Istanbul: Where to Stay


Quick, it’s time to book your summer travel before all the bargains are gone.  I’ll contribute, in this and future posts, with what I learned last summer while visiting Istanbul:


Assuming your priorities are:

  • As cheap as possible but reasonably functional and clean.
  • Easiest access to Istanbul’s antiquities.
  • At least minimal kitchenette so you don’t have to pay to eat every meal out.

…AND you’re okay with climbing little stairs, Isabela’s sea-view studio (which accommodates from one to three people) is THE only place to stay in Istanbul.  I’m not a friend or family (only met Isabela once), so I’ll warn you that the accommodations aren’t ritzy.  But they’re perfectly adequate for anyone who wants to see Istanbul, not sit around staring at their hotel room all day.  And with a humble-but-functional kitchenette so you don’t have to pay to eat out, and a location so close to all the sights on the historic peninsula that all you have to do is walk out the door and you’re tripping over them, the price couldn’t be better.  An added bonus (who knew?) is that the sea-view balcony (where you can eat) has the best possible acoustics in the entire city for hearing the calls to prayer.  On that balcony, overlooking the Sea of Marmara, the calls to prayer wash over you in waves as all the local mosques sing back and forth to each other in a lovely, haunting “stereo.”  With sometimes intermittent internet service, Isabela is sometimes a bit slow to respond to email, but other than that my stay in her sea-view studio was perfect.

Click here to book Isabela’s sea-view studio.

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