Exotic, inexhaustible and dynamic – East meets West head-on in this mesmerising city metropolis, famed for its extraordinarily rich history, superb food and shopping, and mind-blowingly magnificent, over-sized mosques.
Recommended place to stay:
Sirkeci Mansion Hotel
Istanbul, Marmara Region, Turkey|sirkecimansion.com|
Official star rating:
Overlooking the tall trees and flower-trimmed avenues of Gulhane Park, this traditional, affordable and charming hotel is ideal for a first visit to Istanbul – it’s within walking distance of nearly all of the city’s best-known sights.
Set in a traditional Ottoman-style mansion (konak) filled with stylish local details, there’s a breakfast buffet with savoury Turkish pies and other authentic goodies as well as a lovely outdoor terrace for breakfasts and sundowners.
The owners are firm believers in responsible tourism and sustainability, and go out of their way to help you experience the best of the city.
The hotel offers free activities every week – just for hotel guests – including Turkish cooking lessons, wine tastings, foodie tours and neighbourhood walking tours.
There are special family-sized rooms, and kids are treated like royalty. A great-value, local-feeling place to stay.
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