Sultanahmet - Old City, Istanbul
I visited Istanbul last year and I have to admit that it was a nightmare. Personally I was overwhelemed with all the pushy,aggressive men while I traveled alone as a young female. I would like to give you the advise not to speak with foreigners, most of them especially in the touristic zones are well known for organized crinme,blackmail, mogged and rape. They are several pimps there. Be very careful in your behavoir towards young, goodlooking men they could be very dangerous!
Don`t smile! Don`t search eyecontact! Dont be warmly or interessted in small talks!
They think that you will have sex with them.
Istanbul is very beautiful and modern, fashionable. Great spots, a good kitchen with traditional dishes but the people dont have the western/european mind and opinion about a women.
Cet hôtel de 5 étoiles est situé au centre ville de Istanbul et fut construit en 2010. Il est situé près de Haigia Sofia et la station la plus proche est Gulhane. L'hôtel a 2 restaurants, un bar, un salon de conférence, une cafétéria, une piscine intérieure et un centre de fitness. Les 42 chambres sont équipées de minibar, sèche-cheveux, coffre-fort, presse-pantalons, table et fer à repasser et air conditionné.
More here about prices >>> http://wassfae.com/sultania-hotel
I've been visiting Turkey and its cities many times. Sultanahmet province is one of my favourites in all over of Turkey.
The restaurants there are most delicious and fun places that you can taste lokal cuisine. And almost everybody in Sultanahmet speak some english which is more easy to communicate people than the other regions.
Here is the link of my favourite local restaurant in Sultanahmet: http://www.sultanahmetkoftesi.com/
If you are in istanbul for traveling, i recommend you guys to book an accomodation in Sultanahmet because you'll need to spend more time there than the other provinces of Istanbul.
For my hotel and local tour bookings i choose Cheveris tours there. Being a local agency is one of the attractive side of this agency that they can offer you more options and reasonable prices.
Here is the link you can check their web site for more information: www.cheveris.com
We arrived Istanbul late afternoon the previous day and had not ventured far from our Sultanahment district hotel.
Refreshed we set out early to visit several of the major attractions before the tour buses arrived. After a few hours we decided to walk the back streets of Sultamahmet district. Ordinary narrow streets with very interesting old mansions, most close to demolition stage.
Eventually we became lost and then we came upon Sekerci Sweetshop, it stood out like an oasis in the desert as my wife was becoming very worried.
We entered the shop and to our delight we were the only customers. We enjoyed good service and the sweets were described to us. Naturally after tasting the Turkish Delight we purchased a bag.
Upon leaving the shop a tour bus pulled up and 30 people wandered into our Turkish Delight shop.
We do not know the address, but when in Istanbul someone will point you in the right direction - Sultanahmet District.
Sultanahmet Park is located just in the middle area of the most famous historic places of Old City in Istanbul ...
On one side is the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, on the other side the Hagia Sophia, and just minutes walk away the Topkapı Palace. Its a great park with fountains, flowers, tulips and perfect green grass nature, which is crowded all the times by locals and by tourists. Even in winter time the crowd and queues of the Museums are still to be seen ...
As you get tired with the museum visits, just have a seat and relax and enjoy the environment of the Sultanahmet Park.
Here you can watch my HD Video of "Sultanahmet Park" .. :
There are several cafes and restaurants around the park for your meals or just to sip a cold drink or a Turkish Tea ....
Here you can see more photos of this beautiful area on "My Travelogue" .... :
Colors of Sultanahmet Area
Enjoy .... :)
Many hotels and restaurants at the Old City offer a beatiful view of the fabulous Bosphorus and/or the Old City itself. After visiting the historical places in the afternoon go up to the roof of these and watch the lovely view having your favorite drink.
This attractive grassed square features a nice fountain where you can get some good photos of both the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque. It actually extends along the road to include the area that was formerly the Hippodrome where horse racing and chariot racing took place during Roman times.
Located in the heart of one of the world's most beautiful cities, Sultanahmet Square is also known as the Horse Square and is the most telling venue in this Sultan of Cities that is Istanbul. A favorite with photographers, a stopping place for travelers and the quintessential experience for those with a passion for Istanbul, the square is like an open-air museum.
In the late 2nd century A.D., the city Byzantium, the name it bore before Constantinople, paid a heavy price for its betrayal of Emperor Septimius Severus and was razed to the ground yet the city owed its subsequent reconstruction and Istanbul's most famous square to the selfsame emperor. The square amazed visitors with the vast array of monuments belonging to various civilizations and was known as the Hippodrome (Greek for ‘race track’). The ancient square served as an arena for chariot races and for contests involving wild animals and gladiators. While maintaining its importance throughout the centuries, the square rose to even greater prominence after the city was declared the capital of the Byzantine Empire by Constantine I on May 11th 330. During this era, the Hippodrome was turned into a center for social affairs, measuring roughly 500 x 120 meters and boasting an estimated seating capacity of 100,000.
The surviving two obelisks and a bronze column that can be seen today in Sultanahmet Square ornament the centuries-old square with an air of pride and nobility. Also there is a beautiful Fountain of Kaiser Wilhelm II, a.k.a The German Fountain, which is a real eye catcher.
Modern day Sultan Ahmet Square, also known as Horse Square, is a grassy rectangle adjacent the Blue Mosque featuring one recent and three ancient relics of the Hippodrome (Gr - horse way). For centuries it was the social, political, and sporting center of life in the Byzantine capitol of Constantinople. Chariot and horse races, gladiator contests, and other sporting events were favored pastimes of the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines with the original track built in 203 AD by the emperor Septimius Severus. In 324, Constantine the Great moved the seat of the Roman Empire Government to the city that bore his name. One of his lasting structural legacies is the enlargement and redecoration of the racetrack. Most of the racetrack remains unexcavated below ground - note how far below ground level the enclosures for the relics extend. The southwestern wall, which lies far beyond the square, has been more fully uncovered and gives an impression of the massive size of this structure. Image 1 shows the square against a background of the Hagia Sophia. At 130 x 430 yds, its capacity has been estimated at anywhere between 50000 and 100000 spectators. Images 3 and 4 depict the walls of the original Hippodrome, located at some distance from what is called the Hippodrome today for tourists, and give an idea of how dominating and massive a structure the stadium must have been.
The featured relics are in a vertical array at the site of the spina or center of the track around which the races were conducted. The paved roadways filled with tour busses are at the approximate site of the track itself, which was then surrounded by a high set of spectator stands with storerooms, stables, chariot garages, and rooms for the contestants. The seats were accessed by many doorways leading to colonnaded galleries. Most of the statues and monuments have been removed to museums, including the quadriga at St Mark's in Venice looted by the Crusaders in 1204. Bronze statues of gods, politicians, emperors, famous horses and charioteers have all been lost to time.
After the sack of 1204, Constantinople never regained its importance as a world class city and the Hippodrome gradually deteriorated. The Ottomans had no use for chariot races. The square was used for occasional royal feasts such as weddings and circumcisions of the Sultan's sons but the original structures became lost over time through benign neglect. There are many objects from the Hippodrome in museums around the world, but all that remain at the original site are the three monuments from the spina and the excavated southwestern stadium.
As a tourist you walk the streets intent on getting to your next destination that you have read about here on VT, or in your guide book. Often just off the main street you will find a fantastic opportunity to see things only the locals know about.
Here in the first photo we found this colorful and out of kilter home, or series of homes, we never did find out more.
The second photo is a small wooden home on a small out of the way side street between HagiaSofia and Topkapi.
The third photo is of a mosque on one of the main streets, but with no name we could discern outside, apparently not obvious or not important in the tourist industry, if anyone can help me with this one it would be appreciated.
The fourth photo shows a very colorful building, at the bottom of which there was a fast food shop. We stopped for a sandwich, but were invited inside. We then found out that the seating arrangements for the restaurant go up steep stairs on all the floors above, we sat on the third floor overlooking the street.
The fifth photo shows and open air restaurant in the forground and a shopping "street" in the background. We found this area by accident. When we were at the Blue Mosque, we saw all the tourists exiting the gate in the direction of the HagiaSofiya...but we also saw a smaller gate off to the right. We of course opted to take the gate where nobody was going and exited onto this shopping area. Aside from the restaurants and shops there you will also find a mosiac museum at the end of the street.
Two of Istanbul's most famous buildings face each other across the gardens & fountains of the square. This makes it a great place to sit & relax. It also provides excellent photo opportunities of the Blue Mosque & Haghia Sophia.
The Sultanahmet district is the heart of historic Old Istanbul, that 19th-century travelers used to call "Stamboul."
This is where you'll find the Topkapi Palace, Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia), the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii) - for these three please see my specific tips for each.
Additionally, here you'll find the Byzantine Hippodrome, Yerebatan Saray (Sunken Palace Cistern), the Istanbul Archeological Museums, Great Palace Mosaic Museum, and several lesser sights.
It's also your best base for sightseeing in Istanbul.
If it's your first time in Istanbul, it would be advisable to do the ''obligatory'' sights first in Sultanahmet area - Aya Sofya. Blue Mosque, and surrounding areas. Nothing beats the excitement and the adrenaline rush as you drop your bags at the hotel, freshen up and hit the ground running (despite the sleepless evening flight!). It is at this point that your interest and excitement are at their peak and you simply have to rush to do the sights.
After that, you could go back to hotel, get some much-needed sleep, and experience Istanbul nightlife.
1- Kucuk Ayasofya the little Hagia Sophia
2- Arasta Carsisi, is at the right front of Sultan Ahmet Mosque
4- French Prison
5- Islamic Arts Museum
6-Streets of Kadirga
7-Hamam at Kadirga
8-Mosque of Sokullu Mehmet Pasha
9-Palace of Bukoleon
10-Tekke of Buchara dervisches
11-Light house at Ahirjkapi
12-Fish Restaurant of Balikci Selahattin
13-cafe of Erol Tasch, a movie actor
The Sultanahmet area of Istanbul is a lively, albeit, touristy part of the city. This is the true "old section" of the city, with a history stretching back well over two millennia, a history buff's dream! :) Some of the most well known attractions in all of Istanbul are located in and around this area, including Ayasofya, the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern, and Topkapi Palace. There are also many restaurants and cafes here, and it is a great place to have a seat on one of the many benches along the sprawling central square and do some people watching. Any visitor to Istanbul must make a trip to Sultanahmet at least once!!!