Home > Pera Palace Hotel Review
Updated: August 13, 2020
Pera Palace Hotel – Step back in time at this iconic hotel in the heart of Beyoglu.
Sleep in the same digs favored by Agatha Christie, Ian Flemming, Alfred Hitchcock, Jacqueline Kennedy, and many, many more luminaries at this legendary hotel. Opened in 1895 as Istanbul’s first luxury hotel (for, among other clients, passengers on the Orient Express), much of the décor remains the same, including the mahogany and wrought iron electric elevator that was the first in Istanbul and the second in Europe. Seven stories of rooms encircle a lounge, lit by majestic crystal chandeliers and six Ottoman-style domes that filter in daylight. It’s not hard to imagine yourself as a dignitary from another era when here. To feel like Agatha Christie, in particular, book her favorite room, 411.
Pera Palace Hotel – Location
- Address: Meşrutiyet Caddesi No:52, Tepebaşı Beyoğlu/İstanbul.
- Nearest Metro/Subway: Tünel funicular (0.2 mile, 5-minute walk), Sishane Metro (0.2 mile, 4-minute walk).
- Area: In a busy, posh, and international-feeling fringe of Beyoglu, and an easy walk to tons of restaurants, bars, shops, and entertainment. You can hop on the Metro to get to the Sultanahmet historical district in just under half an hour or take the old and fun funicular at Tünel that links to the tram in Karaköy and gets you there in around 35 minutes.
- How to Get There: It’s easy to take the Metro or funicular from here. The hotel can also arrange taxis and drivers.
- Handy to: Pera Museum, Istiklal Avenue, Galata Tower
Pera Palace Hotel – The Basics
- Ages: Guests of all ages stay here, although the majority are in the over-40 range. Children are welcome.
- View: Rooms have views of the city and some out to the water.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Indulge in a Turkish bath experience at a beautiful and intimate marble hamam or have a soak in a jet stream tub.
- Parking: Parking garage on the premises.
- Extras: Many rooms at the hotel have interesting histories. Room 101, preferred by Atatürk who is considered to be the father of modern Turkey, has been turned into a museum and is a beautiful time capsule of early 20th-century Istanbul.
- When to Book: April through June are busy and require booking a month or so ahead, but the annual New Year’s Eve celebration means that end of December through early January can be booked up months in advance. At other times of the year, a few weeks’ advance booking should be fine unless you have a particular room in mind (the Agatha Christie room, for example, is very popular).
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +90 212 377 4000
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: perapalace.com
Pera Palace Hotel – Amenities
- Spa: The beautiful Pera Spa offers an array of massages and treatments, including the Greta Garbo Beauty Package (yes, she was another esteemed guest) that includes a massage and facial.
- Pool: There’s a small indoor swimming pool in the spa area that’s more for a dip rather than swimming laps.
- Fitness Center: The fitness center is small but fairly well-equipped with an assortment of machines and weights.
- For Disabled Guests: There are no specifically designed wheelchair accessible rooms but the wide hallways and good lifts make it reasonably easy for those with limited mobility.
- For Families: There are extra beds for free. Babysitting services are also available.
Pera Palace Hotel – Food and Drink
- Restaurants: Agatha Restaurant (named after Agatha Christie, of course) is the hotel’s main fine dining venue and features French, Italian, and Turkish cuisines. $$$. • During the summer, the outdoor Orient Terrace is the more popular choice with its bistro tables and views of the Golden Horn. You can also just get a snack or a drink here. $$.
- Lounge/Bar: British-style high tea is served daily from 3-6pm in the maroon velvet-clad Kubbeli Saloon Tea Lounge, at the center of the hotel and to the tune of live piano music. Drinking a cocktail in the iconic Orient Bar is a must.
- Café: For something sweet or an afternoon break, the delightfully pink Patisserie de Pera serves confections as sugary as the setting with specialties from around the world.
- Breakfast: A buffet breakfast with Turkish and a few international choices are served at the Agatha Restaurant and at Orient Terrace in the summer.
- Room Service: 24-hour room service available.
Pera Palace Hotel – Rooms
- Room Types: Deluxe Pera Side Room • Deluxe Golden Horn Side Room • Grand Pera Studio Room • Greta Garbo Room • Agatha Christie Room • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Room • Ernest Hemingway Suite • Pierre Loti Suite • Senior Suite • Mata Hari Suite • Alfred Hitchcock Suite • Presidential Suite
- Smoking Rooms: Pera Palace Hotel is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: The Presidential Suite with balcony is named after Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph, and you might feel like him (or at least his close kin) if you stay here. The space is massive and the furnishings opulent, but it’s the floor to ceiling windows with views over the Golden Horn and a terrace from which to enjoy the views even more that seal the deal. Those with smaller budgets and a penchant for literature will love any of the 5 Earnest Hemingway Suites or the most famous room, the 411 Agatha Christie Room.
- For Families: There are several family rooms and cots are available at no extra cost.
Pera Palace Hotel – Local Transport
- Walking: The hotel is in the heart of Beyoglu with restaurants, bars, cafes, and museums mere minutes away on foot.
- Subway, Metro, and Bus: The Tünel funicular stop is a 5-minute walk (0.2 mile) and the Sishane Metro station is 4 minutes (0.2 mile) away on foot. Both can help you get nearly anywhere in the city.
- Taxis, Uber, Lyft: Uber operates in Istanbul, or the hotel can call you a reliable taxi.
Pera Palace Hotel – What’s Nearby?
- Istanbul Small Group Luxury Day Tour – See all the top sights of Istanbul in 1 day and in style. Not your usual crowded tour and much more personal. Start location: Hotel pick-up.
- Bosphorus Tour from Eminonu Pier – A relaxing, 90-minute cruise up the Bosphorus and back with views of Europe and Asia. Start location: 25-minute walk (1 mile).
- Whirling Dervishes at Hodja Pasha Cultural Center – A one-hour show of the Mavlevei Ceremony in a 550-year old hamam. Start location: 25 minutes by public transport (2 miles).
- Topkaki Palace & Harem Tour With Historian Guide – Get deeper into this fantastic palace complex with a local historian. Bonus: You also get to skip the line. Start location: 30-35 minutes by public transport (2 miles).
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Meze by Lemon Tree – This very popular restaurant specializes in modern Turkish fare served in a slick dining area. 1-minute walk (50m).
- Eleos – Blink and you’re in Greece at this upstairs restaurant swathed in blues and whites and serving delicious Greek food. The view over the Bosphorus makes it particularly romantic. 3-minute walk (0.1 mile).
- Antiochia – Specializing in dishes from Antakya in southeastern Turkey, the food here is exceptional and enjoyed in a modern, convivial setting. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
- Sofyali 9 – Known for its delicious mezes, jovial locals flock here on weekends, but weeknights you should be able to get a table. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
- Kafe Ara – Hidden just enough off Istiklal Avenue to feel relaxed, this casual, slightly Parisian-feeling café spreads out over the pavement and offers a selection of salads, Turkish food, sandwiches, and more. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Dürümzade – Made famous by a visit by Anthony Bourdain, the dürüm here is still good, though perhaps not as good as when Tony came by. That said, it’s friendly, well-priced, and a good stop for a quick and delicious meal. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Hayvore – This old fashioned, very reasonably priced lokanta-style place serves ready-made Black Sea cuisine including soups, pizzas, and pilafs. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Cuma – The breakfasts here are a modern, healthy, and luxurious version of Turkish breakfast spread that’s served in a garden terrace or in the boho chic interior. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Dandin Karaköy – Cool café-style eatery serving pizzas and sandwiches to start and some absolutely decadent cakes and pastries to finish. 13-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Karaköy Güllüoglu – The most renowned baklava in Istanbul, with a huge selection. 15-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Van Kahvalti Evi – Famous for their Turkish breakfasts, this friendly, down-home neighborhood café is a favorite with locals. 16-minute walk (0.6 mile).
Best Nearby Cafés
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- Mikla – Elegant rooftop bar and restaurant, atop the Marmara Pera hotel and with the best view in town. 1-minute walk (25m).
- 360 – A lovely place for a chic sunset cocktail with an outstanding view. If you stay late on Fridays and Saturdays, it turns into a hip dance club. 5-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Corner Irish Pub – Always busy and always fun, get a pint of Guinness and classic pub food here alongside all the revelry that entails. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Solera – A great place to sample Turkish wines. Over 100 of them are served by the glass at this warm and inviting spot. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Unter – Grab a cocktail and bite to eat at one of the bars that pioneered hip, located in now very-hip Karaköy. 13-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Smyrna – Find the bohemian side of the city here. Drink a glass of wine or a cocktail and discuss art and literature. 17-minute walk (0.7 mile).
Nearby Clubs, Cinemas and Live Music
- Borusan Art – Enjoy performances of classical, jazz, and other music from around the world at this fine music hall. 3-minute walk (0.1 mile).
- Galata Mevlevi Museum – Come see a whirling dervish performance in this spectacular hall built in the 15th century. 5-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Salon – All kinds of live music is performed here – and it’s usually amazing. There are also dance and theater performances as well as occasional conferences and talks. 5-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Nardis Jazz Club – The best place for live jazz in Istanbul has performances by everyone from up and comers to big names. Book in advance if you want a table. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Baska Sinema – Art house and experimental films are screened at this beloved cinema. 17-minute walk (0.8 mile).
Nearby Shopping and Cool Shops
- Misela – Lauded, classic, and very stylish handbags by local designer Serra Türker. 3-minute walk (0.1 mile).
- Denizler Kitabevi – Charming book, map, art, and postcard store right on Istiklal Avenue. 4-minute walk (0.1 mile).
- Hiç – Gorgeous shop selling homeware and crafts by top Turkish designers. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Mephisto – There’s a great ambiance at this book and music store. The helpful staff can direct you to Turkish artists and there’s a café upstairs. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir – The place to buy Turkish delight. This is where the locals go. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Alaturca House – This is the best antique shop in an area known for antique shops. Find beautiful kilims, furniture, textiles, and much more in this dreamy spot. 13-minute walk (0.6 mile).
- Nahil – Buy all your soaps, Turkish crafts, and children’s toys here, all made by disadvantaged women in Turkey’s rural areas. 14-minute walk (0.7 mile).
- Pera Museum – You’ll find excellent exhibits of 17th to 20th-century Ottoman art as well as changing, modern exhibits of international standards. 2-minute walk (0.1 mile).
- Museum of Turkish Jews – An interactive museum full of videos, sound recordings, photos, and more that lead you through the fascinating history of Turkey’s Sephardic Jewish population. 7-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Galata Tower – This 70m, circa 1348 tower defines the Istanbul skyline, and you can go to the top for fine views out over Old Town and the Marmara Sea. You can find better views at rooftop bars and the queues to get into the tower are long, but it is a thrill to be inside one of the city’s iconic landmarks. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Istiklal Avenue – This impressively busy, grand, and mile-long pedestrian street is lined with shops and restaurants – some international and others local. It leads to Taksim Square, a transport hub surrounded by high-end hotels, fast food restaurants, and important buildings such as the Opera House. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- The Museum of Innocence – A unique museum that parallels Pulitzer-Prize-winning writer Orhan Pamuk’s novel, The Museum of Innocence. The museum is both, a moving glimpse into Istanbul in the last half of the 20th century, and a romantic romp through the storyline of the novel itself. If you haven’t yet read the book (it’s excellent), you can buy one on the premises. 10-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Çukurcuma Hamam – Less grand than Kilic Ali Pasa but elegant, newly renovated, lesser known, and more economical, this is one of the city’s best hamams. It’s also one of the only ones whose baths are open to men and women at the same time. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Kiliç Ali Pasa Hamam – This is the most luxurious hamam in Istanbul and it took over 7 years to restore its glory. The service is very professional and a treatment here will make you feel like Byzantine royalty. 12-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Basilica Cistern – The largest surviving Byzantine cistern in Istanbul is a dark, cool respite from the city streets. Walkways lead by subtly-lit columns to the Medusa head column base. 25 minutes by public transport (2 miles).
- The Blue Mosque – Easily the most photogenic building in the city, the best way to take in the elegant domes and minarets of this mosque are by walking towards it from the Hippodrome. The interior isn’t as breath taking but is worth a visit. 25 minutes by public transport (2 miles).
- Hagia Sophia – The history here is incredible: consecrated as a church in 537 AD, converted to a mosque in 1453, and made into a museum in 1935. The interior inspires audible gasps. Don’t miss the mosaics on the upper level. 25 minutes by public transport (2 miles).
- Topkapi Palace – This ornate, grand complex was the court of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th to 19th centuries, and vies with Hagia Sophia as the city’s top sight. It’s a huge place, so give it at least a half day, and don’t hesitate to pay a little extra to get into the harem with its hallways, exquisite tiles, and fascinating history. 30 minutes by public transport (2.5 miles).
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
Pera Palace Hotel – The Hotel
All Istanbul Hotel Reviews
- The Best Hotels in Istanbul
- The Best Hotels for Families in Istanbul
- The Best Boutique Hotels in Istanbul
- The Best Budget Hotels in Istanbul
- The Best Places to Stay in Istanbul
- The Best Time to Visit Istanbul
- The Best Places to Stay along Turkey’s Aegean Coast
- The Best Time to Visit Turkey’s Aegean Coast
- The Best Places to Stay along Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast
- The Best Time to Visit Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast
- The Best Time to Visit Turkey