Attractions

Top Choice Palace in Sultanahmet & Around

Topkapı Palace

Topkapı is the subject of more colourful stories than most of the world's museums put together. Libidinous sultans, ambitious courtiers, beautiful concubines and scheming eunuchs lived and worked here between the 15…
Top Choice Museum in Sultanahmet & Around

Aya Sofya

There are many important monuments in İstanbul, but this venerable structure – which was commissioned by the great Byzantine emperor Justinian, consecrated as a church in 537, converted to a mosque by Mehmet the Con…
Top Choice Historic Site in Sultanahmet & Around

Basilica Cistern

This subterranean structure was commissioned by Emperor Justinian and built in 532. The largest surviving Byzantine cistern in İstanbul, it was constructed using 336 columns, many of which were salvaged from ruined …
Top Choice Mosque in Sultanahmet & Around

Blue Mosque

İstanbul's most photogenic building was the grand project of Sultan Ahmet I (r 1603–17), whose tomb is located on the north side of the site facing Sultanahmet Park. The mosque's wonderfully curvaceous exterior feat…
Top Choice Museum in Sultanahmet & Around

İstanbul Archaeology Museums

This superb museum showcases archaeological and artistic treasures from the Topkapı collections. Housed in three buildings, its exhibits include ancient artefacts, classical statuary and an exhibition tracing İstanb…
Top Choice Museum in Sultanahmet & Around

Museum of Turkish & Islamic Arts

This Ottoman palace was built in 1524 for İbrahim Paşa, childhood friend, brother-in-law and grand vizier of Süleyman the Magnificent. Recently renovated, it has a magnificent collection of artefacts, including exqu…
Park in Sultanahmet & Around

Hippodrome

The Byzantine emperors loved nothing more than an afternoon at the chariot races, and this rectangular arena alongside Sultanahmet Park was their venue of choice. In its heyday, it was decorated by obelisks and stat…
Museum in Sultanahmet & Around

Carpet Museum

Housed in an imaret (soup kitchen) added to the Aya Sofya complex in the 18th century, this museum is entered through a spectacular baroque gate and gives the visitor an excellent overview of the history of Anatolia…
Park in Sultanahmet & Around

Gülhane Park

Gülhane Park was once the outer garden of Topkapı Palace, accessible only to the royal court. These days crowds of locals come here to picnic under the many trees, promenade past the formally planted flowerbeds, and…
Tomb in Sultanahmet & Around

Aya Sofya Tombs

Part of the Aya Sofya complex but entered via Babıhümayun Caddesi, these tombs are the final resting places of five 16th- and 17th-century sultans – Mehmet III, Selim II, Murat III, İbrahim I and Mustafa I – most of…