- Trip Outline
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This Comprehensive sightseeing tour of Istanbul provides the perfect introduction to this fabled city which spans Asia and Europe. Formerly called Constantinople, Istanbul was the capital of the Roman Empire and Europe's wealthiest metropolis, and is now. the largest city in Turkey. On this one-day sightseeing tour you will see how old meets new as you visit Istanbul's "must-see" historical sites.
Highlights of Istanbul Old City area (walking destination) : Hagia Sophia Museum (Santa Sophia), Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Galata Tower, Taxim Square, Galata Bridge, Suleymaniye Mosque, Hippodrome, Little Hagia Sophia Mosque, Islamic Art Museum, Carpet Museum, Marmaray Metro, Avrasya tunnel, Fish Market, Kumkapi fish resteurant, Gulhane park, Eminonu fish sandwiches, Bosphorus ferrys, Kadikoy ferrys, Uskudar ferrys, Karakoy Art Museum, best Baklava Karakoy, Hasırcılar street, Rustem Pasha Mosque, Kabataş ferryport, Mahmutpasa Bazaar, Taktakale Bazaar, Chora church, Sokullu Mehmet Pasa Mosque…
For Last minute Istanbul tour inquiry, please call or WhatsApp us at +90 532 708 75 96
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), tips to guide & driver ( 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 Panorama.
DAY 1 Istanbul Tour
Meet your tour guide in your hotel or cruise port and start your Istanbul tour with the highlights of the city;
Hagia Sophia; (Ayasofya, Santa Sophia) Built in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian, played a very important role in the Christian and Islamic World. After the Ottoman conquest the bells, altar, iconoclastic, 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 the second time. The most important stop of an Istanbul tour is operated in Old City Istanbul / Constantinople.
Hippodrome; where the chariot races were held in the Roman Empire times, Egyptian Column from Byzantine Empire time and today German Fountain is the main cornerstone of the square of Ottoman Empire.
Please note that Cistern is under restoration until the end of 2022.
Blue Mosque; Built in the early 1600s for Sultan Ahmet I of the Ottoman Empire, the Blue Mosque is truly a magnificent masterpiece of architecture with amazingly delicate proportions for a building of such massive scale.
Topkapi Palace and Hagia Irene Church; (Topkapi Sarayi) 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 which resembles the power of the Ottoman Empire.
Grand Bazaar; (Kapali Carsi) One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world with over 4,000 shops with colorful products of ceramic, leather, rugs, carpets, handicrafts, clothes, silver, and gold.
Your Istanbul tour will end here or your private tour guide can accompany you to somewhere else.
DAY 2 Istanbul Tour
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. Spice Bazaar is located in Eminonu Square which is the connection point of Bosphorus and Golden Horn.
Take the public ferry for Bosphorus Cruise to see both Istanbul’s European and Asian sides, Galata Tower, Dolmabahce Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, the Rumeli Fortress, old Ottoman villas, Bosphorus bridges, mosques. Your best Istanbul tour memories will definitely include the Bosphorus.
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 made in particular to Dolmabahce.
Taksim Square; A great place defining modern Turkey which witnessed important historical moments. Close to Istiklal Street (Istiklal Caddesi) and Galata Tower along with embassies of European countries in Taxim. Cicek Passage has very good food joints, cafes, shops, bars, night clubs around Taksim.
Note: Booking a private van is suggested as transportation is required between the sites.
DAY 3 Istanbul Tour
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 Suleymaniye 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 the 19th century.
Pierre Loti Hill and Cable Car are some of the most popular sights to visit since it offers great views for visitors. Take the cable car to reach the top and enjoy the beautiful scenery while sipping your Turkish coffee or tea.
Note: Booking a private van is suggested as transportation is required between the sites for this Istanbul Tour.
Your Istanbul tours end here for an additional day or customized Istanbul tour program, please Contact Us.
Topkapi Palace and Hagia Irene Church are 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, a live guide service is not available at Dolmabahce Palace.
Blue Mosque is closed until 2 pm 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.
*FOR LAST MINUTE BOOKINGS AND LATE DEPARTURES, as museums and some sites will be closed around 17:30 pm, alternative tour sites will be advised by the tour guide during the tour.
*Tour guide meets you at central Istanbul hotels or Galata Port. If the hotel is not centrally located,
the meeting point will be in front of the German Fountain.
If van service is not chosen your guide will pick you up at centrally located hotels on foot.
If private van service is booked, please note that there will be a surcharge if your hotel is located outside of the city center or on the Asian Side.
Annual Closing Dates of all museums and bazaars in Istanbul are as follows;
- January 1 – New Year
- May 2/3/4 – Ramadan Celebrations
- July 9/10/11/12 – Eid Celebrations
- October 29 – Republic Day
Q: How to meet my tour guide?
A: Your tour guide will be waiting in your hotel lobby to meet you at a determined time.
Q: Can I state the departure time for my tour?
A: Of course! We operate tours on a private basis, so you can customize the departure time.
Q: Can I choose the sights to visit on my own?
A: Sure! You can choose the sights and museums along with all sorts of criteria you like in accordance with your tour guide.
Q: How to buy museum tickets?
A: No need to buy tickets in advance, during the tour your tour guide will help you to purchase them. Official tour guides have priority at museum ticket offices.
Q: Am I traveling with a group on the tour?
A: No, we provide Private Guided Istanbul Tours for your best experience so you will have a private professional tour guide in your preferred language.
Q: How about transportation?
A: When you book your tour with a van, you will be picked up from the hotel, be transferred to the sights, and then back to the hotel. Otherwise, once you meet your tour guide at your hotel, you will be advised of the best option for transportation such as a taxi or tram.
Q: How about shopping in Istanbul?
A: We do not include any shopping stops unless you wish to visit one of the traditional workshops of handmade rugs, tiles, jewelry. If you have any interest in workshops, please indicate while booking.
Q: How do I book this Private Guided Istanbul Tour?
A: Easy! All you need to do is;
Fill in the 'Booking' form where you will put your full details such as personal information, date, hotel or cruise name, arrival and departure times. Once you complete your booking, there will be a payment button to complete your deposit payment, when you complete payment we will get back to you with a confirmation email within 24 hours.
Q: How do I pay?
A: After filling the Book Now form, there will be a payment button to complete your deposit payment, when you complete payment and secure the booking, we will confirm your tour details and the balance payment will be in cash directly to the tour guide during the tour. You can choose to pay in Usd, Euro or Turkish Lira.
Q: Does the status of Hagia Sophia affect our tour?
A: After conversion to mosque entrance will be restricted during praying times however your tour guide will revise the route of your tour accordingly and entrance is free of charge.
Professional Local Guide
Tips to guide & driver
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