There’s no shortage of budget options in Istanbul, one of Europe’s –and the world’s– largest cities. While the Berr Hotel passes the grade on most counts for properties in its class (€57/$65 night via Booking.com), what it has most going for it is location: that is, for those wanting to stay in a real Istanbul neighborhood away from the tourist trail.
The Berr is in the heart of the Fatih neighborhood, a colorful working class area where strolls in any direction will provide a pleasant and accurate introduction to Istanbul, and convenient enough to be used as a comfortable base should you desire. (Here’s a representative example of the neighborhood.)
The rooms could probably use some cosmetic touch ups, but they’re clean, comfortable, airy and air conditioned, the staff courteous, helpful and quick. There’s free and relatively quick wifi throughout. There’s also a lounge illuminated in dark blue the likes of which I haven’t seen since the late 1980s, and a health club offering a sauna facility, massages and a traditional Turkish bath. (I didn’t opt for any of those so can’t vouch for them.)
There’s a restaurant on-site where a typical hot and cold breakfast buffet is served; there are lunch and dinner hours as well, but I spent those elsewhere. The neighborhood has numerous options at every price point.
Suggestion: walk up to the top of the street, cross the busy Fevsi Pasa Street and continue up the pedestrian-only street to Fatih Caddesi (Street), where you’ll find dozens of bakeries, produce and spice shops, selling everything you’ll want to take home for half the price that the shop keepers at the Spice Market will charge. By all means visit the latter, but shop local. Check the map below.
Getting there: Upon arrival it was just a 15 minute ride from Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, but give yourself twice that if traffic isn’t cooperative. It’s well-connected by public transport –the Fatih-Emniyet metro station is about 500 meters away, the Findikzade Tram Station about a 10-minute walk, making the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Grand Bazaar areas less than 30 minutes away.
Berr Hotel Akdeniz Caddesi 78 Fatih Istanbul, Turkey
I stayed at the Berr Hotel for three nights in April 2016. No one in any way connected to the hotel was aware that I would be publishing a review, nor was I given anything in return for this brief review. Book via Booking.com.