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.)