Istanbul, Turkey
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clock-o4 hours (Approx.)
TransportHotel pickup offered
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English and 3 more


Save time and skip the line on this small-group guided half-day Topkapi Palace Istanbul tour which includes a visit to Süleymaniye Mosque and a ceramics workshop. Jump ahead of the rest and step into Topkapi Palace to explore courtyards, treasures and rooms of artifacts. See where Ottoman sultans once assembled their harems and visit the Palace Harem (own expense). Then, marvel at the 16th-century Süleymaniye Mosque before you discover a workshop where master potters fire their elegant ceramic pieces. Small-group tours are limited to 15 guests to assure an intimate day with your guide.
  • Half-day tour of two of Istanbul’s historical sights with an expert guide
  • Get fast-track entry to Topkapi Palace and enjoy a guided tour
  • Explore the opulent UNESCO-listed palace, home to Ottoman sultans for 400 years
  • See the Treasury, kitchens and imperial collections, and enjoy an optional visit to the Harem (own expense)
  • Admire the beautiful Süleymaniye Mosque, built in the 16th century
  • Visit a ceramics workshop to watch skilled master potters create masterpieces from wet clay
After you meet your local guide and small group close by Hagia Sophia, kick off your tour with a walk to Topkapi Palace. Arrive, skip the line, and head inside to see this old home of Ottoman sultans. As you walk around courtyards and small buildings, learn how this palace was the primary residence for sultans from the 15th to the 19th century.
Next, pass by elegant gates and pavilions as you make your way into beautiful chambers once roamed by as many as 4,000 people. Hear how Sultan Mehmed II commissioned Topkapi in 1453 as you admire antiques and rare artifacts of the Treasury. See the famous diamond-studded Topkapi Dagger, kingly gowns and lavish weaponry as your guide whispers lore of romance, royal luxuries and executions that were once a regularity here.
At your own expense, you may visit the palace's Harem and discover the quarters of the sultan’s many wives, princes and eunuchs. 
Next, leave the palace and make your way to Süleymaniye Mosque, the biggest mosque in Istanbul. Dedicated to Sultan Süleyman I, this beautifully designed mosque was built by Ottoman architect Minar Sinan over eight years in the mid 16th century. Enjoy its regal architecture as you gaze up at its four elegant columns. Then, step inside and see the handsome interior designed with humbled worship in mind. 
Continue to your last stop at a traditional workshop and see local artisans make ceramics. Witness fine craftsmen mold wet clay by hand on the kickwheel. Admire vases and other pieces as you hear about classic Ottoman techniques used to sculpt beautiful creations.
Finish your tour after you leave the shop and either continue to wander through the neighborhood at your leisure or return to your hotel.


Viator Traveller's Reviews

5 reviews
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, Sep 2017

We really enjoyed this tour. Our guide, Yil, was terrific. He knew I had a sore leg so he took it at a pace I could handle there were only two of us for this particular tour. Yil was a wealth of knowledge and very passionate about his country. He didn't want us to miss anything. Had we toured the palace on our own we would have enjoyed it but not gotten nearly as much out of it as we did. We also appreciated being ushered to the front of the line! Worth it!

, Jun 2015

Topkapi Palace was beautiful even though it was crowded. Did not see the Harem because the waiting line was very very long but the Palace is worth the visit regardless. We saw the Blue Mosque as the other one was further away according to our guide.

, Jun 2015

The tour was very good and so was the guide (Emre). Highly recommend this tour since it was so comprehensive.

, Jul 2018

Valoración excelente del guía, el tour sería perfecto si se incluyera la visita al harem, que no está incluida. El guía se ofreció a comprar las entradas en nuestro nombre y nos hizo la explicación como si estuviese incluido en el tour. A cambio nos

, Nov 2015

Difficile de trouver le guide sur place pas de panneau. Autrement excellent guide, à l'écoute, sympa et passionnant. Guidage en français, il n'y avait que ma femme et moi, un privilège.

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