Tick off all ofIstanbul's top sights in just one day with a full-day sightseeing tour of Turkeys most populous and iconic city. Take a journey from Byzantium to Constantinople to Sultan Mehmet Fatihs City of Islam on this historical tour that stops at some of Istanbuls most popular sites while showcasing its exciting present.
Start your tour with a look at Justinian the Greats Hagia Sophia, a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture that holds more than 1,500 years of Turkish history. This beautiful site is also somewhat of a chameleon: it has lived its long life as a church, a mosque, and now as a museum.
Next, head just across the street to the jewel in the Istanbul crown: Sultan Ahmet Is Blue Mosque. Its one of the citys most impressivesights, with its thousands of iconic blue-tiled walls, 260 windows, and 6 minarets. Your guide fills you in on the significance of these intriguing spires as you go.
From here, you'll pay a visit to Istanbuls ancient Hippodrome. Today this charming promenade is a popular meeting point for Istanbul residents while still an integral part of Turkish history. Imagine the chariot races that once took place along this strip, which was also the site of the notorious Nika riots a dramatic political protest in 532 AD that led to the massacre of tens of thousands of people.
Then, stepback into the present for a relaxing lunch break at a well-hidden caf. Enjoy conversation with local community members and learn about daily life in Istanbul as you dine.
Once youre filled with Turkish cuisine, Topkapi Palace awaits. This opulent complex overlooking the Bosphorus is a true Istanbul treasure. Hear many colorful stories about the rich sultans who lived here between 1453 and 1839.
Lastly, seek out treasures of a different kind in Istanbuls famed Grand Bazaar, home to more than 3,000 shops along 61 streets. Meet a few of the market characters, perfect your haggling skills, savor a traditional Turkish coffee, and walk away with a slew of souvenir finds.
Note that the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays, so Sunday tours will explore the nearby Spice Market a vibrant and seemingly endless display of colorful spices, coffees, teas and treats instead.
IMPORTANT note: The Blue Mosque in Istanbul will be closed between1st March - 15th Mayfor renovation. To compensate we will be visiting Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Mosque, which was built in 1572 (older than Blue Mosque).