Istanbul is the only city in the world straddled on two continents, and for centuries it has been a bustling metropolis with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia. A blend of three great Empires – Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman – Istanbul provides a visible glory of its history entwined with the frantic pace of 21st-century life.
Busy traffic-choked streets, chaotic markets, classy shopping hubs and countless cafés. The city boasts a vibrant nightlife and art galleries and designer shops found on the northern side of the river in the vibrant Taksim Square and Beyoglu area.
Many of Istanbul’s most important landmarks are UNESCO World Heritage sites, including stunning Ottoman mosques ranged along its slopes, as well as the many surviving Byzantine churches and catacombs, with the grande Hagia Sofia. Make sure you visit TopKapi Palace, the Sultanahmet Mosque, the Hippodrome and stroll around the Grand Bazaar.
Best Time to visit
It is best to visit Istanbul during the months of May and September. Generally, the weather in summer is hot and humid and tourists flock the city as it offers considerably low hotel deals during high season. The season between October and December is cold and wet, but prices are fairly low and the city is not very crowded. It’s very important to know that, during the month of Ramadan, the city gets overcrowded and hotel rates increase, with weather at its coldest.
Budget Hotels Areas
Istanbul is a great destination for budget traveling. Harbiye, which is close to Nisantasi and Taksim, is the most popular area for budget and backpack travellers. Moreover the Sultanahmet area, in the old European side, has reasonable priced hotels, including some with breathtaking views. In summer many hostels fill up and offer rooftop beds with the view of the city and are extremely cheap.
Selected Hotels in Istanbul
Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
«Great location & hotel facilities. Breakfast & view from room were amazing…»
«Everything. The staff was very nice and helpful. Rooms are very clean with amazing…»
DoubleTree By Hilton Istanbul – Moda
«he location is ideal it’s walking distance to restaurants and shops and most…»
«Location is amazing.. The scene is fantastic. Especially the scene from the rooftop…»
Renata Boutique Hotel Sisli
«Very Clean, modern interior with excellent staff, good breakfast and 24hr restaurant…»
«I really enjoyed my stay. The room was spacious and the furniture was comfortable…»
Sura Design Hotel & Suites
«Our first visit to Istanbul – excellent location. lovely welcoming staff. room was super…»
«Very nice room, both the bedroom and bathroom were great. Fantastic location…»