Istanbul: Highlights of Istanbul & Hotel Transfer
7 HoursModerate-StrenuousCulture | Dining | Essentials Collection | Sightseeing | UNESCO | Walking
A scenic drive will take you across the Galata Bridge into the heart of Istanbul, where the historic area of Istanbul was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. Visit the Byzantine Hippodrome, which was one of the largest chariot race grounds of the Byzantine Empire. You will see the Egyptian Obelisk, Serpentine Column, and Constantine Column which are remaining from the original Hippodrome. You will have chance to view the Blue Mosque before heading to your next destination. After a short walk, you’ll enter the awe-inspiring Topkapi Palace Museum, a huge walled complex that hugs the Bosphorus and is displaying an extraordinary collection of art, artifacts, and jewels, including the famed Topkapi Diamond. The windows promise breathtaking views of the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara. Next, you will visit one of the greatest buildings in the world: St Sophia Mosque, built during the reign of Emperor Justinian (AD 537) and remained the greatest church in Christendom until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. A delightful lunch, featuring Turkish specialties and beverages, will be served in a local restaurant. You will taste delicious Turkish cuisine cooked in Ottoman and Turkish styles. Continue to the famous Grand Bazaar, where you will explore some of its 64 streets. A variety of Turkish handicrafts, oriental carpets, rare jewels and inexpensive souvenirs are all sold in its small shops. You may also enjoy a demonstration on the art of carpet weaving. At approximately 4:00 p.m., you will be dropped off at your hotel.
Please note: This tour will end at the hotel. There is ongoing restoration of the Topkapi Palace, which may result in some exhibits being closed. Modest attire is required; when visiting the St. Sophia Mosque, knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered and women must cover their head with a scarf, which will be provided at the Mosque. Shoes must be removed and shoe bags will be provided for the visit. The covered section of the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays; shopping will take place in stores just outside the Grand Bazaar. Professional photography and flash are not allowed. All tours in the Old Town require considerable walking, as it is closed to traffic.