Living Like A Local With @Roomorama: Istanbul Edition (Photo Essay & Video).

By Posted in - Featured Post & Travel Blog & Turkey & Videos on November 22nd, 2011

*To see the video in all its HD goodness, click the far right button on the right side of player to go full screen and then crank it up to 720p.

Made for travelers by travelers.

That could be the motto for this holiday apartment. Zumrut and her husband Hayri bought this apartment (and the one below it) so they could rent it out and make money to travel. We found this out after we booked it through Roomorama and started chatting with the hosts through the Roomorama system prior to our arrival.

Their dream is to take a year off and travel the world! It was a perfect fit and we had a lot to talk about. Inside there is even a photo collage of their holiday experiences – it’s really cute. To top it off, because they travel so much they know what you need when you arrive. Cheese, bread, beer, wine & water were already there when we arrived – it was perfect! So many times you arrive in a new place and have to run out and find something to eat or drink, so it was great to have the staples right off the bat! They also gifted us a box of local Turkish Delights – something we seemed to nibble on every day.

And as if that wasn’t enough, when we arrived Hayri took us on a small walking tour of the Galata area. He showed us two grocery stores (1 budget, 1 luxury), restaurants, the bridge to Sultanahmet, a dry cleaner and told us how to buy metro tickets. Instead of wandering around trying to find these things on our own, we knew in 10 minutes time exactly where to go. They also had maps at the apartment and English language magazines for browsing through. Attention to detail and personal touches made this holiday rental stand above the rest.

I should also mention they helped us figure out how to get to the apartment from the bus station. Zumrut emailed directions, maps and landmarks to help us find our way by bus or taxi. If you’ve ever arrived in a new city, you know how nice it is to have one-on-one directions to your location!

Everything about this apartment is 100% spot on. The location is killer – 5 minutes to the bridge, 10 minutes to the old town part of Istanbul, 5 minutes to Istiklal Avenue, 10 minutes to Taksim Square. Only 88 steps to Galata Tower and the square with tons of restaurants, bars and shops to choose from. When we were looking for a place to book in Istanbul I was pretty sure I wanted to be in Sultanahmet, or Old Istanbul, but this little gem popped up and quite frankly I was sold on the interior. It just looked cool. I liked the blue/white theme and the details made it seem like somewhere I imagined staying in while in Turkey.

Turns out the location was better than we could’ve asked for. Sultanahmet Square is a great spot since all the old parts of Istanbul are there, but as we discovered it pretty much dies out at night. All the major sites close and therefore all the people leave. Galata Square however is hopping all the time with the perfect amount of excitement (bars and restaurants) and relaxation (cafes and fruit stands). Everything you need is at your doorstep yet the apartment is peaceful and quiet. The location is also very safe. I felt comfortable walking around at night by myself.

We stayed here with Brooke from BrookeVsTheWorld and all three of us loved this spot. The apartment was roomy enough for everyone and it was incredible coming back to after a long day of touring around Istanbul.

I highly recommend this spot to anyone wanting to visit Istanbul. We loved it and even decided that we would love to spend a couple months in Istanbul discovering the city – yep, Istanbul is that incredible. When we make it back the first thing we will do is see what type of long term arrangement we can make with the owners of this apartment. It was a great spot, we felt very comfortable there and would love more time there. I’d recommend this apartment to anyone – a small family, a group of backpackers or couples. It’s a perfect way to discover an unbelievable city.

We’ve included photos from the apartment and surrounding area below. Although the video gives you a great idea of the apartment this way you can also look at the photos at your own speed. Please let us know if you have any questions about this rental. We loved it!

The apartment is located in this building. The windows are the ones located on the 3rd floor – the one above the blue balcony.

Sapphire Galata

The interior is bright and airy. White walls with bright blue accents and black & white photos. It’s beautiful.

Sapphire Galata Sapphire Galata

Sapphire Galata

Sapphire Galata Sapphire Galata

Sapphire Galata

Sapphire Galata Sapphire Galata

Sapphire Galata

Sapphire Galata Sapphire Galata

Sapphire Galata

The owners left us a box of Turkish Delights upon arrival and the photo of the Galata Tower was taken while looking out of the bedroom window to the right.

Sapphire GalataSapphire Galata

Sapphire Galata

This is the door to the apartment building, a convenience store, small restaurant and eye glass store are the most immediate neighbors. The other photo shows Henyri (apartment owner) giving Randy a tour through our new neighborhood.

Sapphire Galata Sapphire Galata

Travel bloggers unite – Brooke & Randy hard at work in the living room.

Sapphire Galata

This photo shows the street the apartment is on.

Sapphire Galata

The following photos are shops and streets in the immediate vicinity. Galata Tower is only 88 steps from the apartment and all of these photos were taken in the square surrounding the Tower. Except the photo of the boy collecting water – that photo was taken behind the apartment building where there is a mosque and fountain.

Sapphire Galata

Sapphire Galata Sapphire Galata

Sapphire Galata

Sapphire Galata

Sapphire Galata

Sapphire Galata

Sapphire Galata

We would like to thank Roomorama for hosting us for three nights in this beautiful Istanbul Short Term Rentals. If you would like to view the property for yourself, you can check it out here: Galata Sapphire.


*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website, Nariko’ s Nest Weddings & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

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(15) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • inka -

    November 22, 2011 at 4:21 am

    I was looking for an apartment to rent in Istanbul, so this post came in very handy.

    • Randy -

      November 23, 2011 at 1:55 am

      @inka, Fantastic! Glad we could help. We loved the apartment and neighborhood. The more we explored around the Galata Tower the more we fell in love with the area. Lots of boutique shops and cafes. There is also a famous Jazz Club right across from the apartment, which creates a cool atmosphere at night around the apartment

      If you have any more questions about the apartment or need a suggestions for Istanbul, just let us know.

  • Eurotrip Tips -

    November 22, 2011 at 7:16 am

    I’m glad you had a better experience than me! I love Roomorama’s concept and while I will certainly book again, my first experience wasn’t so great. But after reading reviews like yours, I am very confident 🙂

    • Bethany -

      January 10, 2012 at 10:23 am

      We had good luck across the board! Hopefully you’ll have another time to check them out and find a good spot. 🙂 @Eurotrip Tips,

  • Patricia GW -

    November 22, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Your photos are just stunning! I especially love the last one, where the merchant has fresh bread in his outstretched hand. It feels like I can just grab it and enter into this beautiful world in Istanbul. I’ll bookmark roomorama for the future 🙂

    • Bethany -

      January 10, 2012 at 10:25 am

      That guy was awesome! He was dressed so well in suit pants and shiny shoes for selling sandwiches in the square. He took a lot of pride in his sandwiches. 🙂 @Patricia GW,

  • Roy Marvelous -

    November 22, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Somehow, whenever I visit your blog it seems more awesome each time. Btw I was just in Istanbul a week and a bit ago. It was great, apart from eating an entire box of Turkish Delights to myself. Man, that was one sugar high!

    • Randy -

      November 23, 2011 at 11:03 am

      @Roy Marvelous, Thanks man! Yeah, I developed a heavy addiction to the Turkish Delights too. At first, I didn’t think they were anything special, but then I couldn’t stop eating them.

  • Sarah Wu -

    November 22, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Love these beautiful picture so bright and sharp. Looks so lovely and the video you put together is very informative and great.

    • Bethany -

      January 10, 2012 at 10:31 am

      Thanks Sarah! I’m glda you like the video on Istanbul! 🙂@Sarah Wu,

  • jenjenk -

    November 23, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Seeing all these pictures makes me miss Istanbul all the more! I stayed closer to Tophane but after a day of sightseeing, it was good to come back to that area to have dinner where there was more of a nightlife and not have to travel far!

    I’ll have to check out Galata area the next time I go, that apartment looks gorgeous!!

    • Bethany -

      January 10, 2012 at 10:35 am

      Galata was definitely a perfect place to stay. We had no real idea what to expect in the area and it turned out to be ideal. A little of everything and close to all the major sights. 🙂 @jenjenk,

  • Brooke vs. the World -

    December 9, 2011 at 2:24 am

    You guys did a fantastic job on that video!!!!! AW, I finally got around to watching it 😉 Before I was in Bishkek and the Internet was too bad to download, but you really did a great job! And thanks for the little insert at the end 🙂 🙂

  • Maureen Spitz -

    September 18, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Thanks for the amazing post and tip on this apartment! My husband and I would love it! Can you tell me what time of year you visited?