1. Turkey
  2. Istanbul

Istanbul: Full-Day Imperial & Asia Small Group Tour

Product ID: 98535
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See the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Beylerbeyi Palace and visit the Asian side passing over the Bosphorus Bridge with an official guide including entrance fees as per itinerary, lunch and transportation on this full-day 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.
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

Select participants and date:

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Experience

Highlights
  • See Hagia (Saint) Sophia, Sultanahmet Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome and the 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 the Asian side passing over the Bosphorus Bridge and see Beylerbeyi Palace
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 Bosphorus views.

Begin by driving across the first Bosphorus Bridge, which for a time was the world’s longest suspension bridge, and head for the summit of Çamlica Hill, which affords panoramic views of Istanbul, the Sea of Marmara and the Princes’ Islands. From here, a short drive will take you to the Palace of Beylerbeyi on the shore of the Bosphorus. Perhaps the most elegant of the late Ottoman palaces, Beylerbeyi boasts six sumptuously furnished reception halls with Bohemian crystal chandeliers and Sèvres and Chinese vases including a main salon with an indoor fountain. The sultan's guests at the palace included the Empress Eugénie of France, Shah Nasruddin of Persia and Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia.
Includes
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Guide
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • VAT
  • 4-course lunch (vegetarian menu will be available) (sample menu: soup and seasonal appetizers and salad, main course like fish, meatball or chicken, dessert)
What’s Not Included
  • Gratuities/ tips (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
• Not recommended for participants with walking difficulties
• The Spice Bazaar may be visited prior to the Bosphorus Cruise, depending on the number of tour participants
• Every day available except Mondays and Thursdays
• On Sundays, when the Grand Bazaar is closed, you will visit Nuruosmaniye around the Grand Bazaar
• On Friday morning, the Blue Mosque will be closed
• 20 to 25 persons for each group