See all the top Istanbul attractions in one day on this small-group walking tour, led by an expert local guide. Focusing on the Sultanahmet area of this east-meets-west city, your tour visits incredible sites like the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hagia Sophia Museum and the Blue Mosque. Step back in time to a world of sultans and harems in Topkapi Palace, admire Hagia Irene’s Byzantine architecture, and then watch local artists making handicrafts in the Grand Bazaar.Numbers are limited to 15 on this small-group tour, ensuring you’ll enjoy personalized attention from your guide.
Following hotel pick up by mini bus from your central Istanbul hotel, meet your guide in central Istanbul and head straight off to see the mesmerizing Hagia Sophia monument; once a church, then a mosque, and now an intriguing museum. Step inside and admire Hagia Sophia’s fascinating architecture that draws on influences from both the Ottoman and Byzantine eras.Stroll through Sultanahmet Square to see the German Fountain – a gift from the General Emperor Wilhelm at the end of the 19th century – and then head to Istanbul’s Hippodrome. Popular chariot races were once held here, and it represented the heart of sporting and political life in the city during the Ottoman Empire. Head to the nearby Blue Mosque and marvel at its six intricate minarets that dominate Istanbul’s skyline. Hear tales of Sultan Ahmet I, who commissioned the mosque to be built when he was just 19 years of age, as you walk around inside with your guide. Gaze up at its ceiling to see the striking blue Iznik tiles that attribute to the mosque’s name.After stopping for a traditional Turkish meze lunch with your guide, stroll over to Topkapi Palace Museum – one of the world’s largest and oldest palaces. Easily Turkey’s most important museum, the palace brims with relics of historical significance at every twist and turn. While exploring its four courtyards with your guide, learn all about the stylish sultans who lived in the palace between the 15th and 19th centuries, and see incredible sights like the Fountain of Sultan Ahmet III.After two hours inside Topkapi Palace, take a leisurely walk to Hagia Irene – a former Eastern Orthodox church – to admire its exterior and hear about its history as the oldest Christian site of worship in Istanbul. Before your tour ends, there is one last highlight of Istanbul to be seen -- the Grand Bazaar. Watch local artists making handicrafts inside Turkey's largest covered markets and then browse the busy stalls and shops with your guide.