Discover Istanbul's historic city center on this full-day guided tour, with hotel pick-up included. Visit the remarkable Hagia Sophia, the stunning Blue Mosque, the eery Underground Cistern and many more sights to make this a truly unforgettable trip.
What to Expect
Explore the most historic and beautiful sites in all of Istanbul on this guided full-day tour.
Starting with a 09:00 pick-up from your hotel, we will begin our historic day tour of old Istanbul city.
First we will visit the St. Sophia, also known as the Hagia Sophia. This ancient basilica, built by Constantine the Great in the 4th century and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century, is one of the architectural marvels of all time.
Then explore Topkapi Palace. This great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries houses an exquisite collection of crystal, silver, Chinese porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury, and many more remarkable collections.
From there, step into the Sultanahmet Imperial Mosque. Across from St. Sophia and built in the 16th century by the architect Mehmet, this incredible structure is also known as the Blue Mosque because of its magnificent interior decoration of blue Iznik tiles.
Nearby, the ancient Hippodrome, the scene of chariot races, is home to three more amazing monuments: the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine.
The Underground Cistern is only a short distance away, and is thought to have been built after the Nika revolt in 532 AD.
It was known as the Basilica Cistern during the Roman period, as there was a Stoa Basilica above the pre-existing one at the time. After the conquest of the city by the Ottoman Turks, it was forgotten until being rediscovered in 1545, when it was used to water the gardens of Topkapi Palace.
Today it has a rather eery and mystical ambiance. Clever spotlighting makes the water shimmer with colored dancing lights and the water ripples from fish swimming along.
Finally, your guide will take you to the Grand Covered Bazaar. Let yourself get lost in this labyrinth of streets and passages, home to more then 4,000 shops with each trade having its own area. Explore the goldsmiths' street, the carpet sellers, Turkish arts and crafts, brassware and trays, and much much more. Don’t forget to haggle for a good price!
After this tour and a full-day of immersion in Istanbul’s history and culture, we will drop you off at your hotel, where the tour will end.
- Hotel pick-up and drop-off
- All entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary
- Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking coach
- Professional English-speaking tour guide
Know Before You Go
Please note, Inside the mosques, please cover your shoulders and knees.