When visiting Turkey, make time to spend a few days in Istanbul. Home to some of the most amazing sites in the world, the Old City is rich in history and culture. It’s a trip that you’re not likely to forget, and you may find that there’s more to see and do than you can possibly handle in one visit. However, you can simplify your schedule and accomplish more by choosing to stay at a nearby boutique hotel.
A Cultural Center for 2,000 Years
Istanbul sits on the Bosphorus peninsula surrounded by the Golden Horn, Bosphorus Strait, and the Sea of Marmara. Its position between the Balkans and Anatolia makes it a major political center today, and it’s been a religious and artistic site throughout its extensive history. Once the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, it was once surrounded by ancient walls to keep it safe from invading forces.
If you only have a few days and want to see a great deal, then consider going to Sultanahmet Square. From this location, you can easily visit the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Irene, Sultanahmet Mosque, and the Basilica Cistern. There are also several museums in this area, including the Museum of Archeology, the Great Palace Mosaics Museum, and the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art. When you’re ready for a break from the indoor sites, head to Gülhane Park to see the seasonal flowers and visit an outdoor café for lunch.
This two-story aqueduct dates back to the Roman times and was designed to bring fresh water into the city from the nearby forests. It’s one of the most recognizable symbols of the city, and it’s well worth visiting. It spans more than 5.5 miles and runs from Aksaray to Taksim Square.
Fortresses and Walls
The old city walls date back to the Byzantine period and still enclose the western side of the peninsula along the Golden Horn. They’re mostly intact, and the public can enjoy detailed walking routes. You might also want to take the time to visit Yedikule Fortress in the southwestern area of the city. Located next to the old city walls, it was once the Golden Gate of Roman times. Originally a ceremonial entrance, it’s served several purposes throughout its lengthy history.
No visit to Istanbul is complete without some shopping. Take the time to visit the various bazaars and street vendors to find beautiful artwork, jewelry, and hand woven rugs. It’s an excellent way to close out a busy day of sightseeing, and you’ll go home with some beautiful memories of your time in Istanbul.
When you choose a boutique hotel near the city center, you’ll find that it’s easier to walk to destinations, and you won’t spend nearly as much time navigating the public transportation for those sites that are further away.
Hotel Büyük Keban was founded in 1971 and remodeled in the 21st century to provide guests with a more enjoyable stay. Call us today to book your reservation or learn more about our suites and rooms.