Where to Stay in Istanbul: 2022 Area and Hotel Guide

Where to Stay in Istanbul: 2022 Area and Hotel Guide

Sought after by The Greeks, Romans and Venetians before the Ottomans conquered it, Constantinople or Istanbul is among the world's most beautiful cities. If you’re wondering where to stay in Istanbul, read our guide because the location you choose can make or break your holiday. 

Whether you're visiting for the first or the third time, Istanbul always has something new to offer. So if you want to know where to stay in Istanbul, take our advice. As Right Holidays, we have over 15 years of experience planning holidays in Turkey.

Spanning two continents; Istanbul is divided into boroughs, and each neighbourhood has its own charm. We listed the best areas to stay in Istanbul for travellers, depending on what they want to see and experience.

Where To Stay In Istanbul First Time

Eminönü and Sultanahmet

If you are visiting Istanbul for the first time, we recommend staying in the old town. Eminönü and Sultanahmet are perfect for history buffs who want to see as many mosques and historical sites as possible. 

Hotels in Sultanahmet are within walking distance to Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Spice Market, Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, and the Basilica Cistern. You can also go to Çemberlitaş Hamamı for an authentic Turkish hammam experience if you want to treat yourself.

Eminönü and Sultanahmet are the best places to stay if you're going to spend most of your time sightseeing. These neighbourhoods are family-friendly; but accommodation, restaurants and shops are slightly more expensive due to the influx of tourists.

Best Places to Stay in Sultanahmet

Dosso Dosi Hotel

The Magnaura Palace Hotel

Best Places to Stay in Eminönü

Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel İstanbul

Legacy Ottoman Hotel

Beyoğlu and Cihangir

Beyoğlu used to be known as Pera. To this day, it's among the most bohemian and artistic neighbourhoods of Istanbul. From art nouveau style buildings to art galleries, independent cafés, bookshops and boutiques, there is something to do for everyone in Beyoğlu. It is also home to the oldest cinemas in Istanbul. 

Cihangir is another charming area, named after a mosque Mimar Sinan constructed in honour of his son Cihangir. It’s also close to some of the most beautiful churches in Istanbul, including the Church of St. Anthony of Padua (the largest Roman Catholic Church in Istanbul).

Beyoğlu has budget-friendly accommodation options such as youth hostels as well as luxurious hotels. A lot of foreign ex-pats live in these neighbourhoods, which is good for solo travellers who want to make friends during their time in Istanbul.

Best Places to Stay in Beyoğlu

Palazzo Donizetti Hotel

Grand Hotel de Londres

Best Places to Stay in Cihangir

AKKA Hotels Lush Taksim

Taxim Lounge Hotel

Ortaköy and Beşiktaş

Perfect for the most classic views of Istanbul, both Ortaköy and Beşiktaş are great places to stay whether you're visiting for the sights or to mingle with the locals and learn the ways of life as an Istanbulite. Ortaköy Mosque is a popular tourist attraction along with many jewellery shops and street food vendors.

You can take a cruise tour for the day from Ortaköy and Beşiktaş to discover Istanbul's most beautiful historic buildings with a view from the sea. If you like nature and being active, you can go for a walk/hike in Yıldız Park in the mornings.

Ortaköy is one of the top places to visit for the best views of Istanbul.

Best Places to Stay in Ortaköy

Radisson Blu Bosphorus Hotel

Best Places to Stay in Beşiktaş

Swissôtel The Bosphorus Istanbul

Turkuaz Suites Bosphorus

Where To Stay In Istanbul On A Budget

Bomonti and Kurtuluş

Popular with the locals, Bomonti and Kurtuluş are old neighbourhoods that once accommodated large Armenian and Greek communities. 

Bomonti is now very popular thanks to the Bomontiada complex (a beer factory transformed into a photography gallery, a few pubs, bars and restaurants). Kurtuluş is still more old school and hosts a few open-air markets such as Feriköy Flea Market (for antiques and clothes) and Organic Bazaar.

Best Places to Stay in Bomonti

Mercure Istanbul Bomonti

Stayso by Cloud7 Hotel

Karaköy and Galata

Young travellers who want to be close to the attractions, and want to be part of the action should stay in Karaköy or Galata. These neighbourhoods are popular with young locals who like hanging out at quirky cafés and going out in the evenings.

Galata is famous for the medieval Galata Tower and rooftop restaurants and bars such as 360 Istanbul. If you stay in Karaköy or Galata, you can also visit the nearby areas Balat and Fener. Istanbul's Galata and Balat neighbourhoods have rich Jewish, Greek Orthodox and Armenian history. Full of colourful houses, small shops and cafés, Balat has a few historic churches, synagogues, restaurants, and bakeries that still carry on the legacy of Constantinople's diversity through food. The famous Agora Meyhanesi is a testament to it.

In the past year, Karaköy’s Galataport (a seaside shopping and dining area) has opened to the public. If you stay in Karaköy, remember to visit the Yeralti Camii (an underground mosque) and the Nusretiye Mosque. For remote workers, Karaköy is home to cool venues such as SALT (an art gallery, library and museum) that is perfect to work in. 

Best Places to Stay in Karaköy

The Wings Hotel DeCamondo

FAMA Karaköy

Best Places to Stay in Galata

Walton Hotels Galata

The Galata Istanbul Hotel

Where To Stay In Istanbul Asian Side (and on a Budget)

Kadıköy and Moda

If you have been to Istanbul before, and want to experience a different side of the city (literally, as Kadıköy and Moda are on the Asian side), then we recommend staying in either of these hip neighbourhoods. TimeOut even included Kadıköy in its list of 50 coolest neighbourhoods

Populated mainly by locals, Kadıköy and Moda are the new trendy destinations in Istanbul for theatre lovers, foodies and bar hoppers. You can take pictures of old mansions, street art, alternative young people, fish and spice bazaars and more. Fun fact: the locals call Kadıköy “Kediköy” (Cat village), because of the many stray cats who happily get pet and fed by the locals. 

The Kadıköy - Moda coastline is a great walking route for getting around here, or you can use the old tram!

Best Places to Stay in Kadıköy

DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul - Moda

(There are also a lot of budget hotels and Airbnbs in this area)

Tips for Visiting Istanbul for the First Time

  • Make sure to carry cash: Some taxis, shops, and transport only accept cash money. So make sure to exchange your money before you come to Istanbul. 

  • Taxis/Transport: It might be difficult to find taxis everywhere so you should get an IstanbulKart. It is sold in kiosks at the underground (metro) or at shops near bus stations. You can use the BiTaksi app to find taxis; some taxis accept credit cards, but dolmuş (yellow vans that have a set route) and minibus (small blue buses that have a set route) only take cash.

  • Learn a few Turkish phrases as you might not always find someone who speaks English.

  • Get a museum pass to visit the many historic sites, museums, mosques and churches for the best price.

  • Book a food experience at a local's house as homemade food is unique and Turkish hospitality is the best in the world!

We know you want to be in Istanbul right now! So don’t waste your time and book your flight to Istanbul today. 


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