The Sultanahmet district is the heart of historic Old Istanbul, what 19th-century travelers used to call "Stamboul."
This is where you'll find Topkapı Palace, Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia), the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii), the ByzantineHippodrome, Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Saray), Binbirdirek Cistern, the Istanbul Archeological Museums, Great Palace Mosaic Museum, and several lesser sights (see map below).
It's your best base for sightseeing in Istanbul. For a rundown on things to see, go to Istanbul Sights. (Here's a good, inexpensive guided walking tour.)
View Istanbul's Top Sights: Sultanahmet in a larger map
Luckily for visitors, the district of Sultanahmet (sool-tahn-ah-MEHT, named for Sultan Ahmet I, builder of the Blue Mosque) also has a number of serviceable restaurants and dozens of good hotels in all price ranges.
Many of the hotels are literally a few minutes' stroll from the major sights. If you're looking for a hotel, use these tools:
Sultanahmet Hotels Homepage
The place to start your Sultanahmet hotel search.
Sultanahmet's Best Hotels
The ones Turkey Travel Planners have liked, and why.
Sultanahmet Street Guide
To get to know the neighborhood of each hotel.
Istanbul Hotel Index
If you have the name of a hotel and want to look it up and learn more about it.
—by Tom Brosnahan