Private Tour: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour including Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace
- Private guide for a more personalized experience
- Comprehensive tour of the city
- Step back in time on a history tour
- Lunch included
Just across from the Hippodrome, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (also known as the Blue Mosque) is a superb creation in the classical Ottoman style. The mosque has six towering minarets and 260 windows illuminating its vast main chamber, which is decorated with more than 20,000 Iznik tiles.
One of the finest and largest architectural works of art in the world, this former basilica and mosque is now the Saint Sophia Museum. Many historians have nominated it as the 8th wonder of the world. Take a moment to linger here to admire the fine Byzantine mosaics.
The Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayı), is 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.
The largest and oldest palace in the world, Topkapi is the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire. With its treasury and exotic buildings overlooking the Golden Horn, your visit to Topkapi promises to be a truly fascinating experience.
Hippodrome and Obelisk:
The Hippodrome was once the heart of Constantinople’s political and sporting life, and the scene of games and riots through 500 years of Ottoman history. Today it is a city park called the Horse Grounds (At Meydanı) because of its function in Ottoman times. The Hippodrome includes the 3500-year-old Egyptian granite Obelisk, brought to Constantinople by Emperor Theodosius in 390 AD.
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 other locations.)
*On Mondays, when Hagia Sophia is closed, this visit will be replaced with a similar museum.
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Blue Mosque, Istanbul
- Hotel pickup and drop off
- Entrance fees
- Local guide
- Transport by private vehicle
- Gratuities (optional)
- Food and drinks, unless specified
- Entrance to Harem Section in the Topkapi Palace
- 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
- Not recommended for children aged 4 and under
- In the event of any museum closures, an alternative similar museum will be visited
- 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
- Customers booking this tour for shore excursions will not have time to visit the Basilica Cistern, due to the limited time in Istanbul
Reviewed by: Chris O, February 2015
We did have some difficulty in contacting the company by phone to confirm the pickup time but we need not have worried as they did come back to us in good time by both phone and fax. The day of the tour was the worst snow in Istanbul since 1992 which saw much of the city grind to an almost halt. That said the guide arrived on time and we completed all of the tour items even if we had a snow blizzard going on. The tour covered the key sites you should see and our guide did bring it alive with a wealth of information about everything. Having a good guide like Omar helped not only understand what you were looking at but helped us get into places much quicker and know where to find the most interesting things to see.
Lunch was pretty good for something that was part of a tour and we were pleased with how that went.
The snow did mean we got a little less time in the Grand Bazar but that was purely because it closed early.
I would recommend this tour as a good way to get to see the best the city has in a relaxed but informative way.
We may yet come back and do it in hotter weather as the snow did not help but equally did not stop it being a good trip.
Reviewed by: Noreene T, February 2015
Our guide was probably the most knowledgeable man in Istanbul. He shared details and insights we would not have gotten elsewhere.