Istanbul, Turkey
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clock-o9 hours (Approx.)
TransportHotel pickup offered
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English and 4 more


Immerse yourself in the wonders of Byzantine art and civilization on a private Istanbul tour that focuses on the ancient Byzantine Empire. Visit the Church of St Saviour in Chora, Hagia Sophia, the Basilica Cistern and other impressive sites — all built during the 4th to 15th centuries when Istanbul was Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine world. Admire mosaics and frescoes that depict the practice of early Christianity and learn about Byzantine rule on this fascinating full-day tour with your own expert guide.
  • Private full-day tour of Byzantine Empire sites in Istanbul
  • See splendid early Christian frescoes and mosaics at Church of St Saviour in Chora
  • Admire the gold-leaf interior of the Ecumencial Orthodox Patriarchate
  • Explore the breathtaking Hagia Sophia
  • Visit Pantokrator Church (Zeyrek Mosque) and the Basilica Cistern
  • Includes hotel pickup and drop-off in Istanbul
Start your full-day tour with pickup by your comfortable private vehicle at your hotel. Your guide provides an informative introduction to the long history of the Byzantine Empire as you set off to see Byzantine sites in Istanbul.
At the Church of St Saviour in Chora, hear about the history and importance of the original Chora Church, which dates to the fourth century. The current church contains some of the world's finest mosaics and frescoes, with depictions of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and many Christian saints and icons.
Visit the Ecumencial Orthodox Patriarchate (aka Church of St George), which has an interior filled with gold, marble and huge chandeliers. Since the year 1600 it has been the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, although it is largely of symbolic significance since the early 20th century.
See Zeyrek Mosque (Pantokrator Church), a mosque that was made from two former Eastern Orthodox churches and a chapel. It features architecture from the middle Byzantine period and is the second largest Byzantine religious structure that remains in Istanbul.
Take your time to absorb the splendor of the largest Byzantine creation in Istanbul: the Hagia Sophia. Emperor Justinian I (527-565) ordered the construction of the original building, which was designed by the most important architects of the period, Anthemios (Tralles) and Isidoros (Miletus). It is known as the crown jewel of Byzantine architecture, and is sometimes referred to as the eighth wonder of the world.
Nearby, go underground to experience the Basilica Cistern, an ancient subterranean water system from the Byzantine era and the largest of several hundred cisterns underneath the city. It was also built in the sixth century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.
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Product code: 16879P9

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