- Private half-day tour of Istanbul’s Ottoman landmarks
- Explore three historical attractions around Sultanahmet, a UNESCO World Heritage site
- Walk around Istanbul’s Hippodrome and see the Obelisk of Theodosius
- Visit the Blue Mosque and marvel at its colorful Iznik tiles and minarets
- Explore Topkapi Palace while learning about the sultans and harems who once called the building home
Recent Photos of This Tour
What You Can Expect
Hop out of your minivan in Sultanahmet, Istanbul’s UNESCO-listed historical heart, and wander through the Hippodrome — your first attraction of the tour. The hub of daily life during its Ottoman-era heyday, the Hippodrome was once a vast arena with galleries where people from all walks of life would gather for political meetings, chariot races and even riots. Today, the historical site exists as a city park that’s popular with locals and visitors alike. Pose for photos in front of the Obelisk of Theodosius, a gift to the city from Egypt, and then continue by foot to the nearby Blue Mosque.
After marveling at the mosque’s iconic six minarets, head inside the famous place of worship to see the thousands of Iznik tiles that cascade a sea of blue throughout the building’s interior. An incredible example of classical Ottoman architecture, the Blue Mosque was built on the orders of Sultan Ahmet I who demanded a place of worship to rival the grandeur of the Hagia Sophia — another of Sultanahmet’s impressive mosques.
Take some time to explore inside with your private guide, and then walk over to Topkapi Palace, the final attraction visited on your tour. Once the lavish abode of eccentric 15th-century sultans and their harems, Topkapi Palace now leads a tamer existence as one of the city’s top museums. Browse the exhibits that feature artifacts and ornamentation from Ottoman days, and hear colorful stories about the characters who lived in one of Istanbul’s most ostentatious palaces.
Leave Topkapi Palace, and stroll the short distance to your minivan to finish your tour with a drop-off at your European-side hotel or at the start point in the center of town.
Often, it is all up to luck and who you get as a guide. In this case we scored and had a wonderful experience by a personable, informed, educated guide.
We had a great time. Tibet was our guide and she was so thorough. She even gave us the bonus of visiting a rug maker she knows. She was completely knowledgable and spoke excellent English. She has a nice sense of humor. She gave us some free time to look at things on our own which was nice. I would definitely recommend this tour and feel Viator is the most reliable booking agency. We booked the private tour and were picked up at the door of our hotel. Our guide arrived promptly. Everything was very organized.
my guide named Gualy (pronounced July) was fantastic. Blue Mosque was crazy busy that day so instead of waiting for hours she suggested to go to H. Sophia, which used our time much more efficiently. She was passionate about her city and shared her love of history and art with us.
Amazing tour. Take comfortable shoes for walking.
Our guide Mahmet was excellent and we enjoyed the day very much.
Very interesting, great tour
Knowledgeable and experienced guide As a result we wasted no time in getting into any of the sights. Both sights well worth visiting but needed more time at the Topkapi Palace so requested that we did not return to our hotel but rather stay on at the Palace.
Although the weather was not very cooperative, we enjoyed our half day tour of Istanbul with our private guide from Neon Tours. She was a wealth of information and even helped us find a good place to eat lunch and told us how to get to the Grand Bazaar. Our driver even gave us his umbrella!
Our guide was really knowledgeable and very easy to tour these sites with. I will say our crowd was a little less interested in all the details of the vast history and more interested in the overall story. Its hard to gauge I know. Our group is just not used to standing and listening to someone talk for long periods of time. Our guide did a great job and we really enjoyed the trip. We'd do it again and have already recommended it to friends.