 6:20 AM
6Ohhh,you can do a lot in Istanbul with 500$-lot's of shopping :))
Quite close to Residence Galateia is Nardis Jazz Club which is one of Istanbul's prestige clubs,you'll find a very wide mix of people there,a very nice atmosphere,good food and quality live music.It isn't a teenyboppers hang out either.Here is some info about it,scroll down each page a little for the English sections-
They usually have something special going on on NYE and you wouldn't have to worry about a taxi home again.Most places of any reknown require reservations for NYE though so perhaps mention this when you book your accomodation to see if they could do this for you.
The one place to stay away from on NYE is Taksim Square,this is where all the loonies meet up!So you get drunks and brawls,petty theft and frotting :( Not nice.
From the roof top of Residence you would have a wonderful view of the Bosphorus bridges which are lit up for NYE and have wonderful fireworks displays from them.
Skope and Sofia would probably be a lot colder than Istanbul and possibly with some snow too so if you would like to find a little warmth for a day or two then yes,you could go over to Northern Cyprus.5 or 6 days in Istanbul is ample to take in all the musts see's and attractions at a leisurely pace.
If you decide to do this then maybe do it at the end of your Istanbul days so then maybe you can fly back from Cyprus and connect direct with your outbound flight.Or at the beginning connecting to the Cyprus flight from your incoming one.It would save leaving your accomodation only to have to return again.
Guess that's where the 500$ is going :)
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