Sultanahmet District
Sultanahmet District
4.5
NeighbourhoodsHistoric Walking Areas
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
The old section of Istanbul where you can find many attractions including Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque.
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The area
Neighbourhood: Sultanahmet
With so many unmissable attractions within a mere stroll of each other – and all set around the site of an ancient Byzantine hippodrome – Sultanahmet is an overwhelmingly popular tourist destination, and a prime location for visitors to be wowed on a truly epic scale. Beyond the wonders of the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and more, this relatively small area of Istanbul somehow manages to retain an air of peace and calm. It offers visitors a significantly less celebrated but nonetheless pleasant network of quaint lanes and side streets, majestic panoramas of the Bosphorus, and an impressive assortment of accommodation options for all budgets and tastes.
See what travellers are saying
  • TravelingAmos
    New Jersey706 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good Independent Hotels and Restaurants
    While I have only stayed in Sultanahmet the two times I stayed in Istanbul, I can say that it is a great place to stay, especially if you're only here for a short time. The most major tourist attractions are all within walking distance. While you won't see many hotel or restaurant chains, no need to worry. The level of service at the independent hotels and restaurants that abound here is generally high.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 15 August 2023
  • Mohamed Sami
    Alexandria, Egypt1,709 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    History heart
    The heart of historical area of Istanbul. This is the area is beside Sultanahmet Blue mosque where you can find the fountain, the hippodrome compromising the Egyptian obelisk, the serpentine column, the German fountain, and many other old monuments. The place is always crowded with tourists and locals alike, enjoying the atmosphere with many carts selling corn or ice cream. Maybe it's over-crowded but no visit to Istanbul may skip this area
    Visited September 2022
    Travelled with family
    Written 30 August 2023
  • G W
    Toronto, Canada614 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great
    Can't miss this. All the history in one place. Imagine the hippodrome, see the 3200 year old column brought from carnac by Justinian. Lots of people but I felt very safe but still be sure to protect valuables
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 2 October 2023
  • Can Bayazıt
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of the must see places
    Well not the district itself of course. But the area includes so many museums, it is the best location for cultural and historical tour. I suggest you all to visit the archeology museum and Turk Islam museum. Everyone loves and knows topkapi palace, but the ones i mentioned are not known by everyone and also they have the most unique and historical stuffs. Even more than topkapi palace.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 2 October 2023
  • kumaran m
    Durban, South Africa8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An exciting and awesome area to stay and visit. It is a area you must visit when visiting Istanbul.
    This area is very busy and safe. Also has many eating outlets to accommodate all tourists. The shopping is excellent. The hotels in these tourist areas are more expensive. You can stay in other areas and travel by tram to this area.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 January 2024
  • LucyTravellingWife
    Johannesburg, South Africa279 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The hub of Istanbul
    Loved visiting this area. So many historical places to visit, things to see and explore! Great places to eat too. Would definitely find a hotel in this area next time! Perfect location.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 19 March 2024
  • 1957
    Ottawa, Canada829 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Heart of historical Istanbul!
    As part of our walking tour , our guide took us through to this district that happens to be the heart of old historic Istanbul. It’s filled with incredible history, we learned about the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. The streets are vibrant, bazaars, delicious food restaurants.Most attractions are free but some have an entrance fee.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 April 2024
  • Ooly Schacht
    37 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice place, pushy sales people
    Amazing place, many historical sites close by. Too many stores selling the same products, very aggressive store clerks, if not buying refuse to enter the store. The sites are amazing, all very close by.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 15 April 2024
  • suhema v
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The city that calls us again & again
    Travelled to Istanbul end of Feb We love the old Sultanahmet area. It's our 4th visit. If you want to see the tourist sights, mosques, grand bazaar etc you must stay in this area. It's a beautiful area filled with cobbled streets, beautiful mosques, bazaars, street vendors etc... Access around the area & towards other parts of Istanbul are easily available via the tram system. The marmary trains and buses are very efficient as well. Buy a travel card called the Istanbul Card. 1 card can be used by multiple members of the family. The grand bazaar is a must, busy and not for the faint hearted but a labyrinth of shops, alleys all tantalising the eyes, nose and taste buds. Visit the Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque, The Topkapi palace, and many more beautiful tourist attractions. There's lots of different accommodation types from tiny 3* hotels to opulent 5* hotels. I recommend you choose a hotel close to a tram station due to the amount of walking you will be doing. Make sure you bring comfortable shoes as there's ALOT of walking. Be mindful that taxi's cannot enter the road alongside the blue mosque so trams are the main mode of transport. We rarely used taxi's as we prefer the tram & buses. Food is amazing in this area. Something for every budget. Do try the delicious Simit, sweetcorn & chestnuts from the street vendor carts. A must is dessert, Baklava or kunafe from the famous Hafiz Mustafa dessert chain. We cannot wait for our next visit
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 May 2024
  • deejay90210
    New Delhi, India2,132 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The place to stay in Istanbul
    The historical and touristic area of Istanbul. Many hotels are located here, in small bylanes with terraces overlooking the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque. It becomes more lively in the evenings with many historical sites within walking distance.
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 24 June 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles16 802 reviews
Excellent
12 528
Very good
3 612
Average
506
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87
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70

Evalu8
Greater London, UK1 060 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
With a variety of wonderful architecturally significant buildings and sights all within walking distance, this area is a great base if you want to see as much as possible on limited time. You can obviously arrange to do it as part of a paid tour, but to be honest, you can do it all yourself. If you want to visit some of the major tourist attractions like the Blue Mosque, Tokapi Palace or Hagia Sophia you can simply buy a book of discounted entry pass options without paying full cost on the door. In addition, there are numerous places to eat, shop, walk and see, and what’s more it’s all safe.
Written 22 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Zehra N
14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
We stayed in a hotel in the Sultanahmet District as it was walking distance to the main historical attractions. The area itself is lively and people are friendly and welcoming. Shopping is a bit overpriced as is the food, compared to local eating areas. English is not spoken much, which is actually refreshing as the residents do not feel the pressure to assimilate; their pride of their country and their language shows. That being said, communication is not much of a problems, and they make sure they communicate what is needed. The sidewalks and roads are uneven with unexpected drops and steps, so must be attentive when walking. We loved staying here and will definitely do so again!
Written 30 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ioana R
Ibiza, Spain7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
In the next trip I will for sure look for a hotel in the other side of the city (around Kadikoy for example). Sultanahmet is just a bit too touristic, therefore the prices go up and the quality goes down. However, if you manage to find a good hotel at a good price don't miss the offer, in Sultanahmet you are 5 minutes away from all the important places to see (Hagia Sofia, Grand Bazar, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace...)
Written 3 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aaron G
Los Angeles, CA345 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
Sure it's beautiful, and despite my three-star review, it's a must-see... but be prepared to be constantly harassed by Turkish rug merchants, who present themselves as "guides" and want to show you "secrets of the city..." then get extremely angry and aggressive when you don't step into their shop. And woe unto you if you do. Once you step in there, you're stuck for a good half hour while they unroll rug after rug, each looking exactly like the last, then literally yell at you when you try to leave.

So my advice? Stick to the park between the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. If you learn from my mistake and do NOT venture outside of there on foot, you'll have a great time.
Written 18 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hiba M
32 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Friends
I met my childhood friend in Istanbul and stayed in Sultanahmet district. It was one of my best experiences in life! The place is really nice; people are very friendly; restaurants are open late. It’s a tourists attraction though, so you have to always negotiate the prices and check and compare the menus. There are two mosques you must visit. There are also little shops and nice street food. I think it’s a good place to stay in Istanbul. It’s near everything and the tram is easy to get. Enjoy your stay!
Written 26 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

amiauk
14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Family
Fantastic area to stay in whilst visiting all the major attractions such as the Blue Mosque, Haig Sophia and the Topkapi Palace and Museum, all within walking distance. We stayed at the No.12 Hotel, a lovely boutique hotel with friendly staff who can’t do enough for you.

On a slightly sour note, I always expect to pay more for certain things on holidays and usually ignore a cheeky price rise etc, however I would give a warning to anyone using a local barbers called Haircuts HQ, Nuruosmaniye, Cad. No.7, Cagaloglu, ISTANBUL. This is within the Sultanahmet area, I attended on the last day of my holiday and was charged 3 times the price and only realised on returning to my hotel after the staff pointed out that I had been overcharged. The point being that people like this barber ruin it for what is a great city with some of the nicest most hospitable people I have ever encountered. To the barber .. Mr Fazli Koprubasi you are now famous for the wrong reasons and I hope my review saves some other genuine tourist from being ripped off. Shame on you !!
Written 3 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linda M
Saudi Arabia83 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021
If you just want to see the main highlights, you can do it from here pretty easily. Lots of popular sites in the same area. It's all walkable. And, if you're touring around, you'll wind up here anyway so just make it a destination.

But, if you find yourself in Istanbul for a longer period of time, Sultanahmet may become a favorite place to have a walk, enjoy some tea, or just sit in a cafe and watch the world go by. During the summer it's not so great because of the large number of tourists, but in the off-season it's lovely. Wander on up the hill and enjoy the big trees and quieter restaurants.
Written 10 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

r8ter2018
Madison, WI161 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022
We saw this district both at night and during the day time, visiting it a total of three times. After you walk up from your vehicle drop off, perhaps 200 meters over sloping cobblestone walkways, it is easy to walk the level surfaces to both the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, and the sites of the Hippodrome. We were there in January, when the crowds were small and it was easy to view the mosques. Remember your scarf for the mosques, and wear comfortable shoes that you can remove without much bother. Take a bag with you to carry your shoes, although there are shelves where you can leave your shoes if you like. Be careful to avoid going into the areas for the worshipers--remember that these are functioning mosques.
Written 10 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Рамиль Х
Moscow, Russia133 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
Sultanahmet district is the historical center of Istanbul. If you want to see the city, you should visit this place, surrounded by palaces, architectural monuments, mosques, palm trees and views of the Bosphorus Strait. In the center, you need to think about Parking in advance, but there are a lot of cafes there. I am sure you will like to be photographed in Sultanahmet.
Written 17 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Iguda
Katsina State, Nigeria104 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
This area or district is a must visit by tourists coming to the city of Istanbul as there are series of tourist sites for site seeing which include historical sites of the sultanate of Istanbul and many other attractions .These attractions include series of shops to but gift items and souvenirs for loved ones and fiends alike.There were so many people during my visit which makes it looks like a pilgrimage which the large number of people from different countries of the world.I was told that some of the attractions are not open on Sundays and therefore could not visit them.
Written 10 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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SULTANAHMET DISTRICT (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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