Visiting Istanbul with a Disability
The topography, building codes, and long history of Istanbul have all contributed to Istanbul disabled access. Many buildings throughout the city that house tourist attractions and hotels date back decades and even centuries. While the hills in Istanbul provided easy defense to Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman civilizations over the centuries, the hills can make getting around Istanbul in a wheelchair difficult. Many of the tourist attractions in the Old Town including the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace have sloped streets in their near vicinity. Our experts at Sage Traveling have mapped out the direction and steepness of many hills throughout the city which we provide to our clients for no extra charge.
Istanbul disabled access is possible at the Hagia Sophia via wheelchair ramps at the entrance and throughout. Several areas have steps without ramps which may require assistance for wheelchair users. The magnificent Topkapi Palace includes several historical exhibits including the harem complex. It can take almost an entire day to visit. Most of it is wheelchair accessible however there are several portions which have steps to enter. Our disabled travel experts provide our clients with detailed descriptions of which portions may require assistance. The Blue Mosque is another popular tourist attraction where disabled tourists may need assistance. All visitors must remove their shoes to protect the intricately designed carpets. Wheelchair users must transfer into a wheelchair owned by the Blue Mosque before entering.
Hotels have varying degrees of Istanbul disabled access. Our disabled travel experts visited numerous hotels in the New District and Old Town. We found that many that advertised themselves as being wheelchair accessible would be very challenging for disabled tourists. Steep ramps, poorly arranged bathrooms, narrow doors are just some of the challenges disabled travelers might encounter. Our experts also reviewed several hotels with excellent disabled access. These hotels meet modern accessibility standards.