4.5 star rating: Recommended 19 Reviews

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  • Location:Istanbul, Turkey
  • Duration:4 hours (approx.)

Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2015

Really great tour - our tour guide was highly knowledgeable and very friendly - I even got a lovely bracelet from her which she got from a local street artisan, which was so sweet and thoughtful. She answered all of our questions and made the entrance into the sites visited very smooth. It was a great introduction to Istanbul as we were only there for a limited amount of time. Highly recommend!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

This tour was amazing!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2015

Excellent guide. Helped us two seniors' navigate the stone walks and hills. Took us to a spice market,where we were treated quite fairly. Also to the carpet display, which was more informative than others I have visited in Morocco.
I've always had good tours with your organization and will use again. Pick up at ship instead of a hotel went smoothly.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2015

Absolutely loved this one, such a great tour, taking in all the best spots of Istanbul. Hagia Sophia was just magnificent. Katarina was such a wonderful guide, informing us of so many different aspects and whatever we asked - she had an answer for. If you can ask for a particular guide - Katarina is my recommendation - you won't be disappointed.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2015

Absolutely loved our guide she was very accommodative and was a pleasure she went out of the way and accommodated us to see another place of interest since the grand bazar was closed ..over all excellent

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

Wow. This was a great tour. We learned the full history of Hagia Sophia. Our guide, Gülay knew every date and every detail. The Basilica Cistern was much different than I expected and enhanced by the knowledge of our guide. We had the opportunity to go to a private pottery showroom and have a personal demonstration. My favorite, was the Grand Bazaar. It is overwhelming, but our guide had a good knowledge of which vendors were reputable and helped us navigate. She should do shopping tours!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2014

Excellent day! We enjoyed our tour and learned a lot about the history of these amazing places. Our guide was good and had provided us with sufficient information. We have felt a bit rushed as he always was ahead of us and we needed to catch up to him most of the time.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2014

Interesting and knowledgable guide. Very friendly. Well organised tour. Fascinating insight into main attractions of Istanbul. Highly recommend tour and our guide was lovely and patient with us stragglers.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2013

Our guide was wonderful! She was on time and really knew the history of Istanbul. She answered all of our questions. Best of all, she took extra care to make sure we were happy with our overall experience of Turkey!

KAREN S
Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2012

This private tour was excellent. However, once again the description of the tour was insuffiicient. As above is advertised as Hagia Sofia and Grand Bazaar, however, it would have included the blue mosque but since it wasn't mentioned in the description, we went to see it the day before by oursselves. A waste of our precious time in Istanbul!!!

Nan O
Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2010

An excellent and knowledgable guide who was able to speak excellent English and gave us a really interesting tour through the major tourist sites. His enthusiasm for his city and its history was outstanding. We had a great time. Well worth doing for first time visitors.

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2015

Guide gave us good tour and suggested lunch place was perfect

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2015

Knowledgeable and experienced guide. Wasted no time in getting into the sights. All sights well worth visiting. Needed more time at the Grand Bazaar so requested that we did not return to our hotel but remain in town.

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2014

Excellent tour with very friendly and knowledgeable guide. Would highly recommend it.

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2014

We enjoyed the bazaar the most!

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2013

would greatly recommend this tour. Our guide was so informative and very friendly. She was also flexible and great with our children. These sites of Istanbul are truly extraordinary. A must see!

BARBARA B
Slovenia

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2010

The trip was ok, nice transportation, nice guide. Would recommend.

Garry M
United Kingdom

3 star rating: Worth doing
May 2014

Worth doing but may as well have gone on a tour with other people. One of the reasons for opting for the private tour was fact that other tours seemed to include some form of 'selling' visit eg to carpet maker. Having suffered this experience in both Marrakesch and Delhi it is something we wished to avoid. However the private tour we soon discovered also included just such a delight. We made it clear to the guide that we did not wish to do this. Consequently, rather than the 4 hours promised on the tour description, the whole experience ie Hagia Sofia, Byzantine Cistern and Grand Bazaar was over in under 3 hours. Our guide was a very pleasant young man but I felt perhaps lacked the sort of experience and knowledge we might have expected from a more mature person. Overall, therefore, a bit disappointing and not particularly good value for the £102 it cost.

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
October 2013

I have already raised a complaint that is being looked into by the local tour operator as we discovered that the Grand Bazaar was closed on the day that we were due to see it and yet I had still been able to book the tour and no advise was given that it was a public holiday. The Grand Bazaar was the main attraction that we wanted to see so we were very disappointed that we had to do this on our own. Please note that the guide and her knowledge were excellent for what we saw and she did try to reschedule but was unable to do so.

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Tour code: 3795IST_P06

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