We begin our tour 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 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 as “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.
Our next stop, Hagia Eirene, the Church of the Holy Peace, is one of the few churches in Istanbul that was never converted into a mosque, as it was used as an arsenal until the 19th century. Hagia Eirene reputedly stands on the site of a pre-Christian temple and has the distinction of being the first church built in Byzantium as it was converted into the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.
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.