Get an early start on the day with 5am pickup at your hotel in Side and surrounding towns (see booking details for more info). Travel to the airport to catch a 1 hour, 15-minute flight to Ataturk International Airport, where a tour guide will meet you upon arrival.
The first stop is Topkapi Palace, the longtime residence of the Ottoman sultans. Explore exhibits of Islamic relics, Ottoman jewelry, and traditional clothing, and enjoy views across the Bosphorus Strait from the manicured grounds. Following the Topkapi Palace tour, you’ll have one hour to purchase food from a nearby restaurant for lunch. Continue to the oldest part of Istanbul to see Hippodrome Square, once the site of ancient sporting events, and see the Blue Mosque whose six minarets define the Istanbul skyline.
Join the bustling crowds at the Egyptian Bazaar, where you can browse for unique souvenirs, Turkish delight, spices, and more. This is one of the largest covered bazaars in the city, and it’s full of vibrant colors, aromas, and local character. After the Egyptian Bazaar, you’ll have the option to see Istanbul from the water on a sightseeing cruise down the Bosphorus, and stop by a local restaurant for dinner (the cruise and meal are not included in the tour price).
The driver will return you to the Ataturk International Airport at roughly 8pm to catch a flight to Side. Upon arrival, another driver will meet you at the airport and return you to your original departure point.