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  • Availability is mainly in the summer vacation period (June, July, August, September), when students clear their rooms
  • Rooms typically become available two to three months in advance, so please revisit the website within that period if nothing is available now

Affordable self-catering accommodation in Istanbul's university residences

Not just for students!

  • Istanbul's university halls of residence provide accommodation in a fantastic location for all visitors to Turkey's largest city
  • These rooms are convenient and affordable, and have a range of extra facilities available to guests, including swimming pools, games pitches and gyms
  • With recently-built self catering rooms it is a comfortable and cost-effective alternative to staying in a hostel or cheap hotel in Istanbul

Istanbul Visitor information

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the country's economic, cultural, and historical heart. With a population of 13.5 million, the city forms one of the largest urban agglomerations in Europe and is among the largest cities in the world by population. Istanbul is a transcontinental city, straddling the Bosphorus—one of the world's busiest waterways—in northwestern Turkey, between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical center lies in Europe, while a third of its population lives in Asia.

The city's biggest draw remains its historic center, partially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but its cultural and entertainment hub can be found across the city's natural harbor, the Golden Horn, in the Beyoglu district. Like Rome, the historic peninsula is said to be characterized by seven hills, each topped by imperial mosques. Istanbul has numerous shopping centers, from the historic to the modern. The Grand Bazaar, in operation since 1461, is among the world's oldest and largest covered markets. Mahmutpasha Bazaar is an open-air market extending between the Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Bazaar. Because of their restaurants, historic summer mansions, and tranquil, car-free streets, the Princes' Islands are a popular vacation destination among Istanbulites and foreign tourists.

Accommodation in Istanbul’s university residences

During the summer vacations, many student residences are available as casual accommodation for people who visit the city. It should be understood that these residences are designed primarily for students and not children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, the halls do meet a level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.

Getting to Istanbul

The O-1 motorway forms the city's inner ring road, crossing the Bosphorus Bridge, and the O-2 is the city's outer ring road, crossing the Fatih Sultan Mehmet (Second Bosphorus) Bridge. The O-2 continues west to Edirne and the O-4 continues east to Ankara. Istanbul's local public transportation system is a complex network of trams, funiculars, metro lines, buses, bus rapid transit, and ferries. Fares across modes are integrated, using the contactless Istanbulkart. The Istanbul Metro comprises three disconnected lines (the M1, M2, and M4). Istanbul Seabuses runs a combination of all-passenger ferries and car-and-passenger ferries to ports on both sides of the Bosphorus, as far north as the Black Sea. Istanbul has two international airports, the larger of which is Atatürk International, located 24 kilometers (15 mi) west of the city center. Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, 45 kilometers (28 mi) southeast of the city center, mainly houses low-cost carriers.

History of Istanbul

The history of Istanbul is said to begin around 660 BC, when settlers from Megara established Byzantium on the European side of the Bosphorus. They proceeded to build an acropolis adjacent to the Golden Horn on the site of the early Thracian settlements. The city experienced a brief period of Persian rule at the turn of the 5th century BC, but the Greeks recaptured it during the Greco-Persian Wars. Long allied with the Romans, Byzantium officially became a part of the Roman Empire in 73 AD.

Constantine the Great effectively became the emperor of the whole of the Roman Empire in 324 and laid out the plans for a new, Christian city to replace Byzantium. As the eastern capital of the empire, the city was named Nea Roma, but most simply called it Constantinople. In 330, it was proclaimed the capital of an empire that eventually became known as the Byzantine Empire or Eastern Roman Empire, shifting Roman power eastward as the city became a center of Greek culture and Christianity. Numerous churches were built across the city, including the Hagia Sophia, which remained the world's largest cathedral for a thousand years. Constantinople began to decline after the Fourth Crusade, during which it was sacked and pillaged. In the mid-14th century, the Ottoman Turks began taking smaller towns and cities, cutting off Constantinople's supply routes. In 1453, after an eight-week siege (during which the last Roman emperor, Constantine XI, was killed), Sultan Mehmed II captured the city and declared it the new capital of the Ottoman Empire.

A period of rebellion at the start of the 19th century led to the rise of the progressive Sultan Mahmud II and eventually to the Tanzimat period, which produced political reforms. In the early 20th century, the Young Turk Revolution disposed of Sultan Abdul Hamid II and a series of wars plagued the ailing empire's capital. World War I, resulted in the British, French, and Italian occupation of Istanbul. The final Ottoman sultan, Mehmed VI, was exiled in November 1922; the following year, the occupation of Istanbul ended with the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne and the recognition of the Republic of Turkey, declared by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

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