Istanbul is known for its historic sites, bazaars, and grandiose mosques, most of which are concentrated in the old city on the European side. The Beyoğlu (pronounced: bay-oh-loo) district north of the old town is home to relatively modern Istanbul, and home to the city’s buzzing nightlife. A convenient tram line as well as a modern subway track connects the old and the new Istanbul.
The Istikal street that runs through the centre of Beyoglu is a neat pedestrian street. Numerous boutiques, music stores, bookstores, art galleries, cinemas, theatres, libraries, cafés, pubs, night clubs with live music, patisseries, chocolateries and restaurants dot the network of little lanes around here, not to mention stores selling tourist knickknacks, street food sellers with their delicious smelling food, and buskers providing entertainment.
The heart of Istanbul’s nightlife
I recommend people to spend most of their time in the historic quarter, but don’t miss staying near the fun part of the city – Beyoğlu. Many of the old residential buildings here have now been converted into bed and breakfasts, or full scale heritage and boutique hotels.
My two night stay in this part of Istanbul was courtesy of the Adahan Istanbul Hotel and I enjoyed every moment of it. This hotel is located in a meticulously restored mansion from 1874, using modern methods of refurbishment while preserving older design elements, such as air ducts to improve fresh air circulation and reduce humidity.
There are 40 rooms, each one individually restored and furnished in the minimalist style. Plenty of space, wooden furniture and floors, use of cotton fabrics in linen and pillows, and many little amenities made our stay really pleasant. The best part by all means was the hotel’s elaborate breakfast. Freshly baked bread, pastries, delicious homemade jams, Turkish cheeses, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, honey, butter, dry fruits like apricots and figs, cereal, yogurt, fresh fruits and more.
Should you be looking for hotel recommendations in Beyoğlu / Taksim parts of Istanbul, I’ll strongly suggest staying here.