Private Tour: Istanbul’s Ottoman Experience Including Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque
- Private guide for a more personalized experience
- Step back in time on a history tour
- Flexibility to customize your itinerary to your own preferences
Hop out of your minivan in Sultanahmet, Istanbul’s UNESCO-listed historical heart, and wander through the Hippodrome — your first attraction of the tour. The hub of daily life during its Ottoman-era heyday, the Hippodrome was once a vast arena with galleries where people from all walks of life would gather for political meetings, chariot races and even riots. Today, the historical site exists as a city park that’s popular with locals and visitors alike. Pose for photos in front of the Obelisk of Theodosius, a gift to the city from Egypt, and then continue by foot to the nearby Blue Mosque.
After marveling at the mosque’s iconic six minarets, head inside the famous place of worship to see the thousands of Iznik tiles that cascade a sea of blue throughout the building’s interior. An incredible example of classical Ottoman architecture, the Blue Mosque was built on the orders of Sultan Ahmet I who demanded a place of worship to rival the grandeur of the Hagia Sophia — another of Sultanahmet’s impressive mosques.
Take some time to explore inside with your private guide, and then walk over to Topkapi Palace, the final attraction visited on your tour. Once the lavish abode of eccentric 15th-century sultans and their harems, Topkapi Palace now leads a tamer existence as one of the city’s top museums. Browse the exhibits that feature artifacts and ornamentation from Ottoman days, and hear colorful stories about the characters who lived in one of Istanbul’s most ostentatious palaces.
Leave Topkapi Palace, and stroll the short distance to your minivan to finish your tour with a drop-off at your European-side hotel or at the start point in the center of town.
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Turkish lamps at the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Entrance fees
- Local guide
- Gratuities (optional)
- Food and drinks
- Entrance to Harem Section in Topkapi Palace
- Confirmation for this product will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability
- In the event of any museum or mosque closures, an alternative similar museum will be visited
- Not recommended for children aged 4 and under
- 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: James H, March 2015
We had a great time. Tibet was our guide and she was so thorough. She even gave us the bonus of visiting a rug maker she knows. She was completely knowledgable and spoke excellent English. She has a nice sense of humor. She gave us some free time to look at things on our own which was nice. I would definitely recommend this tour and feel Viator is the most reliable booking agency. We booked the private tour and were picked up at the door of our hotel. Our guide arrived promptly. Everything was very organized.
Reviewed by: Virginia L, August 2014
my guide named Gualy (pronounced July) was fantastic. Blue Mosque was crazy busy that day so instead of waiting for hours she suggested to go to H. Sophia, which used our time much more efficiently. She was passionate about her city and shared her love of history and art with us.