Biggest question in mind for all first timers in Istanbul “Where should I stay, Old Town or New Town?” We do not believe there is a right answer to this question. It all depends on what you are looking to for in Istanbul and how you would like to spend your time.
Also, you should not limit yourself to just staying at Old Town or New Town, Istanbul has many other beautiful locations with great hotels. If you are an explorer on foot, staying in any of those locations would be great choice but if you are planning on traveling with luxury limousine services in Istanbul, then the main question should be which part should I see first; Old Town or New Town?
Hiring luxury limousine service during your stay in Istanbul will minimize the risk of wasting your time searching for things to do and your energy. All of our chauffeurs are professional concierges on demand at your service. We highly encourage all of our leisure travelers to hire one of our certified tour guides along with the luxury limousine services because they are perfect complements. Your chauffeur will drive you around while our multilingual certified tour guides will take you back in time for you to explore the rich history behind the city.
We recommend beginning our tours from the Old Town since it holds most of the rich history of Istanbul. Your chauffeur will pick you up with one of our luxury vehicles from your hotel at desired time and you will be on your way to Old Town – Sultanahmet. If you hired a tour guide with us, your chauffeur will arrive with the tour guide at the hotel. Upon your arrival in Sultanahmet, your chauffeur will drop you off along with your guide for walk around tour as Sultanahmet area is closed for traffic.
Old Town is most popular for Hagia Sophia Museum, which used to be a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal Church built in 6th century. After the clash of the Ottoman Empire in Constantinople, Hagia Sophia was transformed into a Mosque by the order of Sultan Mehmet the conqueror in 1453. Right across from Hagia Sophia, there is Blue Mosque, which is popular with its blue tiles surrounding the walls of interior design, which was built in 17th century. Blue Mosque adopted its name by the visitors who fell in love with the design of Ottoman tiles that decorate the walls of the shrine.
Moving along in the Old Town Hippodrome is one of the most visited sights. It had been the center for entertainment and sports in Constantinople, the eastern Roman Capital. It also played a very big role in politics and public movements as people could go and watch the politicians or poets speak.
Topkapi Palace has been the residence of all the Ottoman Sultans from 15th to 19th century. It was built between 1460 and 1478 and built on the peninsula between Golden Horn, Bosphorus and sea of Marmara. After the establishment of the republic of Turkey in 1923, Topkapi Palace was transformed into a Museum.
Grand Bazaar was the biggest and main shopping area of the city. Today it is used for jewelry, diamond, money exchange, carpet and food, still the main touristic attraction in Istanbul. Last but not least, Basilica is the most visited touristic attraction in the Old Town. This is where the Byzantine Empire stored their water until the clash of the Ottoman Empire, and then it was used for dumping ground for junk and dead corpses.
During your tour your chauffeur will be waiting for you want to leave, if you get tired or just want to go somewhere else, he will be ready to pick you up.
Moving to New Town of Istanbul where you will find many coffee shops, boutique restaurants and shopping area. Galata-Karakoy area was the place where the foreigners would come into when they first arrived in Constantinople. Galata Tower is the first building that catches the attention in that area. It was constructed in 1348 as a watchtower for defense of the city. It still dominates the skyline of the city where you will be able to visit to get a 360 panoramic view of the city.
During the Byzantine Empire, Galata area was mostly occupied with Romans and Genoese sailors. This area was the heart of business and trade for these people. Even when the Ottoman Empire conquered the city they never saw this area as if was its their own. It was mostly occupied with 80% Christians in the 1600s and most diverse area of the city. Since this was the area for the newcomers, there were many bars and art related modern festivities. Even today, Galata is known for its modern architecture and many expats, artists and musicians love living there. Istanbul Modern Art Museum and many other Art museums are located in Galata.
In conclusion, whether you want to stay or visit the Old Town or the New, it always depends on what you are interested in. If you wan to explore the history of the Eastern Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire, Old Town would be a great start for you. If you are into modern art and architecture related scenery, then Galata is the perfect place. As I mentioned previously, we do not recommend limiting your self to just stay in those areas if you will be using luxury limousine services. Because there are many great areas with great views. DTLS Limousine & Travel is luxury limousine and travel Services Company that will be a great assistance when trying to decide what to do during your stay.