Enjoy a half-day tour of Istanbul and explore the Byzantine and Ottoman heart of the Old City. See Istanbul icons such as the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Hippodrome, and stroll through the lively Grand Bazaar looking for souvenir gifts.
What to Expect
Take a 3.5-hour tour of Istanbul’s "Sultan Ahmet Center," and discover the heart of the Old City, the seat of the former Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. During the guided tour, you will visit some of Istanbul’s major icons, including the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and the Hippodrome
Skip the line at the magnificent Hagia Sophia, one of the greatest marvels of architecture, constructed as a basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian. Opposite the Hagia Sophia lies the Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultanahmet Mosque, famous for the stunning blue İznik tiles that furnish its interior. Its 6 minarets stand proudly over the horizon, and can be seen from all across the city.
You will also visit the ancient Hippodrome, center of chariot races, athletic events, and political activities in ancient times. See the Serpentine Column, the Obelisk of Theodosius, and the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, among other superb monuments.
Use your free time to head into the crowds at the Grand Covered Bazaar, Istanbul’s most attractive shopping center, and the largest souk in the world. Explore more than 4,000 shops selling everything from antiques, to jewelry, to gold, carpets, leatherware, and souvenir items. Try your hand at haggling and see if you can walk away with a bargain!
- Tour guide
- Air-conditioned transportation
- Skip-the-line entrance ticket to Hagia Sophia
- Pick-up service from centrally-located Istanbul hotels
Know Before You Go
• The Grand Covered Bazaar is closed on Sundays - on this day of the week it will be replaced with a visit to an authentic shop
• On Friday mornings before 13:00, the Blue Mosque is only visited from the outside because of the noon prayer
• Please note that there may be long waiting times for entry to the Blue Mosque
• Pick-up is only available for centrally located Istanbul hotels
• Free shuttle pick-up is offered between 08:00 and 09:00 (depending on the location of your hotel), and takes 45 to 60 minutes
• Please note that on the afternoon tour you will visit other authentic shops instead of the Grand Bazaar
• Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays. On this day of the week, this part of the tour will be replaced by a visit to the Yerebatan Cistern. Hagia Sophia is not closed on Mondays on high season.