A March 2004 trip
to Istanbul by Jim Rosenberg
Quote: Many of Istanbul’s most famous places are located within easy walking distance of each other. Both the Sultanahmet neighborhood and the Bazaar Quarter are easily enjoyed without a guide and barely even a map, making it a perfect low-cost vacation to a truly exotic destination.
Hotel | "Holiday Inn - Istanbul City"
As for the hotel itself, we checked out several of the rooms and found all of them to be decent-sized and well-maintained, with mini-bars and windows that open. (You might want to close them at night, since there are two mosques in the immediate area and the morning's first "call to prayer" pierces the air at 5am. We didn't mind that at all, but others may feel differently.)
There is a well-appointed restaurant with a full menu as well as lighter fare available in the lounge-bar area. There is a nice indoor pool area. Housekeeping was excellent. Rates are more reasonable than some of the more monumental hotels in the city; many of which are located across the Golden Horn in the Taksim area.
In addition, the Holiday Inn Istanbul City offers free airport pickup, which should be arranged in advance (you can do it by e-mail.) A taxi back to the airport for an early morning flight was 22 million T.L. (less than US$17 when we visited in March 2004.)
We found this hotel to be an excellent choice; not a luxury property, but certainly first class and better than what we would classify as a typical "tourist-class" offering.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 23, 2004
Holiday Inn City
MILLET CAD 187
Istanbul, Turkey 34280
(Reservations might be a good idea in the evening, but we stopped in during the afternoon and while there were enough people there to have a nice time, there were plenty of tables.) There are no chairs; people sit at low tables and there are pillows.
An English translation of the menu is available and there is a wide selection of crepes available: spinach, potato, cheese, minced meat, and chicken are a few examples. Other offerings include Turkish ravioli and a several kebob choices. The apple tea is divine, so don't forget to enjoy that, too.
Maybe it's a bit touristy, but with the atmosphere, the service and the food, this place is well worth a stop.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 23, 2004
90 Divan Yolu
+90 212 5131416
Seyran 1971 (coffee shop)
Millet Cadessi No. 171
90 (212) 587-2458
Millet Cadessi No. 139
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 26, 2004
No. 2/4 Divanyolu Cadessi
+90 (212) 514 29 30
Attraction | "Grand Bazaar"
Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi)
Erenler Nargile ve Cay Bahcesi (Hookah Garden)