Istanbul, Turkey
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clock-o4 hours (Approx.)
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English

Overview

With no time to spare, see Istanbul’s top monuments and highlights on this private 4-hour express shore excursion. This sightseeing tour is perfect for folks with limited time, yet crave an in depth taste of Istanbul. Visit the Hagia Sophia museum, a 6th century city icon filled with mosaics and an imposing dome roof. Nearby, see the Blue Mosque and its interior walls covered in blue Iznik tiles. Also, discover the maze of shops and stalls in the Grand Bazaar where your guide will enlighten you to its Ottoman influences and rich history. With personalized attention from your private guide experience the greatness of Istanbul.
  • 4-hour private shore excursion to three top Istanbul attractions
  • Head deep into the sight-packed, Istanbul Old Town (Sultanahmet) with an expert guide
  • Visit the spectacular Hagia Sophia to see its stunning dome and mosaics
  • Marvel at the Blue Mosque, with its minarets and dazzling blue tiles
  • Delve into the chaotic Grand Bazaar to see its stalls, halls and courtyards
  • Enjoy in-depth attention from a private guide on this shore excursion
  • Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship
Disembark at the Istanbul cruise port and meet your guide to start your 4-hour private shore adventure of Istanbul's top monuments. Aboard your air-conditioned minivan take a short trip the old Sultanahmet district and visit Hagia Sophia built in 539 AD by Roman Emperor Justinian. Learn how this UNESCO-listed monument was once one of the world’s largest churches, then a mosque, and now a museum. Head inside and admire the unbelievable architecture and exquisite Byzantine mosaics, amazing accomplishments in the 6th century. Then, see Ottoman relics as you listen to your guide tell stories of  their past.
From here, stroll nearby to the Blue Mosque, another spectacular sight in Istanbul originally designed to trump the Hagia Sophia’s beauty. Built in the 17th century, marvel at its six towering minarets and incredible dome structure. Then, follow your guide inside and learn why Blue Mosque is given its name as you capture panoramic views of the nearly 20,000 blue Iznik tiles that jacket the ceiling.
Continue with a leisurely walk to the stimulating Grand Bazaar, one of the largest covered markets in the world since 1456. Stay close to your guide as you maneuver around this Ottoman style labyrinth of stalls, shops and bedestans (domed market halls) which makeup the structures early support components. Discover countless lanes sectioned into specific commerce quarters of jewelry, carpets, and other eclectic goods. Perhaps stop in one of the 13 open courtyards, also known as hans, where caravans would set up shop during medieval times. See something you like, gets some advice from your guide and try your luck bargaining.   
Enjoy soaking up this bustling market’s rich culture before your return to the port where your tour ends.
Special note: On the day of your tour, the order of each activity visited above may be modified.
Worry-free Shore Excursion:Don’t worry, this tour guarantees you will get back to Istanbul cruise port! In the unlikely event that your ship has disembarked, we will organize transportation to the next port-of call. Plus, you can book worry free. If by chance your ship is delayed to arrive and you cannot attend the tour, we will refund your money. See our terms and conditions for full details.

Reviews

Viator Traveler's Reviews

4.5
12 Reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
m
, Oct 2015

our guide was wonderful. but all the tour companies should have known it was a Muslim Holy Day and that the grand Bizarre and Spice fair would be closed. access to the Blue Mosque was available only after 2:30PM

K
, Oct 2015

So much information to digest. I think Sofia hagia was my favourite

B
, Oct 2015

Wonderful and informative guide, He took our needs into consideration and took us across the bridge to Asia!

G
, Sep 2015

LOVED Istanbul! Lovely, fascinating city! Wonderful food too. Wish we had more time there. Sadly our guide had his own agenda which didn't include seeing the sights we wanted, as much as him talking at length about minor things that would have been interesting if we had had more time in the city. It felt like he was holding us back from seeing as much as we could in our allotted time.

D
, Aug 2015

An excellent tour with a great guide. Our guide was waiting on the pier when the ship docked. We had a private guide and a competent drive. Our guide was able to avoid most lines and get us right in to all of the sights. She took us everywhere we wanted to go and helped us negotiate all of our purchases in the grand Bazaar. We were delivered back to our ship in a timely fashion.

J
, Aug 2015

We where picked up from the port and the guide took us to the Old City and explained the history of Instanbul. He was very pleasant and helpful. It is the only way to see the city and well worth the cost. Great value.

R
, Aug 2015

Excellent. We were picked up outside our ship, and had a full day of sightseeing. Our guide was very knowledgeable and took us to everything we asked and more. I would highly recommend this to anyone.

K
, Aug 2015

Great tour! Awesome that it's led by locals who know the history and culture. It's worth having a tour guide because you get to skip the very long lines at the big sites. BAD: they force you to sit through a Turkish Rug presentation where they try and force you to buy a rug. It is almost scary.

M
, Jul 2015

Horrible! Guide more interested in taking us to rug places, that she had an obvious connection to, than conducting the tour. Fez tour guide was just horrible! Beware on this tour! No one wants to purchase a 28000 rug when they are expecting to tour the site highlighted in this package. Shame on you Viator for allowing this to happen. We felt light we were being held hostage in the rug store until the owner was offended by me saying I was not going to purchase a rug no matter how many times he lowered the price.

c
, Jul 2015

Unfortunately, we arrived in Istanbul on a festival day at the end of Ramadan which meant many stores including the Grand Bazaar and the spice market were closed. It also meant that the city was extremely busy and crowded. However, our guide was able to get us into the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia without too much trouble and he was very knowledgeable about both spots. We were given opportunities to explore on our own and to take photos after he gave us insight as to what to look for. An amazing tour.


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