The Blue Mosque At Night
Accommodations in Turkey can be quite diverse. If you're looking for budget accommodation, there are many hostels available. There are also a range of mid-range and luxury hotels as well. Turkey's largest city, Istanbul, has perhaps the most diverse hotel options, with the most accessible being centered around the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Budget and high end accommodation are intertwined in this city. You'll even find an affordable hostel filled with backpackers directly across from the Four Seasons, with it's business and luxury travelers.
Accommodation in Istanbul is generally comparable in cost to other large European cities. You can stay in a dorm to save money, but many of the dorms are crowded with beds. Ask to see the dorm facilities before committing. Hostels typically include breakfast in their cost. Breakfasts are variable in quality, but are usually a traditional Turkish variety that includes tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumbers and a hard boiled egg.
Higher end hotels often have at least one restaurant attached where you can enjoy a traditional Turkish meal, often in a not so traditional setting. Some hotels also offer shows or entertainment that let you catch a glimpse into the culture of this fascinating country.
Negotiating a Deal
It is possible to find affordable accommodation in Turkey. If you travel in the low season you can get some wonderful deals on all ranges of accommodation. If you're looking for a mid-range or luxury hotel, booking in advance is advised. You'll likely get the best deals the further out you book. If you're flexible, consider waiting for last minute deals as well.
If you're on a shoestring budget and are looking for hostels, it is possible to show up without a reservation. If you're traveling in the low season you can often negotiate the price down. Shop around and find out what a fair price is before committing to anywhere. Also make sure you understand what is included in your room. Ask to see the facilities so you know exactly what you're getting into.
Avoid booking your accommodation through a tour company. Prices are often hiked up, and these organizations often serve as a "middle man," taking their cut from your price. Instead, either book online or wait until you arrive and poke your head in several hostels before committing. You'll have a better peace of mind if you know exactly what you're getting for your money.
Types of Accommodation
Turkey offers the typical range of accommodations, anything from luxury four star hotels, to backpacker's hostels. Many western chains are found there including Best Western and Radisson. You'll likely have a better experience and get more for you money if you go with a locally owned hotel though. This will also ensure your money stays within the Turkish economy.
There are some interesting places with unique accommodation in Turkey as well. In Cappadocia, known for its cave dwellings, there are several opportunities to actually stay in a cave hotel. Predictably, they can be somewhat damp and dark, but it's a fascinating experience that's reasonably priced and not to be missed.
If you're on the coast, a popular activity is a Blue Cruise, where you sleep on a boat while sailing down the coastline. The rooms are small, but the bathrooms are more than you'd expect on a boat. It's cozy but quite comfortable. Most of the rooms are designed as doubles, so it's good to travel with a roommate in this area.
In eastern Turkey the hotel options can be more limited in some cities. The hotels that are available can be more expensive than you'd expect for the quality. In the larger cities, there are business style hotels that are quite comfortable and affordable. This is typically the best route to go in eastern Turkey.
The accommodation options in Istanbul are really spread throughout the entire city. In some neighborhoods you'll hardly have to walk a block before you bump into a hostel. Some of the more popular neighborhoods to stay in the city include Sultanahmet, in the Old City. This neighborhood probably has the highest concentration of hostels, but there are also plenty of mid-range and high end hotels. Many of the buildings have rooftop terraces that offer views of the Blue Mosque or Hagia Sophia. Taksim, on the European side has some great hostel and hotel options as well. Here you'll find some of the best shopping areas in the city. There are also many bars, clubs, and restaurants near by so if you're in town for the night life then this is the place to base yourself. There are also some high end options along the Bosphorus. These suburbs can be a lot of fun to explore but are less convenient if you're hoping to spend your time around the major attractions in Istanbul.
Cave hotels are easily the most unique and interesting hotel options in Turkey. The are carved into the rock formations in the area and offer a truly impressive experience. There are options that range in cost from budget to luxury. Whatever your financial preference, you are sure to have a memorable experience. While they can be damp and dark, the coolness is often much appreciated in the summer months when you return from a long hike.
Most visitors to the Cappadocia area choose to base themselves in the town of Goreme. This is where you will find most of the hotels, restaurants, and tourist amenities. It's centrally located and there are a handful of hikes nearby. If you're looking to stay in another nearby town there are also some hotel options in Urgup, Uchisar and Avanos. These are slightly less convenient, but are also less touristy.
View From Hotel Rooftop
Solar Hot Water Heaters
Cappadocia Cave Dwellings
Inside a Cave Hotel