Istanbul in Turkey straddles east and west; Europe and Asia, and also represents an intersection of the new and the traditional. Byzantine churches and Ottoman palaces contrast to skyscrapers and high-rises. The Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, the Sirkeci Train Station, built in 1888 with stones brought from Marseilles, and the breathtaking Blue Mosque are all must-sees here. Stay in the Old Town to be near the historic sites and to soak up the culture of this captivating city. Read on for our guide to the best hotels in Old Town Istanbul…
The luxury, boutique Barbera Hotel is tucked down a quiet lane in Sirkeci-Fatih, the old town in Istanbul and is one of the first boutique, design hotels in Turkey. The area has been rejuvenated and now features beautiful hotels, upscale and trendy restaurants, cafes, and art galleries, and stores full of spices and handmade carpets. The hotel lies just 30 minutes from Atatürk Airport (IST) and 1 hour from Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW) with metro and tram connections a few minutes’ walk away.
The newly built hotel has a distinctive style with wood, marble and metal used alongside concrete modern surfaces. The beautiful rooms boast custom quality mattresses, luxurious high thread count Turkish cotton linens, Italian furnishings, fully-stocked retro Smeg mini refrigerators and artwork from Los Angeles, while the bathrooms have multi-functional rain showers.
Tuck into Turkish style meze at the Tazé Tapas Bar and Restaurant and enjoy local wines, raki, fresh cocktails and local beers to wash it down. Breakfast is a treat here too with a Turkish-style gourmet breakfast served alongside a selection of your favourite international dishes.
Located just 450 metres from the Blue Mosque, Empress Zoe offers a very convenient location in the Old Town of Istanbul. The hotel consists of several old Turkish townhouses and enjoys two secluded courtyard gardens which several of the 25 rooms and suites overlook. Some rooms benefit from a terrace, a sea view and some even their own tiny hammams! A huge buffet breakfast is included and an informal bar is based on the roof-top terrace when weather permits and by the open fireplace when it doesn’t
Levni Hotel & Spa
This elegant hotel Levini is located 1km from the Blue Mosque in the heart of the Old Town. The stylish rooms and suites are modern and some include a balcony; upgrade to a suite for in-room Jacuzzis and living rooms. Relax at the spa which features a hammam, a sauna, an indoor pool and a fitness room. There’s a sophisticated restaurant with a winter garden and a relaxed bar too.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Istanbul – Old Town
Located in the heart of Istanbul’s Old Town on the Historical Peninsula of Turkey lies the contemporary DoubleTree Old Town Istanbul hotel. The hotel is 30 minutes from the airport and is the closest hotel to the famous covered Grand Bazaar. The hotel is sleek and contemporary with modern, stylish rooms and suites; upgrade for living areas and terraces. There is a casual restaurant and a trendy bar as well as a spa area with a Turkish bath, a sauna and a gym.
Perfectly reflecting its Old Town location, Kybele Hotel has a striking colourful exterior and an interior to match! The eclectic hotel is packed with antique furniture and collectables; handmade carpets line the floors and hundreds of unique lamps adorn the ceilings. There’s even a carpet and textile shop in the basement. The individually decorated rooms continue in the same vibe, some have balconies too. There is a restaurant, a library and a garden terrace.
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