Istanbul
Market Tours

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Our most recommended Istanbul Market Tours

Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

1. Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

Discover Istanbul's most iconic sights on a van tour. Listen to your guide recount tales of the city's colorful past as you pass by landmarks such as the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, and Hippodrome. Round off the experience with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest covered markets in the world. Start your tour at the Hippodrome of Constantinople, which was the sports and social center of the old city. Discover major artworks including the Obelisk from Egypt, the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the fountain of Willhelm II. Then, continue to the Blue Mosque, whose 6 minarets adorn Istanbul’s skyline. Next up is the Topkapi Palace, which was home to Ottoman emperors between the 15th and 19th centuries. Marvel at the jewel-stuffed treasury, the Ottoman Empire's imperial collections, and priceless displays of Oriental porcelain. If the Topkapi Palace is closed on your trip date, you'll visit the Nakkas Cistern instead. Continue to the Hagia Sophia Mosque, a monument of equal significance to the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Behold the dome and stunning mosaics of this architectural gem as your guide recounts its turbulent history. Then, enter the Grand Bazaar with over 3,000 shops selling everything from carpets to jewelry to ceramics and leather goods. Take a stroll around the Spice Bazaar and soak in the aroma of different spices, dried fruits, nuts, sweets, and lokum (Turkish Delights).

Istanbul: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar Tour

2. Istanbul: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar Tour

Like most visitors to Istanbul, especially first-time visitors; you will want to see and photograph the Blue Mosque. Complete with its 6 minarets and ornate glass windows, this site is a must when visiting Istanbul. Following that, you will travel next door to the Hagia Sophia Museum. A magnificent Byzantine Church, it is one of the finest and largest architectural works of art in the world.  After the Hagia, you'll find your way to the entrance of the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest covered markets in the world. In addition to its historical importance, it's a bazaar that will tempt even those without an interest in shopping with its rich collection of precious handmade carpets, jewellery, leather, and souvenirs.

Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private City Guided Tour

3. Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private City Guided Tour

Discover the best of Istanbul on this 1, 2, or 3-day private tour that covers the major attractions, such as the Hagia Sophia Museum, the iconic Blue Mosque, the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, and the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. A few of the possible attraction you'll visit on your tour include: 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. The Blue Mosque, more officially known as the "Sultanahmet" Mosque has 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. 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. The Hippodrome is 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. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. The Grand Bazaar is 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. 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, and from there, it's an interesting and scenic 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area. See this and more depending on which length tour option you select. Possible Itinerary for each day of the tour: Day 1: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Hippodrome Day 2: Spice Market, Bosphorus Cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal, Galata Tower Day 3: Suleymaniye Mosque, Chora Church, Fener/Balat Districts, Pierre Loti Hill

Istanbul: Prince Island Trip with Lunch

4. Istanbul: Prince Island Trip with Lunch

Take a trip to Büyükada, the largest of the Princes' Islands, from Istanbul and enjoy the cool breezes and charming sights along the way. Enjoy the mild climate, lush vegetation and ornate Ottoman houses on Büyükada. Explore the the main square of Büyükada and admire the Victorian buildings Marvel at the beautiful scenery and elegant mansions reminiscent of the past. Have lunch at one of the many seaside restaurants serving fresh fish along the waterfront while gazing across at Istanbul.

Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour with Hotel Transfer

5. Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour with Hotel Transfer

Explore Istanbul on a guided tour. Choose from a 1-day tour to top attractions like the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace, or a 2-day tour with a cruise on the Bosphorus straight and a visit to the Dolmabahce Palace and Istiklal Street. Pick from a walking tour or a driving tour.  Day 1 – Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, 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 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 holds the position for the 4th largest dome. 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, 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 into the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. Visit the Hippodrome, the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. See the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column, the 3 remaining monuments from the original building. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. Complete your day with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handicraft 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 the Bosphorus and there are 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.

From Istanbul: 4-Day Trip to Istanbul & Cappadocia

6. From Istanbul: 4-Day Trip to Istanbul & Cappadocia

Make the most of your time in Turkey with this all-inclusive trip. Explore iconic landmarks of Istanbul like Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar. Over the next 2 days, lose yourself in Cappadocia’s fairytale landscape with guided visits to Goreme Open Air Museum, Avanos, Pasabag, Uchisar, Pigeon Valley, Ortahisar, and more. Day 1 City Highlights Tour See the Byzantine mosaics and minarets of Hagia Sophia. Then, retrace the footsteps of Ottoman sultans and courtiers at Topkapi Palace. Continue to Hippodrome and admire its granite Egyptian obelisk. Learn about its significance during the Roman period as the civil center for the people of the city. Move onward to the most famous landmark of the old city, the Blue Mosque. Marvel at its minarets and magnificent dome. End the day tour at the Grand Bazaar. Stroll through its many colorful alleys, buzzing with shop owners and craftspeople. After sightseeing, catch your domestic flight to Cappadocia. Upon your arrival to Cappadocia, check in to a cave hotel. Day 2 Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia After breakfast at the hotel, embark on a full-day tour of Cappadocia. Walk in the land of fairy chimneys. Visit Goreme Open Air Museum, Red River, Devrent Valley, and Pasabag. Make your way to Avanos Village for a traditional lunch and pottery experience. Head to Goreme Panorama for views of fairy chimneys. Get to the top of the Uchisar Castle, the highest point of the region, a perfect vantage point for a panoramic view of the stunning Cappadocian landscape. After sightseeing, be driven to your hotel. Spend the night in Cappadocia. Day 3 Underground Cities of Cappadocia Have a hearty breakfast and meet your guide for another day of exploration. See the Rose and Red Valley, known for sharp ridges that get painted in a riot of pink hues at sunset. Go off the beaten path to visit Cavusin. See its famous rock churches. Then, enjoy a tour of Pigeon Valley, named after the countless man-made dovecotes or pigeon houses carved into the soft volcanic tuff. Walk through a picturesque maze of rock formations. Next, go down to the world of underground cities. Once a refuge for 15000 Christians, these settlements were of great value to the development of Christianity. See the bedrooms, church, meeting hall, and storage rooms in this 8-story city connected by 30 kilometers of corridors and passageways. Continue the tour with Ortahisar, famous for its friendly inhabitants, picturesque stone houses, narrow streets, and lovely churches. See the famous castle-like rock formation standing dominantly over the town. At the end of the tour, be driven back to your hotel. Day 4 Flight to Istanbul After breakfast and check out, be driven to Kayseri Airport for your domestic flight to Istanbul.

Istanbul: Private Layover Tour from Istanbul Airport &Hotels

7. Istanbul: Private Layover Tour from Istanbul Airport &Hotels

Go on this tour and explore the city instead of waiting at the airport during your layover. With your friendly local guide, feel like you have done a lot in a short amount of time. Your itinerary will be redesigned according to your landing time and your guide will confirm the best itinerary for you when you meet at the airport. If your flight lands before 4:00 PM, you will be able to go inside the sights but if your flight lands after 4:00 PM, you will not be able to go inside the sights but you will see Istanbul at night. The sights you can see included the Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Roman Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Topkapı Palace, Basilica Cistern, Galata Bridge, Bosporus Bridge, Bosporus to Kadıköy cruise, Maidens Tower, Kadıköy food market, Karaköy neighborhood, Taksim Square, and Istıklal Avenue. You can choose the additional activities of a Turkish bath for 50 Euro, dinner at a local restaurant for between 10 and 20 Euro, or a baklava tasting for between 5 and 10 Euro. 

Full-Day Istanbul City Package Tour

8. Full-Day Istanbul City Package Tour

After breakfast between 8:00 AM and 9:30 AM, get picked up from your hotel. Visit Topkapi Palace, the great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries housing an exquisite collection of crystal, silver, and Chinese porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury, miniatures, the Holy Mantle, and enshrining relics of the Prophet Mohammed. Across from St. Sophia, built in the 16th century by the architect Mehmet, is the Sultanahmet Imperial Mosque, known as the Blue Mosque because of its magnificent interior decoration of blue Iznik tiles. The Ancient Hippodrome, the scene of chariot races, with the three monuments: the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine. Then visit the Hagia Sophia, previously known as the Church of Divine Wisdom, simply the best of its kind. Hagia Sophia is the greatest surviving example of Byzantine Architecture. For 1,000 years it was the largest church in the world, decorated with stunning 6th-century golden mosaics. Today it is a mosque. Enjoy a lunch break at 1:00 PM. After lunch, experience the traditional silk weaving skills of Turkish women at the carpet weaving courses provided by The Ministry of National Education. You will get the opportunity to see jewelry, the handcrafts center, and a modern leatherwear show. Enjoy the experience of shopping while gaining knowledge of the ancient craftsmen with a local guide of knowledge who will teach you how to haggle on the streets of Istanbul. The rest of the evening is yours to explore Istanbul.

Istanbul: 4-hour Turkish Shopping Experience

9. Istanbul: 4-hour Turkish Shopping Experience

From the ancient Grand Bazaar with over 3,000 shops selling everything from carpets to jewelry, to ceramics and leather goods; to the Spice Bazaar with its incredible smell from almost every spice imaginable, as well as dried fruits and nuts, sweets and the ubiquitous Turkish Delight; it is mind blowing to the first time visitor. This is not helped by the traders shouting out and tempting you in with various offers, many of which will be quickly forgotten should you venture inside. This is a part of Turkish culture and trade, and very common in other countries where negotiating and barter is the norm. To the Westerner who is not used to this, it can be quite a daunting prospect and visitors sometimes fall prey to the more unscrupulous traders. To prevent this and to ensure a pleasurable and happy shopping experience your guide will bring you to the right places to make your purchases. Many of these can only be found on the backs streets outside the two bazaars, in places you would likely never find or enter by yourself. The whole Turkish culture and tradition of buying from recommended traders is still observed. You will be encouraged to: · sit and drink huge quantities of tea · talk about yourself · ask questions · look at a huge array of merchandise · negotiate, as no trader is happy if you just accept their first price This is part of the whole process, one where making friends is as important as the purchase itself. The one secret to negotiating is not trying to drive the price down to the absolute lowest possible point, as you have no idea what that is. Each trader will assess each customer differently on any given day. Mood will play its part as will how much they like you and get on with you, hence the reason for going through the sociable elements before buying. If you can’t agree on a price you are free to walk away but if you do you will leave with the comfort of knowing your purchase is genuine and not some back street fake. What to Buy Carpets/Kilim The Turkish carpet/kilim has a long history dating back hundreds of years. An original Turkish carpet is handmade using only natural fibres and dyes from plant extract. The process is long and slow and obviously the time taken to make one depends on how big it is. Smaller carpets, with their bright colours are quite often used to hang on walls just as you would with a picture. There are many different characteristics to the Turkish carpet, depending on where the material is from and this also influences the design and price. The carpet shops recommended by your guide will take time to explain everything to you and offer advice on what might be your best choice. Ceramics The production of Turkish ceramics dates back to the 15th Century and developed from the appreciation of Chinese porcelain by the Ottoman Sultans. Being unable to produce porcelain they manufactured fritware, which is a low-fired body comprised mainly of silica and glass. These ceramics are more commonly referred to as Iznik Pottery after the region where they were first produced and the real collector’s items are hand painted. Consequently no two pieces are ever the same. Your guide will only take you to the shops and markets selling authentic pieces. Jewellery With 500 years of Ottoman Rule and their desire for opulent jewelry, a whole industry is devoted to keeping the traditions alive with craftsmen passing their knowledge and skills on from one generation to another. The result is an abundance of unique pieces both for design and the gems which adorn them. On your tour you can have confidence in the designers and craftsmen, who will work with you in finding or creating your own unique family heirloom. Leather Turkey has a thriving leather industry offering bags, jackets, coats and trousers, but you have to be very careful as there are so many fakes on the market. That said you can buy exceptional quality leather goods at prices which are usually way below what you would normally pay in your home country. Your guide will only take you to the leather stores and factory outlets, which have a reputation for honest trading and no fakes.

Byzantine & Ottoman Istanbul Full-Day Shore Excursion

10. Byzantine & Ottoman Istanbul Full-Day Shore Excursion

Discover Turkey’s largest and most important city - and the only city in the world to straddle 2 continents - on a full-day shore excursion of Istanbul’s iconic Ottoman and Byzantine highlights. Visit the Blue Mosque, the historic Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, and the lively Grand Bazaar. Your private guide will meet you at the cruise ship terminal and transfer you by air-conditioned vehicle to the Hippodrome, former center of all sports and political activities in Constantinople. See the Obelisk from Egypt, the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the fountain of Willhelm II. Continue to the exquisite Blue Mosque. One of the largest mosques in Istanbul, the 17th-century architecture is one of the principal adornments of Istanbul's skyline and most notable for its blue Iznik tiles and 6 minarets. Visit Topkapi Palace, former imperial residence, from where the Ottoman Empire was ruled. Today it’s a spectacular museum, with one of the largest collections of Chinese and Japanese porcelain, as well as the famous treasury of the Royal Family. Go to the church of St. Sophia, also known as the Hagia Sophia, and admire the magnificent Byzantine architecture. End at the Grand Bazaar, one of the world's oldest and largest covered markets. It has been in continuous operation since the 15th-century and is a haven for picking up souvenir gifts of carpets, antiques, trinkets, and bowls of nazar evil eye amulets. Return to your cruise ship in time for your evening activities, or ship’s departure.

Frequently asked questions about Istanbul Market Tours

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What people are saying about Istanbul

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 261 reviews

The best tour for first timers in istanbul who love history, arts and legends. We had an amazing guide Serder Donmez who was the most accomodating and understanding. We recommend wearing comfy shoes because this is a walking tour. Best decision we made to cover the important points of the City.

We had the best experience with Sevilay! She took us all over Istanbul, we enjoyed our time with her! She had so much patience and was extremely professional! I strongly recommend this tour!!!

My guide was entertaining and easy to get along with. He did an outstanding job explaining the history and cultural aspects of Istanbul.

was very informative..hazal was our guide.she is so friendly we felt like we were with family member.was very nice experience

great and interesting guide to know about the history of the historical Istanbul