Duration: 7 hours
Tour starting point: Hotel or Cruise Port
Tour ending point: Hotel or Cruise Port
Includes: Officially licensed tour guide, private tour
Excludes: Entrance tickets, lunch, drinks, transportation (unless option booked), gratitudes ( recommended)
Sights to see:
Day 1 – Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, German Fountain, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Irene Church, Sogukcesme Street, Grand Bazaar
Day 2 – Spice Market, Bosphorus Cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal Street, Cicek Passage, Galata Tower (from outside)
Day 3 – Suleymaniye Mosque, Fener and Balat Districts, St. Stephen Church (Iron Church), Pierre Lotti Panoramic Hill
Meet your tour guide in your hotel or cruise port and start your Istanbul tour with the highlights of city;
Hagia Sophia; Built in the 6th century by the Emperor Justinian, played a very important role in the Christian and Islamic World. After the Ottoman conquest the bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels were removed, and many of the mosaics were eventually plastered over to convert the church into a mosque then a museum and now it’s a mosque for second time.
Hippodrome; where the chariot races were held in the Roman Empire times, today German Fountain is the main cornerstone of square.
Please note that Cistern is under restoration until end of 2022.
Blue Mosque; Built in the early 1600s for Sultan Ahmet I, Blue Mosque is truly a magnificent masterpiece of architecture with amazingly delicate proportions for a building of such massive scale.
Grand Bazaar; One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world with over 4,000 shops.
Topkapi Palace and Hagia Irene Church; More than just an Imperial Residence of Ottoman Sultans, it was the seat of the Supreme Executive and Judiciary Council for almost 400 years long. Topkapi Palace is a great monument of Oriental architecture.
Spice Market is a colorful indoor bazaar and has lots of shops offering a variety of spices, purses, flavored teas, Turkish delight, nuts, as well as ceramics and small souvenirs.
Take the public ferry for Bosphorus Cruise to see both Istanbul’s European and Asian sides, Galata Tower, Dolmabahce Palace, the Rumeli Fortress, old Ottoman villas, Bosphorus bridges, mosques.
Dolmabahce Palace; Elegance and beauty with the most luxury decoration, chandeliers, rugs, crystals, ceramic fireplaces. Beautiful palace, right on the Bosphorus with gorgeous furnishings, paintings, porcelains.
Taksim Square; A great place defining modern Turkey. Close to Istiklal Street and Galata Tower. Cicek Pasasage has very good food joints, cafes, shops, bars, night clubs around.
Note: Booking a private van is suggested.
Suleymaniye Mosque is the largest mosque in Istanbul and is as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. In the garden behind the mosque, the terrace offers lovely views of the Golden Horn and Bosphorus.
Fener District; Continue exploring Istanbul’s rich religious history with a stop at the Church of St. George. Since the 1600s, the church has been the location of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and is recognized as the spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Religion.
Balat District; lines of drying laundry stretch across steep, winding streets. Century-old Ottoman houses lean against each other in a combination of reds, blues and greens. And art galleries and design shops dot the area along the water.
St. Stephen Church; Located on the shore of the Golden Horn, the church is also known as the Iron Church due to the fact that it’s made entirely of prefabricated cast iron in 19th century.
Pierre Loti Hill and Cable Car is one of the most popular sights to visit since it offers great views for the visitors. Take the cable car to reach to the top and enjoy the beautiful scenery while sipping your Turkish coffee or tea.
Note: Booking a private van is suggested.
Topkapi Palace and Hagia Irene Church is closed on Tuesdays.
Hagia Sophia entrance will be restricted during praying time.
Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays.
Dolmabahce Palace is closed on Mondays. Due to regulations, live guide service is not available at Dolmabahce Palace.
Blue Mosque is closed until 2pm on Fridays.
Children aged 7 and under are free of charge. Please make sure that you have passport copies of children as you have to verify their ages at museums for free tickets.
Annual Closing Dates of all museums and bazaars in Istanbul as follows;