Looking for where to stay in Istanbul, Turkey?!
Istanbul has long been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Eastern Europe and you’re guaranteed an unforgettable experience during your visit.
With so many incredible neighborhoods and hotels to choose from, it can be overwhelming to figure out which one is right for you.
But don’t worry, in this guide, we’ll explore the best areas to stay in Istanbul for families, nightlife, first-timers, and more, as well as the best hotels in Istanbul for all budgets.
QUICK PICKS: 3 BEST HOTELS IN ISTANBUL
If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to read this full guide, these are the 3 best hotels in Istanbul to suit all budgets.
Best Luxury Hotel In Istanbul
AJWA Sultanahmet ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- World-class service
- Authentic and elegant interior design
- Excellent location near major attractions
Best Mid-Range Hotel In Istanbul
Euro Design Hotel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Modern amenities
- Concierge service and helpful staff
- Minutes away from Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia
Best Budget Hotel In Istanbul
Taksim Cetinkaya Suite ⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Spotless and cozy rooms
- Affordable price for great service
- Great location near Taksim Square
WHERE TO STAY IN ISTANBUL – FAQ
Before I dive into all the best places to stay in Istanbul, here are some quick answers to the most frequently asked questions from first-time visitors.
WHAT IS THE BEST AREA TO STAY IN ISTANBUL?
The best area to stay in Istanbul is by far the heart of Sultanahmet, the old city.
Sultanahmet is packed with amazing historical sites like the iconic Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, and so much more, all within walking distance.
Staying here also allows you to conveniently explore the city, eat at delicious eateries, and enjoy the nightlife.
WHERE TO STAY IN ISTANBUL FOR FAMILIES?
When traveling with your loved ones, Sirkeci and Eminönü are the best areas to stay in Istanbul for families.
Both districts are a short walk away from each other in the Historic Peninsula.
Here you’ll find family-friendly hotels in Istanbul with spacious rooms, delicious Turkish cuisine, and plenty of attractions including mosques, gardens, and museums.
WHERE TO STAY IN ISTANBUL FOR NIGHTLIFE?
The best place to stay for an exciting nightlife experience is Galata.
With its colorful streets and classic Istanbul vibes, this area is filled with trendy bars, pubs, and clubs with people from all around the world.
Plus, it’s easy to find cozy spots for a late-night snack or espresso after a night out.
WHERE TO STAY IN ISTANBUL ON A BUDGET?
For budget travelers looking for the best place to stay in Istanbul, Karakoy is definitely worth considering.
Located right by the waterfront and surrounded by a vibrant neighborhood full of cafes, bars, and shops, Karakoy offers a prime location near where all the action is.
There are also hostels on every corner where you can spend the night for just $10 or $20. How convenient!
RELATED ARTICLE: 10 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN ISTANBUL
IS ISTANBUL EXPENSIVE?
Compared to other cities in Europe, Istanbul is not expensive – you can stay at a hotel for less than $50, eat for a few bucks, and day trips are pretty affordable.
That being said, when compared with other cities in Turkey, then Istanbul is relatively expensive.
BEST AREAS TO STAY IN ISTANBUL
Now that you have a better idea of where to stay for different interests, here’s a quick overview of the best neighborhoods in Istanbul that you will find in this post:
- Sultanahmet/Old town – Best area to stay in Istanbul for first-timers
- Sirkeci/Eminönü – Where to stay in Istanbul for families
- Galata – Best place to stay in Istanbul for nightlife
- Taksim – Where to stay in Istanbul for shopping
- Karakoy – Best place to stay in Istanbul on a budget
- Istanbul Airport – Best hotels near Istanbul airport
And now, let’s go into more detail about the best hotels in Istanbul for all budgets.
SULTANAHMET/OLD TOWN – BEST AREA TO STAY IN ISTANBUL FOR FIRST-TIMERS
For the full Istanbul experience, staying in or around Sultanahmet (the Old City) is your best bet if it’s your first time here.
This area boasts some of the city’s major tourist attractions, including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace Museum, and the Grand Bazaar.
At night time, it’s alive and bustling; try out some delicious Turkish food from one of many restaurants or have a drink at one of its bustling bars, and you’re guaranteed to have a great time.
Plus, after all the exploring, there’s nothing better than falling into bed in one of the many cozy and comfortable hotels in Istanbul that dot the district!
Let’s go through the best luxury, mid-range, and budget accommodation in Istanbul in Sultanahmet.
BEST LUXURY HOTEL IN SULTANAHMET: AJWA Sultanahmet
Nestled in the heart of Sultanahmet in the city center, AJWA Sultanahmet Istanbul is the newest luxury hotel in the Turkish city, offering guests an incredible stay.
Decorated with Ottoman-style touches, each room comes equipped with handmade carpets and Ottoman-style sofas for a truly authentic experience.
Free WiFi is available throughout the property, and you’ll find a stunning spa center and indoor pool. There’s also a Turkish bath available at this Istanbul hotel.
What’s more – original works of art from renowned Azerbaijani artists like Sattar Bahlulzade, İslam İsrafilzade, and Mahmud Mahmudzade adorn the walls and hallways – making this hotel not only comfortable but also creative.
Situated in the old city just 900 meters away from the Grand Bazaar, you can also book shuttle services to Istanbul airports, which is very convenient.
Can you think of a more comfortable place to stay when visiting Istanbul?
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BEST MID-RANGE HOTEL IN SULTANAHMET: Garden House Hotel
Step inside this 19th-century Ottoman Mansion in Sultanhamet and experience the luxurious atmosphere of Garden House Hotel Istanbul.
The charming rooms come furnished with original wooden furniture and rich fabrics, making it the ideal spot for travelers seeking comfort and convenience.
They have an on-site restaurant where you can taste some of the best Turkish delicacies you’ll have in Istanbul.
Apart from that, you can rent a car here, book an airport shuttle, and it’s only a few minutes away from the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.
For all these reasons, it gets fully booked pretty quickly, so make sure to reserve a room as soon as possible!
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BEST BUDGET HOTEL IN SULTANAHMET: Cheers Hostel
With its convenient location and modern amenities, Cheers Hostel Istanbul is a great option for budget-conscious travelers.
Located in the heart of Sultanahmet, it’s just a few minutes walk away from the main tourist attractions, including Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.
You can choose from individual rooms or shared dorms to save even more. What I like about Cheers Hostel is that the breakfast is included with all room types.
To end the day on the perfect note, their Wintergarden Terrace and Panoramic Bar serves traditional kebabs and international dishes, as well as cocktails.
This is just a great budget hostel to consider in one of the best neighborhoods in Istanbul!
SIRKECI/EMINÖNÜ – WHERE TO STAY IN ISTANBUL FOR FAMILIES
When traveling as a family, Sirkeci and Eminönü have everything you need and are the best areas in Istanbul.
More specifically, Sirkeci is a small area inside Eminönü. That said, I’ll list these hotels as Sirkeci/Eminönü.
Read More: The Ultimate 9 Day Turkey Itinerary
Offering absolute convenience as it’s located right next to Sultanahmet Square and Hagia Sophia, you’ll be surrounded by top attractions and breathtaking sites.
There are plenty of activities to use up the spare time, ranging from the historical Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar, serene waterfront views to eminent Mosques within walking distance.
You’ll also find the 3 Istanbul Archaeological Museums in Eminönü nearby, which definitely adds a layer of interest.
With lots of friendly accommodation options, no matter your budget and needs, Sirkeci and Eminöng are sure to welcome you like family.
BEST LUXURY HOTEL IN SIRKECI/EMINÖNÜ: Cronton Design Hotel
For the ultimate luxurious getaway in Sirkeci, the Cronton Design Hotel Istanbul offers all the amenities and conveniences you could ask for.
Located near some of the most celebrated attractions of Istanbul – Blue Mosque, Suleymaniye Mosque, and Hagia Sophia – the Cronton Design Hotel is right in the heart of the area.
Each room has air conditioning, a seating area, and modern comforts like safety deposit boxes and flat-screen TVs with cable channels.
Onsite amenities include a restaurant and bar, 24-hour front desk service, airport transfers, room service, as well as complimentary WiFi.
Check into the Cronton Design Hotel Istanbul for a memorable experience among Istanbul’s vibrant hustle and bustle – it’s simply the best hotel in Istanbul for families.
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BEST MID-RANGE HOTEL IN SIRKECI/EMINÖNÜ: Euro Design Hotel
Located in the vibrant heart of Istanbul, Euro Design Hotel is your go-to spot for mid-range accommodation.
With 4-star features like concierge service and a tour desk as well as a 24-hour front desk and free wifi throughout the property, they have everything you need.
Enjoy comfortable beds with fresh linen, air conditioning, and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels all tucked away in private rooms, or head to the rooftop patio for spectacular city views.
As an added bonus, a buffet or halal breakfast is served daily at Euro Design Hotel.
To sum up, this is one of the best hotels in Istanbul with a view!
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BEST BUDGET HOTEL IN SIRKECI/EMINÖNÜ: Sehzade Hotel
For a central hotel in Istanbul that won’t break the bank, Sehzade Hotel is the best budget hotel available in the Sirkeci neighborhood.
Whether you’re looking for a place to rest or someplace special to make memories with friends and family, this 4-star hotel offers all you need.
That’s right – while it’s a 4-star hotel, you can book a room for just $50 a night. Awesome, right?!
The rooms are kitted out with air conditioning, a TV, a wardrobe, and a hairdryer, while balconies overlook the cityscape.
And with all major attractions close nearby, including Suleymaniye Mosque and Spice Bazaar, making trips out as easy as it gets!
So why not come stay at Sehzade Hotel for an incredible vacation experience?
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
GALATA – BEST PLACE TO STAY IN ISTANBUL FOR NIGHTLIFE
If you’re looking for amazing nightlife and fun during your trip, Galata is definitely the place to consider when deciding on where to stay in Istanbul.
Nestled in the Beyoglu district on the European side of Istanbul, Galata lies on the north bank of the city, offering a unique mix of historical sites, cultural activities, and trendy bars.
While you’re there, take a stroll through the best tourist attractions like Beyoϲlu Square, shop along İstiklal Avenue, and end the night in one of the popular clubs such as 360 Istanbul.
Whether you’re seeking an unforgettable evening or just sipping on Turkish coffee on a sunny day, Galata offers something for everyone.
BEST LUXURY HOTEL IN GALATA: The Bank Hotel Istanbul
Whether you’re visiting the up-and-coming district of Karaköy or delving into the heart of Istanbul’s vibrant history, The Bank Hotel Istanbul is the perfect place to call home.
Located in Bankalar Caddesi, it’s a few minutes away from the city’s best art galleries, such as Istanbul Modern, Elipsis, and Gallery Mana.
In the hotel, enjoy free Wi-Fi access in a magical setting and marvel at the magical rain shower with L’Occitane aesthetics. At The Bank Hotel, even the smallest details are luxurious!
Make sure to dine in on a delicious buffet breakfast spread with international and Turkish cuisine – perhaps you could choose to savor it while looking out over Galata Bridge?
No matter what brings you to Istanbul, The Bank Hotel will make your stay extraordinary!
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BEST MID-RANGE HOTEL IN GALATA: Galata M84
Galata M84 offers all of the amenities and comforts of a luxurious hotel with more affordable rates.
Get cozy in one of their luxurious rooms featuring a private seating and dining area as well as a fully equipped kitchen with various appliances to make you feel right at home.
Plus, there are stunning views from both the terrace and the balcony.
With wonderful attractions like the Galata Tower, Istiklal Street, and the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art just minutes away, the central location is ideal for exploring Istanbul’s cultural and historical heart.
Lastly, enjoy extra convenience with its grocery delivery service!
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BEST BUDGET HOTEL IN GALATA: Corner Garden Hotel
Centrally located in the heart of Istanbul, Corner Garden Hotel is the perfect spot for those looking for budget accommodations.
With air-conditioned rooms and amenities such as a terrace, concierge service, and room service, this budget hotel in Istanbul definitely makes sure you’ll have a nice stay.
Rooms come with flat-screen TVs, satellite channels, and safety deposit boxes so you don’t have to worry about your valuables.
Plus, popular attractions like Galata Tower, Spice Bazaar, and Istiklal Street are within walking distance from the hotel.
Flying into Istanbul Airport? No worries – Corner Garden also offers a paid shuttle service to get you to your destination.
Experience top-notch hospitality without breaking the bank at one of the best cheap hotels in Istanbul!
TAKSIM – WHERE TO STAY IN ISTANBUL FOR SHOPPING
Another great place where to stay in Istanbul is Taksim, with the world-famous Istiklal Street waiting for you with endless stores, kebab stores, funny ice cream sellers, and more.
From high-end designer brands to smaller specialty stores, you’re sure to find whatever your heart desires in Taksim’s local markets and modern shopping malls.
That’s not it – near Taksim Square, you’ll find some of the best boutique hotels in Istanbul as well as mid-range accommodations and hostels in every corner.
Let me prove this point and go through the best hotels in Istanbul Taksim.
BEST LUXURY HOTEL IN TAKSIM: Taksim Yazici Residence
Located in the heart of Taksim, Taksim Yazici Residence is the perfect spot to explore this vibrant city with free Wi-Fi, stunning rooms, and lovely staff.
Each room is air-conditioned, features a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and has its own private bathroom that comes complete with bath robes and slippers for total luxury.
There’s always someone on-site if you need help, with a 24-hour front desk at the property.
Nearby tourist attractions include Taksim Square, St. Anthony of Padua Church (100 m away), and Istiklal Street (60 m away). Plus, Istanbul Airport is 42 km away, so getting here is easy.
This is by far one of the best luxury hotels in Istanbul.
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BEST MID-RANGE HOTEL IN TAKSIM: Nevi Hotel & Suites
Nevi Hotel & Suites Istanbul offers a 4-star, comfortable stay in the middle of Istanbul.
Their air-conditioned rooms come with all the amenities you need for a nice vacation, like a flat-screen TV, minibar, and desk.
Room service and concierge service are available 24/7, as well as an ATM and currency exchange should you need it.
And when you’re hungry, you can enjoy a delicious complimentary breakfast offering continental, American, and halal options each morning.
Some of the tourist attractions near this hotel include Istiklal Street, Taksim Square, and Taksim Metro Station.
All in all, everything that’s necessary for a smooth getaway can be found at Nevi Hotel & Suites Istanbul Taksim!
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BEST BUDGET HOTEL IN TAKSIM: Taksim Cetinkaya Suite
Searching for the best budget hotel in Istanbul with great amenities? Stop here.
Cetinkaya Suite Istanbul is the perfect place to stay in Taksim, with tasteful decor and modern amenities such as air conditioning, soundproofing, and free WiFi.
Each suite is also equipped with a flat-screen TV, balcony or terrace, and a private bathroom with necessary toiletries.
And when it comes time to eat, you can prepare your meals in the privacy of your kitchenette or walk out into the historic district to try the best eateries around.
Whether you’re on business or leisure, Cetinkaya Suites gives you everything you need for a great stay in Taksim.
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
KARAKOY – BEST PLACE TO STAY IN ISTANBUL ON A BUDGET
For a budget-friendly stay in Istanbul, Karakoy is the right place for you.
With its excellent seaside views, modern upgrades, and abundance of attractions such as the Galata Tower and many of Istanbul’s finest restaurants, Karakoy is sure to please.
Whether traveling with friends or family, you can find great quality hotels and apartments in the heart of the bustling city.
What’s more, with fewer crowds and moderate prices on dining and entertainment options, it’s the perfect place to capture the best of Istanbul without burning a hole in your wallet.
Apart from that, you’ll be near Istanbul’s Asian side and you can reach public transport easily, which is a must for first-time visitors and those who already came before.
Here are the best places to stay in Karakoy.
BEST LUXURY HOTEL IN KARAKOY: JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus
For those in search of the most luxurious stay, JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus is definitely the place to be.
This 5-star hotel features a restaurant, fitness center, and bar, each set to meet your highest expectations.
Room service coupled with complimentary WiFi makes this the perfect getaway spot.
Additional amenities include a spa and wellness center, a 24-hour front desk, currency exchange services, and even a Turkish bath and saunas.
Just steps away from Istiklal Street and Taksim Square, JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus invites you to embark upon your next lavish holiday experience.
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BEST MID-RANGE HOTEL IN KARAKOY: Mas Suites Karaköy
Located in Istanbul’s historic heart of Karakoy, Mas Suites is the perfect mid-range stay for those looking to journey through the city.
The elegant apartment offers a modern living space with a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, and a fully-equipped kitchen.
What’s more, they provide a relaxing hot tub to soak in after a day exploring the most iconic attractions.
Galata Tower, Suleymaniye Mosque, and Taksim Square are all within walking distance.
With free WiFi and an optional airport shuttle service, Mas Suites Karaköy is an ideal destination for your next visit to Istanbul.
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BEST BUDGET HOTEL IN KARAKOY: Hostel Le Banc
Located only a few minutes walk from Karakoy, Hostel Le Banc is your best bet when it comes to budget property in Istanbul.
Centrally located on the European side of the city, this hostel in Istanbul offers air-conditioned rooms to help keep cool, a shared lounge area to relax in after a day of exploring the city, and a terrace to take in all of the breathtaking views.
There are also karaoke facilities and a shared kitchen so you can have an evening with your friends.
Each guest room has its own seating area with bed linen provided and bathrooms fitted with showers and hairdryers.
To make sure you start your day off on the right foot, there is a delicious buffet breakfast each morning.
Other handy amenities include an ironing service and business facilities like fax and photocopying should you need them during your stay.
Head over to Hostel Le Banc and enjoy this budget accommodation in Istanbul.
BEST HOTELS NEAR ISTANBUL AIRPORT
When you visit Istanbul, you’ll start by the airport, and if you have limited time available, or if you’re about to leave, staying near Istanbul airport is a good idea.
These are the best hotels in Istanbul near the airport to consider.
BEST LUXURY HOTEL NEAR ISTANBUL AIRPORT: Menalo Hotel Premium Istanbul Airport
Menalo Hotel is a perfect touch of luxury after landing or before taking off.
The spacious rooms come fitted with nice amenities, including satellite TVs, free WiFi, private bathrooms, and safety deposit boxes.
You can relax and take in the beautiful city views from the comfort of your room balcony, while the 24-hour front desk staff is available to provide any assistance you may need.
And to top it up, they have a shuttle bus available that only costs 35 euros for a round trip. How convenient is that?
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BEST MID-RANGE HOTEL NEAR ISTANBUL AIRPORT: Intercity Airport Hotel
This mid-range hotel near Istanbul airport features free WiFi access, air-conditioned rooms with private bathrooms that come equipped with flat-screen TVs and satellite channels, kettles, showers, free toiletries, and a wardrobe.
For extra safety and convenience, some of the rooms also include a safety deposit box and a terrace.
Besides, Intercity Airport Hotel is located 33 km from both Istanbul Sapphire and Turk Telekom Stadium as well as 33 km from Halic Congress Center and only 34 km from Istinye Park.
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
BEST BUDGET HOTEL NEAR ISTANBUL AIRPORT: Hanzade
Hanzade is the perfect budget accommodation in Istanbul for those looking to stay in Istanbul for a limited time.
With free wifi and private parking, each unit features a fully equipped kitchen complete with a fridge, oven, dishwasher, and microwave.
It also has a private bathroom with free toiletries, a hairdryer, and slippers.
A delicious à la carte breakfast is available every morning with plenty of vegetarian and halal options – very convenient when catching an early flight.
Hanzade also offers a car rental service for those wanting to explore the area further.
Didn’t find the perfect Istanbul accommodation to suit your needs in this guide?
Use the interactive map below to search all the available accommodations in Istanbul.
Simply enter your dates of stay and hit the search button!
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Now that you’re well versed on the best neighborhoods in Istanbul and the best places to stay in Istanbul, here are some useful travel tips to know before you go!
BEST THINGS TO DO IN ISTANBUL
Istanbul is one of my favorite destinations in Turkey and I recommend spending a few days exploring this multicultural city to get the most out of your visit!
I have put together a separate guide on the Best Things To Do In Istanbul that you might like to check out!
READ MORE: 10 BEST THINGS TO DO IN ISTANBUL
BEST TIME TO VISIT ISTANBUL
The best time to visit Istanbul depends on what you want to see and do during your time here.
However, the best time to visit Istanbul is during the spring (April – May) and autumn (September – November) when the weather is mild, and there are fewer tourists.
In the summer (June – August), the weather can be hot and humid, and the city can be very crowded with international and local tourists.
On the other hand, during the winter (December – February), the weather can be quite wet and cold, but it is the perfect opportunity to explore indoor attractions such as museums, art galleries, and popular landmarks.
Like most cities in Europe, the weather can be unpredictable and therefore, it is always a good idea to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly.
BEST TOURS IN ISTANBUL
CURRENCY & SIM CARDS
The currency in Turkey is Turkish Lira (TRY) and the exchange rate is approximately $1 USD = 18 TRY.
Purchasing a sim card in Turkey is very simple. You can do this at the airport on arrival or find a phone store close to your Istanbul accommodation.
For approximately $20 USD, you can get a local sim card that comes with plenty of data.
Alternatively, I recommend purchasing an eSIM online in advance and enjoying unlimited data throughout Turkey.
Forget plastic SIM Cards… Get an eSIM!
Say hello to eSIM – a virtual SIM card pre-loaded with mobile data so you can get online and stay connected around the world.
OneSimCard is the best eSIM for travel, with low-cost data packages available in 150+ countries.
Simply buy online, install it on your smartphone, and you’re good to go!
WHAT TO PACK FOR ISTANBUL
When visiting Istanbul, here are a few items I highly recommend taking with you:
Must-Have Travel Essentials
Hidden Money Wallet
Keep your cash and other valuables safe with this anti-theft hidden money wallet!
Reusable Water Bottle
The GRAYL GeoPress is the best reusable bottle that allows you to purify water from anywhere!
The Nomatic Travel Backpack has 20+ innovative features, perfect for everyday use!
Quick-Dry Travel Towel
The most compact, lightweight, and quick-dry towel for traveling!
Keep your phone, laptop, and accessories charged while you’re on the go with the Anker PowerBank!
SUMMARY – BEST HOTELS IN ISTANBUL
Istanbul is a city full of surprises – from the bustling streets of the old city on the European side to the Grand Bazaar and even Topkapi Palace, there are dozens of tourist spots to discover.
This was everything you needed to know about where to stay in Istanbul, from the luxury hotels with Turkish baths to budget accommodations and even the best areas.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about the best places to stay in Istanbul, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
Search and book accommodation worldwide.
Compare and book cheap flights to anywhere.
Find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world.
Book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance.
Search all rental cars in your next destination.
Need travel insurance for your next trip?
THANKS FOR READING
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