Highlights of Istanbul: Delve into the heart of the Old City of Istanbul on this exciting tour of some of the most beautiful landmarks and sites in the area. Istanbul always causes a striking impression and then leaves a dear lasting memory for its unparalleled mix of Western and Middle Eastern culture, being the city that bridges the European and the Asian continents.
Begin by being driven to the nucleus of the Old City: Sultanahmet Square. You are then taken to explore the thrilling Hippodrome, which used to host chariot races in the days of the Byzantine Empire. Then head over to the sprawling and awe-inspiring construction of the Blue Mosque, one of the most impressive sights in the city. After the Blue Mosque, head over to another colossal god-fearing construction: the Hagia Sophia, one of the finest examples of Ottoman architecture.
Continuing to the Topkapi Palace, one of the single most popular attractions in the whole of Istanbul. It stands on Seraglio Point, also known as Sultanahmet. This 15th century palace was the residence of many of the wealthiest sultans and their respective harems. Later on, visit the tombs of these very sultans in one of the most beautiful examples of 16th century Ottoman architecture; its red, green, purple and blue flower motives will fill you with awe. Round the day off with a visit to one of the largest covered markets in the world, the Grand Bazaar and its more than 4,000 shops; a true Istanbul experience.
Meeting/pick-up point: At the hotel.
Duration: 9 hours.
Start/opening time: Between 8am and 8:30am.
End/closing time: Between 5pm and 5:30pm
Others: Grand Bazar is closed on Sundays; Topkapi palace Museum closed on Tuesdays; visit replaced with Basilica Cistern.