Historical Walking Routes in Istanbul

Almost every year, I used to go on a camping nature hike for a few days, I couldn’t resist going and looking for walking routes in Istanbul. Of course, for the past few years, with pregnancy and then taking care of the baby, we couldn’t go anywhere. Finally, after weaning the baby off milk, I intended to entrust the child to someone for a few days and hit the mountains again, but unfortunately, I couldn’t leave the child with anyone.

So, I decided to take walks with the stroller within Istanbul. It seemed impossible because Kemal found it very difficult to even take a couple of steps or sit down, let alone stand up. Kemal’s only desire was to break free and disappear by running in the opposite direction of wherever we were going. We hadn’t really tried the stroller after the age of 2, but once when we walked on the beach, he didn’t stop. Let’s try our luck, otherwise, I’ll get very tired, I said, and we hit the road. And he stopped. He rode in the stroller with various games.

First Day

I planned a three-day intensive walking tour in Istanbul. We got off at Ulubatlı metro station. The plan for the first day was to walk through Fener Balat and the entire historical peninsula. As soon as we got off, we saw the walls.

It says Sulukule Gate on the map. The area is referred to as Sulukule, with very cute houses.

According to the map, this place is called Carius Gate. The name of the region is Kariye. According to the writings, Fatih entered Istanbul for the first time from these parts.

One of Mimar Sinan’s works, and one of the two Mihrimah Sultan Mosques in Istanbul, is right across from the walls.


I was curious about the Chora Museum because it was highly praised. It turns out it’s a church. I guess both its external architecture and the mosaics and frescoes inside are very beautiful. But because of the renovation, we couldn’t see the outside properly, and the inside was only about 100 square meters. Probably, some sections were closed due to renovation. Initially, I found it odd to pay 45 TL for that tiny space. Well, since you closed ninety percent of the museum, why not make it free? We entered for free because we had the museum card.

I had passed by it before. It turns out it’s one of the Byzantine palaces called Tekfur Palace. When rebellions started to arise in the country during the Byzantine era, the palace rulers began to leave the palace areas and settle in palaces away from the city. The Spoonmaker’s Diamond was also found in the garbage dump of this palace. It’s paid to visit the palace. Don’t think you can enter all museums if you have a museum card. The museum card is not valid in most museums. Musepass has separate cards for cities. It’s valid for 5 days. Prices range from 250 to 300 liras. They are valid in most museums in a single city.


Bulgarian Orthodox Church

Bulgarian Church from upstairs

The building called the Church of St. Mary of the Mongols is a Gothic structure that looks quite magnificent from a distance. It requires climbing quite a hill to get here. Since its construction, it has been used as a Greek school and is still in use. Not open to visitors.

The back streets of Balat were very colorful. Also, the series Çukur is being filmed here.

Fener Greek Patriarchate is strictly prohibited, and it’s very dark inside, so the photo turned out bad.

The garden of the Fener Greek Patriarchate


Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque inside

Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque

Ismail Aga Mosque and Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque

Continuing our tour, we passed through the Fatih district and entered Fatih Mosque; it felt like a different country. There were many veiled women. I had never been to Fatih Mosque before. It was a much larger mosque than I had expected.

Fatih Tomb

Fatih Complex

Bozdoğan Aqueduct

Vefa Mosque and Tomb in Vefa

Süleymaniye Mosque

Captain Derya İbrahim Pasha Mosque Square.

The gate of Istanbul University is also the only remaining part of the old palace from the Byzantine era.

Bayezit Mosque was under renovation

Grand Bazaar

Upon exiting the Grand Bazaar, you are greeted by the Nur-u Osmaniye Mosque

Atik Ali Mosque


Vezir Hanı

The Second Mahmut Tomb

Press Museum

Abdulaziz and Abdulmecid Tomb

Sultan Ahmet

Şerefiye Cistern. It was a surprise that it was free. I hadn’t been there before because it wasn’t there, it must have been recently restored. We had been to the Basilica Cistern before. There is also the Binbir Column Cistern in the area. Among them, the only free cistern is Şerefiye.

Firuzaga Mosque behind Mehmet Akif Ersoy Park, there are also ruins of a Byzantine palace

Theodosius Column

Serpent Column

Woven Column

Hippodrome remains

Arasta Hammam

Great Palace Mosaics Museum. From this museum, I learned that the so-called Great Palace was a Byzantine palace. There were many additional buildings to the present palace nose. It was quite large, even bigger than Topkapi. The palace was very magnificent, with many splendid mosaic works. When the Ottomans arrived, they did not want to disrupt the structure and thus built their palaces in the same places. When the Ottomans arrived, the large palaces of Byzantium were in disarray due to uprisings and wars.

The tombs in the garden of the mosaic museum

Arasta Hammam and Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Hürrem Sultan Hammam

HürremSultan Hammam in the middle, Sultan Ahmed Mosque on the right

Hagia Sophia

Sultan Ahmed Square

The garden of Hagia Sophia

We went to Hagia Sophia before, and most of it was closed due to renovations. It had been ranked 21st in the selection of the new seven wonders of the world. At that time, I noticed that what I had seen before was incomplete. It’s really huge.

Upstairs of Hagia Sophia

From the upper floor of Hagia Sophia

Looking towards the Baptistery courtyard

Sultan Mustafa and İbrahim Tombs overlooking the Baptistery courtyard

Hagia Sophia Tombs

Topkapi Palace and Sultan Ahmed Fountain

Historical Cold Fountain Street located on the walls of Topkapi Palace

Hamidiye Fountain and Alemdar Mustafa Pasha Tomb

Gülhane Park

I just learned that Gülhane Park is actually the garden of Topkapi Palace.

Islamic Science and Technology History Museum in Gülhane Park

War technology

The first physics therapy attempts

Ibn Sina’s book “The Qanun”

Front of the Islamic Science and Technology History Museum

We’re leaving Gülhane Park


It was a tobacco warehouse. It seems active. The building is covered with plants.

It’s a hotel, but the building is historical.

Post Museum

Hatice Turhan Sultan Fountain

I’m not sure if it’s the İş Bankası Museum or the building across from it, but I liked this building more.

Hünkar Kasrı

They have opened many places related to handcrafts where the palace is located, I took this photo for the cat.

Spice Bazaar was closed. Frankly, I didn’t know there was a closing time. I was very surprised.

New Mosque was under renovation.

Our goal for the day was the Galata Bridge, and we reached it. We checked our app and saw that we had walked 15 km during the day.

I prepared a map to show the places we walked more clearly. Since there were too many points to visit today, 4 separate maps were printed out.

Second Day

The goal for the second day was to walk from Galata, Istiklal, and Maçka to Nişantaşı, plus from Karaköy to Rumeli Hisarı. To accomplish this, we first walked from Kabataş to Karaköy, then crossed to Galata, then crossed back to Kabataş, and continued from Beşiktaş, but we got off at the wrong stop. We got off at Şişhane instead of Taksim. We encountered a surprise in the morning. Transportation was free due to the holiday. So I suggested, why don’t we ride the nostalgic tram since it’s free? We hadn’t ridden it before. So we also ended up going to Taksim.

The new mosque in Taksim

The French consulate on the left, İBB advisory in the middle, and Taksim center on the right. Water used to be distributed from here. That’s where the name Taksim comes from. It was an interesting building; it was closed that day, but I had visited it before. It’s currently used as an art center.

Holy Trinity Church

Armenian School


Molla Çelebi Mosque

Nusretiye Mosque

Historical cannon casting center, today used as Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts

Kılıç Ali Pasha Mosque

Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex

French Passage

Wall arts in Karaköy


Galata Tower and Geneva buildings and inns

I found such an interesting mosque; it has the tombs of companions inside.

It’s time to walk back from Karaköy; we’re taking the funicular to Tünel.

Historical buildings in Galata

Previously, I had spent time in a cafe on the terrace of a building at the foot of Galata Tower and counted it as climbing Galata Tower. Now, I wanted to really climb it, but I couldn’t. What a crowd! I didn’t realize how much Galata Tower was loved. By the way, it’s one of the first towers in the world.

The historic fountain across from Galata Tower

Yes, even though it seemed unfortunate to be dragged from place to place, we actually coincided with the opening of the Galata Mevlevi Lodge Museum. Thank goodness we had spent time; it was an interesting museum.


For seclusion

Santa Maria Draperia Church

Back to Beyoglu

St. Anthony of Padua Church in its most puffy form

Virgin Mary Church

Historical Aznavur Arcade

The sculpture and police barricade next to Galatasaray High School

Galatasaray High School

Approaching Çiçek Passage

Çiçek Passage

Atlas Passage

A Greek school

Back streets of Beyoğlu

When you go a little inside from İstiklal, the road becomes narrow; yes, we got off this road and headed to Cihangir by going down the stairs.

Algeria Street


Where the heck is this place, mom?

French Orphanage

Koca Yusuf Pasha Fountain

Dolmabahçe Mosque

Dolmabahçe Clock Tower

Hacı Mehmet Emin Ağa Fountain

Dolmabahçe Palace

Maçka Park

We walked across the park


Ihlamur Pavilion was closed; I took a photo through the bars. By the way, after leaving Maçka Park, we walked from Nişantaşı to here. The Teşvikiye Mosque was under renovation, so I couldn’t take a photo.

We returned from Beşiktaş, passing through the center. We continued to walk along the coast. Çırağan Palace

Little Mecidiye Mosque

First Bridge


Ortaköy Mosque

Under the bridge


There’s a Ferrari dealership and houses in Kuruçeşme Neighborhood.


Arnavutköy houses

The first bridge is far away

The second bridge is there

Luxury housing in Bebek and a ruined mosque

Rumeli Hisarı was the goal for the second day, and we reached it.

We also reached the second bridge.

We encountered a surprise after the walk. The metro in the castle is quite far and uphill. It’s in Boğaziçi University. That hill was really tough after all that walking.

Our app showed about 20 km. Here are the maps of the second day:

Third Day

We planned to walk from the Anatolian side on the third day. To avoid changing vehicles too much, we decided to go by metrobus. But we realized that transportation by metrobus is impossible for strollers and disabled people. This is the metrobus route. By the way, while we were strolling with a stroller in Istanbul, we empathized with people with disabilities.

There is an elevator in the metro, but it is used randomly, even by able-bodied people and even by young people. Some don’t give up their seats. In fact, in the last metro I entered, a healthy person scolded a disabled person in front of the elevator, saying wait in line. As far as I can understand, the purpose of using the disabled elevator has been very misunderstood.

Fıstıkağacı metro is where we would get off, and when we got off at Bağlarbaşı metro, we encountered this beauty. It’s the Marmara University Faculty of Theology Mosque.


The church in Kuzguncuk

Kuzguncuk garden


It was good to see the places we walked from a distance while walking on the shore. Çırağan Palace and Yıldız Park behind

It was a tobacco warehouse, not active.

Here is the second Mihrimah Sultan Mosque and Mihrimah Sultan Fountain.

Üsküdar Square Fountain

Şemsi Paşa Mosque and Complex

Galata Tower in the distance, as well as Süleymaniye and other mosques

Dolmabahçe Palace, Dolmabahçe Mosque behind, Vodafone Arena, and Maçka Park

Kız Kulesi with Sarayburnu in the background, Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia, and Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Ayrilik cesmesi and Karacaahmet

After walking a little bit away from the coast, we saw a cemetery, and it never ended. My husband asked if this is Karacaahmet Cemetery. Normally, he doesn’t know directions; I always give directions to him. He said Karacaahmet is the largest cemetery in Istanbul. Then we realized that we were actually there.

We’re still in the cemetery.

Water scale on the wall

Ayrılık Çeşmesi (Farewell Fountain), old buildings, and wall paintings


Beyoğlu Bull Statue attracted a lot of attention. Since there was not a single minute without people, when I removed people from the frame, such a silly photo came out. This statue was brought here by Sultan Abdulaziz

Süreyya Opera House was the goal of the day. Our app showed 15 km today. We walked about 50 km in three days.

After all, only the gate remains. Since we repented of going by metrobus with a stroller, we said, let’s go by metro. We even said, let’s cross with a ferry, but when it was too crowded, we gave up. Marmaray is chargeable, even on holidays.

Today’s map:

To experience these routes in more detail and to make it a 4-day practice by adding a few stops to these routes, I prepared an app. You can download the app from the Play Store if you want to walk these routes. The first link of each day will take you to the starting point. You can continue your route by clicking on the next tabs.



Translated from here

Bir yanıt yazın

E-posta adresiniz yayınlanmayacak. Gerekli alanlar * ile işaretlenmişlerdir