A Journey Through History of Sultanahmet Istanbul
This peninsula was the center of many different of civilizations . Imagine! Hagia Sofia-Blue Mosque- Obelix-Basilica Cistern-Topkapı Place-Byzantine-Roman walls and more....All of it in Sultanahmet district. Awesome!!!
Ataturk airport just 20 km distance. To reach the city, you may take the subway from the airport to Yenikapi Station, then by cab just taking 5-10 min to reach to place. Alternatively, by subway from the airport to the Zeytinburnu station, then via tramway up to the Sultanahmet.
Will be high cost to come directly from Airport by taxi. NOT recommended!
The city more expensive than neighboring districts because it is one of the most popular tourist destinations. In the neighboring district; for example you can get alexander with soft drink and salad around per person 10$, but around Sultanahmet, would charge you around 15$ or more.. But there are many suitable places near the city. One of it; delicious fish on the eastern side of Sultanahmet about 1.5 km away. The name Eminonu Pier, There are many bright and economic fish restaurant. Local people love to eat anchovy fish on bread at the seaside. Give it a try.!
Apart from these at the Sirkeci (1-2 km southeastern) you can taste the famous Flibe meatball & Baldir sirkeci burger.
The district surrounded by boutique hotels and they offer you kinda affordable price. Mostly boutique hotels offers Bed & Breakfast Concept; price is overall 60-80 $ for double room per day. My choice was The Angles Hotel,
The hotel just 500 metre from blue mosque and on the terrace has great view of mosque. It was pleasure to make breakfast with such a nice view. Besides that, Seagulls was accompany to us.
In the meantime, many currencies are valid here, you can use it; however, I would recommend that you use the Turkish currency, it would be wise. There are many exchange offices around the city.
Sultanahmet is so close the popular disctirct of İstanbul like Taksim, Istiklal Street, Ortaköy...... Istiklal street could take less than hour by walking. The famous Galata tower only 3 km away or The taksim suquare 4 km away. In a word, you can see many wonderful place with in 10 km.
How about shopping? Definitely at Grand Bazaar. Has built in 1461 after Ottoman conquer to the İstanbul. All kind of product, grocery, species,clothes .... anything you wish; you are in right place. All representatives can speak English & keen to talk. Let me remind you, get ready for bargain & push them to do it. Representatives love to get cash money, can be persuasive for discount.
if you consider buying carpets, rugs and handicrafts, the Arasta Bazaar can be an ideal place for you.
This bazaar, built in the Ottoman period, is located just behind the Sultanahmet mosque.
I've been tried to visit historical place as long as I have time & would love to share with you.
So let me give a few info about the most popular historical place.
Has built 1609 in Ottoman Sultan Ahmet period. The first mosque in the world with six minarets. Why is it known as blue mosque? because of interior of the mosque surrounding by blue tiles.
There are two separate entrances to the mosque. One for prayer, the other for visitors. Women has to use hijab and short skirt is prohibited. In front of the mosque, the officer giving you headscarf & long skirt, then you giving back when you leave.
Hagia Sofia Muzeum: It was built as a Cathedral in 532 by 1st Justinian at the time of the Byzantine Empire. In 1453 years, Ottomans have conquered the city and the church was converted into a mosque. Lastly by Turkish Republic in 1935 was decided to use as a museum.
By the way, the entrance fee of the Hagia Sophia Museum is 40 TL (around 9 $)
Obelix: The story not exactly known. According to the assumption, In 390 years, was brought here by Roman Empire from Egypt. It is 20 Mt long and one of the oldest monuments in Istanbul.
Topkapi Place: It was used by the Ottoman dynasty. Has converted to into a museum by the Turkish Republic.
Entrance fee 40 TL, Harem Section 25 TL.
By the way there is a Gulhane Park in the area of 100,000 square meters behind Topkapi Place. Gulhane park was used as Topkapi Palace garden during Ottoman times. There are about 100 different types of trees in this park. You can also visit the zoo inside of the park.
There are also many other historical monuments in Sultanahmet. I just wanted to summarize the Sultanahmet district. The other historical beauties await you and I'm sure you'll be captivated.