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a VirtualTourist member asked on Oct 17, 2015

Turkey

CONFUSED ABOUT WHERE TO STAY IN ISTANBUL

I am planning a trip to Turkey with my wife next year. I am rather confused about where to stay. I have three questions please.
(A) I feel inclined to book a hotel close to Istiklal Street so as to be able to spend time here after the day’s sightseeing. However, we plan to move around in public transport (using the Istanbulkart pass). What would be an ideal location in/around Taksim Square or Istiklal Street?
(B) Should we choose to stay in Sultanahmet area what would be an ideal location for us from the ease of use of public transport point of view?
© Views on the location (though I know enough has been written on it earlier), however in view of our specific requirement any suggestions please.



10 Answers


answered on 10/17/15 by
a VT member from Kiev

Depends on what kind of environment you prefere. I'd go for Sultanahmet because it is close to the historical attractions, whilst Istiklal is shopping area. Graceful and elegant, but for shopping.
Both places are convenient from the viewpoint of transportation but Istiklal is a bit closer to the underground station (don't remember the name, it is the terminus station, you'll easily find it)

booking.com offers plenty of good deals for both distrocts, just consider what you'd prefere to see/do




answered on 10/17/15 by
a VT member from Nashville

I think Iskitlal is better for you. I would recommend the lower part, Galata - close to the Galata bridge, easy on foot, tram, or bus to cross over to Sultanahmet. You can easily take the tram up Isktitlal to Taxsim which is further of course, and in case any political unrest erupts - not impossible at all thse - closer to the tear gas, police barriers etc. Better to avoid reserving there. Galata is a really neat neighborhood with musical cafes, the Dervish museum, stores selling books and instruments, etc. and of course all kinds of food, and you easily stroll along the shores of the water, to the fish restaurants etc. You get the best of both sides really. Around the tower there is a nice trendy square, there are lots of rentals - look on airbnb, craigslist, simply google, etc. It is nice to have your own apartment; at the foot of the hill under the bridge there is a daily market with some fruits and veggies and of course a lot of fish. On the other side of the bridge there is the Spice market with all kinds of wonderful things to eat. And on both sides of the river boats are leaving for all kinds of places. If you stay in Galata you have easy access to the boats too.




answered on 10/17/15 by
a VT member from Wroclaw

I fully agree with what jeanfinney said above. Staying in Galata means that you have both Istiklal street (which is great for shopping and nightlife) and Sultanahmet (sightseeing) within an easy reach both on foot and by public transport. And i would also advise against staying at Taksim because of the potential likelihood of some kind of unrest.




answered on 10/17/15 by
a VT member from Nashville

Thank you! :)




answered on 10/17/15 by
claus andersen from Denmark

I'd say that both Taksim Square and Istiklal are equally good.
They are also right next to eachother. Istiklal is a little closer to the old part of Istanbul, but Taksim is the biggest transport hub in Istanbul and very easy to navigate to and from with public transport.




answered on 10/17/15 by
a VT member from Nashville

But as I and others have said, there are problems now in Turkey, and Taksim is the most likely place for them to manifest in Istanbul. Better to me prudent, especially when there are so many other excellent choices. It is very easy to move around from Galata.




answered on 10/17/15 by
claus andersen from Denmark

When talking protestors, then they are on Istiklal too.
The people groups who were attacked in Ankara a few days ago were protesting up and and down Istiklal when I was last in Istanbul in march.
The key is just to take a little disnace whenever you come across protestors.




answered on 10/17/15 by
a VT member from Nashville

Of course. But if any gathering happens, it will center around Taksim, and that is where you do not want to be! Tear gas, streets blocked, general chaos - not the best conditions! It is simply common sense to choose to stay elsewhere.




answered on 10/18/15 by
a VT member from Istanbul

Sultanahmet is the right place to stay ...




answered on 10/18/15 by
a VT member

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