1. Turkey
  2. Istanbul

Istanbul: Full-Day Heritage Tour

Product ID: 97770
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See Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar with an official guide, entrance fees as per itinerary, lunch and transportation during a full-day historical small group tour.
About this activity
Duration 8 hours
Skip the ticket line
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
English

Pick-up service

City center hotels on the European side of Istanbul.
Easy cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund

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Experience

Highlights
  • 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
Full description
Begin your tour of the Sultanahmet district, the heart of old Istanbul, at Hagia Sophia. Built by the Emperor Justinian in the early 6th century A.D. and designed by Anthemius of Tralles and Isodore of Miletus, the church is one of the marvels of world architecture. Converted into a mosque in 1453, it is now a museum. Its massive dome still dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. It is also famed for its mosaics, including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses and a poignant Virgin and Child.

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.
Includes
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Guide and air-conditioned vehicle
  • VAT
  • 4-course lunch (vegetarian menu is available and sample menu: soup and seasonal appetizers and salad, main course like fish, meatball or chicken, dessert)
What’s Not Included
  • Gratuities/ tip (optional)
  • Drinks
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users

Prepare for the activity

Important information
Know before you go
• Children 18-years-old and under must be accompanied by an adult
• 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