Sultanahmet district is the most popular place in Istanbul among tourists. It is located in the historical part of the city, on a cape between the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara. In 1985, it was declared a cultural heritage of mankind by UNESCO. Actually, Sultanahmet is not officially an independent district, but is part of the Fatih district of Istanbul.
What to see in Sultanahmet
It is here that you can see the main attractions of the city:
- Hagia Sophia
- Topkapi Palace
- Basilica Cistern
- Museum of Turkish and Islamic Culture
- Archaeological Museum
- The Blue Mosque (because of it, district got his name, since the main name of the mosque is Sultanahmet)
- Grand Bazaar and more than 4000 outlets
And this is not a complete list. It is likely that a whole day will not be enough for a detailed examination.
Sultanahmet district on the map of Istanbul
In addition to visiting historical monuments, here you can just walk along the old streets, look (and maybe buy something) in souvenir shops, sit next to the fountains, and then have a bite to eat in a Turkish cafe and taste local sweets with tea.
How to get to Sultanahmet
The area is located in the central part of Istanbul and can be reached by many types of public transport.
Istanbul Airport (new airport).
You can get to Sultanahmet from the new Istanbul Airport by bus or taxi. The metro as of March 2021 has not been completed. You can also rent a car and drive yourself. But keep in mind, there are constant traffic jams in the city, it is difficult to park in the city center.
The nearest stop to Sultanahmet of the HVIST-12 bus from the airport is located near Beyazit Square. There are a lot of nuances on how to get to a particular hotel, so read in a separate article.
The fare for a taxi is about 20 euros, you can also book a transfer.
Sabiha Gokcen Airport.
a) Get from Sabiha Airport by buses 132H or MR60 to Marmaray train station. On it, get to the Sirkeci station from where the high-speed tram runs. Read more about transport in Istanbul.
b) As an alternative, you can get to the Kadikoy pier by city bus E-10 (many stops, long walk) or the Havabas shuttle. From there take a ferry to Eminonu. Then walk or take the tram.
c) From the airport, take the Havabas bus to Taksim Square. There, take a taxi or a city bus to Sultanahmet. Travel time is about 2 hours, depending on traffic.
Also look at the prices for transfers from Sabiha airport. Often it is more convenient and calmer than negotiating with taxi drivers. And if you arrive at night, then there are no other options to get to the city.
Read more in this article.
Hotels in Sultanahmet
Hotels in Sultanahmet are the best option for those who want to have the main attractions of the city within walking distance. Also from here it is easy to get to other interesting places – Grand Bazaar, Dolmabahce Palace, Egyptian Bazaar, New Mosque. To do this, it is better to use the city tram.
The best hotels in Sultanahmet are:
It is advisable to book hotels in the Sultanahmet area in advance if you want to stay in a good place and not overpay for it. The best way to do this is on the website booking.com, where the most optimal offers in terms of price / quality ratio. There are a lot of accommodation options – from budget kopeck pieces to expensive fives.