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Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

Tevkifhane Sokak No. 1, Istanbul 34110

5.0 out of 5.0
4.9 out of 5 (241 reviews)

Located in Old City, this luxury hotel is steps from Sultanahmet Square and Hagia Sophia. Basilica Cistern and Blue Mosque ar …

£238
Pera Palace Hotel, Jumeirah - Special Class
Pera Palace Hotel, Jumeirah - Special Class

Mesrutiyet Cad. No. 52, Istanbul 34430

5.0 out of 5.0
4.7 out of 5 (324 reviews)

This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Pera Museum and Galat …

£99
Divan Istanbul
Divan Istanbul

Asker Ocagi Cad. No:1 Taksim, Istanbul 34367

5.0 out of 5.0
4.5 out of 5 (258 reviews)

This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located in a shopping district, within a 15-minute walk of Taksim Square and Dot. …

£74
Grand Hyatt Istanbul
Grand Hyatt Istanbul

Harbiye Mah. Taskisla Caddesi No.1, Istanbul 34367

5.0 out of 5.0
4.6 out of 5 (360 reviews)

Located in Harbiye, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Istanbul Congress Center and Taksim Square. Dot and …

£95
Hotel Arcadia Blue Istanbul
Hotel Arcadia Blue Istanbul

Dr. Imran Oktem Cad. No:1, Istanbul 34440

4.0 out of 5.0
4.5 out of 5 (353 reviews)

Located in Old City, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of German Fountain, Basilica Cistern, and Hagia Sophia. Hippodrome …

£45
The Marmara Taksim
The Marmara Taksim

Taksim Square, Istanbul 34437

5.0 out of 5.0
4.1 out of 5 (499 reviews)

This modern hotel stands 20 stories high atop a hill in Taksim Square. This landmark building is at the center of it all, …

£91
Point Hotel Barbaros
Point Hotel Barbaros

Yildiz Posta Cad. No. 29, Istanbul 34394

5.0 out of 5.0
4.4 out of 5 (114 reviews)

Located in Esentepe, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Trump Towers Istanbul and Istanbul Cevahir Shopping and …

£49
The Ambassador Hotel
The Ambassador Hotel

Ticarethane Cikmazi No 19, Istanbul 34420

3.5 out of 5.0
4.3 out of 5 (687 reviews)

Located in Old City, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, and Cagaloglu Hamami. …

£42
Dersaadet Hotel - Special Class
Dersaadet Hotel - Special Class

Kucukayasofya Cad Kapiagasi Sok No 5, Istanbul 34400

4.0 out of 5.0
4.6 out of 5 (429 reviews)

Located in Old City, this historic hotel is steps from Arasta Bazaar and Blue Mosque. Hippodrome and Basilica Cistern are als …

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Alzer Hotel - Special Class
Alzer Hotel - Special Class

At Meydani No 20, Sultanhmet, Istanbul 34122

4.0 out of 5.0
4.2 out of 5 (515 reviews)

Located in Old City, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern, and Hagia Sophia. Blue …

£30

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Pocket Guide: Hotels in Istanbul

A tale of two continents

Istanbul is the only metropolis in the world that lies on two continents. With one foot in Europe and the other in Asia, it's no wonder the city is so cosmopolitan and culturally diverse. As the former capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires, Istanbul has an expansive history that spans many centuries. Throughout its different incarnations, Istanbul has been called both Byzantium and Constantinople. Whichever name you know it by, Istanbul is simply incredible.

While many of the most visited sightseeing attractions reside on the European side of Istanbul, including the Blue Mosque, Aya Sofya, and Topkapi Palace, the more residential Asian (or Anatolian) side also has its own unique charms. Be sure to explore the beauty of both sides to make your trip to Istanbul complete.

From the Blue Mosque to the Grand Bazaar

One of Istanbul's nicknames is the 'the city on seven hills.' Like Rome, the Istanbul of antiquity was built on seven hills, each with religious monuments, in both the Byzantine and Ottoman periods.

Today you will still find many stunning sights on these hills. Topkapi Palace was the former royal residence of the Ottoman sultans. Set by the sea and overlooking the Golden Horn, today's Topkapi Palace is open to the public as a museum, with four primary courtyards and a wealth of treasures. Wander through leafy gardens and airy libraries, an imperial harem, and impressive gilded pavilions.

Head for another hill and the Grand Bazaar awaits you. One of the largest covered markets in the world, featuring more than 6,000 stalls, the Grand Bazaar is a mecca for shoppers. Jewellery, spices, carpets, and pottery combine to create a seemingly endless range of tempting items. Test your bargaining skills or just enjoy a stroll around the structure itself, which seems almost like a palace.

Side by side are two other must-see Istanbul sights. The beautiful mosaics and massive dome of the 1400-year old Aya Sofya leave visitors mesmerized. Equally extravagant is the working Blue Mosque whose six slender minarets are one of the most famous components of Istanbul's skyline.

Illuminated Istanbul

Istanbul is one of the oldest cities in the world and with such a long and rich legacy it would be easy to tour only the city's historical wonders. However, present-day Istanbul is one of the most vibrant, sophisticated, and cosmopolitan places on earth and no visit would be complete without experiencing what the modern city has to offer. An evening out could include cuisine from all corners of the world (though be sure to try the sumptuous mezzes and kebabs), cocktails at an elegant bar on the Bosphorus, and clubbing until dawn. Istanbul at night is a beautiful sight.

Take some time for leisure, too, like a traditional Turkish bath or a cruise down the Bosphorus Strait. One visit to Istanbul could never suffice and how could it? There are two continents to explore! So slow down and sip some fragrant mint tea, while you plan your return visit.