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A Memorable Ramen Encounter


On a cold winter evening in Kyoto, I coincidentally found a minuscule ramen shop concealed in a tranquil rear entryway. Sitting at the counter, I watched the talented culinary specialist fastidiously... Read more

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  • What to eat
  • How to burn it off
  • Where to Stay

Istanbul is a city that lends itself well to apartment living, particularly when you enjoy shopping in markets and snacking (or eating the occasional breakfast) at “home.” We encourage you to check listings on Airbnb, FlipKey, and HomeAway. Great neighborhoods to stay in include Karaköy, Cihangir, and near the Galata Tower (all in the trendy, restaurant- and bar-filled Beyoğlu district), as well as Sultanahmet, where many of Istanbul’s big landmarks are found.

It’s more than just the home of Istanbul’s best baklava: Karaköy is a wonderfully up-and-coming, centrally located place to stay, a short walk to both the Galata Bridge and up the hill to Beyoğlu (and near trams and ferries to boot). Just above one of our favorite lokantas in the area, a new nine-room boutique guesthouse, Karaköy Rooms (212-252-5422; Kemankes Cad. Galata Sarap Iskelesi Sokak No.10, map; doubles from about €130) has opened, boasting simple, modern rooms and Bosphorus views. Cihangir is largely residential, so best to check apartment listings. Besides those sites previously mentioned, look into The House Apart Cihangir.

Galata Tower
Enjoying a great location right in the middle of Beyoğlu, 5 Oda (pronounced “behsh oda,” meaning five rooms; 212-252-7501; Sahkulu Bostan Sokak No.16, map; doubles from about €140) has five spacious suites equipped with kitchenettes for a homey, comfortable feel—if your home were super stylish, with delicious room-service Turkish breakfast, that is. More budget-minded travelers who don’t need a kitchen might consider Galata Antique Hotel (212-245-5944; Mesrutiyet Cad. No. 119, map; doubles from €69), with its elegant, newly renovated rooms, included breakfast, and sweet rooftop terrace. Even cheaper is hip Rapunzel Hostel (212-292-5034; Bereketzade Mah. Bereketzade, Cami Sokak No. 3, map), where comfortable twin-bed rooms for two (with private bathroom) start at €25 per person (there’s also two six-bed dorms; beds, which include private curtains and reading lights, start at €14). Breakfast is included.

In landmark-filled Sultanahmet, Hotel Ibrahim Pasha (212-518-0394; Terzihane Sokak No. 7, map; doubles from €175) is a top-notch, 24-room boutique hotel with beautiful rooms, a killer rooftop terrace, and an unbeatable location for sightseers, right off the Hippodrome. More low-key is the family-run Marmara Guesthouse (212-638-3638; Akbiyik Cad. Terbiyik Sokak No.15, map; doubles from about €75), celebrated for its Bosphorus-view terraces, cleanliness and charm, great breakfasts, and, of course, location: It’s a very short walk to the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, et al.

Sultanahmet boasts the lion’s share of Istanbul’s best budget hotels and hostels, too. Check out the highly recommended Hanedan Hotel (212-516-4869; Akbiyik Cad. Adliye Sokak No. 3, map; doubles from €40), a friendly B&B with some sea views and a rooftop overlooking the Hagia Sophia; the new Basileus Hotel (212-517-7878; Sehit Mehmet Pasa Sokak No. 1, map; doubles from €90), with spacious rooms and private balconies; and Cheers Hostel (212-526-0200; Zeynep Sultan Cami Sokak 21, map; doubles from €60), with a wide range of cute dorms and en-suite private rooms—and yet another rooftop terrace bar from which to admire the Hagia Sophia.

For more suggestions of hotels under €100 in Istanbul, see this list.


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