Best of Istanbul Tour with Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque & Grand Bazaar
Get the perfect introduction to Istanbul’s history, art and culture with a 4-hour tour through the heart of the Old City. Take in slender minarets, tiled mosaics and frescoes at Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, then see the historic landmarks of Hippodrome Square, where ancient charioteers and athletes competed for Byzantine emperors. Learn to navigate the sprawling aisles of the Grand Bazaar, with inside tips on shopping for Turkish carpets and handicrafts.
||Your centrally-located Istanbul hotel
||8:30 AM Daily.
|Transport by air-conditioned Vehicles
||English speaking tour guide
• A moderate amount of walking is involved
• Hagia Sophia (Closed on Mondays; will be replaced with Underground Cistern), Grand Bazaar (Closed on Sundays; additional time will be spent at the other locations).
• Please note that the Blue Mosque is not open for visitation on Fridays as it is closed for religious prayer services. You will only be able to visit the outside of Blue Mosque area on tours operated on Fridays. No visitation will be allowed inside the Blue Mosque for tourists on Fridays
• This is a regular group tour, but if requested at cost can be provided as a private tour
• The regular group tour has shopping stop included in the tour
Meet your guide at your centrally-located Istanbul hotel, and enjoy views of the Old City’s winding streets and historic buildings as you travel to Hagia Sophia. Trace the building’s extraordinary path from 6th-century, Orthodox cathedral to mosque and museum, and discover gleaming mosaics, soaring domes, tombs and baptismal fonts.
Duck into the gracious courtyard of the Blue Mosque, where Istanbul’s devout gather for six daily prayers beneath a tiled dome and elegant minarets. Learn about the Sultan who built the Blue Mosque during his short, tumultuous 14-year reign. Travel even farther into Istanbul’s past at Hippodrome Square: discover a series of landmarks left by successive emperors, rulers and military leaders on the spot where Byzantines gathered for ancient sporting events.
Finish your day at the Grand Bazaar, and enjoy the flexibility to browse the sprawling shopping complex at your own pace. Get advice on where to find Istanbul’s best selection of handicrafts, souvenirs and antiques, or meet with a local carpet salesman to learn how to choose a high quality product.