Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 8 Hours
After a short panoramic drive through the Old Town of Istanbul you will arrive at the ancient Hippodrome, once the largest chariot racetrack of the Roman Byzantine Empire.
It is a short walk to the Blue Mosque. This incredible monument to Islam was completed in 1616 and is a triumph of harmony, proportion and elegance. The blue Iznik tiles covering the walls give the mosque its name.
Nearby is the Topkapi Palace, the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans. The palace consists of courts, pavilions, mosques, fountains and a rich Treasury section. The Harem was the home of the sultan and is an exceptional insight into how the rulers lived. Enjoy some free time here to browse on your own.
Stop for a relaxing break and lunch at one of the comfortable modern restaurants in the Old Town area before continuing on your tour.
Step inside the famous St Sophia Church, built during Emperor Justinian’s reign in AD 537. St Sophia’s dome was then the largest in the world and it remained the greatest church in Christendom for centuries. After several conquests and pillages, the building was converted into a mosque, but fell into disrepair as the centuries passed. Its magnificent mosaics were uncovered in the 1900s and the church was later dedicated as a Byzantine-Ottoman museum.
At the end of your tour, you will return to the port, stopping en route for a carpet demonstration at and the Grand Bazaar for some shopping.
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 Blue Mosque. Shoes must be removed to enter mosque(s). Shoe bags will be provided for mosque visits. Expect dense traffic conditions in Istanbul. Use of an audio headset (included) will enhance your tour experience. This tour is not recommended for guests using wheelchairs or walkers, as the Blue Mosque as well as other sites visited during this tour are not wheelchair friendly. 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 the Spice Bazaar.