Top areas in Istanbul
With one foot in Europe and the other in Asia, Istanbul is a beautiful enigma. Founded by the Greeks, developed by the Romans and Byzantines, and perfected under the Ottomans, Istanbul has more than enough history, architecture, and culture.
Hotels in Istanbul range from ultra-modern high rises to cozy inns housed in restored heritage buildings. Across the water from Sirkeci and Sultanahmet on the Antolian side of the Bosporus is the Kadikoy-Uskudar area where historic trams clatter past shoppers.
It's impossible to visit Istanbul without standing in awe of the city’s stunning art and architecture. The Sultanahmet historic quarter is awash with Byzantine-era homes and Ottoman mosques. Its crowning attraction is Hagia Sophia, a grand basilica-turned-mosque-turned-museum that was once the world's largest enclosed space.
Culture comes in many forms on this continental bridge. Beyoglu-Taksim district boasts museums and art galleries, stages Jazz festivals, and operates several top-end boutiques. Trendy night clubs and bohemian cafés huddle around the boutique hotels in Istanbul, and of course a trip to Istanbul would not be complete without a visit to the Grand Bazaar.
Sirkeci Station is the point of entry for travelers arriving by rail from Europe, but most visitors arrive via Ataturk Airport on the European side. It's a well-run facility with links to cities across Europe and the Middle East.
There’s much more to see and learn about Istanbul, and the interactive map on this page is a great way to find out where the attractions and hotels can be found in this exciting city.