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Highlights of Istanbul

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Istanbul, Turkey
Highlights of Istanbul

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icon6 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 5 more

Overview

Dive into Istanbul’s Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman history on a small-group 7-hour tour, and visit the city’s historical highlights. Traveling mostly by foot, hear revealing facts and historical anecdotes about the city, and visit must-sees such the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. Learn about Istanbul’s remarkable past from your informative guide, and stop for lunch and a shopping session at the Grand Bazaar, home to a myriad of tempting stalls. Numbers are limited to 15 people on this small-group tour to ensure personalized attention from a guide.
  • 7-hour Istanbul highlights walking tour, including lunch
  • Explore the best of old Istanbul as you learn about its history and culture
  • Visit the spectacular Hagia Sophia, a Byzantine and Ottoman marvel dating to the 6th century
  • Soak up the beauty of the Blue Mosque, with its 20,000 blue Iznik tiles
  • Walk around the Hippodrome, once the sporting and social hub of Constantinople
  • Experience the halls and treasures of the Topkapi Palace and browse the Grand Bazaar
  • Small-group tour limited to 15 people for a more intimate atmosphere
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Lunch
Local guide
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Air-conditioned vehicle
Drinks
Gratuities

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered

Ports

  • Galataport İstanbul Tanıtım Ofisi, Kılıçali Paşa Mah. Meclis-i Mebusan Cad. No: 8 İç Kapı No: 102, Kılıçali Paşa, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey


Departure Time

8:45 AM
Start with a pickup from your Istanbul hotel and set out to explore the highlights of this history-steeped city with your professional guide.

Traveling between the sights mostly by foot, hear intriguing facts about Istanbul’s Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman past, and the city's long-standing importance due to its position at the meeting point of Asia and Europe.

Make your first stop at the Hagia Sophia museum, a one-time mosque converted from a 6th-century Christian basilica built by Emperor Justinian I. Marvel at the incredible building and admire the interior’s glimmering, handcrafted mosaics and rich decoration.

Next, walk across the street to see the stunning Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque). Take in the immense, flat dome and famous minarets, and explore inside with your guide. Absorb the ocean of over 20,000 Iznik tiles that lend the mosque its name, and behold the magnificent, rich carpets and windows.

Heading outside again, stop to view the Hippodrome, the former sporting and social center of Constantinople. See the remnants of this historical arena, and imagine how the long-ago locals felt when they came here to watch exciting horse and chariot races.

From here, continue to the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s oldest covered markets. Scout around some of the 4,000 stalls and get haggling tips from your guide on buying everything from leatherware to perfumes, gold and spices.

Stop for an included lunch and lastly, explore the Topkapi Palace, home to the Ottoman court from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Now a museum, this grandiose palace is testament to the lavish lifestyles of the sultans. Stroll through the ornate chambers, courts and gardens, and behold some of the imperial treasures, ranging from precious Chinese porcelain to jewels and relics of the Prophet Mohammed.

Your tour then concludes with a hotel drop-off.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Blue Mosque
built during the reign of Sultan Ahmet I during 1609-1616. It is the only mosque in Turkey with six minarets. Due to its magnificent hand-dyed blue, green and white Iznik tiles it has been named the "Blue Mosque" by Europeans. The central dome is 43 m in height and is 33.4 m in diameter; it also boasts 260 windows.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Kapali Carsi
is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 covered streets and over 1,200 shops. Opened in 1461, it is well known for its jewelry, pottery, spice, and carpet shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by the type of goods, with special areas for leather coats, gold jewelry and the like. The bazaar contains two bedestens (domed masonry structures built for storage and safe keeping), the first of which was constructed between 1455 and 1461 by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror.The grand bazaar consists of 12 major buildings and has 22 doors.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Hagia Sophia Mosque
is a truly awe inspiring, 1,400 years old Byzantine cathedral which houses mosaics, relics and iron work. Hagia Sophia was, for nearly a thousand years, the largest enclosed space in the world, and is still seen as one of the world's most important architectural monuments. It is one of Turkey's most popular attractions, drawn by the sheer spectacle of its size, architecture, mosaics and art. It was built during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD.
Duration: 45 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Hippodrome
hippodrom square is the backdrop of chariot races and the center of Byzantine civic life. Of the ornaments which once decorated it, only three remain: The Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine. The Obelisk is in the Egyptian style and was erected in 1547 BC and stood 60m tall. The German Fountain is also within the hippodrome area, constructed in Germany to mark German Emperor Wilhelm II's second visit to Istanbul; it was imported and officially opened on January 1 1901. The fountain's three domes are decorated with gold mosaics.
Duration: 35 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Topkapi Palace
Built by Mehmet II,the conqueror of Istanbul,served as the residence of the sultan - administrative seat of the Ottoman Empire for 400 years.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Istanbul Sightseeing Tours
this is our travel agency which is located just in front of the Hagia Sophia Church / Mosque and for some travellers we are giving our meeting at this address
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • Passport name, number, expiry and country is required at time of booking for all participants
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
  • OPERATED BY istanbul sightseeing tours
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • 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.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.


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Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1 of 15 reviews
star-5
Our private tour (booked as group...
David A
, Jun 2016
Our private tour (booked as group) was great and included Blue Mosque area, shops and restaurants around the Grand Bazaar, Old City tour and Sultans Palace. All tickets and lunch are included. Our tour guide Galat (sp) was friendly and knowledgeable. Five stars!! Have fun!!

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