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Duration

7 hours

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

14 people

Languages

English

About this tour

Discover Istanbul’s most iconic sights on a tour. Listen to your guide recount tales of the city’s colorful past as you pass by landmarks such as the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar and Hippodrome.

Meet at 9 am with your guide. We begin our tour of the Sultanahmet district, the heart of old Istanbul, at Hagia Sophia. Built by Emperor Justinian in the early 6th century AD and designed by Anthemius of Tralles and Isodore of Miletus, the church is one of the marvels of world architecture. Converted into a mosque in 1453, it is now a museum. Its massive dome still dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. It is also famed for its mosaics, including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses and a poignant Virgin and Child.

Next, we visit the Blue Mosque which takes its name from the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. Built by Sultan Ahmet I in the early 17th century and designed by a pupil of Sinan, the greatest of Ottoman architects, it is the only imperial mosque with six minarets. Its courtyard is especially grand. The Hippodrome, the stadium of ancient Byzantium, held 100,000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire. Of these, an Egyptian obelisk and a bronze sculpture of three entwined serpents from Delphi survive.

Our tour is continued at Topkapı Palace, which, from the 15th to the 19th century, was the principal residence of the Ottoman Sultans. We will visit the fabulous Imperial Treasury and the Baghdad Kiosk. Topkapı Palace is now a museum and has unrivaled collections of jewelry, including the Spoonmaker’s Diamond, the 3rd largest in the world. It also possesses numerous Ottoman court costumes and ceramics, notably including one of the world’s finest collections of Chinese celadon ceramics, many of which were gifts from other rulers. Interestingly, some of the ceramics have a special glaze that was said to change color in the presence of poison. We also visit the Imperial Armory, which displays centuries of Ottoman weaponry. But perhaps the loveliest feature of Topkapı Palace is its courtyards with their ancient trees; it is easy to imagine the sultan strolling here far from the cares of state and empire.

Step into the opulent world of the Ottoman Empire with our exclusive tour of the Harem section at Topkapı Palace. Uncover the secrets of the sultans as you explore the lavishly adorned chambers, private quarters, and hidden courtyards that once housed the imperial family and their concubines. Delve into the intriguing tales of intrigue, romance, and power that unfolded within these walls. Our expert guides will provide fascinating insights into the daily life and customs of the Ottoman court, offering a captivating journey through the history and allure of the Harem at Topkapı Palace.

Dating back to the 4th century, the Hagia Irene (Aya Irini in Turkish), formerly a church, now a museum and a center of cultural activities and exhibitions, is situated inside the 1st court of the Topkapi Palace. Hagia Irene is also called “St. Eirene” or “St.Irene’s” Church. It is one of the oldest Byzantium churches in Istanbul, and was the 2nd largest church of the Eastern Roman Empire after Hagia Sophia.

Last but by no means least, we visit the Grand Covered Bazaar, the most attractive shopping center and the biggest “souk” in the world with nearly 4000 shops selling antiques, jewelry, gold, carpets, leatherware, and souvenirs.

The Grand Bazaar (Grand Bazaar closed on Sunday / Replaced with Arasta Bazaar) was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4,000 shops are full of treasures including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons, and leather goods. Wandering through the Grand Bazaar, indulge in some shopping, Ottoman style.

Highlights

  • Visit all the main tourist attractions of Istanbul in one day
  • Visit the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Hagia Sophia
  • Learn about the history of Istanbul as you explore its historic sites
  • Stop at a local Turkish restaurant to savor an authentic lunch
  • Navigate the maze-like interior of the Grand Bazaar's shops

Included/Excluded

  • Hotel pickup and drop off
  • Transportation in comfortable, non-smoking, air-conditioned bus
  • Lunch set menu
  • English-speaking guidance (can be multilingual)
  • Entrance fee to Topkapi Palace, Hagia Irene Church and Harem Section (45 EUR p.P)
  • Entrance fee to Haghia Sophia (25 EUR p.P)
  • Personal expenses
  • Photos and Videos
  • Gratuities

Durations

5 – 7 hours

Language

English

Frequently asked questions

The primary language for group tour guidance is English or multilingual available. Tours in languages other than English are available exclusively as private tours. Please note that there might be a price variation for different languages. Kindly specify your preferred language for the tour if it's not English!

Tour fees include professional English guide service or assistant service. In half-day tours, meals are not included, but in full-day tours, a set menu or open buffet meal is generally included. Kindly refer to the tour description for a detailed breakdown of included and excluded services.

In group tours, hotel pick-up and drop-off are generally included. Rarely, some tours do not include hotel pick-up and drop-off or just drop-off. All private tours include hotel pickup and drop-off. Please read the description carefully to find out.

  • Tour available period: all year round.
  • Tour available days: Except Tuesday and Friday every day
  • Tour category: Offered as a group or private tour.
  • Please provide us with an accurate WhatsApp number to can guide you for pick-ups and updates.
  • We will respond to your request within 24 hours at the latest.
  • Pick-up is around 8.00 am. Pickup time may vary earlier or later depending on the location of the hotel.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not recommended for participants with walking difficulties
  • Remember to wear modest clothing at the mosques (arms and legs covered). Women must cover their hair with a scarf. If you forget to bring your scarf, you can buy one at the entrance at some mosques but not all.
  • Even if we use fast track at the museum entrances, please do not forget that waiting times at security points can take time
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Group tours can have several breaks for shopping with local handicraft production centers.
We Suggest
  • Hat
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Camera

Tour's Location

From: 75 €

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    Owner

    golfintravel

    Member Since 2024

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