Places to see in Istanbul

How To Get to the Historical Old Town Area?

How To Get to the Historical Old Town Area?

The answer to all of the following questions are the same:

All of these historical sites are within walking distance from each other, and the tram station that applies to all of these places is called “Sultanahmet“, which comes from the original name of the famous Blue Mosque, which is “Sultanahmet Camii” in Turkish. 

How To Get to Sultanahmet? 

The easiest way to get to the historical old town of Istanbul where all the must-see historical sites are, such as Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Basilica Cistern, the best way to get there is via the tram line T1. Take the tram line T1 and get off at the “Sultanahmet” station. All of those sites are within 5-10 mins walking distance from there. 

Most tourists stay in the old town area or close by it, which the tram line T1 is passing through. However many tourists also stay in Taksim and Galata area. If your hotel/Airbnb is closer to Taksim square, go to the Taksim square and go down to the subway station. You will find there the funicular line F1 that goes down to Kabatas from where you can get on to tram line T1 and go to Sultanahmet. 

If you stay in the Galata area, you can use funicular line F2, also known as “Tünel” to go down to Karaköy, and take tram line T1 from its Karaköy station.

If you stay on the Asian side, take a ferry from Üsküdar or Kadıköy to “Karaköy” or “Eminönü” and from both of those stations, you can transfer to tram line T1. 

If you stay further west or north on the European side, you can use the Marmaray metro line and get off at “Sirkeci” to transfer to the T1 tram line, or the M2 metro line and get off at “Vezneciler” station to transfer to the “Beyazit” station of T1 tram line (note that it takes 10 mins walking from M2 Vezneciler station to T1 Beyazit station. 

Read our articles on why you should visit the historical sites in the old town and what you should expect from visiting these sites. 

Read our Top Tips on visiting the historical sites and how to get the most out of your experience while visiting these sites, such as Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, or Blue Mosque. 

Click here to book a guided tour to:

Topkapi Palace & Harem

Basilica Cistern

Hagia Sophia

Blue Mosque