The last point of interest for our visit to Turkey before we head to Dubai tomorrow is Miniaturk. It is a miniature park situated at the shore of Golden Horn. Miniaturk is one of the world’s largest miniature parks with 15,000 m2 of model area containing models in 1:25 scale. It contains model structures from and around the country magnificently built and if seen from photograph looks real. The entry fee cost ₺10.
From Pierre Loti there is no direct route to Miniaturk thus we took a taxi costing ₺20. Miniaturk is somewhere across Pierre Loti. Although I’ve read in Tripadviser there is boat service from Eminonu to Pierre Loti to Miniaturk, all locals and bus drivers we asked are not aware of it.
Elevated view of Miniaturk.
No, no no. The highrise in the background are real life-size apartments.
Those cute & adorable kids with their adorable teachers too. Ehmm.
Hippodrome in the foreground, the Blue mosque beside and in the background Hagia Sophia.
The Hamam besides Sultanahmet Park between Blue mosque and Hagia Sophia.
Cross section of the Basilica Cistern with the two Medusa heads clearly visible.
We will be visiting Pierre Loti, a spot famous for its spectacular views over the straits of Golden Horn. It is located in Eyup, about 6 kilometers from Galata Bridge. To get there we took a public bus at the open-air Eminonu bus station close to the Galata Bridge. You’ll need to take a bus and get off at Teleferik bus stop. There are many buses (ask the drivers) that will pass through Teleferik for different destinations, but we rode on bus #99. Teleferik is about the 13th stop (please check) from Eminonu to your right and the stop is clearly sign posted. The journey would take about 20 minutes.
A cable car will take you up Pierre Loti. The station is just across the road from the Teleferik bus stop. The ride is just a couple of minutes as the hill-top is only 53 meters above sea level. If you wish so, you can also walk up to the hill-top amidst through a large old cemetery ground.
If you’re considering going by ferry from Eminonu, you may want to read more here.
We’ve came to Pierre Loti for the views and that’s about all you get here. There is a well-known cafe you would want to enjoy your tea or coffee while admiring the views of the Golden Horn and the Halic bridge across it. There are also a few souvenir shops up the hill-top. If you are on a tight schedule, you may want to skip this point of interest as it takes up a good portion of your time.
The open-air bus station at Eminonu.
Eminonu tram stop to Eminonu open-air bus station. Spice bazaar is nearby.
Nice views from the bus along the way.
Boulevard next to the shores of Golden Horn.
About 20 minutes from Eminonu, about the 13th stop, look out for Teleferik bus stop on your right to get down.
The cable car station to Pierre Loti is across from the bus stop. You can also chose to walk up.
The cable car has only two cabins each direction that sits 6 to 8 persons each. If you are unfortunate to be stuck in a queue, I foresee it could take you a while for your turn.
Cable car on it’s way up. Or is it going down ?
The cable car station below. Count the number of tourist buses below. No prizes given.
View towards Halic bridge from Pierre Loti.
View from another angle atop Pierre Loti.
The well-known cafe at Pierre Loti.
Enjoy the views as you sip your coffee or tea. Halic bridge in the background.
Tourist and locals at the cafe.
Stairs from the cafe terrace to the top of Pierre Loti. You’ll pass by souvenir shops along the way.
There must be a road leading to the hill-top if tourist buses can get here.
Close to the lower cable car station, about a 5 minutes walk away, will take you to Eyup Sultan Camii (mosque). This mosque is one of the holiest mosque in Turkey. It is revered because it is located close to the site of the tomb of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, one of the close friends of Prophet Muhammed.
Eyup Sultan Camii is a short walk from the cable car station.
You can take most of the buses (do ask the driver) passing through Teleferik to return to Eminonu. The only difference is in the return route these buses will take for the last leg into Eminonu. Whether its a straight, faster route or otherwise. Some buses may cross over the Golden Horn to Karakoy before reaching Eminonu.
Our day 22 itinerary are attractions around our hotel, Star Holiday Hotel which is within short walking distances. From Sultanahmet (Blue) mosque, we headed to Hagia Sophia. We do not know why, but even on this third visit to Istanbul, we have no inclination to go inside. Not that the ticket queue is terribly long, we could easily be the first due to the close proximity of our hotel but the urge isn’t there. The difference this time, there is a tulip carpet in-front of it reputed to be the world’s largest. So it will just be pictures of the exterior.
(Update: We finally visited Hagia Sophia in 2017. Read it here.)
Walking route from Blue mosque to Hagia Sophia. It is actually just across Sultan Ahmet park.
Queues like this is common getting into Hagia Sophia. Credit : reiendaa.blogspot.com
Hagia Sophia from across Sultanahmet park.
Spring flowers blooming.
Another angle of Hagia Sophia.
World’s largest ‘Tulip Carpet’ in-front of Hagia Sophia.