The Bosphorus divides Istanbul into the European and Asian sides of the city and is one of the most beautiful places in Istanbul.
There’s something incredibly majestic about this peaceful body of water, dividing two continents yet connecting them through a flurry of activity of passenger ferries, cruises, luxury yachts, and small fishing boats.
If you’ve been to Istanbul before — or if you want an ultra-luxurious trip to Istanbul — I strongly recommend staying somewhere along the Bosphorus, and we’ve gathered this list of the best Bosphorus view hotels in Istanbul to help you. While there are Bosphorus hotels that suit a variety of budgets, generally, you’ll find mostly luxury hotels on the Bosphorus, including world-famous brands such as Shangri-La, the Four Seasons, and Hilton.
However, if it’s your first time in Istanbul and you only have a limited amount of time to explore the city, I’d say that staying in Sultanahmet is a better choice. We’ve gathered the best hotels in Sultanahmet, all near the Blue Mosque, in a guide for your reference!
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Map of the best Bosphorus Hotels in Istanbul
Our Favorite Bosphorus View Hotels in Istanbul
Chic Boutique Hotels By the Bosphorus
Gezi Hotel Bosphorus – Rates from $147 per night
The Gezi Hotel is a lovely boutique hotel situated beside Taksim Square and Taksim Metro Station in downtown Istanbul and is one of the best-rated hotels in the city. It’s also a member of the exclusive Design Hotels network.
Each one of the 56 deluxe rooms and 11 concept suites in the Gezi is built with lavishness in mind – wooden floors, marble bathrooms, and breathtaking views of the Bosphorus.
The hotel has a luxe spa that contains a fitness center, Turkish bath, hot tub, and a sauna — great for relaxing after a long day of sightseeing in Istanbul. Massages are available in the spa center for an extra charge.
Every guest’s stay is made perfect with excellent, individualized service, given the small number of rooms and thus guests.
If you want a break from kebab and meze, delicious Mediterranean meals are served at the Fiamma Restaurant & Bar!
The Stay Bosphorus – Rates from $167 per Night
The Stay Bosphorus is located in the central neighborhood of Ortaköy, so near to the beautiful waterside mosque which shares the neighborhood’s name that some rooms even have a view of it!
The Stay is located in a majestic, carefully restored mansion that was built in the 19th century. This lovely boutique hotel has airy rooms that feature breath-taking views of the Bosphorus, are designed with high ceilings and ornate walls, and come equipped with a satellite TV and a minibar.
The hotel has added amenities like a fitness center and spa, and the restaurant provides a buffet spread for breakfast and special menus for lunch and dinner.
5 Star and Luxury Bosphorus View Hotels in Istanbul
Ritz Carlton at the Bosphorus – Rates from $394 per Night
The Ritz Carlton name is practically synonymous with luxury. This majestic, five-star hotel located in the center of Istanbul. It’s a mere 15 minutes from famous historical attractions like the Sultanahmet, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar, yet its luxuriousness makes you feel a world away from Istanbul’s beautiful chaos.
The hotel blends European design with Turkish lifestyle and tradition, and each one of its 243 guest rooms offers its visitors panoramic views of the city and the Bosphorus.
There’s a brand-new outdoor infinity pool that’s a wonderful place to swim with excellent views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus surrounding you.
It also has a spa where guests can get facials and massages, that also features a pool, three hot tubs, and two open-air spa rooms.
Shangri-La Bosphorus – Rates from $336 per Night
The Shangri-La Hotel brings the wonders of the East to the coast of the Bosphorus with its design and attention to detail, especially when it comes to customer service.
Meanwhile, its Lobby Lounge serves more than 100 types of Chinese teas and pastries prepared by the legendary Kung Fu Tea Master.
Shang Palace, Shangri-La’s restaurant, offers some of the best dishes in the world including Japanese, Southeast Asian, Mediterranean, and Turkish meals.
Located between the Dolmabahce Palace and the Naval Museum, the hotel offers spacious rooms that are designed with Asian highlights and equipped with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and Apple docking stations.
Çırağan Palace Kempinksi Istanbul – Rates from $363 per Night
For those who have dreamed of living in the lap of luxury, this is the Bosphorus hotel for you. The Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul is situated in an original 19th-century Ottoman palace on the shores of the great Bosphorus.
A stay in any of its 313 rooms is a unique experience, featuring wall-to-ceiling windows, opulent bedding, and highly individualized room service that will make you feel transported back in time, living like a true sultan!
Lovers of relaxation can chill out in the pool or get a massage in the cabana right beside it, while more active guests have access to a personal trainer at the fitness center.
Food lovers are in for a treat as the breakfast spread provided by the Laledan Restaurant gives Çırağan guests over 250 items made from primarily local and organic ingredients.
Swissotel Bosphorus – Rates from $236 per Night
Swissotel Bosphorus Istanbul is a stunning luxury hotel located within walking distance of the Nisantasi neighborhood. All of its rooms feature top-quality amenities such as free Wi-Fi, seating areas, and workstations for business guests.
Its Purovel Spa & Sports Center features a spa with 14 different treatment rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, as well as a tennis court.
Swissotel is also home to a number of stylish restaurants and bars like Café Swiss, 16 ROOF Restaurant and Bar, and Les Ambassadeurs Bar.
Affordable Luxury Hotels in Istanbul With Bosphorus Views
Conrad Hotel Bosphorus – Rates from $152 per Night
The Conrad Hotel is a luxury hotel in Istanbul that’s surprisingly affordable for its level of amenities. It’s located in the center of Istanbul, only 12 minutes’ walk from the banks of the Bosphorus.
This award-winning palace of luxury features upscale, modern-designed rooms that are equipped with the best views of the Bosphorus along with seating, a work area, and essential amenities like free Wi-Fi, satellite LCD TV, a coffee maker, and an iHome docking station.
Fitness enthusiasts will be delighted to play on any of the Conrad Hotel’s three open tennis courts or to squeeze in a workout at its 24-hour open fitness center. There’s also a beautiful pool area for guests to enjoy in the hot Istanbul summer.
Room service is, of course, excellent, and foodies can also visit the Manzara Restaurant which offers delicious fine dining.
For the ultimate view, enjoy drinks and appetizers at the Summit Bar & Terrace on the 14th floor where you can drink in gorgeous views of the Bosphorus alongside expertly-crafted cocktails (or mocktails).
Novotel Bosphorus – Rates from $130 per Night
The Novotel is an upscale hotel that offers modernly designed rooms and a comfortable stay.
The hotel offers its guests a complimentary buffet breakfast every morning and provides excellent amenities like an indoor pool, a spa center, and a well-equipped gym. There’s also a fantastic restaurant serving up delicious, modern international and locally-inspired food and desserts.
Located in the happening harborside area of Karaköy, one of the best places to experience Istanbul nightlife, the location couldn’t be better.
Guests have the chance to explore significant cultural landmarks like the Golden Horn Waterway, as well as the Hagia Sophia and the Dolmabahçe Sarayı Palace and Museum, which are only 3 kilometers away.
Hilton Bosphorus – Rates from $164 per Night
The legendary Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus is one of the most famous hotels in Turkey, and it has been serving locals and visitors to Istanbul since 1955.
Located next to the Congress Valley in the center of Istanbul, visitors to the Hilton find that they are able to enjoy the luxurious service it provides while still being close to the popular places and town activities.
Connoisseurs of East Asian food will enjoy the Cantonese and Szechuan fare available at the Dragon Restaurant, and another restaurant serves local Turkish favorites. The Hilton Health Club is open 24 hours and has a tennis and racquetball court for active travelers.
Metropolitan Hotels Bosphorus – Rates from $101 per Night
Metropolitan Hotels Bosphorus is rated very highly among couples for its quiet but romantic atmosphere. The hotel provides an excellent mix of value, comfort, and convenience.
Its rooms are luxuriously equipped and come with free Wi-Fi, and some of the rooms have terraces with views of the Bosphorus.
While you should definitely explore the delicious Istanbul food scene, sometimes you just want to have a comfortable meal back at your hotel. In that case, the Metropolitan Hotels Bosphorus’ on-site restaurant, Azure, is highly praised for its excellent and well-executed cuisine.
5 Things to Pack for Your Trip to Istanbul
We’re working on our full list of what to pack for Istanbul, but here are five things you definitely want to bring with you!
The Lonely Planet Turkey: a good guidebook can help you with the kinds of safety tips you need if you’re out in the city and feel a bit lost, especially if you don’t have internet or a cell signal. These also have specific neighborhood information that will help you in different parts of the city, and it’s a great supplement to blog posts like this one!
Unlocked Cell Phone: Stephanie and I both have unlocked cell phones that we bought in Europe (She uses a Samsung and I use an iPhone). This allows up to get sim cards when we travel so that we always have the internet. This has gotten us out of so many jams! If you don’t have an unlocked cell phone that can use a Turkish sim card, you can buy a cheaper unlocked phone online and bring it with you!
Pacsafe Citysafe or Other Anti-Theft Bag: This is the bag both Stephanie and I use for all our travels. It has a pouch with RFID technology so our credit cards can’t get scanned from afar, interlocking zippers to make it harder to pickpocket, and it’s roomy enough to be a perfect sightseeing day bag, yet it’s still quite stylish for all of its security features. If you’d rather bring something smaller, you can pack a money belt instead.
Grayl Water Filter: While the water is *technically* safe to drink now, I would still avoid it. If you don’t want to be buying millions of plastic water bottles, you can get a reusable water bottle that comes with a water filter so that you can stick to the tap water and reduce your plastic waste.
Seabands: If you get seasick easily, pack some Seabands or seasickness pills so you don’t miss out on the best parts of Istanbul – being on the water! A trip to Istanbul isn’t complete without a Bosphorus cruise or at least a quick boat trip, so make sure you’re prepared to enjoy it to the fullest!
More Istanbul Travel Resources
We have a ton of resources to help you plan your trip to Istanbul! We’re working on our massive post on things to do in Istanbul, but it’s a good place to get started. We also have a ton of Istanbul travel tips, plus you can check out our guide to the best Instagram spots around Istanbul, important Istanbul safety tips, and tips for shopping in Istanbul.
If you want to be in the city for just a few days (four or less), check out our Istanbul city break guide, which breaks down the best of the city so you won’t miss anything!
For more general Turkey information, check out this guide to planning a trip to Turkey (including visa information) and this guide to other beautiful places to visit in Turkey. You can also check out our Balkan currency guide, which explains how the Turkish lira works and guidelines for tipping in Istanbul.
Finally, Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
It’s always a good idea to travel to Turkey or anywhere in Europe with a valid travel insurance policy. Istanbul is a very safe place to travel, but accidents or theft can easily ruin your trip if you don’t have the travel insurance coverage to recover the losses. Recently Stephanie’s aunt fell on a train in France and needed surgery, but luckily her travel insurance covered the costs in full. Thank goodness!
For travel insurance, we both use World Nomads. I’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’ve never had an issue when making a claim. I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.
Originally from California, Allison has been living in Bulgaria for the last two years and is obsessed with traveling around the Balkans. She has been published in National Geographic, CNN Arabic, Matador Network, and the Huffington Post. She loves befriending dogs, drinking coffee, geeking out about wine, and cooking food from around the world.