- Private half-day sightseeing tour of Istanbul’s imperial sites
- Visit Hagia Sophia
- Shop in the Grand Bazaar
- Visit the Underground Cistern
- Entrance fees included
Now a museum, the Hagia Sophia was built in the 6th century by the Roman Emperor Justinian, and was one of the largest basilicas in the Christian world. After the Ottoman conquest, it was converted to a mosque, and is today one of the most magnificent musseums in the world. Take a moment to linger here to admire the fine Byzantine mosaics. (Closed on Mondays; will be replaced with Chora Museum)
The Basilica Cistern (Turkish: Yerebatan Sarayı - "Sunken Palace"), is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul The cistern, located 500 feet (150 m) southwest of the Hagia Sophia on the historical peninsula of Sarayburnu, was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.
In operation since the 14th century, the Grand Bazaar is one of the world’s largest covered markets, with 58 streets and over 4,000 shops. The bazaar is specially known for its jewelry, leather, pottery, spices and carpets. (Closed on Sundays; additional time will be spent at the at the other locations.)
Reviewed by KAREN S, Australia, 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!!!
Reviewed by Nan O, Australia, July 2010