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Istanbul Hotel Choice: Sultanahmet or Beyoglu

Istanbul Hotel Choice: Sultanahmet or Beyoglu

Mar 21st, 2006, 07:38 AM
  #1  
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Istanbul Hotel Choice: Sultanahmet or Beyoglu

I have 5 days in Istanbul and cannot decide between these two areas - if I am wanting to see all the sights but also have great restaurants and the like around at night, which area is better? Some have suggested since my trip is short that I am better off in sultanahmet but I am not yet convinced....any info/help appreciated.
yalie98 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 07:57 AM
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You can not have both so you will have to take taxis either to see sights or to go out to eat at night. I stayed in both areas during my last trip..a few days in each. I think for your first trip Sultanahmet is best. There are a few good places to eat there and on other nights you can take cabs to other areas..not only to Beyoglu.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 21st, 2006, 09:49 AM
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Thanks..anyone else?
yalie98 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 08:31 PM
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The sights and the ability to walk from one to the other easily or to get between them via the very handy tram is what made me decide to stay in Sultanahmet when I booked my trip. I stayed at the Orsep Royal Hotel just east of the train station, a ten minute walk to Topkapi Palace, Aya Sofya, and Blue Mosque. The tram now crosses the Galata Bridge, from where it's a quick trip uphill via the underground funicular to Istiklal Caddesi/Beyoglu.

There are plenty of decent restaurants in Sultanahmet, so it's not like you'd have to eat in Beyoglu every night. I'm with ekscrunchy: on a first visit, stay in Sultanahmet and just cab it around if you are wanting to experience the nightlife.
Doubletee is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 10:17 PM
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Sultanahmet is in the historic peninsula, where you'll find a great part of things to see and with a great 'old' atmosphere once you get out of the beaten tourist path.
Beyoglu is also a lovely area, strolling on Istiklal caddesi, eating around Cicek Pasaji,... It is definitely more a 19th Century area. It is not a complete tourist zone as Sultanahmet is.
With 5 days and as a 1st visit, I would take Sultanahmet. For an evening out in Beyoglu, you can easily take a cab or the funicular 'Tünel'. For a second visit I would definitely take Beyoglu.
baldrick is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2006, 11:22 PM
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Cabs are so inexpensive in Istanbul that you can easily get around. You can even walk from Beyoglu to Sultanahmed. So, select a hotel that you like and don't bother too much about the location. Both locations are convenient.
traveller1959 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2006, 12:19 PM
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I agree with Traveller 1959, taxis are inexpensive in Turkey and both sides have positives. However restaurants and night attractions are closer to Beyoglu.
Have fun and happy travelling,
Murat
propertravel is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 07:46 AM
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Just topping for ideas. I think that I'd want to go out at night, but my trip is ridiculously short -- 1.5 days and 2 nights....

How long is it to walk between Beyoglu & Sultanahmet? It looks very far on the map. If I'm out very late, is it a problem to cab between the two?

Thanks.
111op is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 08:28 AM
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I stayed in Beyoglu last May after reading that there was much more to do at night and more restaurants from other travellers.

I made a big mistake. I hated to stay in that area because we didn't have so many restaurants, no night atractions and Istiklal Caddesi was the most unappealing street I saw in Istanbul ( and in any city)! I don't even know why it is so famous. The shops are cheesy, only a couple of nice coffee shops, that's it and so many people!

On the other hand I loved the cosy feeling and charm of the Sultahnamet area, very colourful . There are also plenty of restaurants and it's a very nice area.

Be careful with taxi drivers, we were ripped off twice! And we spent our days going by taxi from one place to another because everything was located in Sultanahmet.

Do yourself a favour and stay in Sultanahmet. If you want to go to a special restaurant in the Beyoglu area it will be easier to get a taxi than travelling everyday from one place to another.

I still regret my decision of staying in Beyoglu when I think about it!

Tere is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 09:21 AM
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Thanks Tere. Would you mind telling me where you stayed? It seems like the hotels in Sultanahmet seem cheaper than the ones in Beyoglu, so pricewise, it's better anyway.

111op is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 10:09 AM
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111op, I stayed at the Central Palace Hotel, close to Istiklal Caddesi. The website is www.thecentralpalace.com .
I liked the hotel but not the location.
I would love to have stayed in one of those cute and charming hotels in the Sultanahmet area if only I had made the right decision on staying in this area...!
Tere is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 10:13 AM
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Forgot to add I paid 160 euros a night for a double room.
Tere is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 10:13 AM
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Without any hesitation at all, I'd say stay in Sultanahmet. My husband and I spent a full week in Istanbul last year and a good chunk of it was spent walking to just about every attraction in the Sultanahmet section. We stayed in a wonderful hotel (still smile when I think of the GREAT memories) on a quieter street - the hotel is the Sari Konak (I've included their website: www.istanbulhotelsarikonak.com), a small, family run "boutique" hotel with the most helpful and gracious staff and, hands down, the BEST breakfasts we've eaten while traveling.

We ate dinner almost every night in the Beyoglu area and had absolutely no problems with taxis getting there or back. The distances are short, the traffic is light and the prices affordable (at least from NYC standards). While we enjoyed all of our dinners, I was thrilled that we had chosen to stay in a different area of Istanbul since we truly felt we were living in a real neighborhood with plenty of space and air (unlike Beyoglu)as well as small groceries and shops around who recognized us after the first 1-2 visits.
ready2travel is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 10:15 AM
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Thanks Tere. Your hotel looks really nice ("one of sexiest hotels"!). Interestingly I can't see a rate listed on the website.

I agree with you, ready2travel, that prices really are quite low. But my hotel in Paris is only 50 euros and the one I booked in Berlin was 56 euros (average rate). I keep thinking that I should be able to beat this in Istanbul, but it's not that easy.
111op is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 10:16 AM
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I'll be in Istanbul next September and this is a great reference thread for me!
LowCountryIslander is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 10:24 AM
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111op, no, you can't get the rates for the hotel trhough their site. You will have to email them to ask for rates. That's what I did.
Tere is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 10:30 AM
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Agree with one of the most recent posters: rates are not necessarily posted on hotel websites and change seasonally in any case. Email the proposed hotel and ask them directly.
ready2travel is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 10:32 AM
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Thanks Tere. I'll pass on it. It's more than I want to pay anyway. If I do want to stay in Beyoglu, I'm thinking of Taksim Square Hotel (should be under $100). But it's not as nice. But of course something even cheaper is even better. I can rather easily find hotels in Sultanahmet for 50-60 euros or less.

I must admit that I'm quite torn. Everyone says to stay in Sultanahmet, which I'm inclined to do. But I do think that I'm more of a night owl than many, and after a late night out, I'd prefer to be back at my hotel quickly.

I'll think about it and do more research.

Thanks!
111op is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 11:26 AM
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111op, if you decide to stay in the Beyoglu area email the Central Palace hotel to ask for rates. I was there in high season and maybe the rates are lower now. They were very helpful when I emailed them and you can even ask for a lower rate.

I was there for my birhtday and when they knew it they upgraded my room and I had a birthday cake waiting for me upon entering the room.

I really loved the hotel and service, the only thing I didn't like was not staying in Sultanahmet. But for the Beyoglu area the location is excellent!

Good luck and have a grea trip!
Tere is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 11:29 AM
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Great! Thanks again for your help, Tere.
111op is offline  

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