Hello, Thursday. I kinda like you. Mostly because tomorrow’s Friday. But, still, you’re alright. Yesterday, I participated in my first #TRAVEX chat on Twitter. Can anyone give me any good excuses as to why I’ve not taken part before? It was so cool reading everyone’s responses to questions with the theme “making the most of a trip”. Sigh. I need a trip asap. Coachella and Miami can’t come soon enough for this girl with a serious case of wanderlust at the moment.
It is so hard to believe that it’s been two and half years since Mel and I were in Istanbul. I don’t like that. Just thinking about it makes me want pack a backpack, say peace out to my responsibilities, and jet over to one of my favorite cities in the world (so far). Apparently, there is a down side to having a full-time job, adorable gatos, and other adult things. Gross.
Hayley, from Life as a Butterfly, mentioned that she was going to Istanbul soon. When she said she didn’t have any accommodations picked out yet, I jumped at the opportunity to
demand recommend she stay at the Mavi Guesthouse.
Photo courtesy of Mavi Guesthouse Istanbul
I’m super bummed I didn’t think to take photos of my accommodations (it was pre-In Natalie’s Shoes where I photograph just about everything..), but I can tell you that the Mavi Guesthouse is basic in amenities, offering bunk beds and single beds in the female dorms. Each floor has bathrooms and showers. Private rooms are available for those who require such accommodations. I do wish we had tried the rooftop sleeping arrangement, but I suppose I can save that for my trip back!
Ali, the owner, offers breakfast each morning. Mel and I would fall out of bed, in the nick of time to make the last call for breakfast, grab a seat outside, and fuel up for the day. One night, he invited Mel and me to try homemade Turkish ravioli with a few other travelers. He welcomes all into his “home” and treats everyone like family. The hundreds of postcards from past travelers around the world can attest to this. He even told us to call the hostel if we got lost or needed someone to translate something. Lifesaver.
One of my favorite things about the Mavi Guesthouse was the proximity to everything! The Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque were a block away, while the Topkapi Palace was literally at the end of the street. And while this is no Four Seasons, you know it’s in a good neighborhood when there’s a Four Seasons on the other side of the street. Word.
Another plus: the airport shuttle stops by the Mavi Guest house! Our flight back to Prague was ridiculously early. So early, that the metro hadn’t opened yet. I should not have been awake that early. But for a nominal fee, we were picked up at that ridiculous hour.
So, Hayley, or anyone else: if you’re looking for a place to stay in Istanbul that can accommodate a college student-esque budget, offers breakfast and basic amenities, is in close proximity to some seriously cool landmarks/must-sees, and is great enough that I’ll write a cool post about it, you should stay at the Mavi Guesthouse. Be sure to tell Ali that Natalie says hi, too!