Imperial Istanbul Half-day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica 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 museums in the world. Take a moment to linger here, admiring the fine Byzantine mosaics. Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays; should you travel on this day, your visit will be replaced with Chora Museum).
Continue to the Underground Cistern (also known as the Basilica Cistern or Yerebatan Sarayı), to see the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul. The cistern, located 500 feet (150m) 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.
Do some haggling at the Grand Bazaar! 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. The market is closed on Sunday, so should you travel on this day, additional time will be spent at the Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia.
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Hotel pickups commence approximately 30 - 60 minutes prior to this time, exact pickup time will be advised on reconfirmation.
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Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
- Hotel pickup and drop off
- Entrance fees
- Local guide
- Transport by air-conditioned minivan
- Gratuities (optional)
- Food and drinks, unless specified
- Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, 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
- During religious holidays July 28, 29 and 30 and October 4, 5, 6,7 2014 the Spice market and Grand Bazaar will be closed
Reviewed by: Johan T, September 2014
Very professionally organized and executed.
Tour guide attentive and well read on subject matter.
Administration of payment and communication with us by VIATOR was extremely good and high appreciated bu us.
Reviewed by: Zena M, July 2014
Once again, this tour was well organised, great, friendly and knowledgable guide Sevilay.We skipped all the long queues in the sun and were able to pack more into the day...thank you Viator!