Istanbul, Turkey
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clock-o8 hours (Approx.)
TransportHotel pickup offered
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English

Overview

Head back in time and discover the old world of the Sultanahmet area during this full-day small-group guided walking tour in Istanbul. This tour explores the amazing UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hagia Sophia Museum and the Blue Mosque which exemplify why Istanbul is the city where east meets west. Enjoy a walk through the famous Topkapi Palace where Sultan's roamed and harems flourished. Plus, spend time observing the Hagia Irene’s Byzantine architecture and stroll through the Grand Bazaar to witness handicrafts created by local artists.
  • Small-group walking tour of Istanbul’s top attractions with lunch
  • Explore Hagia Sophia and admire its Ottoman and Byzantine architecture
  • Stroll around the Blue Mosque and learn about Sultan Ahmet I with his extravagant tastes
  • Visit Topkapi Palace Museum and see the ornate treasury in the third courtyard
  • Pass Hagia Irene and then watch a handicraft demonstration in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 15 people ensures a more intimate experience
Enjoy a pickup by minibus at your central Istanbul hotel and cruise to central Istanbul to meet your guide for your small-group guided walking tour. Begin with a walk to the stunning Hagia Sophia. Learn how this monument began as the world’s largest church, converted to a mosque, and in the early 20th century became a museum, its present form. Marvel at the incredible architecture that supports the Hagia Sophia’s immense dome and learn about its Byzantine and Ottoman influences.
Next, head across Sultanahmet Square to admire the German Fountain, a 19th century tribute from General Emperor Wilhelm. Onward to the location of political and sporting life, the Hippodrome. Learn about the chariot races and riots that once took place here during the Ottoman Empire’s reign.
Walk to the nearby Blue Mosque and admire the six towering minarets that add to Istanbul’s fantastic skyline. Then step inside the mosque and listen to stories of Sultan Ahmet I, who at a mere 19 year’s old delegated the construction of the mosque. Alongside your guide, stare up at the detailed blue Iznik tiles that cover the ceiling.
Afterward, break for a tasty Turkish lunch and enjoy meze style plates. Then, traverse Sultanahmet’s beautiful landscape on foot to Topkapi Palace Museum. Not only is this one of the world’s oldest and biggest palaces, but it’s also Turkey’s most popular museum. Step inside and move through its four courtyards to observe historical artifacts and antiquities. Hear lore of the sultans who resided here from the 15th and 19th centuries and observe the elegant Fountain of Sultan Ahmet III.
Following your 2-hour tour of Topkapi Palace continue on to the once Eastern Orthodox church - Hagia Irene. Ogle its beautiful architecture as you gain insight about Istanbul’s oldest Christian place of devotion. Finally, visit the largest covered market in Turkey and one of the largest in the world, the Grand Bazaar. As you roam with your guide and pass bustling shops and stalls, witness local artists create traditional crafts. Then return to central Istanbul where your tour ends.

Reviews

Viator Traveller's Reviews

4.0
35 reviews
5 Star
4 Star
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1 Star
D
, Sep 2017

Our guide, Ahmet, was incredibly well-informed on the highlights of the old city. I would definitely recommend this tour, early-on, during a trip to Istanbul. I only wished I had more time to spend there.

D
, May 2017

Walking tour of most of the major attractions in the old city. The guide was very good knowledgeable, interesting and able to communicate. However, the attractions are really not that attractive resulting in a blah feeling. Caution - the walk is very long approx 5 miles mostly over uneven cobblestones.

G
, Jul 2016

All you need to see on a short visit, Our guide Hami, was pleasant and well-informed about the history of the city. She pointed out little details of the places and monuments that we would otherwise have missed. Pleasant lunch with her company with stories of everyday life in Istanbul. A bit pressed for time as there was so much to take in on a first visit to a very old city.

A
, Nov 2015

great tour

W
, Aug 2015

It was good. I learned some new things about history and Turkey. It was a little heavy on quantity of people. The guide is good, Muhammar I think his name was. The tour company could be better on first impressions logistics, introductions, coordinating and synchronising meeting points. I did two tours with this company. They are pretty good, but could use improvement on the aforementioned... Furthermore, I wish Viator would list reviews in a fully chronological manner. Unless there's been a change, I know my four star review will be buried under every single five star review that was written at an earlier date.

T
, Jul 2015

Make sure your guide makes you visit the Blue Mosc, they usually do avoid the long lines.

T
, Jul 2015

Oh what a day it was. Our guide Muharrem was an immensely charming fellow. Always smiling and ever ready to answer any question. The tour covered a lot of ground and included a yummy local lunch and a visit to a Turkish Carpet factory. You get hardly half an hour at the Grand Bazaar though, so treat this tour as a refresher introductory visit to Grand Bazaar and plan a later trip by yourself if you want to shop. Over all, I had a great experience thanks to Muharrem and the well planned itinerary.

p.s. - wear the best and the most comfortable walking shoes you can find.

W
, Jun 2015

Informative and professional guide. But the hotel pick up is a bit tricky as they do not contact you real time after booking

L
, Jun 2015

Our guide was friendly but the tour was badly organised, and there were huge numbers of people - about 30 at one point during the day! This is not what I would call a 'small' group. Lunch was pretty average, in a bland international hotel. The stop over in a carpet shop was not ideal.

S
, Jun 2015

The worst part about this trip was the harassment from the company Viator after it occurred. I've tried on numerous occasions to unsubscribe from their mailing list, but I get spam emails from them every couple of weeks. I would strongly encourage everyone NOT to purchase any trips from Viator.


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