This Full Day Tour of Istanbul provides the perfect introduction to the fabled city that spans Asia and Europe. On this one day sightseeing tour you will see how old meets new when you visit Istanbul’s four “must-see” historic sites. We will pick you up from the hotel (city center hotels). Then you will meet with your guide at the meeting point. We will visit Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia Museum, Blue Mosque, Grand Covered Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, Sultan Tombs. Our journey begins in Sultanahmet, the heart of the Old City of Constantinople, at the famous Hagia Sophia. Built by Emperor Justinian more than 1,500 years ago, it was originally a church, was converted to a mosque during the Ottoman period.
Across from the Hagia Sophia is another very famous site, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, more commonly known as the Blue Mosque because of its beautiful blue Iznik tiles. It is said that the Sultan told the architect to use gold, in Turkish "altin", but the architect thought he said six, in Turkish "alti". This is just one of the stories explaining why the mosque has six minarets. Next, we'll head to the Grand Bazaar which is a short walk away. It's one of the oldest covered bazaars in the world with nearly 3,600 shops selling quality leather products, gold, jewellery, authentic Turkish delight, handmade carpets, antiques and more. After lunch, we will visit Topkapi Palace which was the residence of the Ottoman Sultans and their families, as well as the headquarters of the Ottoman Empire, for more than 400 years. There are many interesting things to see including the imperial treasury, sacred Islamic relics of Prophet Mohammed, a Chinese porcelain collection, weapons and more. Please note that live commentary from your guide is not permitted in some areas of the palace.