Rumeli Fortress (Rumeli Hisari)
See Rumeli Fortress from the water during a Bosphorus Cruise—look for the imposing structure on the western (European) bank as you approach the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. Alternatively, explore the fortress on foot as part of a walking tour; climb up the towers and onto the ramparts, from where the views of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and Bebek Bay on the Asian side of the Bosphorus are spectacular.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Due to its historical significance and well-preserved architecture, Rumeli Fortress is a must-visit for history buffs.
Bring your camera to capture the views from the fort’s lookout points.
There are lots of steps within the fortress, making it inaccessible to travelers with mobility issues.
How to Get There
Rumeli Fortress is situated in the Sarıyer district of Istanbul. Driving from Sultanahmet will take about 40–50 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. To get there by public transport, ride the tram to Kabatas and then take the 25E bus to the fortress.
When to Get There
The fort’s off-the-beaten-track location means that its rarely crowded, so you can visit in peak season and find it relatively peaceful. The fort is closed on Wednesdays. For an extra special experience, try a sunset cruise: Rumeli Fortress and other strait-side landmarks look extra picturesque in the dusk light.
Other Landmarks Along the Bosphorus
Cruises along the Bosphorus offer views not only of Rumeli Fortress, but of Dolmabahce Palace (Dolmabahce Sarayi), the lavish 19th-century home of Ottoman sultans, and the grand Ortaköy Mosque (Ortaköy Cami), which sits near the continent-connecting Bosphorus Bridge (Bogazici Koprusu). On the far side of the shore sits the ruined Anatolian Fortress, a smaller sister fort that dates back to the 14th century.
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