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“A Turkish Delight”

Sultanahmet District
Book In Advance
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$100.00*
and up
Istanbul Small-Group, 1-Day Walking Tour including Hagia Sophia
Ranked #4 of 1,044 things to do in Istanbul
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Attraction details
Owner description: The old section of Istanbul where you can find many attractions including Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque.
Hawaii
Level Contributor
36 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“A Turkish Delight”
Reviewed November 6, 2013

I traveled previously to Istanbul in 1986 and 1988, so it was a welcome visit to one of my favorite places in Europe or Asia. The Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) is a magnet and draws you to it, a very spiritual place because it is still a practicing mosque. There is excitement even when they have to send you away when prayers begin. There are options, i.e. the Hippodrome, the Cistern, Topkapi, the Haghia Sofia - just wandering around the neighborhood and even to the waterfront. The district has retained its flavor over time - rug sellers still offer apple tea, prices have not escalated as much as other cities, people are friendly and even the dogs and cats are well mannered. I am a female and felt very safe the entire time I was there.

Visited October 2013
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1 Thank MLOTE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Swansea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Best Place to be”
Reviewed November 6, 2013

If you want to be where all the action is, this is it. Great area of the wonderful city of Istanbul.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank CeedubSwansea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica, California
Level Contributor
55 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Fantastic sights but way too touristy”
Reviewed November 5, 2013

Positives: many of the main tourist attractions in Istanbul are in or near Sultanahmet, including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace, the Cistern, and the Grand Bazaar. It's easily accessible from the airport using a shuttle or public transportation, and there are lots of dining and accomodation options within close proximity.

Negatives: very touristy and relatively expensive. Of course you expect a place to be touristy when you've in the tourist district, but as a woman traveling alone, I found that many of the vendors and restaurant personnel were so pushy that it actually bordered on aggressive. Several men working at restaurants near the Grand Bazaar actually blocked my path so that I couldn't pass and kept blocking me until I finally rudely told them to move. Similarly, other vendors "introduced themselves" by shaking my hand and wouldn't let go of it for 30 seconds or more while they attempted to convince me to buy something from them. Finally, everyone who claimed they wanted to practice their English with me actually just wanted to sell me a rug. As I said, you expect the place to be touristy, but when you're approached by people in this kind of aggressive or pushy way 15 or 20 times per day, it's way too much.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Ashley B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Malbaie, Canada
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great time”
Reviewed November 5, 2013

Very easy to walk to all the sites. Traffic in Turkey is chaotic by north american standards. Dangerous for pedestrians. Practically no stop signs...as for lights, well they are not always respected.
We spent 3 days exploring this neighbourhood of Istanbul and were not dissapointed. The history, the architecture, the people left us with the will to go back another time.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank felix160
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“One of my favourite places”
Reviewed November 4, 2013

The Sultanahmet district of Istanbul is a wonderful mix of history and modern life, although some of means by which work is done still is not modern. There are numerous amazing sights and lots of good places to eat and drink.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank William035
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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