If you’re looking for an in-depth, personalized tour of Istanbul, look no further than the 8-Hour Istanbul Private Tour. This tour is perfect for those who want to see all the highlights of the city, as well as delve into its history and culture.
Departs: 9:00 am
Returns: approx. 5:00 pm
This is the most popular Istanbul tour, it allows you the time to visit St. Sophia Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar Istanbul, plus free time for you to enjoy a typical Turkish meal.
After meeting your driver and licensed guide, you drive along the old city walls and under the ancient Roman aqueduct on the way to view the best of Istanbul’s stunning architecture and attractions. The impressive Roman Hippodrome was once used for chariot races and today it is lined with parks, obelisks, and monuments.
After learning about the Hippodrome, you visit the beautiful Blue Mosque which is named for the vivid Iznik tiles lining its interior. With the full-day tour, you are certain to hear the calls to prayer as they echo throughout the city center five times a day. Please note that the Blue Mosque is not wheelchair accessible.
Next you will walk through the amazing Topkapi Palace. This large complex of buildings was the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans and includes courts, pavilions, mosques, fountains, and a treasury. In the Sultan’s chapel, you can hear the Imam reading continually from the Koran.
After a stop for lunch (meal not included) you visit the jewel in Turkey’s Byzantine crown, the Museum of St. Sophia (Haghia Sophia). This splendid Church of Divine Wisdom was originally built in the 4th century AD as a Christian Basilica and later was converted to a Mosque. It was lovingly restored in the 1900s, reflecting the true history of this glorious city astride two continents.
Next you will walk through the Basilica Cistern, a huge underground cistern that once supplied fresh water to the city of Istanbul. It is one of the largest ancient cisterns in the world and is still in use today.
From there, you will walk to the Grand Bazaar (Kapali Çarsi), one of the world’s oldest and largest markets. Here you can find anything and everything for sale, from souvenirs to jewelry to rugs and carpets. Be sure to bargain for the best prices!
At the end of the day, you are brought back to the pier or your hotel in Istanbul.
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