Nestled between the Aya Sofia and the Topkapi Palace, lies a small cobblestoned street often overlooked by visitors to Istanbul.
Sogukçesme Sokagi or Cold Fountain Street as it is more commonly known, is named after a fountain at the Gülhane Park end of the street. If you’re coming from the Eminönu and Sirkec, the park is on your left as you follow the tram tracks towards Sultanahmet.
This quiet street is lined with beautiful trees and restored historic wooden houses built in the 19th and early 20th centuries backing on to the walls of the Topkapi Palace. Thankfully no cars are allowed to disturb this unspoilt corner of the city.
As you walk past the shops that occupy the ground floor of the first few houses you will come across the Sarnic Restaurant on the left. If you can, pop in and have a look at it’s glorious setting in an early Byzantine cistern.
 

Sogukçesme Sokagi in Sultanahmet, Istanbul
Just past the shops is the Sarnic Restaurant

 
Konuk Evi Hotel in Sultanahmet
The courtyard fo the Konuk Evi Hotel & Cafe in winter and in summer

 
 
In 1986 the Touring and Automobile Federation restored most of these two and three story houses and converted them to small hotels and restaurants. Known as the Ayasofya Konaklari (The Hagia Sofia Mansions) this group of nine houses are named after flowers whose perfume fills in the spring time…Magnolia House, Jasmine House, Honeysuckle House….
One of the buildings has been converted into a cultural centre and the other the Istanbul Kitapligi (Library).
 
Sogukçesme Sokagi in Sultanahmet, Istanbul
Scenes from Sogukçesme Sokagi

 
 
Sogukçesme Sokagi in Sultanahmet, Istanbul
 
 
Sogukçesme Sokagi in Sultanahmet, Istanbul
 
 
Sogukçesme Sokagi in Sultanahmet, Istanbul
 
 
Sogukçesme Sokagi in Sultanahmet, Istanbul
 
Sogukçesme Sokagi in Sultanahmet, Istanbul
 
 
Sogukçesme Sokagi in Sultanahmet, Istanbul
 
 
Walk to the end of the street and you will find yourself at the gates of the Topkapi Palace, another of Istanbul’s wonderful palaces that has to be seen.
Topkapi Palace, Istanbul
 
This is one of my favourite streets in Istanbul, one that I love to return to. A quiet gem in a city of hustle and bustle.
 
Have you found this street in Istanbul? 
 
 
Related articles on Istanbul
Istanbul’s Aya Sofia Museum
Rüstem Pasha: My favourite Mosque in Istanbul
Tuesday Travel Bite: The Best Pistachio Biscuits
 
 
This post is part of Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Don’t forget to pop over and see the other contributions.