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Duration

4 hours

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

20 people

Languages

English

About this tour

Behold the magnificent Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque on this 4-hour small-group guided walking tour of Istanbul’s best monuments. You will delve into the complex culture of Istanbul as you discover its famous monuments and intertwined history.

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.

Highlights

  • Visit the Topkapı Palace, a symbol of Ottoman grandeur and political power. Explore the lavishly decorated rooms, exquisite courtyards, and well-preserved artifacts, gaining insights into the lives of sultans and the administration of the empire.
  • Step into the secluded world of the Imperial Harem within Topkapı Palace, where the private lives of the sultans unfolded. Marvel at the intricate architecture, luxurious chambers, and lush gardens as you learn about the intrigues, romances, and political maneuvering that took place behind these hidden walls.
  • Discover the Hagia Irene Church, a hidden gem within the grounds of Topkapı Palace. Built in the 4th century AD, this ancient church predates Hagia Sophia and exudes a serene atmosphere.

Included/Excluded

  • Hotel pickup and drop off
  • English-speaking guidance (can be multilingual)
  • Entrance fee to Topkapi Palace, Hagia Irene Church and Harem Section (45 EUR p.P)
  • Personal expenses
  • Photos and Videos
  • Gratuities

Durations

4 – 5 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 and 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 12.30 pm. Pickup time may vary earlier or later depending on the location of the hotel.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not recommended for participants with walking difficulties
  • 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
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  • Comfortable shoes
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Camera

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From: 35.00€

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