The Best Areas To Stay In Istanbul: 2023 Guide

Are you planning a trip to Istanbul but aren’t sure where to stay? Here is the ultimate guide of the best areas to stay in Istanbul to help make the decision easier.
Areas to Stay in Istanbul. Photo: Engin Yapici | Unsplash

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As the largest city in Türkiye (formerly Turkey), it’s no wonder Istanbul draws in thousands of tourists every year. 

Straddling Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul is a unique city that has always linked the Western and Eastern worlds.

The crucial position in which Istanbul sits has helped it have a diverse and wealthy history that has made it central to many civilisations, such as the Romans, Greeks, Byzantines and Ottomans. The richness of civilisation can be found everywhere in the city, from architecture to food and landmarks. 

Being such a big city, there are so many different areas you can stay in. If it’s your first time in Istanbul, this guide will have everything you need to help you decide where to stay in the city. 

Where to Stay in Istanbul 

Istanbul. Photo: Desert Morocco Adventure | Unsplash

Istanbul is one of the biggest cities on earth and is segregated into 39 different districts, 25 of which lie on the European side and 14 on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. 

Every district in the city boasts its own unique charm and atmosphere. You can really feel the change when moving from one district to another. So, as a first-time traveller to Istanbul, you’ll want to see and experience at least four of the 39 districts. 

Best Area to Stay in Istanbul for First Timers: Sultanahmet 

Blue Mosque. Photo: Adli Wahid | Unsplash

Sultanahmet is, without a doubt, the most popular area to stay in in Istanbul. This area is the original heart of the city back when it was Constantinople, making it the centre of many iconic sights, such as Hagia Sophia Chuch, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Gardens, and the breathtaking Grand Bazaar.  

All of the major attractions in this area are within walking distance of most hotels, and the narrow streets are full of fantastic places to eat, drink and shop. 

Because of its cultural and historical significance and plenty of things to do, Sultanahmet is one of the best places to stay in Istanbul for first-timers.

However, if you are on a tight budget, this area may not be suitable for you, as budget accommodations are rare. However, there are plenty of mid-range accommodations to choose from. 

Related: Here’s how to spend three days in Istanbul!

Best Area to Stay in Istanbul for Families: Eminonu 

Grand Bazaar. Photo: Aleksandar Popovski | Unsplash

If you are travelling to Istanbul with your family, the best area to stay in is Eminonu. 

Located eat from Sultanahmet is where you can find Eminonu, where the greatest attraction is the Grand Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar is the biggest covered market in the country, boasting 4,000 shops and is a must-see while in Istanbul.

This lively area of the city boasts hundreds of shops, religious sites, inexpensive restaurants and working mosques. 

However, the main drawing card for this area, especially for families, is that it has a range of budget accommodations to choose from. 

Best Area to Stay in Istanbul for Nightlife: Taksim 

Taksim Square. Photo: Charbel Aoun | Unsplash

Since Istanbul is such a big city, there is no one designated area for nightlife. However, Taksim comes pretty close!

Stretching around 1.6 kilometres between two metro stations is where you can find Taksim. 

Taksim boasts a pedestrian street and two laneways full of places to drink, dance and socialise with people from around the world.

There is a range of accommodations to choose from in Taksim, so if partying is what you plan to do in Istanbul, this is the area for it. 

Best Area to Stay in Istanbul for Views: Karaköy

Waterway Views. Photo: Ibrahim Uzun | Unsplash

Located on the city’s northern peninsula is the neighbourhood of Karaköy, which offers breathtaking views across the Golden Horn waterway to the old town in the south.

Further inland, Karaköy’s neighbour, Galata, boasts hotels with rooftop bars for more elevated panoramic views of the city. 

The accommodation in Karaköy ranges from budget to high-end.

Best Area to Stay in Istanbul for Budget Travellers: Beyoglu

Beyoglu. Photo: Ayadi Ghaith | Unsplash

If you’re travelling to Istanbul on a budget but want to stay in an area with everything, Beyoglu is the best place for you. 

Beyoglu lies to the northwest of Karaköy. Both Beyoglu and the adjacent Galata are fantastic spots for nightlife, with plenty of restaurants, bars and clubs to choose from. 

Beyoglu is a lively district with many unique attractions, one being the pedestrian street of Independence Avenue. Other attractions to visit in the area include the medieval Galata Tower, the Museum of Painting and Sculpture, and the Museum of Modern Art. 

This area is perfect for budget travellers because it’s one part of the city that has a wide range of accommodation options, from backpacker hotels to high-end boutique hotels. 

Final Thoughts 

Beautiful Istanbul. Photo: Meg Jerrard | Unsplash

As one of the world’s biggest and most visited cities, there are so many places to stay in Istanbul that cater to all travellers.

Whether it’s your first time in Istanbul, you’re heading there with your family, or you are solely visiting to experience the amazing nightlife, there are accommodation types suited for all travellers and budgets in Türkiye’s biggest city.

If you weren’t sure about the best area to stay in Istanbul, hopefully, this article enabled you to make a decision.

So, when will you book your trip?


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