Half day tour to the Old City of Istanbul, the heart of Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Great chance to see Istanbul’s top tourist attractions and get acquainted with the city’s historical and cultural heritage.
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Entrance fees
- Professional guide
- Food and drinks
- Personal expenses (souvenirs, gratuities, etc.)
- Hagia Sophia on Monday replaced with Underground (Basilica) Cistern
- Blue Mosque – visited from outside on Friday mornings until 13:00
- Grand Covered Bazaar on Sunday replaced with authentic shops
Start your day with a pick-up at the hotel and transfer to the district of Sultanahmet, the oldest part of Istanbul. Enjoy guided walking tour around the Old City so rich in historical treasures. Visit one of the most impressive building in the world - the Hagia Sofia also known as the Church of the Divine Wisdom. It was built in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian. Hagia Sofia is a former Byzantine church and former Ottoman mosque. Now it is a museum opened to visitors every day except Monday. You will be definitely impressed with the rich interior of the Hagia Sofia. Be sure to see its splendid Byzantine mosaics.
Next place to discover is the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, which faces the Hagia Sofia. It is popularly known as the Blue Mosque due to the numerous blue tiles adorning its interior. This Mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 years, during the rule of Ahmed I. His tomb is located on the north side of the site. Admire the wonderful exterior of the Blue Mosque featuring a cascade of domes and six minarets. The Sultan Ahmet Mosque is one of the city's top tourist attractions and is also an active mosque at the same time.
Opposite the Blue Mosque there is a Hippodrome square surrounded by the beautiful Sultanahmet park. Hippodrome was the center of sporting events (chariot races, horse races) and political activities, gathering people for the long centuries during the Byzantine and Ottoman eras. Hippodrome was decorated with the several statues and obelisks, some of them remain in place today (Serpentine Column, Obelisk of Theodosius, Walled Obelisk, etc.).
After exploring the city's most popular sights go to the Grand Covered Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı). It is one of the oldest covered markets in the world and also one of the largest ones. It has over 4000 shops selling jewellery, carpets, leather goods, antiques, spices, Turkish delight and souvenirs. So do not miss out the chance to improve your bargaining skills while exploring the Grand Bazaar. Your half-day tour through the Old town of Istanbul finishes with the hotel drop off.