1. Turkey
  2. Istanbul
  3. Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Istanbul: Half-Day Imperial Morning Tour

Product ID: 97941
See the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar with an official guide including entrance fees as per itinerary and transportation on this historical half-day small group morning tour.
About this activity
Duration: 4 hours
Starting time 8:00 AM
Skip the ticket line
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide

Pickup included

City center hotels.
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

Select participants and date:



  • See Hagia (Saint) Sophia, the Sultanahmet Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome and German Fountain
  • Explore the Grand Bazaar with its labyrinth of streets and passages of more than 4000 shops
  • 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 Constantine the Great in the 4th century and reconstructed by 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 exquisite blue Iznik 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.

Finally, 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.

  • Free hotel pickup and drop-off (city center hotels on the European side only)
  • Entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Guide and air-conditioned vehicle
  • VAT
What’s Not Included
  • Gratuities/ tips (optional)
  • Food and drinks
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users

Prepare for the activity

Important information
Know before you go
• Children under 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 the 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
• Daily morning regular group tour
• 20 to 25 persons for each group
Customer reviews

Overall rating

3.9 / 5

based on 11 reviews

Review summary

  • Service
    5 / 5
  • Organization
    4 / 5
  • Value for money
    4.1 / 5
  • Safety
    4.5 / 5
Sort by

Shakir was a good guide.

January 4, 2020

Very poorly organized. They picked us up at 8 am only to spend over an hour picking up other guests on the other side of town. Since I had read other reviews saying this for other tours, I expressly asked the day before to be able to meet the group on location (my hotel is only 5 minutes walk from the attractions), yet I was denied this possibility. The half day tour included a visit to the Bazaar. Since it doesn’t make a lot of sense to be accompanied by a tourist guide to shop, I assumed that the guide would have took us at the entrance of the bazaar at the very end of the tour, leaving appropriate amount of time to visit Ayasofya, the blue mosque and the hippodrome. But, the group was a mix of half day and full day tour. So the guide had the full day schedule in mind, and had to rush to the bazaar. Basically the tour for the 2 most important mosques in town and hippodrome only lasted over an hour. There was not even time to see the mosaics on the balconies in Ayasofya!!!

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December 29, 2019

Great tour!

So informational. Our guide was wonderful with so much historical information. It was wonderful.

September 1, 2019

Organized by

Adore Tourism Istanbul

Product ID: 97941