Istanbul Travel Guide, Turkey
The Blue Mosque, aka Sultan Ahmet, Istanbul
Short Trips out of Istanbul
Take the Bosphorus ferry; visit: Uskudar, Istanbul’s Asian side for some interesting, attractive old neighbourhoods, especially along the coasts; The Princes’ Islands (Kizil Adalar) for car free walks among woods and wooden mansions; Iznik (historic lakeside town famous for tiles); Bursa (hot springs and ski area).
Istanbul accommodation, Sultanahmet
Sultanahmet is a World Heritage Site and contains most of Istanbul’s tourist attractions, so this is the place to find a convenient Istanbul hotel – cheap of not so cheap – if you don’t don’t mind quiet nights. Hotel/Pension pictures.
Istanbul nightlife, however, is focused on Galata which also offers a good selection of hotels, is next to Sultanahmet and connected by excellent transport systems (see below), so it’s no great hardship to be based in Galata. However, beware club scams and safety, especially around Taksim.
Turkish meals are a mix of Mediterranean and central Asian cooking with olive oil and spices, and lean towards meze (mixed appetisers, like Tapas), starting with cold meze, then hot meze, fish or meat if you can afford it for main dish, and finally some sort of sticky sweet thing.
Old City: for fresh sea food and value for money, go to the lively Kumkapi area. Otherwise the Sultanahmet area has a good selection of mid price restaurants.
New City: Çiçek Pasaji (food court) and the adjacent street is a pleasant, good value dining area with lots of great fishy things on offer.
Try Musa Ustam Adana or Konak for kebabs. Go to Tügra (Ottoman cuisine) or Safran for a posh Turkish meal.