Sometimes named as ” Byzantian and Ottoman Relics Tours” or “Classical Istanbul City Tour”, this tour will show you Sultanahmet area. This area has a lot of important historical remains, very close to each other and it caries the sprit of Ottoman Empire and the Empires before.
You should check pick up time with us and be ready on time since it is important to keep up with the schedule. Istanbul is a busy city and guides arrange timing to give you the best experience. Always carry your water and small snacks with you.
The guide can and probably will change the schedule according to the conditions but you will visit Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum, Grand Bazaar and Topkapi Palace.
Topkapı Palace is closed on Tuesdays so this tour doesn’t run on Tuesdays. If you are on a private tour, you can replace it with Bosphorus cruise and visit Topkapi Palace on another day.
Blue Mosque is closed for Friday Prayers and Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays.
I will not give you the historical details here since I am not a tour guide, I am a travel agent. I am trying to explain you what to expect from this tour. So expect a lot of walking. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, especially in summer time. If you have small kids, disabled or elderly people, you should consider another tour or a private tour. Do not forget to bring the stroller if you have a toddler.
Some guides do Topkapi Palace visit in the morning and visit the rest of the area after lunch. Some guides visit everything else in the morning and leave Topkapi Palace in the afternoon.
During the pandemics, conditions for lunch is changing constantly. Sometimes restaurants are open but mostly they are closed. We will make arrangements last minute but do not worry, there are still a lot of options for lunch even for take away. Also vegetarian options are plenty.
Hippodrome is an open area. So bring your umbrella, wear your sunscreen, be ready for some outdoor walking. You will visit Serpentine Column, Egyptian Obelisk and German Fountain.
For Blue Mosque, you will be provided robes or scarf even if you don’t have one. But I recommend you to carry your own scarf and wear moderate clothes out of respect of the belief of people. The blue tiles, unbelievable architechture and high ceilings will make you feel so small in this universe and remind you about true faith which is not connected to the religions.
Hagia Sophia is a magical place. Do not miss anything in this unique historical museum. You will see the signs of many beliefs and many civilizations. If you are an Umberto Eco fan like me, do not miss the second floor. You will feel like you are in one of his novels.
Grand Bazaar is a beating hearth. One of the oldest bazaars of the world. You should discover it by yourself. I’ve always wanted one of the exotic lamps but never bought one. They are so beautiful. You can find clothes, jewelry, carpets, spices, sweets, other traditional foods and may different souvenirs in this mysterious alleys. Dragon alley of Istanbul 🙂
Topkapi Palace gives you a taste of another world where sultans, kings and queens rule. Harem section is not included to the tour but you will visit Treasury, sacred relics and Sultan pavillons. If you are on a private tour, you can request a visit to Harem too. It is so much history. Relics are so impressive and palace itself is enormous.
Some tours visit Basilica Cistern, some of them visit Sultans Tomb if they still have time. They will inform you on your schedule.
So be ready a whole day of walking and exploring.