“Istanbul is inspiring because it has its own code of architecture, literature, poetry, music” – Christian Louboutin
Not in every key word we can found Louboutin’s personal quote. But I can add that Istanbul was way more that. It has a special place in my memory, with its history, culture, people, and food!
I wrote this post in English to help more couples (especially as parents) to explore Istanbul with better preparation and have a great time with your little love there.
And first, we have to find a hotel in Istanbul right? for me, it was a frustrated experience, because you got so many options from the internet, yet still can’t decide which one will fit you most.
I tried to ask my friends recommendation where they stayed when they visit Turkey. But they aren’t in the same shoes as mine, they didn’t travel with a toddler that requires more spacey room and feels homey. As for my preference, I like the modern interior better that old granny furniture that most of budget hotel in Sultanahmet have it.
After spending nights until 4 am to find hotel scrolling TripAdvisor, the guardian, telegraph travel and other sites, I feel exhausted. Especially when I found a review that said they saw the hotel’s staff wrote a testimony on the TripAdvisor (!). Oops I have to re-evaluate again my short listed hotels in Sultanahmet. I’ll remember to check the level of the contributor before reading their review.
I was eyeing those reviews that mention about how spacey their rooms are. After skimming hundreds review, I concluded that we will get a small room if you have not more than 40 euros / night. A hard choice between breaking your budget or gave up the convenience for our little one to play in the room.
But then, hey.. I realized I should check AirBnB, something that I should do earlier. My first experience with AirBnB was when I tried to find a place at DenHaag, but unfortunately the price just slightly different than the hotel, so the site didn’t impress me well. However, when searched for an apartment to rent in Istanbul, the result surprisingly really great. Lots options with affordable price and provide things that we need.
Finally, we choose the 45 square apartement 2nd floor, with Saban as host. But then when we got there, he gives us the bigger one on the 1st floor without any extra charge, which we really appreciate because we took the stroller with us. *Note that we still have to use stairs to get to the 1st floor.
You can find the photos here, for the 2nd floor and 1st floor apartment. They provide towels, extra blanket (if you need more), daily cleaning service, minus breakfast of course. But you’ll have a fully equipped kitchen (check the list! super complete), and it is a must for me because I still made Najwa’s food when traveling.
Saban was a nice host, he accommodates our requests and help us with lots information about the city and its heritage landmark’s map. At first, we reserved for 3 nights, but our Selcuk trip got canceled so we add more 2 nights there. At 1st night we got a problem with the heater, and the last night with wifi, but the problem solved.
We noted that our apartment located in a quiet street (there was an abandoned building across), which surrounded by local’s apartment I guess, not as crowded as another street that has hotels side by side. There was a minimarket, and a restaurant really close to the apartment, and only 10 minutes’ walk to the Blue Mosque area if you want to get more options to buy food and other groceries. Bear in mind, that Turkey has a hilly contour and the apartment was on the lower side, so we need extra effort to pushed the trolley to the main road, but this you will find on every road at Turkey. *suddenly missed the Netherlands that flat like a pancake.
Over all, nice and cozy place to stay with or without your toddler (^_^)
Next, I will share our itinerary, transportations, and other activities from our Istanbul trip.