The serenity means it is a little isolated, however – but only a quick taxi trip to major attractions and a quick walk (via the nearby park) to the waterside cafés, museums, ferry terminal, and metro station at Kabataş. I suggest spending one day in Sultanahmet visiting Topkapı Palace, Aya Sofya, the Basilica Cistern, and the Blue Mosque. All rooms are stylish, especially the Junior Suites which face the distant sea, while some others offer views of the Blue Mosque that brand-name five-star hotels would charge the earth for. With all accommodations catering to three or four people, and a children’s pool, it’s just right for families – and is pet-friendly, too. The strait is lined with ornate timber mansions built by the Ottoman elite (some now converted to five-star hotels complete with private launches), and monuments include the majestic fortress of Rumeli Hisarı, constructed by order of Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452. The Sultan's Suite is one of the most expensive in the world. “excellent, luxury hotel, very clean, very comfortable, great staff and after many visits,we consider best place to stay in Istanbul - overlooks Dolma Bahce Palace, has large swimming pool and many other … All categories of rooms are very attractive: the soft colors of the sofa, cushions, linen, and carpet match beautifully, and as the only high-rise in the area, views from the full-length windows are among the city’s finest. Recent travelers are confident in their proclamations that the Frankly, if you’re in the city for a short time we can’t see the point of dedicating a day to visiting one of these beaches as they are horribly crowded in summer (especially on weekends) and all have dangerous rips (undertows). The best hotel near the Blue Mosque is the Hotel Ibrahim Pasha. At night, head over the Galata Bridge, where the Istanbul’s best bars, restaurants, and clubs are located. Seeing as many of the top attractions is our priority. It’s an old place closed for some time and reopened this year. Guests staying in any of the 11 Palace Suites can arrive by private helicopter to be greeted by their own butler. Firstly congratulations on the most informative and helpful travel guides I’ve ever read. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 326 1100 For the best effect, arrive by boat. The layout and amenities are more like a tropical resort than an inner-city hotel, especially the massive outdoor pool surrounded by extensive gardens and inviting sunbeds as well as the indoor pool. No space for any amenities, except a tiny terrace at the back, but the overwhelming attractions are the old-style charm and first-class location: in the Taksim area, close to a very long pedestrian street which extends between two metro stations and is packed with places to eat, drink, and shop. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 518 8465 Spend the morning of the second day visiting the Grand Bazaar and the Süleymaniye Mosque and then head down to Eminönü to hop aboard one of the ferry boats offering scenic tours of the Bosphorus. Also, what is the fastest way from Istanbul to Santorini. Pool. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 528 0973 Rooms are clean and modern. For getting to Bodrum from Santorini you’ll need to ferry to Kos (or Rhodes) and then take a different ferry the next day (port authorities sometimes want your passport handed in the night before) to Bodrum. Hi, During the 7-day car trip can you recommend what towns to stay at overnight and any must-see destinations. On the shores of the Bosphorus, located between the quiet neighborhoods of Besiktas and Ortakoy, just a 10-minute taxi from Taksim Square, the property isn't just for the super rich. Alternatively, buy a ticket for one of the shorter Bosphorus cruises leaving from the Eminönü and Kabataş docks, which travel in a loop to the Fatih Bridge and back, or for the handy hop-on, hop-off service operated by Dentur Avraysa. It is a little isolated, however: in the suburbs, about 2km from Kabataş with its waterside cafés, museums, ferries, metro station, and amazing funicular to the upmarket shopping district of Taksim. Our main interest in Greece is Santorini but we’d also like to see one or two other islands and maybe Athens? Yes, there are 2 Four Seasons in Istanbul – Four Seasons Sultanahmet and The Four Seasons on the Bosphorus. For those looking for hotels in Istanbul near Taksim, there’s the Point Hotel Taksim, which is a … To head off the usual tourist paths and discover a very different İstanbul you need go no further than the neighbourhoods collectively known as the Western Districts. abstract wall art). gym, but no pool) are as expected at a mid-priced Hilton hotel. Here are six of the best hotels in Istanbul to make your stay there more enjoyable. We are a couple in our 30s. It may not blend in so well with the old-style buildings nearby, but the hotel is cozy, comfortable, and fashionable throughout, and the amenities (e.g. Only a 30-minute walk from Beyoğlu, the modern neighbourhood of Nişantaşı is also easily reached via metro from Taksim Square (Osmanbey station). Is there a direct ferry to Santorini from Istanbul or (more likely) nearby from the Turkish coast? Are plan is to fly from Paris to Istanbul, spend a 3 days in Istanbul, then to Greece for 2 weeks, then back to Istanbul (where we will meet our daughter) and spend 3 more days there. The hotel is on a corner, so all rooms offer decent views (and are well soundproofed) – especially those facing the road, which is virtually free of cars (but not trams) and lined with bistros, teahouses, and travel agencies. Hotel website. Perhaps a better alternative is to head to Kabataş at the Beyoğlu end of the tram line and buy a ticket for the hop-on, hop-off cruise operated by Dentur Avrasya. Magnificently positioned alongside the Bosphorus Strait and with a nineteenth-century former palace onsite, the Kempinski is unrivaled in the capital, if not the entire country, for sheer opulence. Hi Dave All can be reached by bus or dolmuş (local minibus) but the trips can be complicated and long. These take between 90 minutes and two hours, and are most enjoyable. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 326-4646 This focusses on food and visits three very different Bosphorus neighbourhoods (one on the European side and two on the Asian side), giving a fascinating glimpse into the local lifestyle. 2. The hotel is an extremely steep walk from the Tophane tram stop or a downhill walk from Taksim Square. On a corner of a lane teeming with cafés in a pulsating part of the old town, the Mercure is immediately striking – particularly the lobby with brick walls and tiled floors, and the restaurant which is so chic and spacious. They are both fantastic hotels but very different. I wouldn’t call us foodies but visiting a few good Turkish restaurants would definitely be of interest. Here are our questions: 1) What is the best time of year to visit Istanbul and Greece? 3. After reading your advice to tourists, I cannot resist but ask you your professional expertise. We will be in Istanbul and Greece in late April and have heard great things from friends about the Four Seasons Istanbul but now that I look there appears to be 2 Four Seasons hotels and I can’t determine which is more appropriate for our stay. A week in Istanbul will allow you to see most of the top-drawer attractions. Are there any good beaches near Istanbul? 3) What is the best way to get from Istanbul to Santorini? If you have a full day available there are a number of options. The most popular (though crowded and touristy) is the Full Bosphorus Cruise operated by Şehir Hatları. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 334 8300 My husband and I will be in Istanbul in early May. Oozing so much charm and elegance, rooms also feature the lady’s portrait above the bed and a script explaining her history – as well as exquisite bathrooms and cute alcove seating. The rooms in this hotel are spacious, and they all reflect some forms of Ottoman designs. We are considering staying around Sultanahmet or perhaps just outside that neighborhood so it’s a little quieter. • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 511 0290 Each room features a different layout and is individually decorated: some have raised beds that allow more living space, while others have quaint Mediterranean-style balconies overlooking the quiet side street. Regards The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Istanbul-Moda or the MyKent Hotel are great for exploring this area of the city. What would you recommend as the best neighborhood of Istanbul for a first timer? The staff here is very friendly and helpful. The exterior is Ottoman-influenced, low-level, and with neutral colors, yet the interior could not be more contrasting. Three days isn’t all that much time, so you’ll need to plan carefully. The pleasingly low-level and surprisingly spacious Grand Hyatt offers the sort of shady gardens and attractive resort-style pool usually absent at rival hotels. Read the reviews and book. Besides the major sites (which we will walk to) we’d like to see the Bosphorus. Nice pool too. This pretty little boutique hotel is very close to three of Istanbul’s major attractions: the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia museum, and Topkapi Palace. To explore, hop aboard the full Bosphorus cruise operated by Şehir Hatları, which sails all the way to the Black Sea, and then make your way back to town by bus, stopping to visit palaces, castles and atmospheric village squares on your way. The hotel is in a converted palace (yes, a different feel than a converted prison) and is all about luxury amenities, leisure, and comfort. I believe you should add Pandeli restaurant to your Eminönü area list. Many of the lavish rooms face the water (and are suitable for families), and the amenities are world-class – from the boutiques arcade to the playground and waterfront cafés. Crowds are a given here – made up of both locals and tourists – but there are a few tranquil spots where visitors can regain their breath and bearings, including the diminutive but gorgeous Rüstem Paşa mosque on Hasırcılar Caddesi near the Spice Bazaar and the dockside Yeni Camii (New Mosque) with its distinctive cascading domes and tapered minarets. Visitors can enjoy being pampered in the steamy surrounds of a meticulously restored Ottoman-era hamam, sip a glass of tea in one of the open-air cafes in tulip-laden Gülhane Park or shop for quality souvenirs in the atmospheric Arasta Bazaar. The best boutique hotel in the hip and happening Karakoy neighborhood – surrounded by bars, cafes, and art galleries. Faces a shady street with middle-class housing far from tourist buses and overpriced restaurants. The hotel is a short walk from the Galata Tower. See our list of top 10 hotels in Istanbul, Turkey and find the lowest rates. We would like to go to Ephesus, Canakkale, and Gallipoli although saying that I’ve heard Canakkale is not as nice as it used to be back in the 90’s. Like most hotels in this overbuilt area, the beautifully renovated rooms are compact but the deluxe ones do feature balconies and walk-in wardrobes. Accessed over the Galata Bridge, the neighbourhoods of Karaköy, Tophane and Galata are an easy walk from Sultanahmet and Eminönü, and those clustered around Taksim Square and the pedestrianised thoroughfare of İstiklal Caddesi are only a short tram ride away. Also, there are very few places to eat and shop near them (Vogue, Zuma, and Sıdıka restaurants are the only we would recommend). • Hotel website • Check prices on Booking.com, Hotel phone: +90 212 315 1234 YOTEL Istanbul Airport - Landside. 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