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Top Historic Areas of Istanbul

Top Historic Areas of Istanbul

Istanbul boasts four key historic areas on the UNESCO World Heritage List, owing largely to the city’s rich history as a major global crossroads for more than two millennia. See below for the four zones, and what not to miss in each.

Archaeological Park (Sultanahmet) Istanbul’s Archaeological Park area is home to the city’s most impressive historical buildings, including the 6th-century Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome of Constantine, and grandiose Topkapi Palace. Make the most of your visit and learn about the sites’ interconnected history on a guided walking tour.   Suleymaniye Quarter This area houses prominent examples of 16th-century Ottoman architecture, including its star attraction—the Suleymaniye Mosque—as well as bazaars and other points of interest. Many city tours stop at the mosque, and guides can be helpful if you are unfamiliar with religious etiquette.   Zeyrek Quarter The highlight of this neighborhood is Zeyrek Mosque, standing on the site of the 12th-century Church of the Pantocrator. This example of Byzantine architecture has been undergoing renovations and may not be fully open to the public.   The Theodosian Land Walls (Walls of Constantinople) A series of defensive stone walls that once protected the Roman Empire’s capital city, the Theodosian land walls are located in northwestern Istanbul. This area once housed the Palace of Blachernae, though much of that Byzantine residence has been built over and only some portions of the original Theodosian walls remain. Other points of interest include the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora, now a secular museum notable for its medieval frescoes and mosaics, and a popular stop on religious tours of the city. The area around the museum is also celebrated for its old wooden homes.

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12 Tours and Activities | All Istanbul Tours

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Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Tour

Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Tour

star-5
Prepare to be awed by Istanbul’s magnificent architecture, rich history, and eclectic bazaars as you discover the unmissable highlights of the Old City on this 1-, 2-, or 3-day private tour. Marvel over the glorious Hagia Sophia, learn how the Blue Mosque earned its famous nickname, and see the ancient Basilica Cistern. Tour Topkapi Palace to gain an insight into the lavish lifestyles of the Ottoman sultans and their harem, and browse the legendary Grand Bazaar, where you find everything from carpets to Turkish delight.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$125.00
per group
From
US$125.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Full Day: Classic Istanbul Tour Including Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace

Full Day: Classic Istanbul Tour Including Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace

star-4
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 Hagia Sophia, then follow in the footsteps of powerful sultans, courtiers, and generals at Topkapi Palace. Finish your tour in the vibrant Grand Bazaar, browsing bright displays of handicrafts, carpets, and souvenirs.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$65.00
From
US$65.00
Taking safety measures

Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul

Historic Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul

star-5
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, Serefiye Cistern 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.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$83.39
Price varies by group size
From
US$83.39
Price varies by group size

Istanbul Boat Cruise and Dolmabahce Palace & Two Continents

Istanbul Boat Cruise and Dolmabahce Palace & Two Continents

star-3.5
Admire beautiful architecture and capture stunning views of illustrious palaces during a full-day tour in Istanbul including a Bosphorus cruise. Aboard a cozy coach explore the highlights of Istanbul including the Walls of Constantinople, views of the Golden Horn and witness the lively Spice Bazaar on foot. You will then experience a must-do in Istanbul, a Bosphorus Strait sightseeing cruise. The cruise concludes with a visit to the beautiful Dolmabahce Palace where Istanbul’s late sultans once resided. Plus, you will gaze over this east-meets-west city for eye-popping views at Yeditepe or Çamlıca Hill.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$95.30
From
US$95.30
Taking safety measures

Afternoon Bosphorus Cruise Tour, Golden Horn Coach Tour and Cable Car Ride

Afternoon Bosphorus Cruise Tour, Golden Horn Coach Tour and Cable Car Ride

star-3
See Istanbul from three different vantage points on this tour, including a sightseeing cruise, panoramic tour and cable car ride. Take a scenic cruise on the Bosphorus and admire top Istanbul attractions such as the Bosphorus Bridge and Rumeli Fortress from the water. Then, take a coach drive around the Golden Horn districts to see the former Jewish quarter, old city walls, iron-built St Stephens and other lesser-known treasures. Lastly, catch the cable car up Pierre Loti Hill to witness the stellar city views from its hilltop cafe.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$41.69
From
US$41.69
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour including Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace

Private Tour: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour including Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace

star-4.5
Experience the finest attractions in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district during this private, guided day tour of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Marvel at these famous monuments alongside your expert guide who will give you individual attention on this private voyage.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$185.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$185.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Istanbul Small-Group Walking Tour: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar

Istanbul Small-Group Walking Tour: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar

star-4
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.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$95.30
From
US$95.30
Taking safety measures

Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand Bazaar

Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand Bazaar

star-3.5
Venture to imperial monuments rich with history and discover the Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and the Grand Bazaar during this half-day guided tour in Istanbul. Gaze at the Hagia Sophia’s massive columns and dome during a visit to one of the world’s largest basilicas and most popular museums in Turkey. This tour will take you underground to Basilica Cistern which was once the backbone of the Great Palace of Constantinople. Enjoy a trip to the Grand Bazaar where you can barter for souvenirs and feel the pulse of one of the oldest and largest covered markets on the planet.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$55.00
From
US$55.00
Taking safety measures

Istanbul City Tour with Bosphorus Strait Sightseeing Cruise

Istanbul City Tour with Bosphorus Strait Sightseeing Cruise

star-3.5
Gaze over land and sea on this guided Istanbul city tour with a Bosphorus Strait sightseeing cruise. Aboard a comfy coach, discover the lively neighborhoods of Fener and Balat, and drive along the Golden Horn for spectacular views. With your expert guide experience the vibrant Spice Bazaar and then board a charming sightseeing cruise to traverse the Bosphorus viewing highlights like the Bosphorus Bridge and Rumeli Fortress.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$41.69
From
US$41.69
Taking safety measures

Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar

Private Half-day Tour: Imperial Istanbul - Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar

star-4.5
Explore the fascinating history of Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar during this half-day privately guided tour of imperial Istanbul. Discover the ancient church, former mosque and now internationally famous museum, the Hagia Sophia. This tour will wind you through the Grand Bazaar where you can haggle for Turkish treasures and then take you 500 feet below ground into the historic Basilica Cistern where a James Bond once thwarted evil plans.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$100.27
Price varies by group size
From
US$100.27
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Istanbul Sightseeing Tour Including Grand Bazaar, Suleymaniye Mosque and Sultanahmet

Istanbul Sightseeing Tour Including Grand Bazaar, Suleymaniye Mosque and Sultanahmet

star-4.5
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.
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  • 4 hours
From
US$39.39
From
US$39.39

Private Tour: Istanbul's Jewish Heritage

Private Tour: Istanbul's Jewish Heritage

star-3.5
Uncover the rich history of Jewish culture during this privately guided tour in Istanbul. Explore old Jewish synagogues such as the Etz Ahayim Synagogue and Ashkenazi Synagogue and learn about Istanbul’s vast Jewish heritage. Enjoy visits to famous sites like Galata Tower and the Jewish Museum of Turkey (referred to as the Zülfaris Synagogue) to grasp the depth of Jewish people’s history from ancient times through Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires to present day.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$136.54
Price varies by group size
From
US$136.54
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures


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