Rumeli Hisar (Rumeli Fortress) | What to see in Istanbul

Rumeli Hisar (Rumeli Fortress)


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A Fortress Overlooking Bogazici

Published by Kaelin Priger

One of the first places I visited when I became an exchange student at Bogazici University was Rumeli Hisari.

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I loved being able to tell my friends back home - "I have a fortress in my neighborhood!" Rumeli Hisari sits along the Bogaz (Bosphorus Strait) and makes for a stunning landmark that can be seen from many vantage points in the city. I returned to this landmark over and over again during my time living in Rumelihisarustu (the neighborhood that sits above the fortress and houses Bogazici University). It has become a symbol of my time spent in Istanbul.

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Here are some of the reasons that Rumeli Hisari is one of my favorite places to go in Istanbul:

  1. Rumeli Hisari is not at all glamorous. It is the ruins of an old fortress, with stone towers jutting into the sky and crude walls blocking out the familiar sounds of Istanbul traffic. That is what makes it amazing - it is authentic and takes you straight back in time. While some historical landmarks get new decor and restorations, Rumeli Hisari gives you the chance to just wander around the "old-ness" of it. 
  2. An amazing view is to be had! By walking higher and higher up inside of the fortress, you get access to some of the best views of the Bosphorus. Grab a bench, take a deep breath, and enjoy. One of the best parts of Istanbul is the views. 
  3. It is a cheap destination. No fuss here over expensive admission tickets! There is a student discount, Rumeli Hisari is included in the many museum passes that you can purchase, and it is very inexpensive even on a general admission ticket. There is no reason not to visit this historical site over and over again. 
  4. It is close to Bebek, an amazing area of Istanbul home to a 4-story Starbucks, ritzy stores, and expensive dining. 
  5. You can walk to Rumeli Hisari from Bogazici University. This university hosts many of the exchange and Erasmus students in Istanbul, so this is a great site to visit if you are staying at this amazing university. 

Make sure to visit Rumeli Hisari while you are visiting the great city of Istanbul!

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First picture above: My first semester as an exchange student in Istanbul.

Second picture: 2 years later, living in Istanbul as a teacher! Rumeli Hisari continues to be one of my favorite places in the city.

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