I was lucky enough to explore for the first time Istanbul in Turkey all thanks to Accor Hotels. Here's a little article telling you what I did, what I saw & where I stayed.
I stayed the first 3 nights at the Galata Istanbul, a MGallery By Sofitel hotel perfectly located in the neighborhood of Galata. Close to everything and yet, you feel like you're in a very local area of the city where people go out to get drinks, eat in cool restaurants & do some shopping.
The hotel has an intimate atmosphere : it's cozy, chic & cool at the same time. What I loved the most on top of it being close to everything were the amazing views you get of Istanbul whether from the restaurant or your room. It's easy to feel like home in this hotel as the staff succeeds to make you feel so comfortable that you want to stay indefinitely!
I spent the first full day in Istanbul exploring as many neighborhoods as I could. From the Galata Bridge to the magnificent Blue Mosque, I walked the entire day losing myself in the colorful streets of the city, admiring the beautiful bridges, watching fishermen and relaxing in its peaceful parks & squares. My advice is to get lost in this beautiful city. Everything is worth seeing.
We explored the Grand Bazaar which in my opinion is by far one of the most authentic parts of the city. Istanbul wouldn't be what it is without it! Lanterns shops, secret alleyways, little hidden squares... Everything about it is truly magical. Definitely spend one morning there, just walking around!
We stayed the last night of our stay at the Raffles Istanbul. To be honest, this hotel is one of the most beautiful hotels I've ever had the chance to stay at.
From the very personalized items & gifts you can find in your room to the big balcony, you feel like royalty. Photos can't even do justice to this 5 stars hotel. You have to stay at the Raffles Istanbul to know what I mean. The rooms are spacious, classy and well thought. They even made a cake with my Instagram profile on it. I never had anything so personalized ever in a hotel.
During our trip, we had the chance to also have dinner in two other hotels which were amazing. The Fairmont Quasar Istanbul & the Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul are both superb hotels, and both of them have a fantastic rooftop where you can get drinks, food and last but not least, a great view of the city. Pop in and watch the sunset if you're in town, as both hotels have very different views but you feel at the top of the world in each of them.
I had a fantastic time during these few days in Istanbul and my best advice is to just wander around and walk everywhere. You'll discover lots of little hidden gems, colorful facades, adorable neighborhoods & magnificent architecture. Until I come back to this beautiful city, here are a few more shots taken during this incredible week with MGallery by Sofitel & Raffles :