Discover Byzantine art and Christian relics on a half-day tour of Istanbul. Visit the Hagia Sophia, Roman Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, and more. Then, wander the stalls of the Grand Bazaar and explore the largest covered market in the world.
What to Expect
Take a half-day tour of Istanbul and explore it from the perspective of the Byzantine Empire. See ruins of Byzantine churches, the site of former Roman chariot races, and the magical alleys of the historic Grand Bazaar.
Visit the Hippodrome, location for thrilling chariot races in the days of the Roman Empire. The track is now some 6.6 feet (2 meters) below ground, but has been marked on the paving of Sultan Ahmet Square. You will see the surviving obelisks, as well as the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the Byzantine German Fountain of Wilhelm II.
Continue to Hagia Sophia, also known as “The Church of Holy Wisdom.” Undoubtedly one of the greatest architectural creations in the world, the temple was so richly decorated that Justinian proclaimed, “Solomon, I have surpassed you!" Your guide is an expert on Byzantine history, art, and architecture, and will describe important moments from the empire’s history as you continue to the iconic Blue Mosque. Named for its stunning decoration of Iznik tiles, you will also admire its slender minarets
End your tour at the Grand Bazaar, the oldest and largest covered market in the world. Explore the alleys, where nearly 4,000 shops offer a superb selection of antiques, leather, evil eye trinkets, and Turkish rugs. Try out your haggling skills to see if you can bag a true Turkish bargain.
- Hotel pick-up and drop off by air-conditioned bus, though free pick-up is only at city center hotels
- Entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary
- Licensed tour guide
- Service charges and taxes
What's Not Included
- Food and drink
- Tips and gratuities
Know Before You Go
Free pick-up just city center hotels
• Please note that Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays and will be replaced with a tour of the Underground Cistern
• Please note that the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays