Sultanahmet is a district in Istanbul known for its rich history and being the city’s heart. This neighborhood was the capital of Ottoman and Roman empires in the olden days of Turkey. That’s why some of Istanbul’s most known historic sites and attractions are in the Sultanahmet neighborhood. Sultanahmet region is located on a peninsula above the Bosphorus strait in this city.
9 Attractions of Sultanahmet district
After arriving in the Sultanahmet neighborhood of Istanbul, you will no longer need public transportation because the historical buildings in this part of the city are located a short distance from each other. Therefore you will be able to move between them quickly.
Continuing, we will name nine of Sultanahmet’s most-known historical attractions that you must explore during your visit to this neighborhood:
- Topkapi Palace
- Hagia Sophia
- Sultanahmet Square
- Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii)
- Arasta Bazaar
- Basilica Cistern
- Gulhane Park
- Istanbul Archeological Museums
- Balat And Fener
Another famous historical attraction in Sultanahmet neighborhood of Istanbul is Topkapi Palace. Topkay Palace, which was built by the order of Sultan Mehmed second after the conquest of Constantinople, is considered the first residence of the Ottoman kings. The construction of Topkapi palace happened between 1466 to 1478.
You must consider a whole day to explore Topkapi palace if you want a proper tour of this exciting palace. Many of the Ottoman empire’s famous emperors have lived in this castle for a while.
The emperors of the Ottoman period built many royal and magnificent palaces for themselves that have become public museums today. Topkapi was the first house of the Ottoman sultans, and it is known as a valuable treasure from this era, located in the Sultanahmet neighborhood of Istanbul.
Hagia Sophia is an ancient mosque more than 1500 years old in the Sultanahmet neighborhood of Istanbul. This mosque is one of the churches of the Byzantine era, which became a mosque when the Ottoman government came to power. Unlike the Blue mosque, which has charming exterior architecture, Hagia Sophia is gorgeous from the inside.
Unique designs and patterns on the Hagia Sophia mosque’s interior walls are why a large number of tourists visit this charming mosque every year.
Hagia Sophia, whose long history dates back even longer than the Blue mosque, can be a more striking historical site. This glamorous museum was able to survive a lot of natural and man-made disasters. Hagia Sophia is a must-visit place in Sultanahmet neighborhood.
Sultanahmet Square, also known as Hippodrome, is located directly in the square of the Sultanahmet neighborhood. in the olden days, this square was used as a sports circle and sports center of Constantinople.
This unique attraction is open for visit 24 – 7. some may say that obelisk of Theodosius in Sultanahmet Square or Hippodrome is the oldest monument in Istanbul. The construction date of this obelisk in Sultanahmet square or Hippodrome is 1490 BC. this charming structure is made from pink granite, which makes it even more special.
Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii)
This mosque is one of the most charming mosques in Turkey and Istanbul. Its construction lasted between 1609 and 1616. the reason this mosque is known as the Blue Mosque of Istanbul is the lovely and gorgeous blue tiles that have created a remarkable interior space for it.
The Blue Mosque of Istanbul is mainly used as a historical attraction, not a religious place or mosque. Sultan Ahmed Mosque has six minarets, five main domes, and eight sub-domes, while mosques usually have two minarets or, in the most exceptional case, four minarets. There’s an interesting story about why the constructors of this mosque decided to use six minarets in building Sultanahmet Mosque.
Suppose you don’t like the crowd in Spice Bazaar and the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, and you are looking for a traditional shopping center in Istanbul with fewer crowds. In that case, you should visit Arasta Bazaar in Sultanahmet neighborhood. You can find various souvenirs in Arasta Bazaar, like jewelry, fabric, carpet, kilim, etc.
One of the most stunning parks in Istanbul city with both historical and natural beauty, is in Sultanahmet neighborhood named Gulhane park. Istanbul is not filled with natural parks, which makes Gulhane park even more unique among this city’s attractions. This park is more than 100 years old and located next to the Topkapi palace. The annual tulip festival of Istanbul takes place in Gulhane park.
Basilica Cistern is the largest cistern among Istanbul’s many cisterns. This unique attraction is in Sultanahmet neighborhood. Basilica Cistern is as old as the Hagia Sophia mosque, and their construction dates are mostly in sync. In the olden days, this cistern was used to supply water to Topkapi palace. This fascinating place is only 150 meters away from Hagia Sophia mosque.
Despite the incredible facts we mentioned about the Basilica Cistern, this cistern has about 300 columns, making it a significant architectural structure.
Istanbul Archeological Museums
Istanbul Archeological Museums is a museum complex that contains three museums. This fascinating museum is in Sultanahmet district. Make sure you visit this museum cause by exploring Istanbul Archeological museums, you have seen three different museums simultaneously.
Balat And Fener
Balat and Fener are two streets and neighborhoods considered Istanbul’s attractions that you will see in Sultanahmet neighborhood. These streets are narrow, and all their floors are covered with cobblestones, reminding you of the beautiful Ottoman architecture.
Walking by Balat and Fener’s gorgeous, colorful, rotten buildings almost feels like walking in a movie or animation scene.
Final words about Sultanahmet district
You need at least two days to explore this neighborhood and its various attractions. Istanbul is full of attractions that you need more than a month to visit them. If you have little time to spend in Istanbul, you need a perfect itinerary that covers the most attractions and saves you time to explore as many attractions as possible.
You will see most of Istanbul’s main historical attractions by exploring Sultanahmet neighborhood. We tried to give you an overview of this fascinating neighborhood in this beautiful city. We hope it helps you better understand why this neighborhood is famous and popular.