Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar
Now a museum, the Hagia Sophia was built in the 6th century by the Roman Emperor Justinian, and was one of the largest basilicas in the Christian world. After the Ottoman conquest, it was converted to a mosque, and is today one of the most magnificent musseums in the world. Take a moment to linger here to admire the fine Byzantine mosaics. (Closed on Mondays; will be replaced with Chora Museum)
The Basilica Cistern (Turkish: Yerebatan Sarayı - "Sunken Palace"), is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul The cistern, located 500 feet (150 m) southwest of the Hagia Sophia on the historical peninsula of Sarayburnu, was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.
In operation since the 14th century, the Grand Bazaar is one of the world’s largest covered markets, with 58 streets and over 4,000 shops. The bazaar is specially known for its jewelry, leather, pottery, spices and carpets. (Closed on Sundays; additional time will be spent at the at the other locations.)
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Vases at the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
- Hotel pickup and drop off
- Entrance fees
- Local guide
- Transport by private vehicle
- Gratuities (optional)
- Food and drinks, unless specified
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 2 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability
- In the event of any museum closures, an alternative similar museum will be visited
- Not recommended for children aged 4 and under
- Children 18 years and under must be accompanied by an adult
- Adult pricing applies to all travelers
- During religious holidays July 28, 29 and 30 and October 4, 5, 6 and 7, 2014 the Spice market and Grand Bazaar will be closed
Reviewed by: Jan, April 2015
Absolutely loved our guide she was very accommodative and was a pleasure she went out of the way and accommodated us to see another place of interest since the grand bazar was closed ..over all excellent
Reviewed by: James H, March 2015
Wow. This was a great tour. We learned the full history of Hagia Sophia. Our guide, Gülay knew every date and every detail. The Basilica Cistern was much different than I expected and enhanced by the knowledge of our guide. We had the opportunity to go to a private pottery showroom and have a personal demonstration. My favorite, was the Grand Bazaar. It is overwhelming, but our guide had a good knowledge of which vendors were reputable and helped us navigate. She should do shopping tours!