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Sultanahmet District, Istanbul

4.8
#1 of 34 in Neighborhoods in Turkey
Neighborhood Historic Walking Area
Boasting many of the city's most important sites, from Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque to the Grand Bazaar, Sultanahmet District serves as the historic and tourist center of Istanbul. This old district is bordered on three sides by bodies of water--the Golden Horn, Bosphorus, and Sea of Marmara--which is why it's commonly called the "Walled City." While today the quarter is only part of this expansive and sprawling city, it used to make up almost the entirety of Constantinople. Enjoy a plethora of sights while walking through the concentrated center or take a Bosphorus cruise from the shores of this peninsula. Take a look at our Istanbul family vacation planner to schedule your visit to Sultanahmet District and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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12,638 reviews
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  • Best historical town we love it such great amazing place we will definitely back. Everyone have to visit  more »
  • We visited during Ramadan and every evening the parks were crammed packed with families waiting to break the fast. Real carnival atmosphere. With the back drop of the mosques it is so beautiful and so...  more »
  • The Sultanahmet district features some really impressive buildings and some of istanbul's best food joints in the vicinity. Make sure that you spend sufficient time exploring the area.  more »

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Where to stay in Istanbul

The bustling downtown core of old Istanbul is the popular choice among tourists wanting a short walking distance to the city's biggest attractions. Here you'll find hostel-style accommodations and reasonably priced and traditionally decorated hotels, as well as bed and breakfasts and inns with views overlooking the sea. Though often the most affordable, accommodations in the old city can be very overrun with tourists and street solicitors. If you seek a more relaxed stay, consider lodging near Taksim Square. This new, trendy neighborhood is a short 15-20 minute ride from the old city, but puts you closer to restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Though the newer area of the city is a bit more upscale, you'll also find moderately priced hotels and some hostels. Look for luxury hotels in the western suburbs close to the airport, overlooking the banks of Bosphorus.
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