Where to Stay in Istanbul for a First Time Visit? An Insider’s Guide 2020

Searching for the best area to stay on your trips is one of the big deals. Especially when it is your first visit. What is the best area to stay in Istanbul? This is the most frequent question that we receive. Here with our guide, you can find the best places to stay in Istanbul, plan your perfect stay in Istanbul and make the most of your trip to this huge metropolitan with our Istanbul area guide.


Best Area to Stay in Istanbul

The best area to stay in Istanbul will depend on the reason of your visit. You’ll be able to find wide range of accommodation opportunities in the below areas.

to enjoy city’s Historic Scene

For the ones who are a true enthusiast of history and want to see the city’s historic sites, such as the most visited museums, palaces, mosques, etc., than we recommend you to stay in the Fatih district, also known as the Historical Peninsula, at the below neighborhoods:

Where to Stay in Istanbul for a First Time Visit? An Insider's Guide 2020
Sultanahmet aerial view, Karakoy & Galata on the upper left coast, Besiktas lies on the far upper left, Uskudar across & Kadikoy on the upper right coast, Princes’ Islands lies on the far upper right, famous Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia & Blue Mosque covers the green area in the middle up

It is the best way to get the most out of the city’s sights, sounds, and scents. And you’ll be in the heart of the ancient Constantinople. You can experience and feel the rich Byzantine heritage and the glory of the Imperial Capital here.

to enjoy city’s Modern Art, Fun & Nightlife Scene

For the ones who are a true enthusiast of metropolitan city life and enjoy the city’s lively nights and vibrant streets, as well as most visited monumental sites and museums, than we recommend you to stay:

in the Beyoglu district, at the below neighborhoods:


Where to Stay in Istanbul for a First Time Visit? An Insider's Guide 2020
Galata, surrounding the Galata Tower, Karakoy in front of Galata Tower on the coast, Sultanahmet, Eminonu & Sirkeci on the opposite coast
Where to Stay in Istanbul for a First Time Visit? An Insider's Guide 2020
Taksim & its Square, Historical Peninsula on the top right coast

in the Besiktas district, at the below neighborhoods:

Where to Stay in Istanbul for a First Time Visit? An Insider's Guide 2020
Besiktas aerial view

to enjoy city’s Shopping Scene

For the ones who are a true enthusiast of shopping and be near the popular shopping malls and shopping streets of the city, than we recommend you to stay in:

to spend a perfect Honeymoon

For couples that are planning to spend their honeymoon in Istanbul, we recommend you stay in a hotel with the best views of the city, especially the Bosphorus. Honeymooners can stay in:

to have a Local Experience

If you want to live a local experience in the city, also be in the heart of the city’s busy but authentic local life, than we recommend you to stay in:

to have a perfect Business Trip

For the ones who will visit Istanbul for a business trip, fair, conference or meeting, we recommend you stay at the luxury hotels in the below neighborhoods, to find comfort and quality as you’ll not have much time to relax.

Hotels near Airports

If you’ll not have much time to go out to enjoy the city, or need to catch an early morning flight with ease, than you should stay at the hotels near Istanbul airports.

Our Insider Tips & Recommendations

* First time visitors should stay in the city center, better to be near city’s top attractions and within easy reach to public transport. Sultanahmet, Karakoy or Taksim would be your best choice.


* You should stay away from the cheap hotels that are very far away from the city center. Most of those hotels will be poorly served ones and you won’t feel comfortable there, as well as you’ll have trouble getting to the city center due to traffic.

* Karakoy is situated in the middle of the city’s both historic and metropolitan centers. From Karakoy, you can visit Sultanahmet by a short tram ride or even walk, and Taksim by a short funicular ride or walk.

* If you’ll visit Istanbul to see most of the top historical sights and museums than stay in Sultanahmet.

* If you’ll visit Istanbul to enjoy the city’s metropolitan scene and nightlife than stay in Karakoy or Taksim.

* Sultanahmet would be the best choice for the ones traveling with kids for a touristic visit of the city.

* Keep in mind that after midnight can bring pickpockets at the backstreets of Taksim.

* If you want tranquility and avoid the busy and very crowded parts of the city, than stay in Princes’ Islands, or Arnavutkoy, Bebek and Sariyer by the Bosphorus on the European side, and Moda, Beylerbeyi or Cengelkoy on the Asian side.

* You can find budget and cheap hotels, apart hotels and hostels in the city center for sure.

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