Visit some of the most famous and historic sites in Istanbul while enjoying full commentary by a local guide who will take you on a tour of the city from the time it was Constantinople during the Roman/Byzantine period to the present day. From the Hippodrome, which was a major entertainment center in old Constantinople, to the Grand Bazaar, which remains a vibrant market to this day, you will get a firsthand look at the rich history and culture of Istanbul through the ages. Other stops include Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Rustem Pasha Mosque. The tour also includes an authentic Turkish lunch along the way.
This full-day tour starts out first thing in the morning as a local guide picks you up at your hotel or a designated meeting spot and takes you on a journey through Istanbul's historic peninsula. Visit Topkapi Palace, the imperial residence of the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to 19th centuries; Hagia Sofia, the marvelous 6th century Byzantine basilica that marks the beginning of the golden age of Roman Emperor Justinianus; the Hippodrome, a center for sports, entertainment, and politics in Old Constantinople; the stunning Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque), which was built as the dying wish of Sultan Ahmet; the Grand Bazaar, which has remained a central shopping and cultural hub for centuries; and the Rustem Pasha Mosque, a 16th century Ottoman Mosque, which was built in the name of the treasurer and the son-in-law of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. The tour also includes a short demonstration of Turkish rugs in the Grand Bazaar, as well as an authentic Turkish lunch. Though there is a moderate amount of walking, the tour is wheelchair accessible. Because you will be entering places of worship, dress modestly.