Holiday Accommodation Options in Istanbul
Taking a holiday in Istanbul? Going on vacation in Turkey? Information on finding the right place to stay: self-catering, bed and breakfast, hotel or youth hostel, find out more...
Turkey is a popular tourist destination and welcomes more than 30 million visitors each year. The tourism industry is highly developed, particularly around the Mediterranean, Aegean and Marmara Seas. Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya and their surroundings are popular destinations.
Istanbul offers numerous accommodation options to visitors, which range from hostels to five-star international hotel chains. Some offer reasonable prices during the off season. Common types of accommodation in Turkey are hostels, hotels, apartment hotels, spa hotels, small hotels, holiday villages and camping sites.
There is a wide variety of hotels available, from basic to five-star international chain hotels. Prices differ according to the location of the hotel and its proximity to Istanbul and historical landmarks. Most five-star hotels are located in the Beyoglu and Sultanahmet areas in Istanbul. These areas are home to most of the historical attractions, gift shops and traditional restaurants.
In tourist areas, the more expensive hotels have swimming pools, room service, entertainment and sporting facilities, nightclubs and restaurants.
- See the Business Directory business directory for Hotels & Holiday Accommodation
Hotel standards and ratings are subject to government regulation in Turkey. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is responsible for setting standards and seeing that they are maintained. Stars are awarded from one star (budget) to five star (luxury).
- Five star (Be? y?ld?zl?): Luxurious hotel
- Four star (Dört y?ld?zl?): High superior hotel
- Three star (Üç y?ld?zl?): Superior hotel
- Two star (?ki y?ld?zl?): Above average to good hotel
- One star (Bir y?ld?zl?): Average hotel
In many hotels, children under the age of six often stay for free and children under the age of 12 only pay half price. Cots for babies are usually available on request.
In Istanbul, there are a number of hotels that are licenced by the Greater Istanbul Municipality. Although the facilities in these hotels are reasonable, they do have less stringent standards than those licenced by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The all-inclusive system (her?ey dahil sistemi) found within some hotels includes all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Some hotels offer fast food, ice cream, local drinks, and drinking water for free.
- For a list of all-inclusive hotels: Click here (in Turkish)
Special licence hotels
Special licence hotels in Istanbul are situated in converted or renovated buildings, and as they are old buildings, many do not have lifts or elevators. These hotels, usually located in residential areas, are privately managed and range from small wooden houses to luxury Ottoman mansions.
Spa tourism is becoming increasingly popular in Turkey. These spa hotels (kaplica otel) offer thermal and mud treatments for visitors who suffer from rheumatic, neurological, gynaecological, and dermatological diseases. Thermal water with a specific temperature is used for baths, treatment showers, spas and pools. The most popular thermal hotel is located in Bursa.
Apartment hotels offer furnished rooms, fully-equipped kitchen, amenities such as TV, air conditioning, dining table, refrigerator and lounge suites.
Prices differ according to the location. Most of them are located at the heart of the old city centre such as in Sultanahmet.
Motels have large parking areas and are built on the busiest roads out of the centre of Istanbul. Their facilities are limited and generally suitable for a one-day stay. Motels tend to be low priced.
In Istanbul's historic districts, the majority of the hotels are boutique. These hotels must have at least ten rooms and they offer high quality service. For a hotel to be classified as boutique they must provide a number of features which include a restaurant, 24-hour room service, air conditioning in communal areas and laundry services.
Holiday villages (Tatil Köyü) are unique to tourist areas; none are found in cities. They are generally located close to the sea and have a beach.
To qualify as a holiday village, the facility must have at least 60 rooms. They offer high standards with a variety of services: at least one Olympic-size swimming pool, tennis courts, golf courts, evening entertainment, fitness area and a spa.
Babies usually stay free of charge and there are also honeymoon and wedding packages on offer. Some holiday villages offer reduced prices when early reservations are made.
Hostels (Pansiyon) are the cheapest form of accommodation and offer a bed with shared facilities, Prices vary depending on location. Some hostels offer a safe for storing valuables, WiFi, a public telephone and air conditioning.
To qualify as a hostel, the facility must have at least five rooms. Most hostels are located within the tourist districts of Istanbul and are within walking distance of main landmarks. Many are in the area of Sultanahmet.
Check-in time is generally from 13:00 and check-out time is before 12:00 noon. Pets may or may not be allowed. Payment by credit card is usually available, but some hostels require payment in cash.
- See The Business Directory for Youth Hostels & Backpackers
The majority of campsites (Kamp Yerleri) are open in summer from May to October. Camp sites are generally near a lake, sea, forest or other natural area. Campsites provide hot water, individual and shared barbecue facilities, parking for caravans, washing and laundry facilities and cooking areas.
Campsites generally have at least 30 units. A unit is an average three-person tent, a tent, or a car-caravan. Motor homes are also allowed. Campsites are generally surrounded with fences for security.
Outside Istanbul there are campsites such as Prince Islands and ?ile.
- See The Business Directory for Campsites & Caravan Parks
Local tourism offices have information about camping sites. For further information about campsites, contact the Turkish Camping and Caravanning Association:
- Tel: 0212 513 61 50