Second Home Hostel is a great hostel if you are traveling as a family or small group. They offer family rooms with private bathrooms so if you are traveling with a few friends or family this is a great option.
This hostel is is centrally located near old town Sultanahmet a few blocks from Sirkeci Train Station. The Gulhane tram station is also located at the end of the block, which makes it easy to get to and from the airport via the metro and tram system. Although all major attractions are within walking distance to the hostel, after a long day of hiking, it is nice to know you can easily jump on the tram to get back to the hostel.
The area is full of a variety of restaurants that cater to not only the tourist, but also to the locals so you will be able to taste authentic Turkish meals. There is a small local grocery store a block away so you can purchase anything you may need should you want to dine on your own. Breakfast is included in the hostel rate, but it is a typical Turkish breakfast so you may want to purchase and store a few extra food items in the guest kitchen.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The rooms are clean and contain a small desk and shelving unit for your items. The are convenient hooks for hanging your wet towel and/or jackets on. The beds in most dorms are bunks with one single on top and a double below. Ladies be aware that you might be asked to share the lower double bed. This happened on a couple of occasions to different people staying there. The private rooms do not have a blanket per se, only a scratchy bedspread so do ask for a blanket. There are rooms with private bathrooms available also.
The bathrooms differ per floor; one floor has a shower room with two showers, sink, and toilet along with a separate toilet room. Other floors have one bathroom, which contains the only shower and sink. If everyone is leaving at the same time, it can be busy.
Try to avoid the rooms on the first floor as the reception is open all night and people like to stop and chat with the staff. The old buildings of Istanbul echo and it can be quite loud.
The top floor, which is the computer room/breakfast area, is clean and offers a great view of Istanbul. It is an enclosed room so it is a great place to hang out on those rainy days. The room has some games, books, and a couple of computers. It is good to note that Wi-Fi is available in the common room and in the individual rooms. You will need to get the password from reception. The guest kitchen is small, but with breakfast included and inexpensive food out the door, there isn't much need to use it. Tea and coffee are available from this area also.
The place is very clean and the staff are nice. It is a great location away from the touristy Cankurtaran area and where you are able to walk to all major sites. You can conveniently book your tours and transportation from the reception at what seem to be standard prices. Aside from the noise on the first floor and some miscommunication between staff members, our stay was worth the money. The major issue is the owners trying to book more than one person to a bed -- they don't seem to think it is an issue.