Istanbul: Full-Day Heritage Tour
Pickup includedCity center hotels on the European side of Istanbul.
- See Hagia (Saint) Sophia, Sultanahmet Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, New Mosque and German Fountain
- Explore the Grand Bazaar, the commercial heart of the old city and its 4,000 shops full of treasures
- Enjoy lunch at a rooftop restaurant with Bosphorus views
- Visit Topkapi Palace, the great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries
- Transfer to your hotel after the tour
Next, you will visit the Blue Mosque which takes its name from the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. Built by Sultan Ahmet I in the early 17th century and designed by a pupil of Sinan, the greatest of Ottoman architects, it is the only imperial mosque with six minarets. Its courtyard is especially grand. The Hippodrome, the stadium of ancient Byzantium, held 100,000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire. Of these, an Egyptian obelisk and a bronze sculpture of three entwined serpents from Delphi survive. The Grand Bazaar was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4,000 shops are full of treasures including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons and leather goods. Wandering through the Grand Bazaar, indulge in some shopping, Ottoman style. Enjoy your lunch at a rooftop restaurant with a view of the Bosphorus.
Visit Topkapi Palace, the great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries, housing an exquisite collection of precious gems, jewelry thrones of sultans, robes worn by the sultans and their families, miniatures, the Holy Mantle and the Chamber of Sacred Relics. (The harem is not included in the program and visit will require an extra entrance fee.) Last but by no means least, visit the New Mosque completed in 1665. Originally named Valide Sultan Mosque, the construction was ordered by Safiye Sultan, the wife of Sultan Murad III and the mother of his successor Sultan Mehmed III, hence the name Valide Sultan meaning Queen Mother. The mosque is an Imperial Mosque and one of the famous architectural landmarks of Istanbul.
- Free hotel pickup and drop-off (city center hotels on the European side only)
- Entrance fees as per itinerary
- Guide and air-conditioned vehicle
- 4-course lunch (vegetarian menu is available and sample menu: soup and seasonal appetizers and salad, main course like fish, meatball or chicken, dessert)
- Gratuities/ tip (optional)
- Wheelchair users
Prepare for the activity
• During religious holidays, the Spice Market and Grand Bazaar will be closed
• Cover ups and head scarves will be provided at the Blue Mosque
• On Sundays, when Grand Bazaar is closed, you will visit Nuruosmaniye around the Grand Bazaar
• On Mondays, when Saint Sophia is closed, you will visit the Chora Church, famed for its mosaics
• On Friday morning, the Blue Mosque is closed
• On Tuesdays, when Topkapı Palace is closed, this tour will not be offered
• 20 to 25 persons for each group