We are pleased to announce the reopening of Hilton ParkSA after a full renovation period. The New Hilton ParkSA offers a full range of state-of-the-art amenities and facilities to suit the changing needs of our guests. Hilton ParkSA has a spectacular view of the Bosphorus Straits and the bridge that connects Asia and Europe. Located in one of the most elegant shopping areas of Istanbul, the hotel is close to the city's major sights, including the historic Dolmabahce Palace, the commercial district and the newly built Istanbul Convention Centre. Ataturk Airport is a 25-minute drive away.
AM/FM Alarm Clock; Babysitting/Child Services; Bar/Lounge; Barber/Beauty Shop; Coffee Maker in Room; Concierge; Hairdryers Available; Mini Bar; Modem Lines in Room; Meeting/Banquet Facilities; No Smoking Rooms/Facilities; Free Newspaper; Pool; Parking; Restaurant; Room Service; Safe Deposit Box; Shops/Commercial Services; Fitness Center; Television with Cable; Laundry/Valet Services; Wireless High Speed Internet available at charge in the public areas.
TOverlooking the Bosphorous Straits, Hilton ParkSA is within walking distance of the Dolmabahce Palace, the entertainment districts of Beyoglu and Taksim and the popular Nisantasi shopping area.
The Hilton ParkSA is 24 kilometers away from Ataturk International Airport. There are 3 main roads connecting the airport to the hotel. Sea Shore and E5 roads are most frequently used to get to the hotel. The third highway, TEM is 5 kilometers longer, but the traffic is not as busy as on the other two main roads. The Ankara sign should be followed on each road and the Besiktas exit to be taken. The hotel is in the Macka area, which is connected to the center of Besiktas by Akaretler Road. The Inonu Stadium is 1/2 kilometers away from the hotel. When coming from the Asian Side, the Besiktas sign has to be followed after the bridges.
Ataturk International Airport
Hotel is 24km from Ataturk Airport. There are 3 main roads connecting the airport to the hotel - Sea Shore, Tem and E5. Sea Shore: follow signs to Besiktas. At stadium, turn left to Macka, then take the 1st right. Hotel is after 500 meters.
The hotel provides outdoor secure parking, free of charge to guests.
The Haghia Sophia is Istanbul's most remarkable building, which is saying something in a city with such extraordinarily fine architecture. Built in 535 AD by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, this religious site has not only withstood several natural disasters but has also changed faith twice.The Haghia Sophia (meaning Divine Wisdom) was the most famous church in Christendom for the entire medieval period. It was designed by two Athenian mathematicians who used their knowledge to create a structure which supported the largest dome in the world (surpassed when St Peter's was raised in Rome). So unusual was its construction that many pious Christians were afraid to enter the portals because they believed it might fall on their heads!When the Venetians sacked Constantinople during the disastrous Fourth Crusade (1204 AD), they carted off treasures galore from that crumbling capital of Christendom. The Haghia Sophia - the most sacred space in the city - was not spared. Holy relics including a trace of Christ's blood and a piece of the Holy Cross, a "not inconsiderable piece of St John" and St James' arm were all taken and later scattered around various churches in Western Europe. Even the sacred altar, "formed of all kinds of precious materials and admired by the whole world", was broken up and shared as booty amongst the soldiers. Incidentally, many of those gems found themselves set into the Pala D'Oro, a screen comprised of gold and ostentatiously large jewels, which currently resides behind the main altar of St Mark's in Venice. It is even recorded that a common harlot danced into the Haghia Sophia as it was being ransacked. Apparently she sat in the Patriarch's seat and sang obscene songs.Too heavy to steal, however, were the porphyry columns holding up the roof. They still stand, cold to the touch, nearly two millennia after they were floated to Constantinople from the upper reaches of the Nile in what is now Sudan. Stone from all over the Byzantine Empire was used to build the Haghia Sophia - from Anatolia, Syria and the Pelopponese just for starters. So solid were its foundations and so impressive was its size, the Muslim conquerors of the 15th century turned it into a mosque by building a minaret and a mihrab into its eastern facing wall. Today it is a museum. There is no church music to bring alive those ancient acoustics, nor praying masses prostrating themselves to a higher God. There is just the scuffling sounds of tourist feet silenced by the grandeur of this solemn and forgotten building.When:Daily; not MonWhere:Haghia Sophia, Istanbul, TurkeyOpening Hours:Tue-Sun 9.30am-5pm
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul was built by Sultan Ahmet I to eclipse the grandeur of the Christian church of Haghia Sophia across the way, and grand it most certainly is. During the years of its construction from 1606-1613, the Iznik tile producers were kept extremely busy creating 999 shades for 20,000 blue tiles with which to decorate its interior and nearly 300 stained glass windows were made to allow natural light to percolate through to the rug-filled floor below.Sultan Ahmet died aged 27, just a year after the mosque was completed. His youth did not make him humble for he ordered that six minarets should adorn the Blue Mosque domes. This caused quite a stir in Mecca for until this date only Mecca's Kaba Mosque was considered holy enough to have six minarets. Despite the outraged response he generated, Sultan Ahmet refused to reduce the number and was finally prevailed upon to send craftsmen to build another minaret onto the Kaba Mosque instead. To this day, the Kaba boasts a unique seven minarets.Highlights of any visit to the Blue Mosque include the mesmerising view of the thousands of tiles and appreciating the fine carving and inlay work of the doors and windows. Have a good look too at the carved stone of the mihrab and mimber. Tourist access to the centre of the mosque is restricted: this is still a very religious and holy place which fills several times a day with the praying faithful, especially on a Friday. Remember to wear long sleeves and a long skirt or trousers, or you'll be given a particularly tasteful sarong to wear by the kindly Imam!There are so many mosques which demand a visit in Istanbul and it would be a great shame to call it a day after just seeing this one. A smaller scale version of the Blue Mosque, more intimate and perhaps even more beautiful, is the Rustem Pasha Mosque, and if you want to see the most famous architectural gem of all, then spare the time to visit the Suleymaniye Mosque too.When:DailyWhere:Blue Mosque, Istanbul, TurkeyCost:FreeOpening Hours:Tue-Sat 9am-4pm; access is restricted during prayer times
The Topkapi Palace is one of the great architectural and historical treats of Istanbul, overlooking the Istanbul Bogzi and the Marmara Sea.In 1453 the Ottoman Turks under Mehmet II conquered the city and made it their capital. They built the Topkapi Palace as their home, thus making it the political nerve-centre of the Ottoman Empire. Under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-1566) the Empire reached its peak, spreading from the gates of Vienna in the west to the frontiers of Persia in the East. Throughout the period of Ottoman rule, the Topkapi Palace remained the ruler's official home. Continually modified and reintrepreted by successive generations of rulers, it is no wonder it ended up so large and ornate. Alas, only a small part of the original palace may now be appreciated since many of the buildings were ravaged by fire and others have been demolished, although the original floorplan can still be discerned. It is built around a triple courtyard which integrates, segregates, and defines the palace's residential, ceremonial, and functional organisation.One of the most fascinating areas is the famous Harem, or Seraglio, as it was known. The Sultan's many wives and concubines lived here, looked after by eunuchs. The very architecture itself exudes sexuality. Decorated with the finest Iznik tiles but designed with the usual austerity of Islamic architecture, the Harem must be visited on a special tour (buy tickets just by the entrance) and should not be missed. The Tiled Pavilion, the oldest building in the Topkapi Palace, was built by Mehmet II. The walls are decorated with beautiful tiles of blue, green and turquoise, designed and executed in the Seljuk style. It houses the finest examples of Turkish ceramics from the 12th century to the present day. Today what remains of the palace is a museum. Some of the highlights include a Relics Chamber crammed with the Sultan's 17th-century tributes to Mecca, made of pure gold, and the Topkapi dagger inlaid with rubies and diamonds. There is also the Spoonmaker's Diamond, reputed to be the seventh-largest in the world, and a throne encrusted with jewels.When:Daily; not TueWhere:Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, TurkeyCost:US$10-US$15 (depending on exchange rate)Opening Hours:Wed-Mon 9.30am-5pm