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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Best of Istanbul Tour, Istanbul, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Best of Istanbul Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Experience the scope of Istanbul with this full-day, small-group tour. Led by a local guide, explore the main attractions of the city, including Pierre Loti ...  Read more

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

From USD $131.13
Istanbul Highlights Private Tour From Istanbul With Port or Hotel Pickup, Istanbul, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Istanbul Highlights Private Tour From Istanbul With Port or Hotel Pickup

Istanbul is city of Sultans, and with this tour you will be treated like Sultans. Our very professional guide will take care of everything for you, no waiting ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $42.00
Istanbul Old City Private Tour - Sultanahmet Tour, Istanbul, Day Trips
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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 $109.63
Byzantine and Ottoman Relics 1-Day Walking Tour in Istanbul, Istanbul, Private Sightseeing Tours
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Byzantine and Ottoman Relics 1-Day Walking Tour in Istanbul

Immerse in Istanbul's rich heritage on this 8.5-hour walking tour of the UNESCO-listed Old City. Discover the Hagia Sophia cathedral-mosque, the vast Blue ...  Read more

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

From USD $68.79
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 $74.16
Full Day Istanbul Classics and Bosphorus Cruise Tour, Istanbul, Cultural Tours
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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 $74.16
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

Journey in the footsteps of the city’s most famous ruler and conquer Istanbul in just one day, on this 9-hour walking tour of the UNESCO-listed Old City. ...  Read more

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

From USD $91.36
Full-Day Private Walking Tour of Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul, City Tours
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Full-Day Private Walking Tour of Sultanahmet, Istanbul

Get to the heart of old Constantinople with this private 1-day walking tour of Istanbul's old city, Sultanahmet. Visit the Roman-era Hippodrome, the iconic ...  Read more

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

From USD $63.42
Small-Group Full-Day Istanbul City Tour, Istanbul, Walking Tours
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Small-Group Full-Day Istanbul City Tour

Your visits will be to the following sights with an experienced and licensed professional guide. Pick up at around 08:30 from either your Istanbul hotel or the ...  Read more

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

From USD $150.48
Private Istanbul Tour from Istanbul Hotels and Port, Istanbul, City Tours
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Private Istanbul Tour from Istanbul Hotels and Port

With this private tour explore magical Istanbul "City of Sultans". Enjoy a day of history and sightseeing of Old Istanbul.

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $130.00

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