Apartments in Istanbul – Cheap Holiday Rentals
Istanbul is made up of old laneways that wind past local artisan stores filled to the brim with knickknacks and cultural souvenirs, scurry alongside street food stands bursting with delicious smells, and weave around stalls selling colourful textiles, past the distinctive call of a snake charmer, and into the Grand Bazaar. Here, piles of eye-catching spices line ramshackle tables, ornate lanterns clank together from the ceiling, and Turkish tea is poured from delicate teapots. Today, Istanbul balances on the crux of old and new. On the one hand, there are the age-old mosques, incredible historic pieces of architecture, and the centuries-old traditions that spill through the streets. On the other hand, there is an influx of international restaurants, design-led bars, and a youthful nightlife that brings the city to life after dark. Delve into the history and enjoy the modern day scene from our apartments in Istanbul. Browse our range of budget holiday rentals that provide the perfect base for exploring the city.
The City of Two Continents - Things to do in Istanbul
- Sultan Ahmed Mosque – Istanbul’s most iconic building is more popularly known as the Blue Mosque because of the cobalt tiles that decorate its interior. It was built in the early 17th century and remains an important part of the city’s history and culture.
- Hagia Sophia – This former Greek Orthodox basilica now stands proudly as the city’s most popular museum. At one point in time it was also a mosque, and you can see remnants of both religions in the impressive interior.
- Topkapi Palace – A fairytale-like castle that sits in the centre of the city. For over 400 years it served as the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans.
- Basilica Cistern – Laying below ground level, this cistern is the largest in Istanbul, offering an eclectic interior that delves in the age-old history of the city.
- Chora Church – Set right in the heart of Istanbul, this church is thought to be one of the grandest and most eye-catching Byzantine churches still around today.
- Galata Tower – Located in the Galata quarter of the city, the Galata Tower is an impressive medieval stone tower that looks out over Istanbul.
- Suleymaniye Mosque – Tucked away on the Third Hill of Istanbul, this mosque boasts a beautiful exterior with jutting turrets and a domed peaks. It’s the largest mosque in the city and is one of Istanbul’s most recognisable sights.
- Golden Horn – Also known as Halic, the Golden Horn refers to the inlet of the Bosphorus, an urban waterway that separates Asia from Europe.
- Grand Bazaar – Perhaps Istanbul’s most coveted attraction, the Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest covered markets on the planet, stretching out over 61 streets with over 3,000 shops.
- Dolmabahce Palace – Situated in the Besiktas district, this intricate palace once served as the primary administrative centre for the Ottoman Empire during the mid-1800s.
- Istanbul Archaeology Museums – Comprising of three archaeological museums, this complex looks back towards the beginning of civilisation in Istanbul and Turkey as a whole.
- Rustem Pasha Mosque – Located in the Tahtakale district, this 16th centre Ottoman mosque boasts a breath-taking interior with domed roofs and ornate frescoes.
- Little Hagia Sophia – At one point in time, this was the Church of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus. It was later turned into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire.
- Eyup Sultan Mosque – Looking over the Golden Horn, this mosque dates back to the early 1800s and can be found in the Eyup district.
- Nisantasi – This neighbourhood of Istanbul is a lively affair, combining several popular areas with a range of bars, restaurants, shops, and sights.
- Galata Bridge – Connecting Asia to Europe, this bridge runs over the Golden Horn allowing for traffic to pass freely between the two continents.
- Gulhane Park – An historical park set in the heart of the city which provides the perfect place for an afternoon stroll away from the bustle of the busy streets.
We have Istanbul apartments all over the city, many of which can be found near these major attractions.
Exploring Local Life through the Markets in Istanbul
Istanbul is famed for its Grand Bazaar, which is bursting at the seams with artisan shops, textile designers, local artists, and food stalls. But it’s not the only place you can get a taste for Istanbul’s market scene. In fact, the city has plenty of other markets dotted around, many of which offer a more relaxing experience than the hustle and bustle of the Grand Bazaar.
There’s Fatih Market, set in the historic centre of Istanbul, which sprawls out across 24 streets and sells everything you can imagine, from local fruit and vegetables to household items and clothing. Then there’s Yesilkoy Market, which takes place on Wednesdays and is known for its classy backdrop. Here, you can wander amongst stalls piled high with quality products laid out in an attractive fashion. Besiktass Market is a smaller affair. On Saturdays it opens its doors to visitors looking for textiles, jewellery, shoes, and bags. Finally, there’s Kadikoy, which is located on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. In this 4000 stalled market, you can browse and buy pretty much anything your heart desires.
Our Istanbul apartments are dotted throughout the city and many are located close by to these traditional markets.
Navigating Two Continents - Getting to the City Centre
Istanbul has two airports, the Ataturk Airport which is closest to the city centre and sits on the European side of the city, and the Sabiha Gokcen Airport which is a little further afield on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. Both airports have good connections to the city centre. Both provide airport shuttle services to visitors from outside the terminals, and there’s also the option to hop in a cab – this will be slightly more expensive from the Sabiha Gokcen airport depending on where you’re staying.
From Ataturk Airport you can also use public transport to get into the city centre. It’s slightly less reliable than the airport shuttle and a taxi, but it’s considerably cheaper and you get to explore local life in Istanbul while you’re at it.