Istanbul Shore Excursion: Private Istanbul Express Sightseeing Tour

From USD 43.52
Per Person
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Tour Information

Tour Details


When youre docked at Istanbul port, make a beeline for three of the citys showstoppers on this 4-hour private shore excursion that's ideal for anyone who's short on time. With a knowledgeable guide beside you, visit the 6th-century masterpiece of the Hagia Sophia to marvel at its exquisite mosaics and soaring dome. Also, explore the stunning, blue-tiled Blue Mosque and roam the stall-packed lanes of the Grand Bazaar as your guide reveals its history and Ottoman design. Experience the best sights and attention from your guide on this private excursion.


  • All entrance fees included
  • Free port pickup and drop-off included
  • Private tour is operated with just your party and a guide/driver

Know More about this tour

Meet your expert guide at the cruise port and board your air-conditioned minivan to begin your 4-hour private shore excursion of Istanbul's highlights.

Head for Sultanahmet, Istanbul Old Town, and make your first stop at the Hagia Sophia, the breathtaking, UNESCO-listed church-turned-mosque-turned-museum. Completed in 537 AD by the Roman Emperor Justinian, this towering masterpiece was once one of the worlds largest Christian basilicas, and is coated in shimmering Byzantine mosaics. Admire its dome an extraordinary architectural feat for the 6th century and view the mosaics and Ottoman artifacts as your guide charts their history.

Continue to the Blue Mosque, another of Istanbuls signature sights. Designed to outshine the nearby Hagia Sophia, this classical 17th-century mosque is a whirl of domes and minarets. Head inside with your guide to see the 20,000 blue znik tiles that cover its ceiling and give it its name.

Next, be swept up in the colors and chaos of Istanbuls Grand Bazaar. This huge, covered marketplace was established in 1456 and rings with stalls selling a myriad of goods, from jewelry to carpets. As you stroll, learn how the lanes are divided into different merchandise areas in traditional Ottoman style, and see the bedestans (domed market halls) that formed the original structure. Get buying tips from your guide and explore some of the 13 hans open courtyards that were caravan stops for medieval merchants.

After time to absorb the sights and sounds, return to the port, where your tour finishes.

Please note: the order of activities as described above may be subject to change on the day of your tour.

Worry-free Shore Excursion:
We will ensure your timely return to Istanbul cruise port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

Inclusions for Istanbul Shore Excursion: Private Istanbul Express Sightseeing Tour

  • Port pickup and drop-off
  • Transport by private, air-conditioned minivan
  • Professional guide
  • Entrance fees
  • Covered by Viators worry-free policy

Exclusions for Istanbul Shore Excursion: Private Istanbul Express Sightseeing Tour

  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Food and drinks, unless specified

Additional Info

Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 2 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability

It is highly recommended that you wear comfortable clothes and shoes

Cancellation Policy
  • If you cancel within 3 calendar days (72 hours) of the scheduled departure time, the cancellation charge will be 100% of the undiscounted tour price.
  • If you cancel between 4 to 7 Calendar days before scheduled tour departure,the cancellation charge will be 50% of the undiscounted tour price.
  • If you cancel at least 8 calendar days in advance of the scheduled departure time, there is no cancellation fee. You will receive Full Refund for the paid amount.
  • Please note that in case of No show, the cancellation charge will be 100% of the listed tour fare.
  • Please note tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.

Write A Review

See All 12 Traveler reviews

  • our guide was wonderful. but all the tour companies should have known it was a Muslim Holy Day and that the grand Bizarre and Spice fair would be closed. access to the Blue Mosque was available only after 2:30PM

  • So much information to digest. I think Sofia hagia was my favourite

  • Wonderful and informative guide, He took our needs into consideration and took us across the bridge to Asia!

  • LOVED Istanbul! Lovely, fascinating city! Wonderful food too. Wish we had more time there. Sadly our guide had his own agenda which didn't include seeing the sights we wanted, as much as him talking at length about minor things that would have been interesting if we had had more time in the city. It felt like he was holding us back from seeing as much as we could in our allotted time.

  • An excellent tour with a great guide. Our guide was waiting on the pier when the ship docked. We had a private guide and a competent drive. Our guide was able to avoid most lines and get us right in to all of the sights. She took us everywhere we wanted to go and helped us negotiate all of our purchases in the grand Bazaar. We were delivered back to our ship in a timely fashion.

  • We where picked up from the port and the guide took us to the Old City and explained the history of Instanbul. He was very pleasant and helpful. It is the only way to see the city and well worth the cost. Great value.

  • Excellent. We were picked up outside our ship, and had a full day of sightseeing. Our guide was very knowledgeable and took us to everything we asked and more. I would highly recommend this to anyone.

  • Great tour! Awesome that it's led by locals who know the history and culture. It's worth having a tour guide because you get to skip the very long lines at the big sites. BAD: they force you to sit through a Turkish Rug presentation where they try and force you to buy a rug. It is almost scary.

  • Horrible! Guide more interested in taking us to rug places, that she had an obvious connection to, than conducting the tour. Fez tour guide was just horrible! Beware on this tour! No one wants to purchase a 28000 rug when they are expecting to tour the site highlighted in this package. Shame on you Viator for allowing this to happen. We felt light we were being held hostage in the rug store until the owner was offended by me saying I was not going to purchase a rug no matter how many times he lowered the price.

  • Unfortunately, we arrived in Istanbul on a festival day at the end of Ramadan which meant many stores including the Grand Bazaar and the spice market were closed. It also meant that the city was extremely busy and crowded. However, our guide was able to get us into the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia without too much trouble and he was very knowledgeable about both spots. We were given opportunities to explore on our own and to take photos after he gave us insight as to what to look for. An amazing tour.

  • See All 12 Reviews

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