Istanbul is the only city in the world that is situated over two continents; Asia and Europe. And the city is so important that despite being a Muslim country and only %3 of the Turkish territories is situated on Europe, Turkey is soon to be a part of European Union because this %3 belongs to Istanbul.
Apart from having the precious natural beauties and being an important industry and commerce city, Istanbul used to be the capital city of Byzantium and Ottoman Empires which makes it a historical treasure with countless historical remains.
As a result of all these positive features, Istanbul has become one of the most preferred tourism city in the world.
Another advantage of visiting Istanbul is that the city is cheaper than the other European cities;
There are hundreds of hotel choices among which you can find something ideal for your budget. But there are some details to know before choosing your hotel in Istanbul. Assuming that you will book your hotel online, you are going to use one of the famous hotel booking websites. When you reserve a hotel, the first thing to remember is to prefer a centrally located hotel since Istanbul is a giant city with an unbearable traffic jam which can turn your holiday into a nightmare if you are not staying close to where you will visit.
The second most important thing to remember is that there are more than one city centers in Istanbul. For example Bakirkoy is one the big centers of the city but you definitely don’t want to stay in Bakirkoy since there is nothing special to do there for a foreigner. You can hardly find a person who speaks English – I am referring to the people working in the stores because there are many young people in the streets and most of them speak English even if not perfectly –
I should also warn you about the places you should avoid booking a hotel if you are from Europe or North or South America. Aksaray and Laleli area is very close to the real touristic city center but surprisingly not good choices for a European or American tourist as mostly Arabic and Russian tourists stay there.
The best city center to stay is the modern city center of Istanbul, Taxim-Beyoglu area but the prices of Taxim hotels are higher than the others. The night life of Istanbul with the affordable prices is in Taxim area. There are also many places where you can do shopping in this zone.
Another good choice would be staying around Sultanahmet -old city center area or Beyazit, Gulhane, Sirkeci etc. If you stay in Sultanahmet either you buy a tour of Istanbul or visit places on your own, you will be close to the historical monuments of Istanbul.
The major monuments to see in this area are Blue Mosque – also known as Sultanahmet Mosque – Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern, Hagia Sophia Museum, The Grand Bazaar and the former Hippoddome.