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Approximately 7 Hours
Gather your friends and family and head out with your private guide on this fascinating tour that will delve into the history of dazzling Istanbul.
See the Hippodrome, where ancient Byzantine entertainment spectacles such as gladiator fights and chariot races took place. This beautiful elliptical-shaped park features an obelisk from Egypt dating to 3000 BC.
Step inside the Blue Mosque, named for its richly adorned interior of magnificent Iznik tiles.
Nearby is the fabulous St Sophia, also called the Church of Divine Wisdom. This splendid church was built in the 6th century, and its dome was then the largest in the world. After several conquests and pillages, the building was converted into a mosque, but fell into disrepair as the centuries passed. The mosaics were uncovered in the 1900s and the church was dedicated as a Byzantine-Ottoman museum.
Stop for a carpet demonstration, and there will be time at the Grand Bazaar for shopping. Leather, silver, candy, clothing and carpets can be purchased here.
On the modern side of the city, discover Taksim Square and Istiklal Street. Walk down Istiklal Street through the Pera (Beyoglu) District of Istanbul. Istiklal Street is a pedestrian street, formerly known as the Grand Rue de Pera, and today is the heart of the city's cultural life with numerous cafés, restaurants, shops and cinemas.
Just down the street is the Cicek Pasaji (Flower Market) and the famous fish market. Pass by the Italian Gothic Church of St Anthony and the Hotel Pera Palace (used as a residence by the passengers of the Orient Express).
Hop on the historic tram and return to Taksim Square to enjoy a spectacular lunch at one of the most popular restaurants in Beyoglu.
At the end of the tour, you will return to the ship.
Your group must consist of a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 10 persons. Expect dense traffic conditions in Istanbul. Modest attire is required; knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered and women must cover their head with a scarf, which will be provided by the Blue Mosque. Shoe bags area also provided. All tours in the Old Town require considerable walking, as it is closed to traffic. The covered section of the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays and during Ramadan; shopping will take place in stores just outside the Grand Bazaar.