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Immerse yourself in Istanbul’s six best sights on this guided full-day tour. Fit all of the attractions at the top of your bucket list into one packed day, with the help of an expert local guide. Stroll Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet neighborhood, brimming with iconic buildings and storied streets. Tour the Blue Mosque, one of the most important sites in the Muslim world. Delve into history of the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and Istanbul Hippodrome as well as the sunken palace of Basilica Cistern. And you won’t want to miss the and the bustling Grand Bazaar or savory 3-course lunch. This tour is limited to 14 people to ensure a quality tour experience.

Highlights

  • Full-day Istanbul sightseeing tour around the Sultanahmet neighborhood
  • Learn about Istanbul’s history as Constantinople, capital of the Roman Empire
  • Visit six top Istanbul attractions with a knowledgeable local guide
  • Explore the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern or Nakkas Cistern and the Grand Bazaar
  • Refuel with a 3-course lunch at a traditional Istanbul restaurant in Sultanahmet
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 14 people ensures personalized attention from a guide

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Small-Group Istanbul in One Day Tour Including Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia

Marvel at the interior of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul!

Your action-packed full-day Istanbul sightseeing tour begins with a pickup from your European-side hotel or by meeting your guide at a central location. Start with a brief orientation to the day ahead and then set off in your comfortable coach to your first destination. Keep in mind the order of places may change from what is described below. 
Venture to the Blue Mosque, one of the most stunning sights in Istanbul. Admire its six signature minarets and many ornate Iznik tiles that come together to form its dazzling blue walls. Listen as your expert guide tells you about the fascinating history of this Ottoman-era mosque. Then walk to the Hagia Sophia, an UNESCO-listed museum that was once a church and a mosque.
Next, stroll over to Topkapi Palace, a crown jewel of Istanbul. Explore its intricate corridors and intimate rooms where sultans once entertained elite guests—and were entertained by their harems. Your guide will point out interesting bits of backstory to the rooms, bringing to life this ornamental palace and museum. Midway through the day, break for a traditional Turkish lunch (see Itinerary section for sample menu). 
Move on to the Hippodrome, where you can admire a granite Egyptian obelisk that was a gift to Istanbul. At one point, this location marked the epicenter of the city’s sports life and also served as a political center. Then it’s on to Istanbul’s sunken palace, the Basilica Cistern, one of the biggest ancient cisterns in Istanbul. Follow your guide as he tells fills you in on the history of these historic places. 
Your final stop is also one of the most iconic: the Grand Bazaar. Stroll through its colorful alleys, more than 60 in all, in awe of the crafts, smells, sounds and sights. As one of the most famous souks in the world, you won’t want to miss this. Duck into leather, jewelry and ceramic stores as well as spice stalls and other unique outlets. Say hello to the friendly local shop owners and craftspeople. After, bid farewell to your guide and the rest of your group when you tour concludes with a convenient drop-off at your European-side hotel or in central Istanbul.
Please note:  Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays and the Grand Bazaar is closed Sundays. If your tour is on one of these days, an alternate, such as Chora Museum or another market, may be visited instead. Topkapi Palace, closed on Tuesdays, will be replaced with Istanbul Archaeology Museum).

Itinerary

Sample Menu:
First course:
  • Pastry stuffed with cheese or sausage, served alongside a seasonal salad
Main course (choice of one):
  • Turkish veal kebab
  • Grilled chicken
Dessert:
  • Specialty of the day
  • Seasonal fruit

Customer Reviews

Helen P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

The guide was brilliant and the tour was excellent. This small group tour with the same guide is well recommended.

abhimanyu s

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Excellent!
I was picked up from my Taksim Hotel as per schedule in a comfortable air-conditioned coach.Due to the political climate it was a small group of 3.Our guide Gulay Gunay was informative,friendly,considerate and provided a great insight into Istanbul's history,social and political climate if you wanted to talk about that, gave us enough photo opportunities and time on our own at each sight/place, and answered all our questions or tried to find questions to our answers.She also arranged a last minute tour for the next day for me.
The price for the Harem in Topkapi Palace is not included in the price of the tour,but you can purchase it once inside the palace grounds, and visit on your own, as the tour gives you an hour or so on your own at Topkapi and Hagia Sophia.The lunch was decent.The tour also takes you to a carpet and pottery store, where you are not obliged to buy anything,which was the good thing!All in all highly recommended for someone with not enough time in IST as it covers all the major sights and is not rushed!!

Patricia K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Great experience, very knowledgeable guide

olga.cowling

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Brilliant experience! Our guide Umar was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and professional. It was a really small group (just our family of 4). We had a full flexibility around timing - which was great. Delicious lunch, excellent pick up and drop off arrangements . Highly recommend this tour!

Rosemary C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Exceptional tour guide - Hakan Adagume. He was highly professional, incredibly knowledgeable about history, Turkish culture and the world in general. I have given his name to several clients considering a trip to Istanbul.

Deepra S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

I want to say that Iam very pleased with Viator and Neon Tours! Hakan was our trip guide and he is so amazing! I cant recommend him enough. The tour was so well organised and Iam very happy with the service. Thank You!

Aman G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

A Super Fantastic Experience We Had In Istanbul. Our Tour Guide Gulay Was Just Brilliant!!! Very Knowledgeable, Which Made This Tour A Big Massive 10/10

Rachel M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Brilliant tour - Well informed guide

Andrew B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

I cannot recommend this tour highly enough! I was greeted by our guide for the day, Tibet, on time and with a smile which assured me that I was in for a good day! What Tibet doesn't know about the history of Istanbul isn't worth knowing. Her portrayal of the historical facts of all the sites we visited was delivered with a genuine passion and kept the group interested throughout. The sites we went to were relevant and appropriate to the historical tour we were on. Normally when food is included in the cost it is normally very basic, however the restaurant we had out lunch in was lovely. The food was delicious and the manager very chatty without being intrusive. Tibet managed the timings perfectly allowing enough time to go off on our own and explore. My only wish is that perhaps we spent a little less time being sold rugs allowing for more time in the Bazaar. That said, I still managed to haggle my way to a bargain in the underground market!

If this is your first or hundredth time in Istanbul, I would encourage you to take this tour as you will not be disappointed. I am off to Marrakech in September so will be on the hunt for a Tibet there too!

Andrew Burden

belugaw

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

This was a great one day tour! Covered the amazing sites and in a comfortable car!

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