Sirkeci, Istanbul by Matt Barrett

Sirkeci, Istanbul by Matt Barrett, Istanbul, Turkey (B)

Though most travel guides and people who visit Istanbul regularly will tell you that the place to stay is in the heavily tourist infested area of Sultanhamet or in the modern European area of Beyoglu, in my opinion the best part of the city to stay in is Sirkeci. The reason most guidebooks don't suggest this is because when they were written the neighborhood of Sirkeci was an area of car parts and tire stores, criminals and drug addicts, and somewhere that even my most fearless local friends said they avoided. But in the last five years or so Sirkeci has been transformed with some buildings having been torn down and replaced by beautiful boutique hotels, and others converted into restaurants, cafes and small shops. There are a few of the old style hotels, the kind you find in many cities, close to the train station where you get a room with no frills, their facades and dingy lobbies giving testimonial to the fact that in the past things went on in here that you probably don't want to know about. But these are being bought up and renovated or even torn down and rebuilt. Led by the Sirkeci Group, a confederation of neighborhood businessmen who have taken the responsibility of cleaning up and re-inventing the area by opening inexpensive high quality hotels and top-notch restaurants and bars, other businesses have flooded into Sirkeci and made it into a small, more intimate, a more Turkish version of Sultanahmet. Streets have been pedestrianized and traffic funneled around them so you can have a quiet meal right in the middle of this busy city at any time of day. ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Sights Map

Guide Name: Sirkeci, Istanbul by Matt Barrett
Guide Location: Turkey » Istanbul
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Author: Matt Barrett
Read it on Author's Website:
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Topkapi Palace
  • Agia Sofia
  • Blue Mosque
  • Grand Bazaar
  • Sirkeci Railway station
  • Taksim Square
  • Gulhane Park
  • Basilica Cistern
  • Spice Bazaar
  • Galata Bridge
  • Hoca Pasa Street
  • Pasazade
  • Imbat
  • Neyzade
  • Red River Pub
  • Cafe Mese
  • Brew Coffeeworks
  • Hafiz Mustafa
  • Hotel Neorion
  • Sirkeci Konak Hotel
  • Hotel Orient Express
  • Hotel Erboy
  • Hotel Ilkay

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