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Istanbul - Where to stay

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Hi Guys,


I'm due to visit Istanbul at the beginning of November and trying to get an idea of places to stay now. My boyfriend's family live in Beylikduzu and he has offered for me to stay with him, however I think I would feel uncomfortable and a burden, as his mother barely knows hello in english and although I'm learning Turkish, I am very much a beginner.


I have family in Levent and Nisantasi, and as it's my first trip to Istanbul, I would very much prefer that they are nearby. My boyfriend will then stay with me.


Can anybody recommend a good place to stay that's possibly between these areas? I'm pretty open and have been looking at hotels, apartments or holiday rentals, but hoping to keep costs down, although I do like my home comforts so willing to pay a little more if absolutely necessary.


Also, my boyfriend is a Turk, so any advice on whether he would be ok to share a room with me? He seems to think it's not an issue, but I've heard that some hotels will not allow an unmarried couple to share a room, especially if one member is Turkish. Is this correct?


Any advice would be appreciated, and also places to visit/ tips on the surrounding areas.


Thank you Posted Image x

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Beylikduzu is not somewhere I'd want to stay so think you're making the right decision. It's so far away from everything it doesn't even seem like Istanbul. There's also nothing to see there (other than your partner's family of course).

As it's your first time in Istanbul I'd stay in Sultanahmet, where there are lots and lots of hotels. However, it's not really in between the places you mention. It will be really expensive to stay in Nisantasi and Levent is more of a business district.

Have you looked on air bnb?

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Hi Cayaholic!

Thank you. I thought that would be the case with Beylikduzu. Of course I'm happy to meet and spend time with his family, but we won't be there the whole time and he wants to show me around Istanbul so would be better in a more centralised location. And I will also feel safer being close to people that I know. I know my Mum will be happier too...

I hear Nisantasi was expensive and although I've found a couple of reasonable places in Levent and happy that it's close to family, but I think as long as I'm within a short drive of there then I'm willing to go a little further affield. I think I may have to venture to Sultanahmet as I've hear good things about it and it looks like it's only about 25 minutes drive (Out of rush hour).

I'm just going to have a look at air bnb thank you. Are they acompany your would recommend or have used?

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Well, I have tried airbnb and they seem to be brilliant.

Lots of properties to chose from and the rates seem reasonable and clear. There are a few that look fairly reasonable in Nisantasi, but my boyfriend's brother and my stepmum's dad are going to check before I arrange anything as they are local.

If anybody has stayed anywhere nearby that they would recommend, then I am happy to receive details :)

Thanks xx

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if you're planning on doing sightseeing then sultanahmet is right smack in the middle of the sightseeing district; almost everything you'll want to see is more or less in walking distance. levent and nisantasi are not far from there via tram and underground metro. i strongly advise against driving if you don't know the city well. public transportation is a much better and faster way to go; the tram and metro are very clean and fairly easy to negotiate, and you don't have to deal with the insane drivers here or trying to find safe parking. also, if you miss a turn when driving, you could easily end up going miles out of your way before it's even possible to backtrack (this is not an exaggeration).

I live very close to beylikduzu, which is at least 40 minutes from the city on a really good day, but realistically plan on at least an hour trip, and more (up to 2hrs) during a bad rush hour (rush hours are roughly from 730am to about 11am and 330pm to 8pm, so don't bank on getting anywhere from beylikduzu in 25 minutes except the airport at 3am).

in other words, get yourself situated in a good central location in or near sultanahmet and let him come to you.also, be wary of taksim square right now after 4pm, especially on weekends. the polis situation there is very dangerous again. if you want to visit beyoglu and the bar district, stay south of taksim square, toward galatasaray area.

i don't mean to scare you off by any means, the city has a lot to offer and you can have an amazing time here; you just have to be smart about it.

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Hi Ash88,

I just wanted to say welcome to the site and good luck for your visit. I have to agree with IstanbulWhiteboy. I walked down Istiklal (Taksim) yesterday and there were police in the main square and halfway down, menacing a small group of protestors. We were all squeezed into a very small corridor and had to look away or eyeball the police as we went past them. I felt very uncomfortable and a bit nervous as to date the police don't seem to discriminate when they decide to act.

Also, I want to add further to IstanbulWhiteboy's comments re the traffic. I don't live near where he lives, but on most Mondays, Fridays and any other day something is up in Istanbul. Rush hour doesn't exist, traffic is just almost gridlocked all day. Sultanahmet is great for siteseeing but if you are to spend a lot of time with his family, you will soon get weary of the commute. However, despite what has been said about the physical environment of Beylikduzu, I am sure you will be warmly welcomed and have a lovely time with your new Turkish family.


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Hi IstanbulWhiteboy and Lisa,

Thank you both so much for your responses. I really appreciate the extra information you have given me.

I won't be driving out there. I think we will be relying on public transport so will definitely look at a more central location, as the main reason for my stay is to spend time with my boyfriend and for him to show me Istanbul. I think I will avoid Taksim but will definitely venture around Istanbul to learn more about the city. After spending some time there, I'm hoping to make a decision as to whether I would be willing to relocate there so it will be good for me to get a feel for the area and get used to travelling around, etc.

With regards to travelling to Beylikduzu, we will be travelling to see his parents for one day and spending the night there so only one journey there and back luckily. His brothers and their wives/ girlfriends have then said that they will come to us for a night so that we can go out for dinner and drinks and then they can stay the night ( We're going to get an apartment with a spare room or sofa bed).

Thank you Lisa. I'm sure they will be very welcoming. I really can't wait. His family seem lovely and are all very excited for my vistit.

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from sultanahmet you can take the T1 tram to zeytinburnu and catch the metrobus from there to avcilar, switch buses there and it takes you straight to beylikduzu. easy trip. i'm sure your bf has done it a thousand times, so you'll have no problem. enjoy =]

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Clinky,


I've just seen this! Oh my goodness! I'm a little nervous about taking the public transport now!


Although I'm quote a confident woman, I can be quite intimidated as I'm only 5' 2" and not particularly pushy...


I took the dolmus when I was in Bodrum, but was lucky enough to get on before it got too busy and had a seat each time. My fiance even asked if we could sit in the front on my first journey as the back was busy and it was my first time... This was fine although I did have to shut my eyes as the driving is so scary!


i think I'm going to have to rely on my fiance to push me through! He's very good at that and definitely take no prisoners with anything like that!

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