Hippodrome (At Meydani) Tours

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Built in the third century, the Hippodrome was the home of now-named Istanbul’s sporting entertainment during the Byzantine era, with a wide track for chariot racing. Today, the route of the old track is covered by Sultanahmet Square, a wide open space in the center of the old city, punctuated by ancient obelisks.

The Basics
The current Hippodrome traces the course of the ancient race track, though the actual remains are still underground. The square contains the Obelisk of Theodosius, a pink, Egyptian-made granite column that was brought to Istanbul in the fourth century and is one of the oldest monuments in the city. Also here are a spiralled obelisk that came from the temple of Apollo, the Walled Obelisk, and the German Fountain, a gift from Kaiser Wilhelm in the early 20th century.

Some small-group and private tours combine a visit to the Hippodrome with other sights in Sultanahmet, including the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Basilica Cistern. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Hippodrome is a must-visit for history buffs.
  • Wear comfortable shoes to stroll around the Hippodrome.
  • The Hippodrome is flat and handicap accessible.
 
How to Get There
The Hippodrome is in Istanbul’s bustling Sultanahmet neighborhood, between the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia and close to Topkapi Palace. It is minutes away from the Sultanahmet tram stop and is also easily accessible by taxi. Parking is limited in the area, so driving is not recommended.

When to Get There
The Sultanahmet area and the Hippodrome can get very busy, so it’s best to arrive early in the day or after the main sights have closed. Weekends and sunny days during the peak season are the busiest. The Hippodrome is now a public square, so it is open every day, all day.

Archaeology at the Hippodrome
Much of the historical Hippodrome is still underground. It’s possible to see part of the original level of the racecourse at the base of the ancient obelisks that dot the square. Some of the Hippodrome’s original statues and seats have been uncovered over the years, and are now housed in the Istanbul Archaeology Museums.
Location
Address: Turkey
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Full Day: Classic Istanbul Tour Including Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace

Experience Istanbul’s timeless sights on a full-day tour of the city’s stunning historic places. Listen for the ancient echoes of pounding hooves and charioteers at Hippodrome Square and spot the distinctive tiles of the Blue Mosque. See the Byzantine mosaics and minarets of St. Sophia, then follow in the footsteps of powerful sultans, courtiers and generals at Topkapi Palace, where Ottomans ruled for hundreds of years. Visit an Orthodox church turned Ottoman mosque before finishing your tour in the vibrant Grand Bazaar, browsing bright displays of handicrafts, carpets and souvenirs.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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$65.00 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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$65.00 USD

Morning Istanbul: Half-Day Tour with Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome and Grand Bazaar

See the sights of Istanbul on a half-day tour that takes in the city’s famous historical landmarks and cultural sites. You’ll see Hagia Sophia, the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar. Entrance fees are included, as is hotel pickup for your convenience.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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$38.00 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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$38.00 USD

Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul

Discover Istanbul on a full-day tour that travels on foot and public transit to historic landmarks and local cultural hubs. Start by touring the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar, then take a break for Turkish coffee, pastry and hookah (tobacco pipe). Visit the book and paper market Sahaflar Çarşısı, which started in the Byzantine era, then tour Istanbul University. Continue to Suleymaniye Mosque, the Spice Bazaar and the Church of St George before winding through the districts of Fener and Balat — the old Greek and Jewish neighborhoods.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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$80.86 USD
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  • Duration: 7 hours
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$80.86 USD

Istanbul Sightseeing Tour Including Grand Bazaar, Suleymaniye Mosque and Sultanahmet

Let a local guide show you around Istanbul during a half-day tour of this stunning city, which dates back to the Ottoman Empire. You’ll walk to unmistakable icons and hard-to-find spots that make Istanbul so captivating. See the Hippodrome and Divanyolu; visit Sultanahmet Camii (Blue Mosque), Süleymaniye Mosque and Rustem Pasa Mosque; and explore the labyrinthine Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar. Stop en route for tea at a local teahouse.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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$36.97 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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$36.97 USD

Istanbul Ottoman Tour: Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque

Discover Ottoman history at the Blue Mosque and the illustrious Topkapi Palace during this guided morning tour in Istanbul. See Istanbul’s most famous monuments and enjoy a visit to the Hippodrome once the heart of Constantinople.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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$50.00 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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$50.00 USD

Highlights of Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour

There’s so much to see and do in Istanbul, it’s can be overwhelming for first-time visitors, but this private 1- or 2-day tour is the perfect way to maximize your time. Tick off top attractions such as Topkapi Palace; admire architectural wonders like the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia; cruise along the Bosphorus between Europe and Asia; and shop for souvenirs at the famous Grand Bazaar.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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$172.12 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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$172.12 USD

Best of Istanbul Tour

Discover some of Istanbul’s finest views on a full-day, small-group tour of the city by cable car, cruise ship, underground tunnel and air-conditioned minivan. Get high above the Golden Horn at Pierre Loti café, and spot minarets, domes and waterside palaces on a scenic Bosphorus cruise. Link Istanbul’s Asian and European sides on the Marmaray Train, then explore historic fortresses, a pair of iconic mosques, an ancient cistern, Hagia Sophia and the monuments of Hippodrome Square.
  • Duration: 1 day
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$140.93 USD
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  • Duration: 1 day
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$140.93 USD

Istanbul Highlights Private Tour From Istanbul With Port or Hotel Pickup

Be treated like a Sultan on a private tour of Istanbul, and let your own personal guide show you around the city. See highlights of the former Ottoman Empire including the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia and Grand Bazaar. You'll travel with a professional driver in the personalized comfort of a luxury minivan from your hotel or cruise port.
  • Duration: 6 hours
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$61.00 USD
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  • Duration: 6 hours
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$61.00 USD

Private 5-Day Tour of Istanbul and Cappadocia's Highlights

Take a thorough look at Istanbul and Cappadocia on a 5-day sightseeing tour. Hagia Sophia, a Bosphorus Cruise, and an underground city are just the beginning. All the stress of travel planning has been eliminated with included roundtrip airfare to Cappadocia and all ground transportation.  Between visiting some of the world’s most famous attractions, you’ll spend five nights in four-star hotels and enjoy a total of ten complimentary meals.
  • Duration: 5 days
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$630.00 USD
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  • Duration: 5 days
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$630.00 USD

Heart of Historical Istanbul with St Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Underground Cistern Grand Covered Bazaar

If you’re visiting Istanbul for the first time, check all of the city’s top attractions off your list on this 7-hour historical Istanbul tour. In an air-conditioned vehicle, you’ll travel between the world-famous Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Basilica Cistern, a subterranean sanctuary dating back to the 6th century. See, too, the magnificent Topkapi Palace and learn about Istanbul’s rich culture and heritage from your guide. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included on this small-group tour, limited to 14 people.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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$392.76 USD
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  • Duration: 7 hours
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$392.76 USD

Private Istanbul Full-Day Tour: Hippodrome Square, Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace

Maximise your time in port and escape the crush of the tour groups, with a full-day private sightseeing tour of Istanbul, including visits to the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Make the most of your private guide and tailor your tour to suit your interests – perhaps learn about the city’s fascinating history with a stroll through Hippodrome Square or spend time shopping in the Grand Bazaar.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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$19.00 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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$19.00 USD

Istanbul Old City Private Tour - Sultanahmet Tour

Discover the great sights of Istanbul’s historical Sultanahmet quarter on this private 7-hour tour. With your own professional guide beside you, listen to intriguing tales of Istanbul’s Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman past as you visit the must-see attractions of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Be dazzled by the still-luminous treasures of these three great empires, and intersperse the major sights with lunch (own expense) at a local restaurant, and explorations of the Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern and dizzying Grand Bazaar.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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$117.83 USD
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  • Duration: 7 hours
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$117.83 USD

Istanbul Old City Private Walking Tour

Discover Sultanahmet, the Old City of Istanbul, on a private full-day walking tour with an informative local guide. Visit Istanbul’s many architectural treasures including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Stroll around the Hippodrome, explore the Grand Bazaar and go underground to check out the Basilica Cistern, an atmospheric gem. You’ll gain insight into the history and importance of these sites, which date back to the Byzantine and Ottoman eras, on a private tour that includes lunch, entrance fees, and pickup and drop-off at select hotels.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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$97.03 USD
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  • Duration: 7 hours
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$97.03 USD

Dan Brown 'Inferno' Tour of Istanbul

Go sightseeing in Istanbul's Old City, following in the footsteps of the character Robert Langdon from Dan Brown's best-selling mystery 'Inferno.' See the Hagia Sophia — a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and imagine the Roman chariots that once clattered around the Hippodrome. Soak in the otherworldly ambiance of the Basilica Cistern, walk through the Spice Market and view the Galata Bridge. Upgrade for a full-day tour that includes a boat trip on the Bosphorous River and a visit to the Grand Bazaar.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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$109.74 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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$109.74 USD

Istanbul Small Group City Tour: Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar, St Sophia and Topkapi Palace

Get up close to some of Istanbul’s most photographed landmarks on this full-day small-group tour, including lunch. Stand in awe beneath the shimmering dome of the Blue Mosque, explore the exquisite interiors of Hagia Sophia and take a peek at the Sultan’s quarters and harem of Topkapi Palace. You’ll also have chance to visit the byzantine Hippodrome and wander the maze of stalls in the famous Grand Bazaar.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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$129.99 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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$129.99 USD

Istanbul Half-Day Afternoon Tour

This whistle stop tour of Istanbul makes it possible to visit four top attraction in only four hours. Travel with ease in an air-conditioned coach and receive a historical overview of the city from your guide. Cover the distance between landmarks such as the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern and Hagia Sophia efficiently, and enjoy the convenience of hotel pickup and drop-off. This small-group tour, limited to 15 people, is ideal for travelers with limited time in Istanbul.  
  • Duration: 4 hours
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$99.34 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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$99.34 USD

Full-Day Private Tour: The Classics from Istanbul

Feast your eyes on architectural masterpieces on this full-day private tour of the classics, from Istanbul. Embark on a sightseeing tour of several of Istanbul's greatest architectural achievements. Your private car can accommodate you and up to 13 of your friends and family, including a hotel pickup and drop-off. See monumental structures such as St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia), the Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome, and the Grand Covered Bazaar (which is closed on Sundays and Eid festivals). Important notice: Tour service starts in between 8:00 and 10:00am and finishes in between 4:00pm and 5:00pm. Travelers from Sultanahmet area do not need a vehicle for old city classic tour.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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$392.76 USD
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  • Duration: 7 hours
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$392.76 USD

Istanbul Combo: Classic City Tour and Bosphorus Cruise

Follow winding streets to domes, minarets and vibrant markets on a full-day, private tour of Istanbul’s most iconic sites. Enjoy the flexibility of a private tour, so you can fully experience the sites that interest you most. Enter the Old City gates to discover Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Hippodrome Square and a pair of remarkable bazaars, then finish the day with an optional sightseeing cruise on the Bosphorus.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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$170.00 USD
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  • Duration: 7 hours
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$170.00 USD

Byzantine Half-Day Tour Of Istanbul

Discover the grand churches and and landmarks of Byzantine Istanbul on a half-day, small-group tour of the city by air-conditioned minivan. Explore Hagia Sophia, a crown jewel of Christian Constantinople, and learn the soaring church's dramatic history. Step back into a time of fierce chariot races and grand ceremonies at the hippodrome, then see the iconic tiles and artwork of the Blue Mosque. Finish your day with a guided visit of the legendary Grand Bazaar, and browse vivid displays of carpets, handicrafts and local foods.
  • Duration: 5 hours
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$271.00 USD
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  • Duration: 5 hours
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$271.00 USD

Small-Group Istanbul in One Day Tour Including Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia

Immerse yourself in Istanbul’s six best sights on this guided full-day tour. Fit all of the attractions at the top of your bucket list into one packed day, with the help of an expert local guide. Stroll Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet neighborhood, brimming with iconic buildings and storied streets. Tour the Blue Mosque, one of the most important sites in the Muslim world. Delve into history of the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and Istanbul Hippodrome as well as the sunken palace of Basilica Cistern. And you won’t want to miss the and the bustling Grand Bazaar or savory 3-course lunch. This tour is limited to 14 people to ensure a quality tour experience.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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$90.00 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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$90.00 USD

Small Group Tour: Essential Istanbul

Explore the top attractions in Sultanahmet (the old city) on a full-day tour with a knowledgeable guide. Take in UNESCO World Heritage Sites and famous monuments in Istanbul including the stunning Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Hippodrome. Then follow your guide through the Grand Bazaar, browsing the shops of hundreds of vendors with an array of textiles, jewelry, perfumes, spices and more. Your guide shares the long history of Istanbul with your small group, which is limited to 10 participants to ensure a more intimate experience.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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$59.00 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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$59.00 USD

Full-Day City Tour with Private Tour Guide and Red Carpet Treatment with Luxury Minibus

Enjoy a royal welcome to Istanbul as you’re picked up by a private guide, escorted around the sights in a luxurious Mercedes-Benz minibus and whisked to the front of the queue at the city’s most popular attractions. A great introduction to Istanbul for first-time visitors, this full-day tour includes visits to the historic Hippodrome, the exquisite Blue Mosque and iconic Hagia Sophia. You’ll also experience the lavish lifestyles of the Ottoman Sultans with a tour of Topkapi Palace and spend time browsing the colorful stalls of the Grand Bazaar.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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$140.00 USD
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  • Duration: 7 hours
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$140.00 USD

Small-Group Istanbul Old City Sightseeing Tour

See the unforgettable landmarks of Istanbul’s old city on a full-day, small-group sightseeing tour with a professional art historian. Enjoy a comfortable seat on a luxury coach as you make your way to Hagia Sophia, descend into a stunning below-ground cistern system and explore a Roman-era hippodrome. Pause for a 3-course lunch before continuing to the Blue Mosque, the Ottoman Topkapi Palace and the bustling stalls of the Grand Bazaar, and get an insider’s perspective on the back stories and secrets of each place.
  • Duration: 9 hours
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$80.86 USD
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  • Duration: 9 hours
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$80.86 USD

Private Tour: Discovering Istanbul

A great choice for first-timers or cruise visitors, this private morning or afternoon tour takes in the highlights of Istanbul’s UNESCO-listed historic quarter. Learn about Istanbul’s two great empires, as you stroll through the Byzantine Hippodrome and tour the opulent Ottoman palace of Topkapi. Keep your camera to hand as you visit the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, two of the city’s most magnificent works of architecture. Finally, soak up hundreds of years of history as you wander around the Grand Bazaar, with plenty of time for souvenir shopping.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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$120.00 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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$120.00 USD


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