The tour starts at the heart of the "old city" from where the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires were ruled. HIPPODROME, center of sportive (chariot races, athletics) events and political activities of the old city. OBELISK OF THEODOSIUS (EGYPTIAN OBELISK), SERPENT COLUMN, THE COLUMN OF CONSTANTINE PORPHYROGENITUS and GERMAN FOUNTAIN OF WILHELM II. Just across is the, BLUE MOSQUE, Sultan Ahmet Mosque, one of the most prominent landmarks of Istanbul. Famous for its blue Iznik tiles and unique with six minarets, it was built in the name of Sultan Ahmet I. Saint SOPHIA MUSEUM, (AYASOFYA, HAGHIA SOPHIA) is situated just across the Blue Mosque. This ancient basilica, built in the 6th Century by Emperor Justinian is one of the architectural marvels of all time. It is also listed as one of the cultural heritages of the world by UNESCO. After our optional lunch break, we visit TOPKAPI PALACE MUSEUM. Built in the 15th century, and for more than four centuries was the imperial residence of the Ottoman Sultans, TOPKAPI PALACE is the most extensive and fascinating monument of Turkish civil architecture in existence. In addition to its historical and architectural interest, it houses extraordinary collections of Chinese porcelains, armor, fabrics, jewellery, holly relics of Prophet Mohammed, and many precious objects and works of art that one belonged to the sultans and their court. Our tour also includes the mystic Harem, the private residence of the sultans and his wives and concubines. GRAND BAZAAR (COVERED MARKET). This ancient bazaar is one of the most attractive shopping centers in the world with nearly more than 3500 shops selling antiquities, jewellery, gold, leather goods, carpets and souvenir. The bazaar is a small city in itself.


Tour strength: Moderate activity.  All of the monuments are very close to each other so we cover them on foot. Comfortable shoes are a must. The pavements are smooth. All of the museums have wheelchair access. The tour lasts approx. 7 hours.


Visiting procedure for a mosque: Women do not have to cover their heads with a head scarf. People are allowed in the summer months with their shorts on. The shoes are taken during the visit and all of the mosques in Turkey are covered with beautiful Turkish carpets. Shoe bags are provided for your convenience.  Please expect dense traffic conditions in Istanbul.


Best time to visit: Wednesday - Saturday

Saint Sophia Museum is closed on Mondays and replaced with either Kariye Museum (Saint Savior in Chora) Museum or Underground Water Cistern; Basilica Cisterne. Topkapi Palace Museum is closed on Tuesdays and replaced with Dolmabahçe Palace Museum on the Bosphorus. Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays.