Other areas to stay in Istanbul
Karaköy is a great place to stay for nightlife, art and delicious food. Historically home to Greek, Armenian and Jewish communities, Karakoy hosts many historic places of worship you can visit, such as The Central Church of the Virgin Mary and Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque. Karaköy is heaven for artists, so make sure you check out some of the local Turkish tal-ents and even buy yourself a special keepsake at exhibitions such as Mixer, Sanat Limanı, and the Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture. Karaköy has a great nightlife scene, so make sure you go out and stroll the lively fairy-lit streets in the evening.
From jazz nights in local bars to romantic fish restaurants, a new treasure is to be discovered around every winding Karaköy street corner. For those wanting to relax, a traditional Turkish Hamam (Turkish bath) is a must. Enjoy a scrub down and massage at the iconic Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamam. Karaköy ferry port hosts stalls that serve fresh 'balık ekmek' - freshly caught fish sandwiched with salad and herbs in newly cooked crusty bread. Why not grab a 'balık ekmek' to-go and jump on board one of the ferries for a tour on the stunning bos-porus sea.
Hotels in Karaköy
Not far up the road and in the same district of Beyoğlu lies the hopelessly fantastic neighbourhood of Galata which is a great place to stay for tourists. Wander along the cobbled streets filled with chocolatiers, art deco shops, boutiques, and pubs. Some of the ivy over-grown old crumbled buildings are the ideal photoshoot location, so keen photographers keep your camera close to hand! The iconic Galata bridge is a perfect place to stroll as you go out for dinner in the evening- see the fishermen lined up along the railings of the bridge, and choose from one of the many fish restaurants under the bridge to listen to the seagulls and breathe in the salty fresh sea air. The striking monument that dominates the picture-perfect skyline of Istanbul is the Galata Tower. I
t's worth the steep climb up the 146 steps to gaze at the whole of the city from the phenomenal observation gallery. You can even enjoy a meal in its luxury restaurant while watching the sunset. The Galata Con-vent of the Whirling Dervishes is a ceremony not to be missed for those who want to em-brace Turkey's spiritual history. Marvel at the dancing men as they whirl hypnotically in worship to Allah for up to 15 mins in this unforgettable and moving event.
Hotels in Galata
Beşiktaş has loads of attractions and is an ideal place to stay for singles and families alike. Make sure you visit its famous Breakfast Street. Go at the weekend and prepare to sit for hours over small dishes of food and endless cups of tea. A basic Turkish breakfast includes eggs, bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and cheese. A Beşiktaş Breakfast comprises different sweet and savoury pancakes called Gozleme, deep-fried pastry rolls called Börek, and a tasty variety of egg dishes. Beşiktaş Naval Museum is next to the Beşiktal ferry port and provides an impressive collection of more than 20.000 artefacts from the Ottoman Empire. A short walk away brings you to the stunning Dolmabahçe Palace.
Built by Ottoman Sultan Abdulmecit in 1853, it has beautifully manicured gardens and a grand interior dripping with glass and crystal decor. The home of Beşiktaş Football Club, you'll hear about it when there's a match in town with fans singing, chanting, and setting off fireworks next to the giant eagle statue in the Beşiktaş town center. Football fans should get match tickets (check ahead of time to order tickets) for an unforgettable night out with an electric atmosphere. For those craving some peace in nature Yıldız Park sits at the top of Beşiktaş, and with scenic rivers, waterfalls, and many picnic areas, it's a breath of fresh air in the city.
Hotels in Beşiktaş
This is an area that has become a main transport hub over the years, and has become a popular choice amongst those visiting Istanbul. The tram that runs here ends close to the Tunel, which is the second-oldest subway line globally, after the Underground in London. You will find a number of upmarket hotels in this area too, as well as many restaurants, drinking establishments and businesses, all of which surround the popular Taksim Square. Depending on the time of year you visit, you can also take in cultural events here, as the area is popular for celebrations and public events.
Considered the European side of the city, there are many places to visit and explore in this area, which includes the opera house, Ataturk Cultural Centre, Taksim Stadium and the Monument of the Republic. Taksim Square itself is a vibrant and buzzing area but in the past has also been the centre of various political protests. You can also look forward to some great shopping opportunities as well as the chance to soak up culture and the arts. One place that you should definitely add to your itinerary is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, which is known as the Blue Mosque because of its blue interior walls, which are tiled. This grand mosque was built in the early 1600s and is still used for worship today.
Hotels in Taksim
Situated in the Eastern part of the city, Asian Side includes Kadikoy and Uskudar, both of which were once cities that were not connected to Istanbul. However, later in the 19th century they were incorporated as part of the city. These two areas are now mainly commercialised but Asian Side is also home to more than four million people. There are a number of options when it comes to public transportation in this area, including trains and buses. The Sabiha Gokcen Airport is also situated in this area.
When you stay in Asian Side, you can look forward to exploring a variety of places of interest, as there is plenty to see and do here. Some of the places to visit while in the area include Beylerbeyi Palace, Baghdad Avenue with its shopping and eateries, and Camlica Hill, which is one of the highest hills in the whole of Istanbul. If you are into architecture, it is well worth visiting the Moda neighbourhood, where you will also find a number of attractive parks. Other attractions to add to your itinerary when you stay in or visit Asian Side include the Toy Museum, Yakacik Hill, and the Icmeler hot spring. For a really unique and memorable experience, ride the balloon in Kadikoy for a great view of Istanbul. Also, enjoy relaxing at Caddebostan Beach, which offers a range of amenities including refreshments and restrooms.
Hotels in Asian Side