Insider's Guide to Istanbul

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 25 Reviews

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  • Location: Istanbul, Turkey
  • Duration:  4 hours (approx.)
Spend the morning exploring Istanbul's Ottoman past at the enchanting Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque.

Highlights

  • Four-hour morning tour of Istanbul's most famous Ottoman relics
  • Hippodrome and Obelisk
  • Ottoman architecture and museums of Topkapi Palace
  • Shopping for bargain souvenirs in the Grand Bazaar
  • English-speaking guide
  • Pick-up and drop-off from central Istanbul hotels

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Istanbul Ottoman Tour: Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque

Turkish lamps at the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

Blue Mosque:
One of the most famous monuments in both the Turkish and Islamic worlds, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (also known as the Blue Mosque) is a superb creation in the classical Ottoman style. The mosque has six towering minarets and 260 windows illuminating its vast main chamber, which is decorated with more than 20,000 Iznik tiles.



Topkapi Palace:
The largest and oldest palace in the world, Topkapi was the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire. With its treasury and exotic buildings overlooking the Golden Horn, your visit to Topkapi promises to be a truly fascinating experience. Note, the Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays.


Hippodrome and Obelisk:
The Hippodrome was once the heart of Constantinople’s political and sporting life, and the scene of games and riots through 500 years of Ottoman history. Today it is a city park called the At Meydanı (Horse Grounds) because of its function in Ottoman times. The Hippodrome includes the 3500-year-old Egyptian granite Obelisk, brought to Constantinople by Emperor Theodosius in 390 AD.


Please note: On Fridays the Blue Mosque will be closed until 2.30pm for prayer, entry will not be permitted

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

Great experience. This was a small group of 10, picked up on time and spent a half day in Istanbul. Great service from our guide gudyi and very interesting to visit the mosque and palace. Have a guide and tickets got us through the long lines easily. We would recommend this for anyone visiting Turkey.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2014

We had a great guide who arrived promptly to pick us up and was very professional in giving commentary. We have been happy with Neon Tours in Turkey.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2014

This tour was great! The tour guide Sevilay was fantastic and informative..the pick up and drop off were perfect and it made life much easier in this busy crazy city..also skip the queues that you may spend hours in otherwise!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2014

We arrived in Istanbul late on Sunday. Unbeknown to us our hotel had been changed without us being notified so the tour group running your tour, had the wrong hotel for pickup on Monday morning. We tried both numbers you had given us to contact them but neither were answering on Sunday.. Early on Monday morning a hotel staff member phoned them for us and was told that our hotel was too far out for them to pick us up and we would have to make our own way to the pickup point in the old town half an hour away and pickup time was in half an hour's time.A very quick taxi ride at peak hour, 8am, got us there with minutes to spare. However, the bus did drop us off in the afternoon. The tour itself was wonderful and the guide excellent. Shirley

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2014

Our guide was brilliant, funny and a good advisor on the things we need to look out for. This is a must-see tour in Istanbul, not to be missed!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2014

It was an amazing experience with professional and responsible team

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2014

The tour guide was very knowledgable about the blue mosque's history and architecture. It is unbelievable how those people built this magnificent building during their time. In the Topkapi, the tour was packed because there was too many interesting small museums, but it was fantastic to see ancient armoury and clocks and watches, so engaging that we feel not enough time in this half day tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2010

Myself and my husband were the only 2 on the tour and our guide was wonderful! Very informative and a lovely friendly fellow. The palace was wonderful, and we visited the Blue Mosque instead of The Mosque of Soleman, as it was closed on the day. After the tour ended our guide offered to walk us through Taksim Square. It was really enjoyable! I would definitely recommend the tour for value for money, excellent tour guide and transportation provided.

Rory M
Ireland

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2008

Really good. Had a guide, a Merc minibus and driver just for the two of us. Our "half day tour" was from 1pm to about 7pm and even then the guide was in no hurry home. In the end we felt guilty had to tell him to go on home! He was really excellent. Much better than the Ship organized tours which are twice the price, shorter and much less personal.

Dick
USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2008

This tour was truly exceptional. The guide was very knowledgeable, especially concerning the history of the area and the religions involved. The tour added a historical carpet museum that was not on the list of places to be visited that was very interesting. Of course, there was the obligatory visit to the guide's favorite jewelry and carpet shop, but that was accomplished in a very low key manner. Pickup at the port and drop-off at our hotel after the tour for us and all our baggage was effortlessly accomplished. This tour was much cheaper and a much smaller group than one offered by the cruise line.
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Tour code: 3795IST02

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