Highlights of Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour

4.8 / 5

335 Reviews

Highlights of Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour

From S$ 111.82 per person

Discover the magic of Istanbul on a private 1 or 2-day walking tour. Enjoy a river cruise and guided tour of the city highlights, including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Dolmabahce Palace, and Istiklal Street.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
COVID-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Small group
Limited to 15 participants
Mobile ticketing
Use your phone or print your voucher
Duration 7 hours - 2 days
Check availability to see starting times.
Skip the ticket line
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
English, Spanish, German, Japanese
Pickup included
Pick-up from the front desk of your hotel in Istanbul.
Wheelchair accessible

Experience

Highlights
  • Visit the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia
  • Learn about Ottoman sultans at Topkapi Palace
  • Try out your bargaining skills at the Grand Bazaar
  • Tour the inside of Dolmabahce Palace, home to the last Ottoman sultans
  • Admire the Bosphorus Bridge, which connects Europe and Asia
Full description
Day 1 – Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hipporome, 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 8-hour 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 boasts the 4th largest dome after St. Paul's in London, St. Peter's in Rome and the Duomo in Florence. 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, more 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 in to the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. You will also visit the Hippodrome, the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. Three monuments from the original building remain, including the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. You will also pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. Your day won’t be complete, however, without a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handcraft 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 Bosphorus. There are also 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.
Includes
  • Guide
  • Hotel or harbour pick-up and drop off
  • Transportation
  • All entrance fees
  • Lunches
  • Drinks
Not suitable for
  • People with mobility impairments
COVID-19 precautions

Customers must book this activity online because the ticket office is closed

Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • Customers must keep distance in vehicles
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • Customers must bring their own headphones
  • Customers are required to bring and wear masks
  • Customers must fill out a travel information form

Select participants and date

Participants

Date

Prepare for the activity

Important information

Not allowed

  • Pets
  • Tripods

Know before you go

  • Please note the following closing times:
  • Grand Bazaar - Sundays
  • Hagia Sophia - Mondays
  • Topkapi Palace - Tuesdays
  • Dolmabace Palace - Mondays and Thursdays
  •  If the museum is closed on your chosen day, the local supplier will move the itinerary to the next available day. If not, they will replace the tour with a trip to the underground cistern or Galata tower.
  •  Your local guide will take you around by tram, train, ferry, taxi, and bus.
  •  A 1-way transportation ticket costs 3 TL, the equivalent of roughly 1 EUR.
  •  This tour always includes hotel or harbour pick-up and drop off, regardless of which option is selected.
  •  The Blue Mosque is being renovated until end of 2020 so some parts of the ceiling might be temporarily covered.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 335 reviews

Review summary

  • Service
    4.7 / 5
  • Organization
    4.7 / 5
  • Value for money
    4.4 / 5
  • Safety
    4.8 / 5
Sort by

Very engaging

Lovely experience covering almost all the must-see's in Istanbul. My guide Mr. Kadir was very friendly, professional and knowledgeable. All the destinations were covered in a single day, starting at 7:00am in the morning and ending by 4:00pm (including lunch), kind of rush-rush and all by foot, so people having problems with feet, reconsider. All the destinations were crowded as expected and to get the entry tickets, you would normally need to stand in long queues, however, thanks to the guides who arrange for the tickets by bypassing the queues, some kind of arrangement. Had a great experience with the Istanbul Metro (M2), thanks to Mr. Kadir again for his suggestion. Very happy with the tour and definitely recommend it. Giving 1 lesser star as the price seems to be a little high considering you need to shed out extra on the entry fees and the transport by Metro or by any other means.

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August 8, 2019

Knowledgeable and friendly guide with good English. I’ve had guides in past who show you where good photo opportunities are and offer to take photos, but this did not happen on this tour. Otherwise he was great. He was accommodating to what we wanted to see and we had a good day! He also got us cheap skip the line tickets.

June 9, 2019

Kadir is a patience and knowledgeable guide.

Kadir Kucekeren was absolutely fantastic. He is very knowledgeable and we saved lots of time enjoying Istanbul with him. He knows all the secrets to truly enjoy the city in a safe and efficient manner. He personalized our trip to fit our cultural interests - like Süleymaniye Mosque. He is very caring of his guests; he helped my mother up and down the old city steps. He is a true gentleman and I will always be grateful to him for his patience and understanding.

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May 16, 2019

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Product ID: 20889