Insider's Guide to Istanbul

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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4 star rating: Recommended 23 Reviews

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  • Location:Istanbul, Turkey
  • Duration:8 hours (approx.)

Istanbul City Tour

See top Istanbul attractions around every corner on a full-day tour of the incredible Sultanahmet neighborhood, where Turkey’s Ottoman and Byzantine empires once ruled. Traveling by luxury coach, you’ll stop to visit all the city showstoppers including the UNESCO-listed Hagia Sophia Museum, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Sultans Tombs. Before lunch, discover the roar and dazzle of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar while hearing tales of sultans, harems and all-things-Istanbul from your friendly expert guide!


  • Full-day Istanbul sightseeing tour with an expert guide and lunch included
  • Visit Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and marvel at its Ottoman and Byzantine architecture
  • Walk around the Blue Mosque and then visit Topkapi Palace
  • Pass top Istanbul attractions like the Hippodrome and the Golden Horn
  • Explore the Grand Bazaar
  • Transport by luxury air-conditioned coach

What You Can Expect

Istanbul City Tour

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Start your tour with either a hotel pickup or by meeting your guide in Istanbul’s Yenikapi neighborhood. Then travel by coach to the nearby Sultanahmet district and step inside your first attraction of the day – Hagia Sophia. Formerly a church, then a mosque, and now an intriguing museum, Hagia Sophia is sure to impress from every historic angle. Admire its medley of architecture that draws on influences from both the Ottoman and Byzantine eras as you explore with your guide.

Continue to the nearby Blue Mosque, passing Istanbul Hippodrome on the way. Chariot races were held here at the time of the Ottoman Empire, and it gained a reputation as the hub of sporting and political activity in the city. Before entering the mosque, stop for photos and gaze in admiration at its six minarets that provide an iconic backdrop to Istanbul’s cityscape. Then head inside to marvel at its ceiling, adorned with bright blue Iznik tiles that attribute to the mosque’s name.

Prepare for an assault on your senses at the nearby Grand Bazaar as you browse the bustling shops and stalls that spill out into its frankincense-scented lanes. Pedaling everything from Turkish carpets to kebabs, this frantic market can be daunting to visitors, so let your guide show off its highlights while you soak up its ambiance.

Stop for lunch in a local restaurant, and then travel by coach to Topkapi Palace – one of the world’s oldest and biggest palaces. Now a significant museum, the palace seems to drip with dazzling ornamentation and artifacts at every turn. Explore its courtyards with your guide, and learn about the sultans and their harems that lived here from the 15th century.

Your tour finishes at your central Istanbul hotel.

Please note: Blue Mosque will be visited from outside on Friday mornings due to noon prayer. Grand Bazaar on Sundays will be replaced with authentic shops. Topkapı Palace on Tuesdays will be replaced with a tour to Byzantium, and Sultan Tombs on Mondays will be replaced with Little Hagia Sophia (St. Sergius & Bacchus).

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

enjoyed istanbul's major sights. knowledgeable guide Ike. will recommend to friends.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Very good tour. Guide was very knowledgeable. Food was also quite good with vegetarian options. I would recommend this very much.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

This tour was amazing!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015


5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

We were picked up promptly at our hotel. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and we enjoyed the tour very much because of his expertise. Our lunch was delightful. It was a great tour and I would recommend it to all.
Ginny Mangum

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

Sadat the tour guide makes this an unforgettable experience. Definitely a tour to book when going to Istanbul.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

This is a must do in Istanbul and our guide made it all come alive!!! Loved it in spite of the pouring rain! Lunch was ok.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014

This tour was amazing!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2014

great toiur ..we really enjoyed though it was freezing cold . will come another time in a better weather. but the tour was very informative and the guide was very knowledgeable . would recommend this !

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2013

Great tour. Very informative guide and very well paced. Prepare for plenty of walking, although thankfully the main attractions are quite close together. Highly recommended.

From USD $ 75.48

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Tour code: 5828BYZANTINE


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