Where to Stay in Istanbul First Time: Best Areas

The best areas to stay in Istanbul for first-timers are Sultanahmet, Taksim, Bazaar District, Galata, Karakoy, Besiktas, and Sisli. These are beautiful, popular, and safe neighborhoods that offer a wide range of attractions and amenities.

In this guide, I will help to find where to stay in Istanbul for the first time, for families, couples, budget, nightlife, shopping, and near the airport.

Istanbul is a sprawling city where the east meets the west, it is definitely well worth a visit. It is not Turkey’s capital but it is comfortably the Turkey’s largest and most important city. While it has grown enormously from its early history many centuries ago, it is still the smaller European side that is the major attraction.

Istanbul is divided by the Bosphorus straits into European side and Asian side. European side is where most of the more famous tourist attractions are, especially around Golden Horn and the Bosphorus.

Sultanahmet, Taksim, Eminonu, Fatih, and Ataturk International Airport are in European side. Asian side is much less touristy, quieter, more residential, lot greener, more scenic than in European side. Kadikoy, Moda, and Sabiha Gokcen International Airport are in Asian side.

The two most popular places to stay in Istanbul are Sultanahmet and Taksim. Sultanahmet is the old city of Istanbul with more of a touristy area with lots of famous tourist attractions and a bit more expensive.

Taksim is the modern heart of Istanbul with more of a local atmosphere, lots of affordable restaurants, authentic Turkish shops, and budget-friendly hotels. While Taksim is best for nightlife and shopping, Sultanahmet is best for first-time travelers.

Sultanahmet is the best place to stay in Istanbul for first-timers due to its prime location. If you book a hotel here, you will be located in the heart of action, within walking distance to Istanbul’s top sights, as well as mamy restaurants, bars, and shops. The Old Town is very walkable and pedestrian-friendly, you can easily explore on foot.

To book hotels, I recommend spend at least three days in Istanbul, but 4-5 days is a good amound of time to explore the city. Three days is enough to see the most famous tourist attractions, enjoy kebab, Turkish coffee, and get the sense of local culture and history. If you have more time, you will see the city in a slower pace and more relaxing!

💖 Best Area for first-timers:Sultanahmet
💎 Best luxury hotel:Hagia Sofia Mansions Istanbul, Curio Collection by Hilton
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Radisson President Beyazit Istanbul
💰 Best budget hotel:Peyk Hotel

14 Best areas to stay in Istanbul for tourists

1. Sultanahmet, where to stay in Istanbul for first-timers

Where to Stay in Istanbul: Sultanahmet

Sultanahmet, also known as Istanbul Old Town, is the best area to stay in Istanbul for first-time travelers due to its close proximity to Istanbul’s top tourist attractions such as Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, and Spice Bazaar. If you stay here, you will be located in the middle of everything, within walking distance to the most famous sights, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.

Located in the region of Fatih on the south side of the Golden Horn, Sultanahmet is the historical and cultural heart of Istanbul. There are many tourist attractions here that you can easily explore on foot or on public transport.

Istanbul Old Town was the heart of the Ottoman Empire once Sultan Mehmet II took Constantinople in 1453. Some of the landmarks you must see had already been there for around eight centuries before Mehmet’s arrival. They include:

  • The Basilica Cistern was constructed in the time of Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian in the 6th Century to supply water for Constantinople.
  • Hagia Sophia was built at a similar time with the Ottomans changing it to a mosque.
  • The Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) just yards away is formally known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque and was not built until the early 17th Century.
  • The Imperial Ottoman Topaki Palace was begun by Mehmet II six years after he took Constantinople and was added to over the years. Despite the Sultans moving to Dolmabahce Palace in the mid-19th Century, it is Topkapi that is recognized as the heart of the Ottoman Empire at its height.

These four attractions appear on every good Istanbul itinerary. The fact that they are located so close together makes it easy to enjoy Sultanahmet without having to worry about the busy traffic in Istanbul. The abundance of sights, places to eat, shop, well-connected metro make it an ideal place for first-time visitors.

There’re several museums in Istanbul Old Town to learn more about the history of Istanbul including the Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Carpet Museum, Turkish and Islamic Art Museum, and Hagia Sophie Church and Museum.

The Old Town is also home to the Gulhane Park, House of Roses Park in Turkish, which is the oldest urban park in Istanbul. In the Tulip Festival, the park is packed with colorful tulips and roses.

The hammam (Turkish bath) played a vital role in the life of Istanbul before each home had its own water. You can get the hammam experience at Hürrem Sultan, Cağaloğlu and Çemberlitaş in Sultanahmet.

One restaurant to go to is close to the Cistern and sells kofte(meatballs) with salad and bread, but no alcohol. Sultanahmet Koftecisi has been doing that since before the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. Pandeli and Balikci Sabahattin are also famous restaurants and taverns to try some authentic Turkish and Greek cuisine.

Sultanahmet has plenty of budget-priced and mid-range accommodation, a few luxury hotels, and boutique-style guesthouses. Many hotels offer spacious rooms with free wifi, a buffet breakfast, and private bathrooms.

Stay in Sultanahmet if you are first-timers; you want to stay within walking distance to prime attractions; you want to stay in a hotel with the best views of the mosques; you want the laidback vibe and not worry about the nightlife.

Best places to Stay in Istanbul Sultanahmet:

2. Taksim, where to stay in Istabul for shopping and nightlife

best area to Stay in Istanbul: Taksim

While Sultanahmet is the historical center of old Istanbul, Taksim is the heart of modern Istanbul. Both are located on the European side of Istanbul, but separated by the Golden Horn and linked to each other by the Galata Bridge. Taksim is the best place to stay in Istanbul if you are after a great shopping and vibrant nightlife. Sultanahmet is the best choice if you want to do lots of sightseeing and learn about the country’s history.

Despite being part of the larger area of Beyoglu, Taksim deserves a separate mention because it is regarded as the hub of the European side of Istanbul. It is located above the Bosphorus, directly up the steep hill from the Dolmabahce Palace and the Vodafone Stadium. 

It is home to plenty of budgets and mid-range accommodation as well as top-quality hotels such as Hyatt, Sofitel, or Hilton, many can offer stunning views over the Bosphorus. 

Taksim Square is is a meeting point into which coaches travel from both Istanbul airports. It was constructed in the 19th Century before the formation of the Turkish Republic. The Taksim Republic Monument was built in 1928, by Pietro Canonica, in honor of the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923.

The Independence Monument in a circle at the south end was erected in 1928, honoring Kemal Ataturk. Gezi Park to the north was built on the site of former barracks and is a popular meeting place for locals, as well as the starting point or destination of demonstrations and political protests.

There are many restaurants, bars, clubs, pubs, shops hotels around the square and the nearby Istiklal Street. The Taksim Square also hosts popular events such as New Year’s Eve, parades or concerts. You can explore the area by taking a ride on the red nostalgic tram, which was first installed in the 19th century.

Other places of interest are Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, St. Anthony of Padua Church, and Pera Museum.

Anyone who is unfamiliar with Istanbul and wants the comfort of knowing they can easily get on a bus direct to the airport, day and night, should think seriously about Taksim. It’s well-connected with the airport.

Stay in Taksim if you want convenient connections to either airport; you enjoy the nightlife and shopping; you are looking for budget accommodation; you are first-time travelers;

Best Places to stay in Istanbul in Taksim:


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3. Eminonu / Sirkeci, where to stay in Istabul for families

Eminonu Istanbul

Eminonu was once an important administrative district within Istanbul. It covered what was once the city of Byzantium and therefore included Sultanahmet. While its administrative function has gone, it is still a very recognizable name to locals.

Within Eminonu are the Grand Bazaar, the Egyptian Spice Bazaar, and the waterfront district of Sirkeci which is the ferry terminal for boats crossing the Bosphorus. Sirkeci is within walking distance to the Sultanahmet, a short boat ride to Taksim, and also near Kabataş with its famous Bosphorus Strait. It’s a great area for families.

The Galata Bridge links the Golden Horn and Eminonu with Karikoy on the Asian side. The port in Eminonu was the place where goods arrived during the Ottoman days and the industrial revolution and steam ships brought even more. The Orient Express ended here at Sirkeci Station.

Eminonu Square is the main attraction in the Eminonu neighborhood, full of tourists and locals all day long. One of the best things to do around Eminonu Square is to stroll around the market area and enjoy the lively city atmosphere with its historic buildings, and have a rest at some of the restaurants and cafes around.

While it lost its administrative status, Eminonu with its two bazaars, the square around New Mosque (Yeni Camii), and the renovation of grand architecture lost nothing from a tourism point of view. It may be quiet at night and its population is small.

However, by day the harbor activity, the shoppers, and major commercial presence has meant that it is a well-recognized district despite now being just a small part of the large Balat (Fatih) District.

While the Blue Mosque and Haya Sophia get the most attention, the wonderful mosque down close to the Bosphorus, Suleymaniye named after Suleyman the Magnificent appears in many photographs of Istanbul.

Stay in Eminonu if you love shopping, you want a central location close to the Bosphorus with affordable price, you are not too concerned about nightlife and are happy to travel to find it if you want a late night; you are traveling with family; this is your first visit;

Best Places to Stay in Eminonu/Grand Bazaar:

luxury ($$$): Antik Hotel Istanbul This 4-star hotel offers guest rooms with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, free WiFi, air conditioning, a private bathroom with a hairdryer, and a telephone, and a seating area.

mid-range ($$): Kent Hotel This hotel offers modern accommodation with TVs, free WiFi, soothing colors, parquet flooring, a Turkish rug, a cozy sitting area, a work desk, and a minibar.

budget ($): City Hall Hotel This 3-star hotel features a bar, private parking, a shared lounge, and a terrace, a 24-hour front desk, room service, and currency exchange for guests.

4. Beyazit / Laleli, staying close to attractions on budget

This small district within Fatih is on the European side of Istanbul, centered around Beyazit Square, officially Freedom Square. The Beyazid II Mosque is one side of the Square, hence the usage of the name rather than its official title. Another side of the Square is the entrance to Istanbul University in which you will find the Beyazit Tower.

Beyazid II was the eldest son of Mehmet II and was Sultan between 1481 and 1512 as the Ottoman Empire grew in strength. The mosque bearing his name was built early in the 16th Century close to the old ruins of the Forum of Theodosius

The advantage of staying here is that you will have a base close to Istanbul’s major attractions with prices often lower than more famous neighborhoods. You can get nice views of the Bosphorus from here and there are shops and restaurants to satisfy your needs.

Best places to stay in Beyazit:


5. Karakoy, where to stay in Istanbul for views

If nightlife is your priority during your time in Istanbul, the neighborhood of Karakoy on the European side is the first place you should consider. One of its boundaries is the Bosphorus and some of its hotels have panoramic views across the Bosphorus to Asia. 

It is a district on the Golden Horn that has revived in the last decade with cafes, restaurants, and boutiques springing up to add to its attraction. There is some lovely accommodation in Karakoy, and shoppers will not be disappointed by the quality of goods on sale. If you are on a tight budget, you should look elsewhere.

You can visit Kilic Ali Pasa Hamam, try Viennese coffee at Karabatak, visit the underground mosque Yeralti Camiim, explore Nusretiye Mosque, and try classic Turkish tavern at Ma’Na.

Within Karakoy itself, you will find SALT, the marble Ottoman Bank with a glass ceiling. Today it is a complex with an art gallery, museum, cafe, and shops. There are two impressive mosques in Karakoy and a hammam, dating back to the 16th Century. Relax with a Turkish bath before enjoying the fine dining available in Karakoy.

Best places to stay in Istanbul in Karakoy:


6. Beyoglu, where to stay in Istanbul on budget

best areas to Stay in Istanbul: Beyoglu

The lively district of Beyoglu is on the European side across the Golden Horn from the Old City. It existed in Byzantine times and its rich history included periods when European merchants traded here. Both the Genoese and the Venetians made a contribution to what tourists can still see today.

Beyoglu is famous for its Taksim Square and Istiklal Avenue (Avenue of Independence) pedestrian streets. It’s the center of Istanbul which attracts both tourists and locals to stroll around to dine, shop, and socialize. Beyoglu consists of smaller neighborhoods such as Galata, Cihangir, and Karaköy.

At one time, the district was known as Galata and it was the Genoese who built the famous Galata Tower in the 14th Century. The Ottoman conquest ended their period of rule over the district although the Sultan allowed them to stay.

Beyoglu remained an important trading area for European merchants until the establishment of the Turkish Republic when contacts with Italy and Greece changed dramatically. Much of its grand architecture went into decline but things are much better now that Beyoglu revived.

It is known for its nightlife with plenty of cafes, restaurants, and bars. It is also regarded as an important art district.  Among the highlights in Beyoglu is the Hotel Pera Palace which was the final eastern destination for Orient Express passengers in the late 19th Century. Agatha Christie’s room in the hotel is preserved. 

Beyoglu has a number of interesting museums as well including Dogancay and Pera. The largest synagogue and catholic churches in Turkey are found in Beyoglu. There are also the Museum of Painting and Sculpture, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, and Museum of Innocence.

The Museum of Painting and Sculpture displays more than 2000 paintings and about 400 sculptures from the 19th and 20th centuries. The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art is the first private museum of Turkey that hosts modern and contemporary art exhibitions.

The Museum of Innocence was created by Orhan Pamuk, a Turkish author, and Nobel Price winner. It is located in the Çukurcuma neighborhood. The lively and authentic, Çukurcuma neighborhood is home to many antique shops, art galleries, and street cats, ideal for antique lovers.

Beyoglu’s central location makes it a great base to explore the European side of Istanbul.  Within this area, the smaller district of Karakoy is well worth exploring. Beyoglu offers a wide range of accommodations from backpacker hostels to boutique hotels, which suit all budgets.

Stay in Beyoglu if you’re budget travelers, enjoy the vibrant nightlife with good restaurants and well-connected transport, have a keen interest in art, your interest in Istanbul goes beyond the Ottomans.

Best places to stay in Beyoglu:


7. Galata, where to stay in Istanbul for nightlife

A part of the Beyoglu district, the historic Galata Tower is regularly used to promote the many attractions of Istanbul. With so many of them, it is a tribute to its importance that it is used in this way. The tower looks down on cobbled streets and neo-classical architecture. The tower dates back to the 14th Century and was built by the Genoese before the Ottomans took Constantinople.

Galata is north of the Golden Horn and is among the oldest neighborhoods in Istanbul. It is a busy area both day and night. Its bars can be quiet or trendy, its cafes are unique and late-night action continues into the early hours. Rooftop bars offer great panoramic views and if you take the elevators to the top of Galata Tower, there are more.

You can also explore Nardis, Leb-I Derya, visit underground wine bar Sensus, visit Galata Meyhanesi, and 360 Istanbul.

Galata is a good base for a visit to Istanbul, a vibrant district within a vibrant city. Perhaps you should look at the apartments for rent?

Best Places to Stay in Istanbul in Galata:


8. Cihangir, with a bohemian atmosphere in Istabul

Also a part of the Beyoglu district, Cihangir is a small neighborhood on the European side bordered by Kabatas, Karakoy, and Taksim Square. It has narrow streets, many originals, as well as a park. A green area in such a busy city is sometimes a relief. In early Ottoman tines, this was forest, hunting land.

The name comes from the wooden mosque built by Mimar Sinan, commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th Century to remember his youngest son Cihangir whose death in Aleppo, modern-day Syria was a shock to everyone. The neighborhood has a bohemian reputation, has attracted artists, writers, actors, and even an ex-pat. population. 

Less than 4,000 people live in Cihangir. The Guardian newspaper from the UK even went so far as to say that Cihangir was in the top 5 places in the world to live. Quite a tribute! It certainly suggests you should consider it as a place to stay in Istanbul.

Best places to stay in Cihangir:


9. Sişli / Nisantasi, an upscale district of Istanbul

upscale area to Stay in Istanbul: Sişli

East of Besiktas, Sisli is just two miles away from Taksim Square. It has no frontage onto the Bosphorus but the water is not far away. Sariyer on the Black Sea is just to the north. Sisli is an exclusive and luxurious area of Istanbul, home to high-end shopping, and expensive restaurants.

Years ago, this district was countryside used for hunting and agriculture but in the later years of the Ottoman Empire, it became a middle-class residential district. Its wide avenues are evidence of the impact that French culture made during its development.

It was an area that was important for traders and home to many foreign peoples including Greeks, Armenians, and those from the Balkans. The Hilton set the trend by building its hotel in 1950 and other quality hotels have followed its lead.

Many of the splendid large buildings that were formerly home to the wealthy are now used for offices, banks, and cheaper accommodation after the wealthy moved further out from the City Center. There are plenty of high-end shops, bars, and expensive restaurants, many in the narrow streets off the wide avenues. 

Istanbul Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment Centre is one of the largest modern shopping center, ideal for shopping lovers.

One of the things that is missed on just a short break in Istanbul is the Military Museum, many centuries of history. There is a regular performance by the Ottoman Band within the museum.

Sisli also has mosques, theaters and cinemas, good shopping malls on the Nisantasi and Rumeli streets, and other sights like the Lutfi Kirdar concert hall and the Cemal Resit Rey concert hall. If your base is Sisli, you may decide that a day of your holiday should be spent in your immediate vicinity.

Macka and Nisantasi are two of four neighborhoods within Sisli where you will find good accommodation.

Stay in Sişli if you are interested in military history, you enjoy browsing shopping malls, you want a balance between the main city tourist attractions and the outer parts of Istanbul out towards the Black Sea.

Best places to stay in Sişli:


10. Beşiktaş, a residential neighborhood close to Bosphorus

good area to Stay in Istanbul for couple : Beşiktaş

One of the oldest districts in Istanbul, Besiktas is a very popular district on the European side of the City. It has a frontage on the Bosphorus and its major landmark in the ostentatious Dolmabahce Palace, home to the Ottoman Sultans from the midpoint in the 19th Century. It is furnished with the best that Europe had to offer at that time.

It is not a large neighborhood but it’s one of the residential and commercial areas in the city center. There are numerous small cafes, bars, and shops. It has a great atmosphere and it is fun just to sit with a cay (tea) or coffee (Turkish is good and different) to watch the world go by. 

The atmosphere from early morning in Besiktas when its team, nicknamed the ‘’Black Eagles’’ is playing at home is electric. Everyone attending a soccer game needs an ID including a passport photograph but it is possible to get through the process and see a game if you are around for a few days.

The Naval Museum close to Dolmabahce is just one of a number of museums and galleries in Besiktas. It is regarded as the center of Istanbul education with several university campuses located there. 

Besiktas’ fish market is a popular place and visitors can expect to see an impressive range of fish on sale. All in all, it is recognized that the quality of life in Besiktas is a match for most areas of Istanbul.

Many 5-star hotels in Besiktas offer splendid waterfront and the Bosphorus Strait views with gardens, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, on-site restaurants, and bars close to the water.

Stay in Beşiktaş if you enjoy pedestrian areas and plenty of small cafes and bars, you want a central district on the European side, one of your priorities is to see Dolmabahce Palace.

Best Places to Stay in Istanbul in Beşiktaş:


11. Kadikoy, great neighborhood on the Asian Side

best place to Stay in Istanbul: Kadikoy

Kadikoy is the neighborhood in the Beyoglu district. Visitors to the Asian side of Istanbul come either for business or for a sporting event at Fenerbahce, soccer but also basketball. ‘’Fener’’ is one of Istanbul’s iconic sports clubs and regular champions in both sports. The exception on the Asian side is Kadikoy whose popularity with tourists is distinctly on an upward curve.

It’s not popular for tourists to stay on the Asian side as not many attractions except the Çamlıca Mosque, the largest mosque in Turkey. But if you want a local feel, Kadikoy is a good choice.

The neighborhood of Moda within Kadikoy has been identified as one of the coolest neighborhoods anywhere. That is because of the increasing number of bars, cafes, and Turkish and international restaurants that have opened in recent years. Fashion shopping is excellent and there is plenty of hotels, hostels and B&Bs.

Kadikoy is a ferry ride across to the European side and the views across from waterfront cafes and restaurants to that famous Istanbul skyline are fabulous. 

Stay in Kadikoy if you want to try a newly emerging area of Istanbul, you are happy crossing the Bosphorus to see the major landmarks, you enjoy wandering around an area with high-end shops, fine dining, and entertainment.

Best Places to Stay in Istanbul in Kadikoy:


12. Moda, an district on the Asian side of Istanbul

Moda is a neighborhood on the Asian side of Istanbul at the southern end of the Bosphorus. Most of the major tourist attractions are across the water in Europe but this district deserves more attention. Regular ferries cross the Bosphorus, and you should take a ferry or two wherever your Istanbul base. 

You can explore Baghdad Avenue, Moda Beach, and Kadife Street. There are some lovely dining spots in Moda, as well as excellent shopping. It is a district attracting the younger generation. You will get more of a feel for Turkish life in Moda than in some of the more touristy neighborhoods on the European side. 

Moda has a coastline and beach, as well as a marina and yacht club. If you like soccer, one of Istanbul’s giants, Fenerbahce plays close by. You will need an authorized ID if you want to attend. The nightlife is good while you can find good value in its accommodation. If you are happy to travel to see Istanbul’s highlights, you should consider Moda.


13. Eyup, an authentic Turkish neighborhood

best location to Stay in Istanbul: Eyup

If you come from Yorkshire in England, ‘’eyup’’ means ‘’how are you?’’, it’s a common greeting. In Istanbul, it is a prominent district on the European side. It stretches north from close to the Bosphorus to meet the Black Sea Coast northwest of Sariyer. The new airport in Istanbul is in an area of Istanbul yet to develop but Eyup Sultan, its official name, is close.

It is an important area for Muslims, historically and still today. It gets its name from the Ottoman, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. Its 15th Century mosque attracts many pilgrims, both Turkish and from overseas. That has changed the atmosphere of a former industrial area to a thriving trading district. 

There is gondola transport between the Golden Horn and the Black Sea coastline and it is well patronized. There is plenty of accommodation available in Eyup, mostly in the south of the area rather than on the Black Sea Coast

Eyup does not receive as much attention as most other parts of Istanbul’s European side but it may see the next neighborhood to grow quickly, albeit it is more conservative than today’s popular tourist bases.

Stay in Eyup if you are interested in Islam and its history, your preference is to be away from the bustle of Istanbul, you want an authentic Turkish neighborhood close to the new airport.

Best Places to stay in Eyup: ‣ The Elegant HotelEyup Sultan Suites


14. Sariyer, an upmarket residential area in Istanbul

Sariyer is the northernmost part of Istanbul’s European side. It fronts onto the Black Sea and in years gone by, it was a forested area with small fishing villages. The wealthy of Istanbul lived here in the 19th Century or had a weekend retreat; that included the Ottoman Sultans and their entourage. 

It is still an upmarket residential area with fine villas on the forested hillsides. The construction of a modern coastal road ensured that the heart of the City became very accessible. Remember though that even here the traffic is likely to be heavy. There is a high speed ferry boat service into the middle of Istanbul so staying out in a relatively quieter area is worth considering.

With a history of fishing, it is not surprising that there are a number of fine fish restaurants on the shores. Formerly, many of these restaurants were actually houseboats. Sariyer is a popular place for locals not only because of these restaurants but because of a number of lovely picnic areas and some beaches.

There are plenty of museums in Sariyer while the fortress built in the 15th Century, Rumelihisari, is now a popular concert venue.

Stay in Sariyer if you prefer a base out of the City Center., you enjoy a location close to the sea, you love fresh fish and eating it looking across the waters where it was caught.

Best Places to Stay in Sariyer: ‣ Hilton Istanbul MaslakThe Central Palace Bosphorus Tarabya


Where should I stay in Istanbul for the first time?

Sultanahmet is the best area to stay in Istanbul for first-time travelers due to its close proximity to Istanbul’s top tourist attractions such as Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar. If you stay here, you will be located in the heart of action, within walking distance to major sights, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.

What are the best areas to stay in Istanbul?

Sultanahmet, Taksim, Bazaar District, Galata, Karakoy, Besiktas, and Sisli are the best areas to stay in Istanbul for tourists because they are the most popular and safe neighborhoods that offer a wide range of attractions and amenities.

See more: Frequently Asked Questions Best Places to Stay in Istanbul

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There are overwhelming reasons for staying on the European side of Istanbul, especially if you are a first-time visitor and especially a tourist. Istanbul is a busy city and you should plan your itinerary to see it at its best. Remember that the traffic will make travel slower than in some other cities you have visited.

Overall, Sultanahmet is the best area to stay in Istanbul for first-time visitors due to its close proximity to Istanbul’s top tourist attractions. If you stay here, you will be located in the middle of action, within walking distance to the most famous sights, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.

Hopefuly, after reading this post, you will know where to stay in Istanbul for the first time, all you need to do is book your accommodation and ready to go!

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