See the most important sites of Istanbul in these two whirlwind half-day tours.
Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, is the largest city in Turkey, and considered by some to be the most important. This tour will take you to all of the "must-see" places of the city, introducing you to a fascinating mix of old and new that is modern Istanbul.
We'll start by driving through the Old City to the Hippodrome that was built by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus in 203 AD. Constantine the Great enlarged and adorned it with beautiful works which were brought from different places of the Roman Empire when he chose Byzantium as his new capital.
Afterwards, make your way to the Blue Mosque, regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of Islamic architecture. Please keep in mind that if you choose to visit the inside, you will be expected to dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering. Women must cover their heads.
Next, you'll stop at the jewel in Turkey's Byzantine crown, the marvelous Hagia Sophia, a former patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a fascinating museum.
Finally, you'll walk through the Egyptian Bazaar (also called the Spice Market). Walk around and explore inside the bazaar, where you'll enjoy lots of shops selling dried fruits, nuts, teas, spices, and natural remedies. We'll also walk around the outside area of the bazaar with lots of local food vendors. Also, shop the New Mosque (Yeni Cami), where you can find products such as seeds, gardening supplies, and even caged birds!
We'll begin the second day of touring by browsing the amazing Topkapi Palace, the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Originally a summer residence in the pre-Christian Byzantium era, the palace is home to gorgeous jewels, religious artifacts, silk ceremonial robes, and a manuscript collection.
Our final stop will be the well-known Grand Bazaar with over 5,000 shops and stands. Shop for exotic fabrics, clothing, furniture, and jewelry, or simply browse this fascinating market.
- The price of this tour includes a driver and air-conditioned vehicle, all transportation costs, an English-speaking guide, and entrance and parking fees to all sites.
- Meals, drinks, and any other extras are not included.
- Visitors to the Blue Mosque are expected to dress modestly. Shoes must be removed before entering and women must cover their heads.
- ShoreTrips reserves bypass the line tickets wherever possible, which is not available at the Blue Mosque. On very crowded days, we will discuss the Blue Mosque from the outside and visit the Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent (1557), which is Istanbul's largest and grandest of Istanbul’s mosques.
- Please note: The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays, and Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays.
Days offered: 7 days a week