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Hippodrome (Hipodrom)

Stroll around this fascinating urban park to take a step back in time and admire the culture of old Constantinople.

During the glory days of old Constantinople, the Hippodrome (Hipodrom) was the epicentre of chariot racing and the playground of countless Byzantine and Ottoman emperors. The arena may have been packed with horses, charioteers and 100,000 frenzied spectators back in the day but, these days, this is one of the most laid-back urban spaces in Istanbul.

While many of the original features of the Hippodrome have been lost to time, the original 3rd-century race track remains and offers a very pleasant path from which you can explore the area's main sights.

Although the Hippodrome is often referred to by locals as “Atmeydanı” or “Horse Square”, historically the space has also served as a social and political hub with numerous parades, judiciaries and imperial ceremonies taking place under the eye of various rulers. The men themselves may have turned to dust but, as you explore the nooks and crannies of this intriguing park, you’ll be glad that some of their artistic and architectural influences remain.

Dominating the park is the 3,500-year-old pink granite Obelisk of Theodosius which was brought from Egypt by Emperor Theodosius the Great. Note the intricate carvings of the emperor and his family on the obelisk's marble pedestal.

Within a stone's throw are the somewhat incongruous remains of the Tripod of Plataea or the Serpent Column. Originally topped with three serpent heads, the bronze tripod was cast to commemorate the Hellenic victory over the Persians in the Battle of Plataea in 480 BC.

Near the northern end of the park sits the German Fountain, which was offered as a token of friendship from the Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm to Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1900. With eight marble columns supporting the exterior and an interior adorned with beautiful golden mosaics, this ornate gazebo is a must-see.

The celebrated Roman charioteer Porphyrius had the distinguished honour of having seven statues built in his name. Although none of these statues have survived, the bases of two of them are on display in the nearby Istanbul Archaeological Museum along with one of the remaining serpent heads from the Serpent Column so, when you have had your fill of the park, why not pop over and pay a visit to the museum?


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 3,479 properties near Hippodrome of Constantinople
Aristocrat Hotel Rs2,975
Aristocrat Hotel

Aristocrat Hotel

Cankurtaran Mah.Dalbasti Sok No:11, Sultanahmet Fatih, Istanbul, Istanbul
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Sultanahmet, this hotel is steps away from Blue Mosque and Sultanahmet Square. Hagia Sophia and Hippodrome of Constantinople are also within 5 minutes. Sultanahmet Station is only a 5-minute walk and Cemberlitas Station is 9 minutes.

    Lapis Inn Hotel Old City ( Ex.Ambassador Hotel) Rs6,350
    Lapis Inn Hotel Old City ( Ex.Ambassador Hotel)

    Lapis Inn Hotel Old City ( Ex.Ambassador Hotel)

    Ticarethane Cikmazi No 19, Istanbul, Istanbul
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Sultanahmet, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of German Fountain, Sultanahmet Square, and Hagia Sophia. Grand Bazaar and Hippodrome of Constantinople are also within 10 minutes. Sultanahmet Station is only a 2-minute walk and Cemberlitas Station is 6 minutes.

      Sura Design Hotel and Suites - Boutique Class Rs9,123
      Sura Design Hotel and Suites - Boutique Class

      Sura Design Hotel and Suites - Boutique Class

      Alemdar Mh., Ticarethane Sk. No:13, Fatih, Istanbul, Istanbul
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Sultanahmet, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of German Fountain, Hagia Sophia, and Sultanahmet Square. Grand Bazaar and Topkapi Palace are also within 10 minutes. Sultanahmet Station and Gulhane Station are within a 5-minute walk.

        Recital Hotel Rs7,496
        Recital Hotel

        Recital Hotel

        Binbirdirek Mah., Piyerloti Caddesi 21, Sultanahmet, Istanbul
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Sultanahmet, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Cemberlitas Bath and Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Mosque. Hippodrome of Constantinople and Hagia Sophia are also within 10 minutes. Cemberlitas Station is only a 3-minute walk and Sultanahmet Station is 6 minutes.

          Golden Royal Cemberlitas Rs5,447
          Golden Royal Cemberlitas

          Golden Royal Cemberlitas

          binbirdirek mh.peykhane sk no 19, cemberlitas, Istanbul
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Sultanahmet, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Turkish and Islamic Art Museum and Grand Bazaar. Hippodrome of Constantinople and Hagia Sophia are also within 10 minutes. Cemberlitas Station is only a 2-minute walk and Sultanahmet Station is 5 minutes.

            Rose Garden Suites Rs4,298
            Rose Garden Suites

            Rose Garden Suites

            Kucukayasofya Mahallesi Sehit mehmet, pasa sokak no 5 sultanahmet, Istanbul, Istanbul
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Sultanahmet, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Hagia Sophia and Grand Bazaar. Istanbul Archaeology Museum and Topkapi Palace are also within 1 mi (2 km). Cemberlitas Station is 7 minutes by foot and Sultanahmet Station is 8 minutes.

              Hotel Sultania- Boutique Class Rs9,562
              Hotel Sultania- Boutique Class

              Hotel Sultania- Boutique Class

              Ebusuud Caddesi Mehmet Murat Sok. No 4, Sirkeci, Istanbul, Istanbul
                 
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Istanbul City Center, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Hagia Sophia, Eminonu Pier and Topkapi Palace. Istanbul Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment Centre and Isfanbul Theme Park are also within 9 mi (15 km). Gulhane Station is only a 2-minute walk and Sirkeci Station is 6 minutes.

                Miklagord Hotel
                Miklagord Hotel

                Miklagord Hotel

                Binbirdirek mahallesi, katip sinan cami sokak no 25, Istanbul, sultanahmet
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Sultanahmet, this hotel is steps away from Tomb of Sultan Ahmet I, Sultanahmet Square and Blue Mosque. Hagia Sophia and Hippodrome of Constantinople are also within 5 minutes. Sultanahmet Station is only a 2-minute walk and Cemberlitas Station is 7 minutes.