- 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
If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.
If you cancel within 2 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.
Reviewed by: Kelly B, October 2015
We did a number of tours this trip through Viator and all of them were excellent. The best of all was this private tour in Instanbul. Our tour guide Tibet was first class. She was there on time and knew that we had very little time to see a lot. She quickly worked with us to priortize, figure out the timing so that we would be efficient and was just wonderful in not only getting us around to see the most important sites--but was a pleasure and a lot of fun to be with. She even gave us directions and ideas as to what to do later in the day on our own which worked out perfectly. Tibet made it for us!!!! She was so professional and personable and gave us a great sense of the culture in the city!!
Reviewed by: Calitlin F, USA, October 2015
This tour was a great way to kick off our few days in Istanbul, it gave us a nice kick start to the trip. Hakan was a knowledgeable and terrific guide. He knew the best times to arrive at each place and we covered a lot of territory and avoided a lot of lines in a half day with him. He then sent us off with recommendations and ideas for the rest of the day.