Istanbul Byzantine and Ottoman Tour: Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar

Duration: 8 hours
Destination: Turkey, Turkey, Istanbul
from
5274

Check Availability

  • 8 hours
  • Istanbul
  • E-Voucher
  • Lowest Price
  • Cancellable

Overview

Admire the best of Byzantine and Ottoman Istanbul on this full-day tour of this endlessly absorbing city. Traveling in a luxury minivan with a knowledgeable guide, check out five top Istanbul attractions that recall these two all-powerful empires. Visit the extraordinary Hagia Sophia and beautiful Blue Mosque, marvel at the treasures of the Topkapi Palace, once the court of Ottoman sultans, and explore the atmospheric Grand Bazaar, whose roots date to the 15th century. With numbers limited to 12, this small-group tour ensures you get in-depth attention from your guide.

Highlights

  • All entrance fees included
  • Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
  • Informative, friendly and professional guide

Start your experience with a pickup from your centrally located Istanbul hotel. Settle into your luxury Mercedes minivan with your guide and drive into the UNESCO-listed district of Sultanahmet, home to a glorious array of mosques, palaces and relics from the Ottoman and Byzantine periods.

Visit the Hippodrome, a former chariot race arena in Ottoman and Byzantine times. Imagine the clatter of chariot wheels as you wander around this city park and hear fascinating facts about the races and events held here centuries ago.

Continue to the Blue Mosque, whose six minarets are a fixture of Istanbul’s skyline. Admire the 17th-century edifice, and marvel at the thousands of bright blue Iznik tiles that coat its interior.

Next, head for the Topkapi Palace, the opulent palace-turned-museum that was home to the Ottoman emperors between the 15th and 19th centuries. Hear anecdotes about the sultans and their entourages, and wonder at the riches of its courts and pavilions, including the jewel-stuffed treasury and priceless displays of Oriental porcelain.

Move on to the Hagia Sophia, built as a basilica in the 6th century before the Ottomans turned it into a mosque in the 15th century. Behold the dome and stunning Byzantine mosaics of this architectural gem as your guide recounts its turbulent history.

In-between sightseeing visits, stop for lunch (own expense) at a local restaurant or cafe and refuel for your explorations in the afternoon.

Finish up at the spellbinding Grand Bazaar. This chaotic, covered bazaar dates from the 15th century, and bursts with stalls peddling carpets, spices and trinkets. Bag some bargains with tips from your guide, and return to your minivan for a hotel drop-off, when your tour ends.

Please note: the order of activities as described above may be subject to change on the day of your tour.

Inclusions
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Local guide
  • Transport by air-conditioned Mercedes minivan
  • Entry/Admission - Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya)
  • Entry/Admission - Topkapi Palace

Exclusions
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
Departure Point

Your centrally located Istanbul hotel


Departure Time

9:00 AM


Return Details

Returns to original departure point

Voucher info

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Duration

8 hours

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

User's Reviews

Image - 26 Jun 2016 -

Venessa T

excellent tour guide

Image - 20 Jan 2016 -

FIROZ J

Great. The guide was the best.

Image - 06 Oct 2015 -

Francisco M

Very nice tour. The guide Eren was excellent. He knew all the short cuts and a lot on interesting information. Highly recommend it.

Image - 29 Jun 2015 -

Michael W

First off, I want to qualify my review. I am a licensed tour guide in Israel so I have high expectations and am very aware of the difficulties in this field. That being said, I was extremely impressed by our tour guide, Eren. Eren is one of the principals the tour company and an extremely knowledgeable and professional guide. I was picked up on time and we traveled in a Mercedes Mini Bus. Our guide made sure that not only were we well informed about the history, architecture, and religious significance of each site but Eren had plenty of inside tips for us as well. I was pleasantly surprised by Eren's candor regarding Turkish politics. His national pride did not overly color his opinions a very tough thing to accomplish but very important as a tour guide. Overall I was truly impressed with the tour and especially with our guide. I will be going back for a more in-depth tour later this year and will use Eren again for sure. I highly recommend this tour and if possible, request Eren as your guide.

Image - 05 Jun 2015 -

Hans

It was, indeed, a wonderful journey. This was the first time we had ever tried a guided trip, but now I know it is an excellent way to travel.You planned for us so well, and took care of all the difficult details so we could concentrate on the beauty, the rich cultural history, and the kind and friendly people of Turkey.

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