Istanbul ATTRACTIONS See all

Hippodrome (At Meydani)

Originally built in the third century, the Hippodrome of Constantinople was the sporting and cultural center of the former Byzantine capital for over 1,000 years. With a U-shaped race track and two levels of spectator galleries, the Hippodrome likely held more than 100,000 people. While the Byzantine emperors (and later the Ottoman sultans) took great pride in the Hippodrome and devoted significant efforts to embellishing it, little remains of the original structure today.

Sultan Ahmet Square (Sultanahmet Meydani or At Meydani)now covers the former site of the Hippodrome and largely follows its ground plan and dimensions.  Pavement marks the course of the old race track and several interesting monuments remain as well.  You can’t miss the towering Obelisk of Theodosius, the oldest monument in all of Istanbul. Made of pink granite, it was originally erected at the Amun Re temple at Karnak in Egypt, but was brought to Istanbul by the Emperor Theodosius in the fourth century.  South of the Obelisk, you will find a spiral column that once formed part of a golden basin brought to the city by Constantine the Great from the temple of Apollo in Delphi. You can also see what is known as the Walled Obelisk – the stone core of a 10th century obelisk that was once covered with bronze plaques. At the base of the obelisks and column, you can see where the original ground level of the Hippodrome once stood, about 2.5 meters below ground.

Near the northern entrance to the square, you will find the Kaiser Wilhelm’s Fountain, a stone gazebo with a mosaic-tiled dome that was a gift from the Kaiser in 1901.

Practical Information

Located in the heart of Istanbul’s primary tourist district, Sultan Ahmet Square is bordered by Atmeydani Sokak and Atmeydani Caddesi. The northern entrance is across from one of the most famous sites in Istanbul – the Blue Mosque.  If you aren’t staying in the area, you can take the tram to the Sultanahmet stop from elsewhere in the city and from there, it is just a short walk to Sultan Ahmet Square.

Tours & Tickets

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Private Guided Istanbul Day Tour, Istanbul, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Private Guided Istanbul Day Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 40 Reviews

Explore Istanbul's rich history and magnificent architecture as you visit the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: Flexible

From USD $120.00
Morning Istanbul: Half-Day Tour with Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome and Grand Bazaar, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Morning Istanbul: Half-Day Tour with Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome and Grand Bazaar

Firstly visit the magnificent Byzantine church of St Sophia. After here continue to Hippodrome, the former centre of sporting and political activities in ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $40.00
Full Day Tour in Sultanahmet and Bosphorus Cruise from Ortakoy dock, Istanbul, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Full Day Tour in Sultanahmet and Bosphorus Cruise from Ortakoy dock

Magnificent full day tour in Sultanahmet by making a visit to Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome, Blue Mosque and certainly will inspire you for new adventures after ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $147.46
Best of Istanbul Tour, Istanbul, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Best of Istanbul Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 12 Reviews

Bosphorus Cruise, Cable Car to Pierre Loti Cafe, Rustem Pasa Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Underground Cistern, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome. This is a boutique tour with a ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $134.89
Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul, Istanbul, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 12 Reviews

Suits the best to travelers who prefer walking tour to see non-touristic spots and to experience local life in the back streets of Istanbul. You will be ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $80.02
Istanbul Old City Private Tour - Sultanahmet Tour, Istanbul, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Istanbul Old City Private Tour - Sultanahmet Tour

Have an ideal tour to enhance the experience of your journey, including the most famous attractions located in Sultanahmet area, such as Blue Mosque, Hagia ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $116.60
Byzantine and Ottoman Relics Walking Tour in Istanbul, Istanbul, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Byzantine and Ottoman Relics Walking Tour in Istanbul

We will pick you up from your hotel at around 8am. This tour covers the most famous historic monuments and sights in the Old City area. There is the 1,500 ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $73.16
Istanbul Classics Full Day City Walking Tour, Istanbul, Cultural Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Istanbul Classics Full Day City Walking Tour

After your pick-up from your hotel at around 08:30 for full day walking tour, prepare yourself to be charmed with history and architecture of the breathtaking ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $78.87
Full Day Istanbul Classics and Bosphorus Cruise Tour, Istanbul, Cultural Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Full Day Istanbul Classics and Bosphorus Cruise Tour

Explore the highlights of Sultanahmet, where Turkey’s Ottoman and Byzantine empires located before. Visit the UNESCO-Listed Hagia Sophia, breathe taking Blue ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $78.87
Istanbul City Tour including Lunch at a Local Restaurant, Istanbul, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Istanbul City Tour including Lunch at a Local Restaurant

Either I conquer Istanbul or Istanbul conquers me. – Fatih Sultan Mehmet. Journey in the footsteps of the city’s most famous ruler and conquer ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $97.16

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