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Private Byzantine & Ottoman Highlights of Istanbul

Tour Description

How about spending the entire day in Sultanahmet (sool-tahn-ah-meht); the heart of historical Istanbul? Here you will have the chance to visit the basic landmarks of the city such as Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Byzantine Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar and in the end of the day you will no longer wonder how the city changed reigns from Byzantine to Ottoman times in eras


Hippodrome Blue Mosque Hagia Sophia or Chora Museum Basilica cistern Topkapi Palace Grand Bazaar


Private Professional Government licensed tour guide Private transportation on A/C vehicles Entrance fees to mentioned sites Roundtrip transfers from/to central hotels Parking fees and local taxes


Beverages Lunch Gratitudes for guides and drivers

Please Note

Blue Mosque will be visited from outside on Friday mornings until 13:00 because of noon-pray. Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays; we give free time around bazaar on regular basis and we replace it with Egyptian Bazaar, used as the spice market since 1665, on private basis. Correct dress code required to access for Blue Mosque Summer: Light comfortable clothing and shoes. Sunglasses, suncream, hat and camera. Winter : Warm casual, comfortables shoes, sunglasses, hat and camera.

Hotel Pickup

Guests must be ready at the lobby area of their hotel at 09:15am. Exact time to be advised up confirmation


We will start our Istanbul tour of the Sultanahmet historical district for a first impression of the gorgeous mosques, palaces and assorted historical oddments that make up this ancient walled capital.

First we visit the Hippodrome, center of Byzantium’s life for over 1000 years, holding 100,000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire.

We proceed to the Blue Mosque, the last of Istanbul’s magnificent imperial mosques, named for the beautiful blue Iznik tiles that cover its walls. Built by Sultan Ahmet I in the early 17th century and designed by a pupil of Sinan, the greatest of Ottoman architects, it is the only imperial mosque with six minarets.

We visit Underground (Yerebatan) Cistern, Emperor Justinian’s cathedral-sized feat of underground engineering rediscovered in 1545. The giant reservoir has 326 columns supporting arched vaults in brick and covers an area of 11.720 square yards.

Hagia Sophia, the world’s oldest Byzantine basilica, dedicated by Emperor Justinian in 537 A.D. and then converted to a mosque during the Ottoman Empire. See the beautiful mosaics on display at the museum.

Afternoon we visit Topkapi Palace. This former residence of the Ottoman Sultans houses a fine exhibition of porcelain, jewelry, silverware, glassware, clocks and Ottoman weaponry, royal treasures and was once the home to the world’s largest harem.

Enjoy free time to explore the exhilarating Grand Bazaar. It was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4,000 shops are full of treasures including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons, and leather goods.