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How can you enjoy the sights in Istanbul while avoiding the crowds?

Moldova Alexandru, Moldova

1 day ago

Get up early. Most museums open at 9 AM. Crowds are already gathering before opening. If you go later than 10 AM to Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sofia, Basilica Cistern - you're gonna have a bad time. Queues are hundreds of meters long, going slow. The rest of the monuments have reasonable queues, and can be visited later in the day. Don't go to Taksim Square, or on the road that leads from Taksim to Galata Tower if you don't like large crowds. There are millions of people on that main street. Might help getting a museum pass. At the time of our visit, it would've made up for its cost, and we wouldn't have to wait in long queues because we'd get an express pass.
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Hotels that guests love in Istanbul

  • I booked this hotel because of its reviews. its an excellent value for the money for the quality of service I got. new Modern decor and very clean rooms. Very close to Istanbul Ataturk international airport. In a lot of ways its even better than the 4 and 5 stars hotels I stayed in Istanbul. Kind staff. There was no star rating written on the hotel or the booking.com but if I had to rate this hotel I would rate the Hotel by size 4 start and 5 star due to amenities. Would highly recommend this hotel to everyone.

    Hasham, Solo traveler from Canada
  • Staff are very helpful and supportive, the hotel is clean and best place to see the old city and main tourist places. If you are looking for small nice bed and breakfast to see the real Istanbul old town, here is the right place....

    Foad, Family with older children from the United Kingdom
  • the reviews of this hotel are really harsh in reality its not that bad, although i agree its not a 4 star maybe a 3 star hotel level. great location really close to shopping street, to airport havas bus, all transportation is available nearby. spacious room which is hard to find in istanbul. they provided a really clean baby crib which my baby loved.

    Wafa, Family with young children from Bahrain
  • The hotel was in perfect position to explore old town Istanbul And easy to get to from the airport.

    Kevin, Mature couple from Australia
  • The staff were helpful and professional. Location is perfect for Old Town and Taksim, and most importantly, Ataturk Airport. The traffic in Istanbul is chaotic, and so, being within half hour of airport makes a huge difference. The Wi-Fi can be sporadic compared to other major capitals, but, honestly, this is Istanbul's fault rather than the Hotel.

    Robert, Solo traveler from the United Kingdom

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Titanic City Taksim Very good 8.3 The location and the excellent service
Sultanahmet Palace Hotel Very good 8.4 Location was perfect. Comfortable Room. Loved the Turkish Bath!
Lares Park Hotel Very good 8 Location - service - free parking - price - comfortable
Best Western Plus The President Hotel Very good 8.3 The location, the pool , the terrace, sea view room, food, service. Next time, I will book it without hesitation and recommend it to my friend.
The Marmara Taksim Good 7.6 a comfortable oasis in the middle of an awesome city. Close to public transport.
The Marmara Pera Good 7.9 Location,staff,deco,mikla everything!!!
Hotel Sisli Pleasant 6 So nice staff..Metro stations and buses so close..Good price
Nippon Hotel Very good 8 Very kind staff, they gave me a room upgrade. Convenient location just steps from Taksim Square and easy public transportation connections. Good free wifi, nice breakfast, clean and comfortable room. Efficient airport shuttle service (paid, but still an excellent deal, never trust those taxi drivers in Istambul!).
The House Hotel Nisantasi Excellent 8.9 Staff were very polite and helpful Rooms were beautifully furnished Breakfast was very pleasing.
CVK Hotels Taksim Good 7.7 I really love this hotel, it's amazing, location is the best, the rooms are lovely and very comfortable and clean and the staff are the best. They are always welcoming and helpful and every time I go back to this hotel I love it more.
Rixos Taksim Istanbul Good 7.4 The staff was really friendly and helpful I like the place very much and I appreciate every thing they did to make my stay really comfortable i am realy pleased and satisfied
Divan Istanbul Excellent 8.6 I love it, service location price.
Grand Hyatt Istanbul Excellent 8.8 We checked in to the Club rooms and we had two of them; we thought they were with no breakfast and if we wanted to add breakfast, we had to pay extra $35 per person (we were five people). To our great surprise, it had excellent breakfast in the lounge, as well as snacks and soft drinks all day, and a happy hour from 6-8 every night with many sandwiches, snacks, cheeses, soft and alcoholic beverages. Taqsim square and istiklal street were a 10 minutes walk. Staff were really nice, the Bosphorus view from our room was gorgeous, mattresses and pillows were so comfortable
Marti Istanbul Hotel Very good 8.1 An excellent location! I absolutely loved the decor very modern yet classic! Staff was great the conseirge was very helpful! Totally recommend it for other travelers!
CVK Hotels & Resorts Park Bosphorus Istanbul Excellent 8.7 Had booked a luxury 1 bedroom apartment. But once checking into apartment we didn't like the location as it was in a separate building and was smoking rooms. Hotel promptly changed our room to luxury suite in hotel, It was amazing. Large bed, walk in robe, huge bathroom with separate shower and huge bath with jets, lounge area, very clean. The buffet breakfast was the best we experienced in Istanbul and we stayed at 4 hotels. The choice was amazing- cooked foods, breads, fruits, cereals, cakes - anything you could imagine. Taxi driver who worked for the hotel name Mustapha older man in his 60s he was fabulous, took me to the airport to meet my husband on friday in afternoon traffic

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  • 4.3/5 From 9,828 reviews
  • 88.4% of users recommended Booking.com
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    The Best of Asia and Europe

    The city of Istanbul offers a trip unlike any other, encompassing Asian and European cultures to create a heady mix of art, music and food. The amazing Old Town and the Sultanahmet are home to iconic Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. More history is hidden in the Topkapi Palace, where you can glimpse the splendor and opulence of Turkey’s Ottoman heritage.

    Take a stroll through the historic center or the busy Taksim Square before watching the sun set behind countless mosques and minarets. Local fish markets and numerous restaurants lining the bridge to Galata offer the Golden Horn’s daily catch.

    If you prefer the fine art of bargaining to fine art, lose yourself in the Grand Bazar and maybe you’ll emerge with a hookah, some Turkish coffee, or even a carpet. The Spice Bazar further immerses you in the sights, smells, and tastes of Turkish culture.

    Getting to Istanbul is an easy trip from Ataturk International Airport or Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Whether you want a luxury hotel on the Asian side or a budget hostel in Taksim Square, Booking.com has over 1,000 great accommodations for a vacation in Istanbul.

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