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CITY GUIDE

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Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace

Open daily between 9:00-19:00 p.m. except Tuesdays.

Topkapi was the first Ottoman palace to be built (1466-1478) in the newly conquered capital of the Empire by Mehmet II. Located on the spot where the foundations of the city were first laid in ancient times by Megarian Chief Byzas in the 7th century BC, the palace boasts one of the most beautiful views of Istanbul, incorporating the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn, the two shores and the sea of Marmara. Topkapı palace is only 5 minutes away from Romance Hotel by foot. Unlike the European palaces, Topkapi is not a single monumental structure but a more organic complex made up of various kiosks, gardens and areas spread over the tip of the historical peninsula at the entry of the Golden Horn. Topkapi Palace served as the residence of Ottoman sultans for about 400 years, until Abdulmecid built the Dolmabahce Palace. In its hey-days, there were between 8-10 thousand people living in the palace, mostly being the Janissaries. It was turned into a museum in 1924 and has become one of the most attractive palace-museums in the world. The most attractive exhibition halls of the palace are: treasury, Islamic holly relics, costumes of the sultans, divan, harem, kitchens, Chinese porcelains and several kiosks such as the Baghdad, Revan, Sofa and Mecidiye.


Dolmabahce Palace

Dolmabahce Palace

Open daily between 9:00-4:00 p.m. except Mondays & Thursdays

Dolmabahçe was built in neo-baroque style between 1843-1856 in the rapidly growing northern section of the city, at the Marmara outlet of the Bosphorus, to replace the Topkapi Palace which was out fashioned. The architect was Karabet Balyan, head architect of Sultan Abdulmecit. It has 3 floors including the basement with a symmetric design, with 285 rooms, 43 halls, 6 Turkish baths. The pier is 600 meters long and the palace has two beautifully decorated monumental gates giving access to its courtyard. The huge ballroom has a 4,5 tons crystal chandelier hanging from its 36 meters high ceiling. Dolmabahce housed Sultans and their families before the Republic, and it was then used by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk during his visits to Istanbul. Atatürk died here on the 10th of November, 1938. The palace now serves as a museum and a guest-house used for receptions for important foreign statesmen during their official visits. Although Dolmabahce is not located in Sultanahmet area, it is still very easy to reach there from our hotel by taking the tram. After reaching to Kabatas, you will be in the famous ballroom in Dolmabahce in 10 minutes.

Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayı)

Open daily between 09:00-18:30

Byzantine cistern from the 6th century built by Justinian I and is located to the south-west of Hagia Sophia. The water was brought from Belgrade Forest, 19 kilometers to the north of Istanbul, and it had a capacity to store 100.000 tons of water. It features fine brick vaulting supported by 336 various type of columns brought here from different parts of the Empire. The Basilica Cistern, or Underground (Yerebatan) Cistern as locals call it, is only minutes away from our hotel. There are also two Medusa friezes brought from the Temple of Apollo in Didyma (today's Didim). Its dimensions are 140x70x9 meters.

Beylerbeyi Palace

Beylerbeyi Palace

Open daily between 9:00-5:00 p.m. except Mondays & Thursdays

Beylerbeyi was initially the residence of the Governor General in charge of Anatolia, but was rebuilt in the style of Dolmabahce and Ciragan palaces as a royal palace in the between 1861-1865 on the Asian side of the Bosphorus and served as the summer residence of the sultans. The palace was ordered by Sultan Abdulaziz to the architects Sarkis Balyan and Agop Balyan in neo-baroque architecture with a traditional Ottoman house plan. Beylerbeyi is built on two main floors and a basement containing kitchens and storage, and was divided into two sections; Selamlik (men's section) and Harem. There are a total of 3 entrances, 6 state rooms and 26 smaller rooms. The palace is located at Beylerbeyi neighborhood, north of Uskudar district, next to the intercontinental suspension bridge built in 1974. It has great views of the Bosphorus and its European shores, and exquisite grounds with terraced gardens.Our guest relations will help you to arrange a visit to Beylerbeyi Palace.

Tophane Pavilion

Tophane Kasri

The Tophane Pavilion gets its name from Tophane (meaning Cannon factory in Turkish, where there was one) neighborhood. It's located on Necatibey street next to the Nusretiye mosque and was one of the most important buildings on the Tophane Square during the Ottoman period. The kiosk was ordered by Sultan Abdulmecid and built by the British architect William James Smith in 1852. It was especially used for the sultans visiting weapons factories in the neighborhood and to receive foreign visitors coming to the port by the sea, such as the Russian Czar's brother Grand duke Konstantin. Tophane Kiosk runs parallel to the shore on a rectangle plan sitting on two floors. It has a European style like all other buildings of the same period, with fine hand work ceiling decorations and marble fireplaces. At the moment Tophane Kiosk is closed to visitors and administrated by the Fine Arts faculty of Mimar Sinan University. Nearby this Kiosk, there are Istanbul Modern Arts museum, Tophane fountain, Nusretiye mosque, Kilic Ali Pasha mosque, old Turkish bath, and Cannon factory as sites of interest in this neighborhood. Tophane area now serves as a popular shisha/water pipe cafe and restaurant area. You may reach Tophane in 10 minutes by using the tram in front of our hotel.

Sultanahmet Mosque

Sultanahmet (The Blue Mosque)

This 17th century mosque, near Haghia Sophia, is famous for the beautiful blue tile work ornamenting its walls. Its surrounding six slim minarets distinguish it from other mosques which normally have two or four minarets. It was built by architect Mehmet Aga by the order of Sultan Ahmed I as a complex in seven years and became the most important mosque of the city, right in Sultanahmet square. Our hotel is located very close to the Blue Mosque.

HOTEL YASMAK SULTAN - The Magnificent

Suleymaniye (the Magnificent)

This outstanding piece of architecture was built in the 16th century by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan for Sultan Süleyman the Magnificient. Standing on a hilltop of the ancient city over the Golden Horn, it contributes gracefully to the city's skyline. The tombs of the Sultan, his wife Hürrem and Mimar Sinan are found within its compounds. It is the largest mosque of Istanbul with four minarets. Important note: The Suleyman's mosque was closed for restorations since 2008, and re-opened in late 2010.

HOTEL YASMAK SULTAN - New Mosque

Yeni Cami (New Mosque)

Beautiful 17th century mosque situated in Eminönü district near the Egyptian Spice Bazaar next to the Golden Horn. The doves flocking its compounds in large numbers provide a sight worth seeing. The interior of the mosque have great examples of Ottoman tile work.

HOTEL YASMAK SULTAN - Galata Tower

Galata Kulesi (Galata Tower)

A 55 meter tower providing a panoramic view of the old town, Galata Kulesi was built by the Genoese as part of the defense wall surrounding their district of Galata directly opposite Byzantium (Constantinopolis). The Genoese used to trade with the Byzantines and the tower was used for the surveillance of the Harbor in the Golden Horn. After the conquest of Constantinople by Mehmet II it served to detect fires in the city. The tower now houses a restaurant and a night club. Today there is an elevator but there are still three more floors to climb by stairs to get on the panoramic terrace. Galata Tower is seen clearly from some of our rooms.

HOTEL YASMAK SULTAN - Maiden Tower

Kiz Kulesi (Leander's Tower - Maiden Tower)

Maiden's Tower was first built by the ancient Athenian general Alcibiades in 408 BC to control the movements of the Persian ships in the Bosphorus.Back then the tower was located between the ancient cities of Byzantion and Chrysopolis. The tower was later enlarged and rebuilt as a fortress by the Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus in 1110 AD, and was restored and slightly modified several times by the Ottoman Turks, most significantly in 1509 and 1763.The most recent facelift was made in 1998.Steel supports were added around the ancient tower as a precaution after the 17 August 1999 earthquake. Used as a lighthouse for centuries, the interior of the tower has been transformed into a popular café and restaurant, with an excellent view of the former Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman capital.Private boats make trips to the tower several times a day.