Meet your guide at your Taksim or Old City Hotel—pickup is at 8:15 or 8:45am depending on location. Start your tour in the heart of the Old City, where Byzantine emperors and citizens gathered at the ancient hippodrome to watch chariot races and fights. Explore the broad, public square that now covers the spot, and visit landmarks that include obelisks, statues and the remarkable ‘German Fountain.’
Continue through the Old City to the tiled domes of the Blue Mosque, then follow in the footsteps of Ottoman sultans and courtiers at Topkapi Palace. Enjoy free time for lunch (with tips from your guide on finding the perfect afternoon meal), then continue to the stunning Hagia Sophia and the Islamic Art Museum, whose collection of carpets and calligraphy is among the best in the world.
Browse the bright stalls and displays at the Grand Bazaar, where you can practice your bargaining skills while shopping for handicrafts, souvenirs and exotic spices. Finish the day with return transfer to your Taksim or Old City Hotel.
Please note: Topkapi Palace is closed Tuesdays and St. Sophia is closed Mondays: these destinations will be replaced by the Byzantine-era Underground Cistern. The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays, when the tour visits the Spice Market.