4 star rating: Recommended 28 Reviews

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

Istanbul Small-Group Walking Tour: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar

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.


  • Small-group walking tour of Istanbul’s top attractions with lunch
  • Explore Hagia Sophia and admire its Ottoman and Byzantine architecture
  • Stroll around the Blue Mosque and learn about Sultan Ahmet I with his extravagant tastes
  • Visit Topkapi Palace Museum and see the ornate treasury in the third courtyard
  • Pass Hagia Irene and then watch a handicraft demonstration in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 15 people ensures a more intimate experience

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Istanbul Small-Group Walking Tour: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar

Istanbul Small-Group Walking Tour: Topkapi Palace

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.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Oh what a day it was. Our guide Muharrem was an immensely charming fellow. Always smiling and ever ready to answer any question. The tour covered a lot of ground and included a yummy local lunch and a visit to a Turkish Carpet factory. You get hardly half an hour at the Grand Bazaar though, so treat this tour as a refresher introductory visit to Grand Bazaar and plan a later trip by yourself if you want to shop. Over all, I had a great experience thanks to Muharrem and the well planned itinerary.

p.s. - wear the best and the most comfortable walking shoes you can find.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2015

We had a great great time! Abdullah was a really nice, relaxed, and knowledgeable tour guide. We happened to be a very mixed group with people from India, Brazil, Nigeria and us from Honduras. Delicious food and would highly recommend it!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2014

Our guide was wonderful. His knowledge of the subject matter was impressive and he was easy to understand.

David P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2013

Great tour if you have very little time in Istanbul and want to see the major sites in Sultanhamet in one day. Our guide was very good, had all the answers to our questions and really knew his history of all the major sites.Made the history come to life. Lunch was very nice at a restaurant within walking distance of our hotel. It is a long day so be prepared to be on your feet for most of the day but it is not strenuous at all. Highly recommend this tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2013

The guide was amazing, she was knowledgeable and friendly, always a smile and went beyond where most guides go to explain the history, politics and religion of each location in a friendly and easy to understand manner. I would take another tour with her again when I go back to Turkey.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2013

This tour was wonderful led by a very lovely, informative and professional guide named Yuke. Yuke led our small group of five in and out of the major Istanbul sites displaying her love and enthusiasm for this wonderful city. She provided us with historical information as well as her own insights. Her dialogue was not a memorized set of facts it was a conversation with us, always welcoming our questions and input. The restaurant she took us to for lunch had a wonderful view and delicious food. This tour was terrific.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2013

This was probably the best tour of the ones I did on my trip to Istanbul and Athens. Our tour guide was beyond friendly and excited about showing us all of the cool sites that we were going to see in our full day. The small group walking tour was great because it was limited to a certain number of people so it was easier to follow and listen to our guide with no problems at all. We got to see and tour the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar and the Topkapi Palace. The tour also included lunch at a great restaurant in the middle of the day. Our guide was very friendly and very gracious and warm with all of our questions and observations on the trip, even helping to take photos for people who wanted to remember the amazing sites that we were visiting. I have done a number of Viator tours and this one was probably the best one because the guide was so great. She really had a great deal of knowledge to past and when I even brought up a story that another guide had mentioned, she didn't shoot my story down but rather seemed genuinely interested in learning this new information and excited to research it as she might have learned something new herself. I would say that if you go to Istanbul you absolutely must do this tour because it covers four of the most visited sites in Istanbul in great detail and its so helpful to have someone showing you around and explaining what it is you are looking at, especially in the Topkapi Palace which has so many parts and rooms and things to look at. I would highly recommend this tour and hopefully you end up with the great tour guide that we had.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2013

This tour was sensational. Our guide Yuke was so knowledgeable and took such time and care to explain and show everything to us. I would highly recommend doing this tour!

United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2013

I really enjoyed this tour, which was the perfect introduction to Istanbul, including all the top attractions which can´t be missed! I was really impressed by the Blue Mosque, it was probably my favourite. And Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Sophia were also definitely worth seeing. The guide was really knowledgable and made the tour and explanations very interesting. We were in a very small group, which was great as it almost felt private! Really recommend this tour!

4 star rating: Recommended November 2015

great tour

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Tour code: 5744ISTFULLWALK


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