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Fit Istanbul’s best attractions into one day with this guided full-day tour with Bosphorus cruise. Your expert local guide will lead you to past the daunting line queuing at the Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern. See the Blue Mosque early, before the mid-day crowds, then head to the Hippodrome and Topkapi Palace. Indulge in a satiating Turkish lunch, then venture to the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar. Enjoy a sightseeing cruise on the iconic Bosphorus Strait and refuel at a panoramic rooftop cafe near Galata Tower. This tour is limited to 15 people to ensure a quality experience.

Highlights

  • Full-day tour of Istanbul's highlights with an expert guide
  • Gain skip-the-line access to the UNESCO-listed Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern
  • Visit the beautiful Blue Mosque and pause outside Topkapi Palace and the Hippodrome
  • Recharge with a delicious Turkish lunch at a traditional restaurant
  • Explore the colorful Grand Bazaar and aromatic Spice Bazaar
  • Relax on a Bosphorus cruise and admire the city views from a rooftop cafe near the Galata Tower
  • Enjoy a personalized experience on a small-group tour of 15 people at most

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Small-Group Istanbul Tour: Skip-the-Line Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern, Bosphorus Cruise, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar

Enjoy a relaxing Bosphorus cruise on a full-day Istanbul highlights tour

Your full-day guided sightseeing tour of Istanbul kicks off when you meet your friendly guide near the Blue Mosque, one of the city’s most iconic sites. You have the advantage of seeing it in the morning, to hear about the interesting history and religious significance before the masses arrive. Admire the details Iznik tiles, dome and signature minarets. 

Move on to the nearby Hippodrome, a place known for historic sports such as chariot races. Tour the Hagia Sophia, a 6th century UNESCO-listed site. Listen as your guide explains its long history, beginning as one of the principal churches in the Christian world, before becoming a mosque in 1453 and a transitioning to a world-renowned museum in 1935. The best part? With your guide you will be able to skip the line 

Then head to the Basilica Cistern, where once again you will be treated as VIP by skipping the long line and heading below ground to the tour this historic cistern. Back in the 6th-century, this facility helped bring potable water to the city. 

In front of Topkapi Palace, learn about this storied former residence of Ottoman sultans. Then refuel with an authentic Turkish lunch at a local restaurant. Savor specialty kebabs and more (see the Itinerary for a sample menu).

Next, it’s on to one of Istanbul’s most visited landmarks, the dazzling Grand Bazaar. Amble through its’ colorful stalls, seeing arrays of spices, carpets, ceramics and other locally-crafted goods. If you’re feeling brave, try your hand at haggling and ask your guide for tips. 

You won’t want to miss the Spice Bazaar, full of the aromas of Turkey, before boarding your group’s private cruise down the Bosphorus Strait. Admire the Asian and European sides of this sprawling city as your boat makes its way up the strait and back. 

Finally, conclude your tour in style, with a beverage (own expense) at hip rooftop cafe near the medieval Galata Tower taking in panoramic views of the city. When you are done, continue exploring this constantly-evolving city on your own.

Itinerary

Customer Reviews

Carlos V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

Great guide and very nice tour around the city. Highly recommended.

eddy

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Excellent full day tour with a wonderful guide. Got to see everything I wanted to see: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern. Had a tasty Turkish lunch included in the price, and afterwards continued to the Grand Bazaar, Spice Market and took the Bosphorus boat tour. Due to the current situation in Turkey, there were absolutely no lines outside the attractions. However this is a city like no other, and shouldn't be missed.

Martha S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Our guide was extremely knowlesgeable and patient. If someone wanted to buy anything he would provide guidance to get the best items at the best price.

It was an amazing tour!!!

a.abdalla4

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

perfect tour, the most important points of Istanbul, liked Yasemin our guide very much, she was very informative and helpful.

elsavdbyl

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Our tour guide, Jassemen was wonderful. She made the tour personal and we all became friends quite quickly. She was very informative and knowledgable about the history of Istanbul,and inserted personal anecdotes, making the tour a really fun experience. Highly recommended.

Linda P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Incredible Istanbul - This was an exhilarating day full of wonders and unforgettable experiences. Our guide Erkut was absolutely delightful. As advertised we visited the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Cistern, the Grand Bazar, the spice market and enjoyed a delicious Turkish lunch. Erkut provided just the right amount of information about the history of this fascinating city. Our cruise along the Bosphorous during the last part of the day was an excellent opportunity to sit and relax and exchange information.
Highly recommended for a full day of exploring Istanbul.

Nyssa B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Such as great tour and an amazing way to see the city. Alp was a great guide, the Hagia Sophia was closed on the day of our visit, so instead he took us to different areas of the city which I revisited over my stay in Istanbul.

Gunnar S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

We were staying in Istanbul only for a weekend so we were very happy that we could see the spots we were the most interested in and so much more all at once on a one-day-trip! We had great time with our amazing guide Güney! Thank you for fun memories!

Junaid N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

I only had one spare day in Istanbul and wanted to take in as much of this amazing city as possible, and this tour most definitely accomplished that. Our expert guide ALP was outstandingly well read on the history of each site and the city in general, and made the tour extremely insightful, as well as enjoyable. I highly recommend it!

Alan H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Absolutely excellent. Interesting and fun.

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