Boasting many of Istanbul’s most visited sites - including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Byzantine Hippodrome, the Turkish Islamic Arts Museum and Topkapi Palace - it’s easy to see why many tourists never venture further than the historical centre of Istanbul.
Set high up on the Eminonu Peninsula, Sultanahmet makes up part of one of the oldest settlements in Istanbul. In fact, the Peninsula was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 and visitors are still able to wander past the old city walls and preserved structures which used to be part of Byzantine Constantinople.
It’s worth navigating past the tourists to the back streets of Sultanahmet, where you’ll likely stumble on crumbling wooden houses, hidden tea gardens, small parks and the friendliest population of street cats you’ll ever meet.
Sultanahmet has a seemingly never ending supply of accommodation, ranging from bargain basement hostels to charmingly restored Ottoman-era guesthouses as well as internationally accredited five star hotels.