district is the heart of historic
Old Istanbul, what 19th-century
travelers used to call "Stamboul."
is where you'll find Topkapı
Palace, Ayasofya (Hagia
Sophia), the Blue
Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii),
the Byzantine Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan
Archeological Museums, Great
Palace Mosaic Museum, and several
lesser sights (see map below).
your best base for sightseeing in Istanbul.
For a rundown on things to see, go
Sights. (Here's a
good, inexpensive guided
View Istanbul's Top Sights: Sultanahmet in a larger map
for visitors, the district of Sultanahmet (sool-tahn-ah-MEHT,
named for Sultan Ahmet I, builder
of the Blue Mosque) also has a number
of serviceable restaurants and
dozens of good
hotels in all price ranges.
of the hotels are
literally a few minutes' stroll from
the major sights. If you're looking
for a hotel, use these tools:
The place to start your Sultanahmet
The ones Turkey Travel Planners have liked, and why.
To get to know the neighborhood of
If you have the name of a hotel and want to look
it up and learn more about it.
—by Tom Brosnahan