Serpent Column Tours

Serpent Column
The Serpent Column is what remains of an ancient bronze snake monument located at the Hippodrome of Constantinople in Istanbul. The column once featured three intertwined snakes, their jaws stretching open and supporting a golden tripod. This tripod, along with the heads and necks of all three snakes have since been lost, leaving only the column of their intertwined bodies that can be seen today.

The structure was built after the Battle of Plataea, which began in 479 BC and in which the Greeks defeated the Persians. The Serpent Column was erected next to the altar of Apollo at Delphi to commemorate the Greek states involved in the battle and, according to legend, was built using the bronze from the melted down weapons of the Persians.

The Serpent Column came to be in its current location mounted on the spina at the Hippodrome in Constantinople when Constantine the Great ordered its relocation in around 330 BC, along with several other ancient monuments.

Practical Info

The Serpent Column is located in the Hippodrome area of the city, opposite the Blue Mosque.
Address: Hippodrome of Constantinople, Istanbul, Turkey
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18 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Historical Istanbul Tour in 1-Day

Visit Istanbul’s headline acts and discover the city’s rich heritage on this full-day tour of UNESCO-listed Sultanahmet, the historic heart of the city. Explore the legendary Hagia Sophia, which dates back to 537AD; learn how the 17th-century Blue Mosque received its famous nickname; and see the many monuments of the Hippodrome. You’ll also get chance to revel in the opulence of the Ottoman era at the grand Topkapi Palace and lose yourself in the maze-like Grand Bazaar.
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Duration: 8 hours
From  
$75.35 USD
From  
$75.35 USD
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Full-Day Guided Tour of Istanbul, from Antalya including Domestic Flights

During your stay in Antalya, fly to Istanbul for a full-day tour of the top attractions in the old city of Sultahnamet. Visit Topkapı Palace, the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, and the Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar, then have the option to take a sightseeing cruise on the Bosphorus River and have dinner before your return flight. Includes round-trip plane tickets, guide, entrance fees to Topkapi Palace, and hotel pickup and drop-off.
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Duration: 1 day
From  
$168.10 USD
From  
$168.10 USD
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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
  • Duration: 9 hours
From  
$81.15 USD
From  
$81.15 USD
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Istanbul 1-Day Tour with Flight from Side

Visit Istanbul on a day-trip from Side that includes round-trip flights, a guided tour of the city’s highlights, and all airport transfers. Step into the world of the Ottoman sultans at Topkapi Palace, see the landmarks of the old city, and practice your bargaining skills at the Egyptian Bazaar. This full-day tour offers a convenient, cost-effective way to see Istanbul while you’re visiting Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Duration: 1 day
From  
$202.88 USD
From  
$202.88 USD
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FULL DAY PRIVATE ISTANBUL TOUR

Step into the golden ages of the Ottoman, Byzantine and Roman empires with a full-day, private tour through Istanbul’s Old City. See the monuments and historic sites of Hippodrome Square, where Roman charioteers raced in ancient times, then explore St. Sophia's stunning architecture and museum. See the iconic tiles, mosaics and slender minarets of the Blue Mosque and browse traditional handicrafts inside the Grand Bazaar. Learn about the lives of sultans and courtiers at Topkapi Palace, which contains a remarkable collection of Turkey's greatest holy relics, imperial treasures and artwork.
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Duration: 8 hours
From  
$85.79 USD
From  
$85.79 USD
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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
  • Duration: 7 hours
From  
$97.38 USD
From  
$97.38 USD
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Istanbul 1-Day Guided Tour from Belek including Domestic Flights

Spend a full day exploring the old city of Istanbul on a tour that includes round-trip flights from Antalya. Visit top attractions including Topkapi Palace, the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, and the Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar, and have the option to take a sightseeing cruise on the Bosphorus River. Includes flights, guide, entrance fees, and hotel pickup and drop-off from Belek, Serik, Kadriye and Antalya.
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Duration: 1 day
From  
$202.88 USD
From  
$202.88 USD
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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
  • Duration: 8 hours
From  
$120.00 USD
From  
$120.00 USD
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Morning Tour of Istanbul Old Town

The landmarks of Istanbul’s old city, or Sultanahmet, are highlights of any first-time visit to the city, from the minarets of the Blue Mosque to Hagia Sophia and the Grand Bazaar. Get an overview and orientation of the historic area on a 4-hour, guided walking tour that includes all entrance fees, as well as pickup from Taksim and peninsula hotels.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Duration: 4 hours
From  
$51.59 USD
From  
$51.59 USD
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Private Tour Istanbul Classics with Local Expert Guide

We pick-up from your hotel at around 09:00 for full day walking old city tour, prepare yourself to be charmed with history and architecture of the breathtaking city, Istanbul. You will be amazed with the most famous historic monuments and sights in Old City area. These are 1500 year old Hagia Sophia Museum, Gigantic Blue Mosque with its famous blue tiles, Hippodrome area where the Byzantium era chariot races used to be once held, Caferaga Medresesi, a foundation for serving Turkish Culture, that organizes various workshops about handicrafts and music, Topkapi Palace one of the largest palaces in Istanbul which was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years and Grand Bazaar which is the world’s oldest indoor market. After the tour you will be dropped off at your hotel at around 17:00.
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Duration: 8 hours
From  
$144.91 USD
From  
$144.91 USD
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Istanbul Guided Tour from Alanya including Domestic Flights

Experience the glories of Istanbul during your time in Alanya with this full-day trip, including flights. After hotel pickup in Antalya or the wider Alanya region, fly to Istanbul for a guided tour. Visit must-sees including the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, and Hippodrome; browse the Egyptian Bazaar; and sail between Europe and Asia on an optional Bosphorus cruise (additional cost). Return air tickets, airport transfers, hotel pickup and drop-off, and Topkapi Palace admission included.
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Duration: 1 day
From  
$202.88 USD
From  
$202.88 USD
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Byzantine Relics Istanbul Half-Day Morning Tour

Revisit the glory days of the Byzantine Empire on this 3-hour tour of historic Istanbul. Witness the architectural marvel of Hagia Sophia and learn how Sultan Ahmet Square was once a Hippodrome, used for chariot racing since Roman times. Admire the Iznik tile work that gave the Blue Mosque its famous nickname, then browse the shops in the atmospheric Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest covered markets in the world.
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Duration: 3 hours
From  
$46.37 USD
From  
$46.37 USD
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Afternoon Tour of Topkapi Palace With Skip The Line Admission

Follow in the footsteps of Ottoman sultans, Islamic scholars and Byzantine emperors on a half-day Istanbul tour that takes in three fascinating destinations. Explore the 15th-century Topkapi Palace, where you’ll discover a trove of art and artifacts from around the world, and architecture that evokes a dramatic era of court and harem intrigues in the seraglio. Browse handicrafts at a onetime madrasa, then take in the Roman, Egyptian and Ottoman monuments at Hippodrome Square, once the site of Byzantine games and chariot races.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Duration: 4 hours
From  
$57.39 USD
From  
$57.39 USD
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Istanbul 1-Day Guided Tour from Bodrum including Domestic Flights

See the historic city of Istanbul on a full-day tour from Bodrum that includes a guided tour of the city, round-trip flights, and all ground transport. Explore the former home of Ottoman sultans at Topkapi Palace, visit the Old City and Blue Mosque, then browse the colorful stalls at the Egyptian Bazaar. This full-day Istanbul tour is a cost-effective way to tour Istanbul while visiting Turkey's Aegean coast.
  • Duration: 12 hours
  • Duration: 12 hours
From  
$229.54 USD
From  
$229.54 USD
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Guided Private Sightseeing Tour of Istanbul

You’ll never look at Istanbul the same way again after this full-day private tour of the city. After meeting your friendly local guide at your hotel, you’ll set off for a day of unforgettable sights, starting with the 15th century Hippodrome and Obelisks. You’ll have the chance to wander amongst the Serpentine Column, Obelisk of Theodosius, Obelisk of Constantine and German Fountain before continuing on to the world-famous Blue Mosque. Next up is the Hagia Sophia, one of the oldest remaining Greek Orthodox churches and formerly used as a mosque. Go shopping for every kind of souvenir imaginable at the Grand Covered Bazaar and feast on traditional Turkish delicacies for lunch. Your tour will conclude with visits to the Topkapi Palace and Little Hagia Sophia Mosque.
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Duration: 8 hours
From  
$127.52 USD
From  
$127.52 USD
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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
  • Duration: 7 hours
From  
$394.16 USD
From  
$394.16 USD
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Half-Day Istanbul City Tour From Cruise Port

If you’re keen to see Istanbul’s highlights and also have free time during a cruise stop in the city, this 4-hour tour is ideal. Tour the UNESCO-listed treasures of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia as you learn about Istanbul’s Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman history, and stroll around the Hippodrome, whose gardens and monuments mark the long-ago chariot racing and sporting arena. Air-conditioned minivan transport and entrance fees included.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Duration: 4 hours
From  
$84.00 USD
From  
$84.00 USD
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Full-Day Istanbul City Tour From Cruise Port

Make the most of a day’s cruise stop in Istanbul with this 7-hour city highlights tour. Visit the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace, charting Istanbul’s history as a Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman capital, and the importance of its location straddling Europe and Asia. Plus, punctuate your visits with time at the Hippodrome, where chariot races were held, and the Grand Bazaar, a souvenir-hunter’s dream. Air-conditioned minivan transport and entrance fees included.
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Duration: 7 hours
From  
$101.85 USD
From  
$101.85 USD
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