Once you've settled into your Istanbul hotel, you might want to take a city tour for orientation, and later a Bosphorus cruise or an excursion to the Princes' Islands, to the nearby cities of Edirne, Iznik (Nicaea) or Bursa, Gallipoli and Troy, or even Ephesus or Cappadocia. Many of Istanbul's top sights such as Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome, are in Sultanahmet, as are many good hotels, including charming Ottoman inns.
Istanbul's Grand Bazaar is just a 12- to 15-minute walk or short tram ride west of Sultanahmet along the old Roman road called Divan Yolu.
You can see Istanbul's top sights in two or three days to do them justice, and three or four days to really get a sense of the city. In a week, you can get a good look at most of what Istanbul has to offer, do some shopping and enjoy an excursion as well.
Be sure to take some time to just sit at a sidewalk café and sip Turkish tea or coffee, or go native and smoke a nargile (water pipe). Dine on savory Turkish cuisine in an excellent Istanbul restaurant, consume a traditional fish sandwich by the Golden Horn.
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