One Apart Galatasaray. Photo credit: Cross Pollinate.

Istanbul is one of my favorite places on earth and I am extremely fortunate to be hosted by generous friends in their lovely apartments. Staying in an apartment with a kitchen provides a richer city experience than a hotel ever could. Food lovers, in particular, can engage so much more with the city and its commerce if they can prepare food bought at bazaars in a home kitchen. There are lots of apartment options out there (in the past I have tried The House Apart and Airbnb) and now Cross Pollinate has entered the game.

My lovely and talented friends Steve and Linda of the eco-conscious hotel and cafe The Beehive launched their holiday accommodations booking website Cross Pollinate in 2000. The successful network of guesthouse, B&B and private apartment rentals has been enriching travel experiences for over a decade and now services Rome, Florence, Venice, Barcelona, Lisbon, London, Paris, and most recently Istanbul. They have some very cool apartments in the ‘Bul and from €50 a night, guests can share or rent apartments in Cihangir, Moda, Taksim, Cukurcuma or Galata and come away with a greater understanding of the city and its daily life. For info more info on Cross-Pollinate, visit their website.