After pickup from your central Istanbul hotel, travel by air-conditioned vehicle to your first stop: the Dolmabahçe Palace. On route, gaze at Istanbul’s hectic streets and hear about its incredible history from your guide.
Pay your entrance fee at the Dolmabahçe, and tour the palace, the last home of the Ottoman sultans. Marvel at the extravagantly furnished interiors, and hear about the cosseted lives of the rulers.
Next, travel from Europe to Asia in a matter of minutes; crossing the Bosphorus Bridge over the Bosphorus Strait that divides the two continents. Then, on the Asian side, make a photo stop at Çamlica Hill, a highpoint that affords spectacular views over the city.
About midway through your tour, break for lunch at a local restaurant, and then devote your time to Istanbul’s UNESCO-listed Sultanahmet area.
Visit the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, and see under-the-radar treasures including the Milion, a 4th-century stone that marked the start-place for roads to and from the city. Other sights include the 19th-century Tomb of Sultan Mahmud, an Ottoman cemetery, and the beautiful 16th-century Çemberlitaş Hamam bathhouse.
Finally, enjoy free time at the Grand Bazaar, shopping here independently before a hotel drop-off concludes your tour.