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

Overview

Explore the fascinating history of Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar during this half-day privately guided tour of imperial Istanbul. Discover the ancient church, former mosque and now internationally famous museum, the Hagia Sophia. This tour will wind you through the Grand Bazaar where you can haggle for Turkish treasures and then take you 500 feet below ground into the historic Basilica Cistern where a James Bond once thwarted evil plans.
  • Private half-day sightseeing tour of Istanbul’s imperial sites
  • Visit Hagia Sophia
  • Shop in the Grand Bazaar
  • Visit the Underground Cistern or Nakkas Cistem
  • Entrance fees included
Meet your private guide at your centrally located hotel in Istanbul (European side only) for your half-day tour of Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar. Start with a short drive to the 6th century church and now museum, the Hagia Sophia. Built by the Roman Emperor Justinian, learn how Hagia Sophia remained one of the largest Basilicas until Ottoman rule when it was converted to a mosque. Then, stroll with your guide and observe the beautifully detailed Byzantine mosaics. (Closed on Mondays, this attraction will be exchanged with the Chlora Museum.)
Continue to the underground Basilica cistern also referred to as the “Sunken Palace” (Turkish: Yerebatan Sarayi). Constructed below the famous peninsula of Sarayburnu by Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century, learn about this cistern’s massive size, the largest of hundreds in Istanbul. 
Next, surface from the cistern and head to the Grand Bazaar. Famously in operation for over six centuries, wind your way along its 58 corridors and marvel at one of the largest covered markets on the planet. Peer into some of the 4,000 plus shops and see ornate jewelry, leather goods, spices and colorful carpets. (Closed on Sundays; extra time will be dispersed over the other locations.)

Reviews

Viator Traveler's Reviews

4.5
23 Reviews
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N
, Nov 2017

We have a wonderful private tour of Istanbul with Ilker. We visited the stunning Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and the Bazaar. Ilker was great - knowledgable and professional as well as personalising our tour to suit our interests. Highly recommend. We will be back!!

S
, Sep 2016

Good tour except grand bazaar closed. Cut short due to potential issues in front of our hotel. Would do again

v
, Nov 2015

Our guide was extremely informative and down-to-earth. Highly recommend this tour especially because it gives you time in the Grand Bazaar with someone that can assist you in the immense size of this place. The only negative is that we were taken to a vendor that specialized in Turkish rugs without being asked if we were interested. This vendor provided a detailed explanation of the variety of rugs available for sale and proceeded to pitch a sale. It would've been very uncomfortable if we hadn't bought one. They were beautiful rugs.

M
, Aug 2015

Guide gave us good tour and suggested lunch place was perfect

A
, Jul 2015

Really great tour - our tour guide was highly knowledgeable and very friendly - I even got a lovely bracelet from her which she got from a local street artisan, which was so sweet and thoughtful. She answered all of our questions and made the entrance into the sites visited very smooth. It was a great introduction to Istanbul as we were only there for a limited amount of time. Highly recommend!

M
, Jun 2015

Knowledgeable and experienced guide. Wasted no time in getting into the sights. All sights well worth visiting. Needed more time at the Grand Bazaar so requested that we did not return to our hotel but remain in town.

L
, Jun 2015

This tour was amazing!

w
, May 2015

Excellent guide. Helped us two seniors' navigate the stone walks and hills. Took us to a spice market,where we were treated quite fairly. Also to the carpet display, which was more informative than others I have visited in Morocco.
I've always had good tours with your organization and will use again. Pick up at ship instead of a hotel went smoothly.

J
, May 2015

Absolutely loved this one, such a great tour, taking in all the best spots of Istanbul. Hagia Sophia was just magnificent. Katarina was such a wonderful guide, informing us of so many different aspects and whatever we asked - she had an answer for. If you can ask for a particular guide - Katarina is my recommendation - you won't be disappointed.

J
, Apr 2015

Absolutely loved our guide she was very accommodative and was a pleasure she went out of the way and accommodated us to see another place of interest since the grand bazar was closed ..over all excellent


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