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Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

Spice Bazaar, Istanbul: Our most recommended tours and activities

Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

1. Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

Discover Istanbul's most iconic sights on a van tour. Listen to your guide recount tales of the city's colorful past as you pass by landmarks such as the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, and Hippodrome. Round off the experience with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest covered markets in the world. Start your tour at the Hippodrome of Constantinople, which was the sports and social center of the old city. Discover major artworks including the Obelisk from Egypt, the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the fountain of Willhelm II. Then, continue to the Blue Mosque, whose 6 minarets adorn Istanbul’s skyline. Next up is the Topkapi Palace, which was home to Ottoman emperors between the 15th and 19th centuries. Marvel at the jewel-stuffed treasury, the Ottoman Empire's imperial collections, and priceless displays of Oriental porcelain. If the Topkapi Palace is closed on your trip date, you'll visit the Nakkas Cistern instead. Continue to the Hagia Sophia Mosque, a monument of equal significance to the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Behold the dome and stunning mosaics of this architectural gem as your guide recounts its turbulent history. Then, enter the Grand Bazaar with over 3,000 shops selling everything from carpets to jewelry to ceramics and leather goods. Take a stroll around the Spice Bazaar and soak in the aroma of different spices, dried fruits, nuts, sweets, and lokum (Turkish Delights).

Istanbul: 1-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour with Commentary

2. Istanbul: 1-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour with Commentary

Explore the beautiful city of Istanbul at your own pace with this hop-on-hop-off bus ticket including audio commentary in 8 languages. Your ticket is valid for 1 day and will let you spend more time discovering the highlights that most interest you. Jump aboard your double decker bus and enjoy a tour designed for those who want flexibility during their sightseeing exploration of Istanbul. With additional commentary from your audioguide, you will learn interesting facts about key sights whilst savoring delicious complimentary snacks on board. During the route you can stop at locations like Sultanahmet Square, Eminönü, Karaköy, Galataport, Dolmabahçe Palace, Naval Museum, Beylerbeyi Palace, Taksim Square, Beşiktaş Bazaar, Şişhane, and Egyptian Spice Bazaar.

Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour with Hotel Transfer

3. Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour with Hotel Transfer

Explore Istanbul on a guided tour. Choose from a 1-day tour to top attractions like the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace, or a 2-day tour with a cruise on the Bosphorus straight and a visit to the Dolmabahce Palace and Istiklal Street. Pick from a walking tour or a driving tour.  Day 1 – Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar Explore the highlights of Istanbul on this private full-day walking tour that covers the major attractions, from the Hagia Sophia Museum to the iconic Blue Mosque, to the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, to the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. The excursion starts with a pick-up from your Istanbul hotel and a walk through the lively streets of Turkey’s largest city to visit the dramatic former basilica of the Hagia Sophia, a great architectural beauty and an important monument during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. For many centuries, this was the largest church in the world, and it still holds the position for the 4th largest dome. Dedicated to the Hagia Sophia or 'divine wisdom', it is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Move on to the Blue Mosque, officially known as the Sultanahmet Mosque. The mosque’s striking blue tiles give it its more common name and make it one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions. Located close to Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque was considered the Supreme Imperial Mosque in Istanbul. Continue to Topkapi Palace, a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. The former palace boasted a population of about 4,000 people at its peak and was home to 25 sultans over a period of 400 years.  Located on a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn, it sits in tranquil gardens that provide shade from the blazing heat of the summer. Pop into the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. Visit the Hippodrome, the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. See the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column, the 3 remaining monuments from the original building. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. Complete your day with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handicraft shops selling everything from handmade carpets to Turkish coffee, the atmosphere is electric, and it's a great place to try out your bargaining skills. Day 2 – Spice Bazaar, Bosphorus cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Istiklal Street, Taksim The spice bazaar is located in Fatih. It's known as the Egyptian Market because, during the Ottoman period, Egyptian exports were sold there.  The Bosphorus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia that connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. Rumeli and Anadolu Fortresses are located at the narrowest point of the Bosphorus and there are magnificent Ottoman palaces and mosques along the Bosphorus. Keep an eye out for them. Built in the 19th century, Dolmabahce Palace was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and housed some of the last Ottoman Sultans. The palace site was created by filling in the small bay on the Bosphorus. This gave rise to its name, in Turkish, Dolma means 'filled' or 'stuffed,' and bahce means 'garden'. Istiklal Street is brimming with life. There, you'll find a plethora of shops, restaurants, and bars. From there, it is a 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area.

Istanbul: 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket and Scenic Cruise

4. Istanbul: 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket and Scenic Cruise

Discover every corner of Istanbul with this unique sightseeing tour combination. Travel around the city on a hop-on hop-off bus tour with stops in both European and Asian parts of town. Navigate down the scenic Bosphorus Strait on a cruise and upgrade your experience with an insightful walking tour. Hop-on hop-off Bus Tour Travel aboard a double-decker bus and enjoy a hassle-free tour of Istanbul’s iconic landmarks and historical sites. Explore a looping route with 11 strategically placed stops close to must-see sights. Jump off at any of the stops or stay onboard for a relaxing ride through the vibrant streets. Pass by the famous Galata Bridge with fishermen lining the railing and Galata Tower soaring into the sky. Admire the view as you cross the legendary Bosphorus Bridge from Europe to Asia. The sightseeing route offers the following stops: 1. Sultanahmet 2. Eminönü 3. Karaköy 4. Galataport 5. Dolmabahce Palace 6. Istanbul Naval Museum 7. Beylerbeyi Palace 8. Beşiktaş Çarşısı 9. Taksim Square 10. Şişhane 11. Spice Bazaar 12. Sultanahmet Bosphorus cruise Step away from the hustle and bustle of the city and navigate past spectacular palaces, mosques, and mansions from different empires along both shores of the Strait. Start out in the Old City, then navigate along the European side until the second Bosphorus Bridge, then return along the Asian coast. See the city from a whole new perspective as you sail past historical landmarks like the Dolmabahce Palace, Ortaköy Mosque, Ciragan Palace, Bosphorus Bridge, Rumeli Fortress, Beylerbeyi Palace, Maiden Tower, and many more. Learn about the history and culture of Istanbul with the onboard audio guide. Optional walking tour Set foot on the Asian side of Istanbul by selecting the activity option with an included walking tour. Discover the famous local food market of Kadıköy, learn about Turkish food culture, and visit the backstreets of a local residential neighborhood.

Bosphorus Tour With Lunch

5. Bosphorus Tour With Lunch

Istanbul is a city that inspires body and soul with its power. From the noise of the Grand Bazaar to the peaceful beauty of the Blue Mosque, no trip to Istanbul is complete without a view of this sprawling metropolis from the Bosphorus. On this cruise and two-continents tour, accompanied by your multilingual tour guide, you will be treated to several stops along this epic waterway, which divides Europe and Asia. After a short stop at the Spice Bazaar, head to Kabatas from where your ferry leaves at 10:30 AM and returns back around 12:00 PM. During this 1.5-hour cruise, you will see sights like Dolmabahce Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, Ciragan Palace and Rumeli Fortress, ancient wooden villas, 2 Bosporus bridges and maritime landscapes. After the Bosphorus cruise, you will be transfer to the restaurant. After a nice lunch, you will now jump continents and set sail for Asia. It’s time to head to Camlica Hill which offers perfect panoramic views of the city from almost 300 meters above sea level. The tour ends with a return to your hotel or cruise ship.

Istanbul Scenic Half-Day Bosphorus Cruise

6. Istanbul Scenic Half-Day Bosphorus Cruise

Explore the spice bazaar, located next to New Mosque (Yeni Camii) in Eminonu. The unique bazaar evokes fantasies of the mystical East and is filled with the enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and many other herbs and spices. Be driven along the Golden Horn and gaze at the historical heart of Istanbul and the principal harbor of the Byzantium and Ottoman periods for hundreds of years. Enjoy snacks and refreshments at Cafe Pierre Loti, a quaint cafe at the end of the Bosphorus with a beautiful view of the Golden Horn that was named after the famous French writer Pierre Loti. After this you will gain an entirely different perspective of the Golden Horn whilst driving down from the nearby hill with the Cable Car. Relax on a cruise along the great Bosphorus river which separates Asia and Europe. This voyage enables you to see the delightfully surprising mixture of past and present, Asian and European influences, grand splendor and simple beauty.

Istanbul: Customizable Private Tour with Guide and Transport

7. Istanbul: Customizable Private Tour with Guide and Transport

Spend the day with a private bilingual tour guide and explore the many delights of Istanbul. With private transportation, choose the places you want to visit, and experience Istanbul at your own pace. The tour runs from 09:00 to 17:00, and during this time your personal and professional guide will provide you with fascinating stories and facts behind some of the most famous landmarks and attractions in the city. Cruise along the Bosphorus, soak up the bustling atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar, or breathe in the heady aromas of the Spice Bazaar. Marvel at the Blue Mosque, and see the brilliant Byzantine Hagia Sophia. This tour is tailor made to your interests and passions and is conducted in the language of your choice. Relax in good company, and get a feel for this unusual city within which the flavors and architecture of the orient meets the sophistication of Europe. Hotel pick-up and drop-off is included.

Istanbul: Highlights of Istanbul- Include Entry Fees&Lunch

8. Istanbul: Highlights of Istanbul- Include Entry Fees&Lunch

This is a fully guided tour inside the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya), Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Roman Hippodrome, Orient Exprés Train Station and Spice Bazaar. Along the way, stop to hear the stories of the Roman Hippodrome (including the Egyptian Obelisk and Serpent Column German Fountain) This tour starts from our meeting point which is located in the heart of Istanbul. Your guide will meet you and you will start with the Hagia sofia which hosted two religions over 1500 years. The tour will follow by Blue mosque which is the most popular mosque in Istanbul. It willl foloow by under ground Basicila Cistern with heads of Medusa turned upside down in the water. After this, the tour wil follow with the walk in Gulhane park which was the back yard of the Topkapı palace. We will follow to look at the station of the famous Orient Express, tasting the Turkish delights, nuts and spices at the Spice Bazaar. Take a break for lunch and enjoy traditional Turkish cuisine in a friendly setting at a non-touristy restaurant where your gourmet guide will choose some memorable food for you.  P.S. Blue mosque is closed due to renovation until the end of March 2023. We will still visit it from outside and it will be substituted with Rustem Paşa mosque.

Istanbul: E-pass for Top Attractions with Museum Pass

9. Istanbul: E-pass for Top Attractions with Museum Pass

Discover the best of what Istanbul has to offer with your e-pass, offering you convenience and comfort. This digital pass is accepted for more than 55 plans and attractions throughout the City of the Seven Hills without the need of standing in line, along with other benefits. Visit the most popular destinations with the different options this e-pass has to offer, adjusting to the length of your stay with passes for 2, 3, 5 and up to 7 days. The impressive amount of landmarks can be accessed using only one pass. Misplacing or carrying several vouchers is a thing of the past. Explore the ample offer of options in Istanbul with included benefits. Tours of the Hagia Sofia, Galata Tower, Grand Bazaar and several other locations have their own tour guides. Receive special perks for different attractions within the city and nearby, such as a pick up and drop off or discounts for a Gallipoli day tour, a cruise on the Bosphorus, among several other plans for you to choose from.

Istanbul:Private Layover Tour from Istanbul Airports&Hotels

10. Istanbul:Private Layover Tour from Istanbul Airports&Hotels

Go on this tour and explore the city instead of waiting at the airport during your layover. With your friendly local guide, feel like you have done a lot in a short amount of time. Your itinerary will be redesigned according to your landing time and your guide will confirm the best itinerary for you when you meet at the airport. If your flight lands before 4:00 PM, you will be able to go inside the sights but if your flight lands after 4:00 PM, you will not be able to go inside the sights but you will see Istanbul at night. The sights you can see included the Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Roman Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Topkapı Palace, Basilica Cistern, Galata Bridge, Bosporus Bridge, Bosporus to Kadıköy cruise, Maidens Tower, Kadıköy food market, Karaköy neighborhood, Taksim Square, and Istıklal Avenue. You can choose the additional activities of a Turkish bath for 50 Euro, dinner at a local restaurant for between 10 and 20 Euro, or a baklava tasting for between 5 and 10 Euro. 

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What people are saying about Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,949 reviews

Oğuz guided me along some of the less touristic places in the old town of Istanbul. He provided intelligent company with knowledge of the history thay he was eager to share. By means of a visit to the tile museum, we could climb the old city walls that was our actual target. And while baffled with the quest for a good vegatarian place to have lunch, we stumbled upon the best vegan place I could think of. He introduced me to Kadiköy as well, stimulating me to continue my day visit there with a climb of the tower and further exploring the sprawling streets around.

Excellent trip. Would strongly advise doing this on day one. Gives you an idea of the city and where the sites are in relation to each other. Stops off at the must see attractions. Buses run every hour.

Great tour which was great value and had a good amount of free time for photos at each stop.

Excellent, the tour guide was exceptional, experience of a lifetime

Excellent guide, Ali, was amazing! I recommend this tour