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All reviews place to stay blue mosque grand bazaar within walking distance hagia sophia basilica cistern major attractions historical area old city walk around spice bazaar turkey visiting istanbul sultanahmet tram tourists sights
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Reviewed December 6, 2014

The park areas around Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque are handsome, but are also full of vendors of tourist guides, who are aggressive in attempting to sell their wares, and salesmen for rug merchants, who are smoother in their approach, but equally persistent in attempting to sell the unsuspecting something which they might not want.

Date of experience: November 2014
1  Thank MinisterOfCulture
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2014

you can feel the energy of centuries that past in that place containing all religions and beliefs, a holy site indeed, if you can ignore the tourism business hassles...

Date of experience: November 2014
Thank Tarek E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2014

So much to see in a small area. Easy to get around and the transportation makes it easy to find. It contains the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and the Basilica Cisterns, all of which I highly recommend seeing.

Date of experience: November 2014
Thank Henry J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2014 via mobile

We thoroughly enjoyed strolling through this area, finding interesting areas such as the street with artists supplies, stationary street, small restaurants etc. it was reminiscent of old areas in many other cities. Delightful!

Date of experience: December 2014
Thank Lydia001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2014

If you want to experience the real Istanbul and also see all of the "touristy" bits then this where you should go. The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace are all within a short distance of one another.

From previous reviews you might get the impression that this is a vipers nest of thieves and cutthroats and I'm sure there are some. However, by simply being sensible and taking the kind of precautions which all tourists in a large multicultural city should take you won't have any problems. The Police are very visible in this area so just keep your eyes open and don't be naive.

Small cafes in the streets close by the Hagia Sophia can provide a tasty lunch if that's what you're looking for. They serve the locals so are usually very good value and quality. Larger restaurants on the hill alongside the Hagia which follow the tram line are also in general good value but beware of them pushing "extras" onto you while you wait for your ordered meal. This will usually be a tray of little plates and dishes containing starters. If you don't want any just say so, they won't be offended. Service at slack times is very good but can suffer when they get busy - don't get stressed just enjoy a more relaxed way of dining!

This area is close enough to the ferry terminals to walk to, as long as you are mobile, so don't be pushed into taking a taxi. If you don't walk you will miss all of the lovely little shops and cafes I've mentioned.

Date of experience: October 2014
1  Thank Neal H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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