Length 4.9 km (3 miles), terrain flat except for a short hill-climb at the end
NOTE: I ran this in Istanbul's coldest winter in 30 years, dodging frozen puddles along the seawall. May your run be in more pleasant circumstances!
Istanbul running routes:
Istanbul Sultanahmet old town route
Istanbul Bosporus shore run
For more running routes, see Routes List.
NOTE: The Sultanhamet route picks up along the water where this one ends.
Here's a route that compliments the other route in Istanbul's old-town Sultanahmet neighborhood. But this one spends more time in parks and the Bosporus waterfront, letting you get away from the sometimes maddening bustle of the city.
|Winter tourists at the obelisk|
The waterfront is also Istanbul's most popular jogging track. It's the only place that I've seen other runners.
So, off we go, heading to the start, at that magnificent setting of the Hippodrome. Take a moment to experience the two obelisks, the chopped-off serpents' column, the Blue Mosque on one side, the Turkish and Islamic Art museum in the old Pasha's palace on the other side, and the Hagia Sophia (holy wisdom) in the distance.
Turn towards the north, looking at the red Hagia Sophia and start running. Further down the Hippodrome, you'll pass the German Fountain, donated by Kaiser Wilhelm II during his visit to Sultan Abdülhamid II in 1898.
|Side view of Hagia Sophia|
Running downhill next to the tram tracks, you'll see the old Topkapi walls straight ahead at the next curve. Run straight into the arched opening through the wall into Gülhane Park on the right.
|Gülhane Park fountain|
|Higher path below Topkapi|
Now you turn right and start running along the Bosporus waterfront, with a view across to the Asian side. The traffic can be loud at times, but normally it's not too bad.
|Foggy view northwards across Bosporus fishing boats and Europa Bridge|
|Monument to Admiral Piri Reis from water below Topkapi|
|Heading to the lighthouse|
But we won't be running along the park for long. There is a round, white building along the street, then a gas station. Right after the gas station, cross back to the right to the street and run back to the traffic light to cross the street, run through the city walls and under the railroad bridge.
NOTE: the Sultanahmet route continues westwards along the water where this one heads back, if you want to hear how it looks further on, along the shore.
You are now running up Aksakal Caddesi, going uphill towards a curved, red-brick-lined embankment straight up the hill. The embankment is holding up the rounded, south end of the Hippodrome, and is the only part of it left standing.
|Hippodrome embankment below Marmara University|
At the top, you'll come out at the Turkmenistan restaurant at the south end of the Hippodrome.