• Location: Istanbul, Turkey
  • Duration: 8 hours (approx.)
From USD $ 59.00 View price calendar

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Explore the top attractions in Sultanahmet (the old city) on a full-day tour with a knowledgeable guide. Take in UNESCO World Heritage Sites and famous monuments in Istanbul including the stunning Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Hippodrome. Then follow your guide through the Grand Bazaar, browsing the shops of hundreds of vendors with an array of textiles, jewelry, perfumes, spices and more. Your guide shares the long history of Istanbul with your small group, which is limited to 10 participants to ensure a more intimate experience.

Highlights

  • Small-group tour of Sultanahmet, Istanbul’s old city
  • Admire the breathtaking architecture and decor of the Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Visit the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace, both gorgeous monuments from the Ottoman Empire
  • Hear about the role of the Hippodrome in the days of the Byzantine Empire
  • Browse the shops in the vibrant and historic Grand Bazaar
  • Learn about the long history of Istanbul, the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 10 participants provides a more customized experience

What You Can Expect

Small Group Tour: Essential Istanbul

Grand Bazaar

Customer Reviews

p_retimanu

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

I booked this 2 days before the day we did the tour. Although it was for a small group tour, my brother and I ended up being the only 2 on the tour which meant it was a private tour. I was really happy with this company and their promptness. Simeh arrived before the planned time and walked us to all the sites on the itinerary. He was very personable and a wealth of knowledge. I am glad we did this on our first day in Istanbul since he offered great advice about how to cope with the Grand Bazaar etc. He took us to a great restaurant for lunch too. All in all I was pleased with this tour and the company. We started at 9am and finished around 3.30pm.

Robert D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2017

Para empezar, la coordinación para la recogida fue perfecta y muy cómoda. Allí conocimos a nuestra guía que durante el recorrido fue muy amable, flexible a adaptarse a nuestros gustos y fue sumamente informativa. Es un tour hecho de manera eficiente y es bastante completo. Súper recomendado.

basskitty

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2017

Ozlem was a fantastic guide and showed me all of the touristic and some nice off-the-beaten-path sites. A must forbistsnbul.

Jeffrey B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

My guide really made this an awesome experience. Ozlem was first-class and very welcoming and informative. You get to see all of the primary sites, with entrance included. I highly recommend!

Erik P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

A note on booking before I begin... we were at our hotel already in the new district when I was prompted to enter pickup information. I simply entered N/A for all of the cruise and airport information and just put the name of my hotel in the hotel field.

It would be very difficult to improve this tour as it's already top notch. Our local guide, Ms. Lale, was extremely knowledgeable, kind, and gregarious. She spoke fluent English and Turkish. She called our hotel ahead of time so that the front desk notified us of our pickup time in addition to our direct email correspondence with Lale. Due to the weakened tourist industry in Turkey we were the only 2 people on the tour so basically received a private tour at a discounted cost. Apparently there used to be up to 3 cruise ships docked at a time beside the old city and now there are none. I only saw one other small group of American tourists my entire 4 days in Istanbul.

We began the tour at the hippodrome where Lale's vast historical knowledge became stunningly apparent. She even knew where to take the best photo of us. After that we entered the Blue Mosque, taking a seat in the shade where she explained the history and architecture and she asked about us. We made our way into the mosque skipping the line with her official guide license and paying our ticket fees at all sights. She explained more history and cultural points very thoroughly inside and took photos for us.

This was the template we followed for all of the other sights on the tour, mentioned in the description. The Hagia Sophia is open 7 days a week now so we were able to see it on a Monday. We took bathroom breaks, coffee breaks, food stand breaks, and she gave us plenty of free time so we never felt too suffocated. She came prepared with maps and photos of various sights to aid her teaching. She brought us to a local ceramics store and a rug store where we had tea and saw a workshop and a small sales pitch no pressure to buy anything.

Make sure to tip her if you receive the same outstanding service we did! Like I said, we were some of the only American tourists in the city and never felt unsafe or uncomfortable and in fact most of the vendors were very happy to see us.

Jay W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

A truly great tour. Our guide Lale was excellent. Not only was she incredibly knowledgeable and clear on Istanbul's history, architecture, and religion, she provided helpful insight into and great recommendations for! the city's current social and cultural scene. She also paced the tour in a way that never felt rushed, but rather instructive and adventurous. Arrange for her as your tour guide if you possibly can.

kkfahim

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

The tour was great. My guide Ozi was amazing. It was only me on the tour so I felt I was with a friend. She was very informative and extremely friendly as well. She suggested a few things during the tour but never pushed me to do anything. This tour is highly recommended

merlinrnr

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

We had a wonderful day with Ozlem on this tour. She was full of excellent information and really personalized the experience for us. She really knew how to time things in such a way that we were able to avoid the lines and crowds. Plus there were only 6 of us so it really felt like almost a private tour. Thank you Ozlem for a wonderful intro to Istanbul!

Jon K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2017

We were so excited to get Lale as our guide especially with her positive reviews from other travelers. She paced our tour well, allowing time to stop for water/sitting and let us have some time to explore on our own. She was easy to understand and very informative. This was a long tour but VERY worthwhile. Lale added so much more to this experience than the sight signs or our guidebook.

Jonathan C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2017

Tour was fantastic. Lale, my guide, was amazing - friendly, knowledgable, personable. Tour had a great pace, not too fast, not too slow and had a great mixture of history and shopping. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone coming to Istanbul that wants to learn more about this amazing city. Thank you to Lale for a fanatic time and amazing memory.

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