Istanbul Old City Tour

If you want to see all the highlights of Istanbul with expert information and without worrying about getting lost, then taking the Istanbul Old City tour is the best idea.

If you want to see all the highlights of Istanbul with expert information and without worrying about getting lost, then taking the Istanbul Old City tour is the best idea.




• Hagia Sophia
• Blue Mosque
• Topkapı Palace
• Hippodrome
• Grand Bazaar

Tour itinerary

The tour begins with a visit to Hagia Sophia, built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century, designed by Anthemius of Tralles and Isodore of Miletus. This church is considered one of the most outstanding masterpieces of world architecture. Converted into a mosque in 1453, it is now a museum. Its massive dome still dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. It is also famous for its mosaics, including portraits of emperors and empresses and a Virgin and Child.

Next you go to the Blue Mosque which got its name from the exquisite tiles used in its interior decoration. Built by Sultan Ahmet I in the early 17th century and designed by a pupil of Sinan, the greatest Ottoman architect, it is the only imperial mosque with six minarets and a magnificent grand courtyard.

After that the tour takes you to Topkapı Palace, which in the 15th to 19th centuries was the main residence of the Ottoman sultans. You see the fabulous imperial treasury and the Baghdad Kiosk. Topkapı Palace is now a museum and has splendid collections of jewellery, including the Spoonmaker’s Diamond, which is the 3rd largest in the world. It also displays numerous Ottoman court costumes and ceramics, including one of the world’s finest collections of Chinese celadon ceramics, many of which were gifts from other rulers. You also visit the imperial armoury, which has an exposition of Ottoman weaponry throughout centuries.

Next you walk in the Hippodrome, which was the most important stadium of ancient Byzantium, holding 100,000 spectators and featuring objects from all corners of the empire. Only an Egyptian obelisk and a bronze sculpture of three entwined serpents from Delphi are still there.

The tour finishes with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, which was the commercial heart of the old city and nowadays its 4,000 shops sell a wide variety of goods, including carpets, silk, jewellery, ceramics, and leather products. Wandering through the Grand Bazaar, you can indulge in some shopping in Ottoman style.

*The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul. The cistern, located 500 feet (150 m) southwest of the Hagia Sophia on the historical peninsula of Sarayburnu, was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.


Additional comments

• Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays,
• Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays,
• Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays
• *On these days you are taken to the Basilica Cistern

Services included in the price

• Professional experienced and licensed local guide during the tour.
• Lunch at a local restaurant.
• Entry fees to the museums and sites listed in the itinerary.
• Pickup from and drop-off to a hotel in Sultanahmet or Taksim area.

Services not included in the price

• Beverages at lunch
• Non-mandatory tips
• Personal travel insurance

Enquiry form

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