Hippodrome
About
The ancient Hippodrome was the center of Byzantine civic life, from political and theological controversies to chariot races and riots. Built in 203 by Emperor Septimus Severus, it is estimated that the arena could accommodate up to 100,000 spectators.
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The area
Neighbourhood: Sultanahmet
With so many unmissable attractions within a mere stroll of each other – and all set around the site of an ancient Byzantine hippodrome – Sultanahmet is an overwhelmingly popular tourist destination, and a prime location for visitors to be wowed on a truly epic scale. Beyond the wonders of the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and more, this relatively small area of Istanbul somehow manages to retain an air of peace and calm. It offers visitors a significantly less celebrated but nonetheless pleasant network of quaint lanes and side streets, majestic panoramas of the Bosphorus, and an impressive assortment of accommodation options for all budgets and tastes.
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See what travellers are saying
  • bogwurst
    149 contributions
    you'd have to use your imagination to see it as a hippodrome
    it's not a hippodrome anymore, it's a cementer "square" but more rectangle though. the only thing of the hippodrome that's left are the obelisks, one is from egypt but it's only half it's original size. it's near the mosques so you don't have to go out of your way to see it, but it's nothing special. if no one told you it used to be a hippodrome you'd just walk past it.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 16 October 2023
  • Susan K
    New York City, New York788 contributions
    Think Byzantine chariot racetrack-
    You will most likely pass the Hippodrome as it is in the Old City and on your way to the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts. There are three monuments, including two Obelisks, one dating back to 1500 BC. It could hold 10,000 people.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 24 October 2023
  • Dirk W
    Alexandra Headland, Australia6,463 contributions
    Missing horses of St Mark
    Smack in the center of Sultanahmet, every tourist will walk the Hippodrome, whether they realize it or not. There's a few features that demand your attention : the obelisk, the Delphi Serpent Column. One major attraction is missing : the four horses originally yoked to a four-horse chariot, which the Venetians looted in 1204 from the Hippodrome in Constantinople. They now adorn the façade of the basilica of St Mark.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 30 November 2023
  • TravelerCentralFLA
    Clermont, Florida1,326 contributions
    A Beautiful Area Full of History
    I visited the Hippodrome on my recent visit to Istanbul. It is the area in the Sultanahment District that is between the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. It is a park area today, but in Roman times it was the location of the ancient Hippodrome where they had the famous roman chariot races. It is a beautiful place and it is worth a visit.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 2 December 2023
  • OZS_ATW
    Budapest, Hungary3,236 contributions
    The center of everything
    Hippodrome is located in the heart of Istanbul, between the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. It is a huge park area now but in Roman times it was the location of the ancient Hippodrome where they had the famous roman chariot races. It is worth visiting! Perfect photo place!
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 11 December 2023
  • ellieitalia
    Sheffield, United Kingdom153 contributions
    History under your feet!
    Some fascinating history surrounds this place. Great to walk round and look at the obelisks which remain. Or just sit and watch the world go by. Hard to imagine 100k people were about to watch chariot races. Worth time reading the info on the obelisks as well.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 February 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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ellieitalia
Sheffield, UK153 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
Some fascinating history surrounds this place. Great to walk round and look at the obelisks which remain. Or just sit and watch the world go by.

Hard to imagine 100k people were about to watch chariot races. Worth time reading the info on the obelisks as well.
Written 4 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Atis B
Kharagpur, India463 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
It’s astonishing fact that such a heavy obelisk was brought from Egypt. This makes it special. It’s so ancient and so attractive. This area is a perfect place for hangout in Istanbul.
Written 23 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

OZS_ATW
Budapest, Hungary3,236 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
Hippodrome is located in the heart of Istanbul, between the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. It is a huge park area now but in Roman times it was the location of the ancient Hippodrome where they had the famous roman chariot races.
It is worth visiting! Perfect photo place!

Written 11 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wood77
Los Angeles, CA1,931 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
The Hippodrome area that formerly hosted 100@K spectators is no more. It became a tourist area surrounded by Istanbul’s historic attractions. The left over empty space is bookend by the German Fountain and the Egyptian Obelisk of Theodosius.
Written 5 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelerCentralFLA
Clermont, FL1,326 contributions
Nov 2023 • Solo
I visited the Hippodrome on my recent visit to Istanbul. It is the area in the Sultanahment District that is between the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. It is a park area today, but in Roman times it was the location of the ancient Hippodrome where they had the famous roman chariot races. It is a beautiful place and it is worth a visit.
Written 2 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dirk W
Alexandra Headland, Australia6,463 contributions
Oct 2023 • Solo
Smack in the center of Sultanahmet, every tourist will walk the Hippodrome, whether they realize it or not. There's a few features that demand your attention : the obelisk, the Delphi Serpent Column. One major attraction is missing : the four horses originally yoked to a four-horse chariot, which the Venetians looted in 1204 from the Hippodrome in Constantinople. They now adorn the façade of the basilica of St Mark.
Written 30 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Teresa C
Metro Manila, Philippines1,541 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
A relic from Roman times. Much of the area is taken with stalls and crowds of sellers. Some areas are saved for historical interest.
Written 21 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

christine s
Stourbridge, UK681 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
We walked here,right by blue mosque,a central meeting place with numerous,coloums,statues,buildings from the last 2 thousand years,all in area,within 5 minutes walk here,information boards,well policed,for tourists,speaking english,lots food and kiosks for snacks and water,soft drinks.
German fountain,lots guides start here,just ask,around 10am ,look for umbrellas,ask to join group,in your language.
Written 8 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kemo P
Lake Conjola, Australia21 contributions
Jun 2023 • Couples
The Egyptian Pillar inscribed with hieroglyphics (known as the Obelisk of Theodosius to modern-day Turks) is all that remains of the 2nd century AD Byzantine Hippodrome. The Roman circus with its chariot races is a thing of the ancient past of course, what stands in its place is a square, Sultanahmet Meydani, which is a nice, central spot handy to most of the tourist traps (eg, a stone’s throw from the Blue Mosque).
Written 31 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susan K
New York City, NY788 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
You will most likely pass the Hippodrome as it is in the Old City and on your way to the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts. There are three monuments, including two Obelisks, one dating back to 1500 BC. It could hold 10,000 people.
Written 24 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Hippodrome (Istanbul) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

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