Visit the Blue Mosque, famous for its mosaics of blue Iznik tiles and its six minarets. Cross through the Hippodrome, the scene of Byzantine chariot races, athletic events, victory celebrations, and political activities of the old city where you can also see the Obelisk from Egypt, Serpent Column from Delphi, the Fountain of Wilhelm II and the Colossus.
Facing the Blue Mosque is St. Sophia (Closed on Mondays), one of the great architectural marvels of the ancient world. This church turned mosque and now a museum, takes the breath away with the sheer size of its interior and its magnificent dome.
You will then visit the marvelous Yerebatan Underground Cistern with its atmospherically lit rows of columns 336 in total. It was built in 532, with a capacity to store 80,000 cubic meters of water. It has excellent acoustics, and, with its fabulous atmosphere, has been used by famous singers, and for film sets (The Underground Cistern is fairly damp and, therefore, appropriate footwear is advisable as the floor can be slippery).
Explore the spectacular Topkapi Palace (Closed on Tuesdays / Harem section exclusive), seat of the Ottoman sultans for 400 years. Built on one of the seven hills of Istanbul, this huge complex commands superb views of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. The palace is filled with treasures of the Sultans including the extravagant Treasury with its magnificent jewels and porcelains.
At the conclusion of the trip optional visit to a handicraft center where an underground Byzantine Cistern in the studio is situated.