Full Day Byzantine and Ottoman Marvels with Lunch

Full Day Byzantine and Ottoman Marvels with Lunch Tour (Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome, Blue Mosque)
Excursion Highlights:
  • See the highlights of Istanbul in just one day, including the world-renowned Hagia Sophia and impressive Blue Mosque
  • See the Hippodrome, Constantinople's ancient entertainment center
  • Marvel at the Ottoman mosque and Byzantine church hybrid, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque
  • Explore the Topkapi Palace, former home to great Ottoman Sultans, now full of historical artifacts
  • Immerse yourself in Turkish culture at the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest markets in the world
Price: $118.00
Choose Options My Cruise Itinerary
Shore Excursion Size ? Standard
Shore Excursion Type Scenic, Cultural
Shore Excursion Duration 8 Hours 30 Minutes
Activity Level ? Moderate
Shore Excursion Leaves From ? Cruise Ship Pier
Food/Beverage Provided Lunch
Recommended Dress Shoulders and knees should be covered during visits to religious sites. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Restrictions This tour is not handicap accessible.

Full Day Byzantine and Ottoman Marvels with Lunch

If you want to experience the marvels of Istanbul, this full-day sightseeing tour is the perfect option. Tour one of the most famous architectural creations in history, Hagia Sophia, and see the Hippodrome and Blue Mosque. This Istanbul tour will take you to all the highlights of the city in just one day.

The Hagia Sophia was originally an Orthodox patriarchal basilica before it was converted to a mosque. Famous specifically for its huge dome, it is often regarded as the essence of Byzantine architecture. As the largest cathedral in the world for over a thousand years, Hagia Sophia is an element of history that you will be amazed to see. Next, you will visit the Hippodrome of Constantinople, which is a famous square in the city of Istanbul. During the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great around AD 324, the Hippodrome functioned as a circus and entertainment center for the empire. Today the area is officially called Sultan Ahmet Square and is an exciting and historical stop on the tour.

The Blue Mosque, otherwise known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is the next stop on this Istanbul sightseeing tour. The culmination of two centuries' worth of both Ottoman mosque and Byzantine church development makes this mosque overwhelming due to its size, brilliance, and majesty. Built in 1616, this mosque consists of awe-inspiring facades and interior architecture, which amazes visitors due to its size and beauty. The Topkapi Palace once housed the great Ottoman Sultans of history and now functions as a museum. At the Topkapi Palace, you will see imperial treasury as well as weapons, Chinese porcelain, calligraphy many more noteworthy artifacts. Travel back in time at this historical landmark to learn about the success and glory of the Ottoman Empire.

The Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest and largest markets in the world and contains over 4,000 shops within an area that consists of 61 streets. Inside the walled city of Istanbul, shop and enjoy the Turkish culture that this market has to offer. This full-day Istanbul tour is the best way to explore the marvels of Istanbul, paired with the convenience of a professional guide.

Please note: The Blue Mosque is closed from 30 minutes before until 30 minutes after prayer time, and 2 hours during Friday noon prayer. The covered area of the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays and will be substituted with a visit to the Spice Market. Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays and will be substituted with a visit to Dolmabahce Palace.

5 Stars4.8 / 5  |  13 ReviewsReview This Tour
many thanks
October 29, 2023
Really good day, Efe was there to meet us as we got off the ship, despite us being ahead of time. We got on really well with him, excellent command of English and well travelled himself. Because it was just the three of us, everything was paced as we desired. Saw the sights, had a good lunch and overall a great introduction to Istanbul. Thanks Colin & Jan
Reviewer: colin and janet
5 Stars
October 21, 2023
Our guide was great explaining both sultans palace and mosques. Lunch was excellent also. Only issue was 3 folks at end of trip decided to move from group and we had to find them🥴
Reviewer: Terri Cagala
5 Stars
Definitely do this Tour
July 09, 2023
This tour was incredible and allowed us to see the major attractions (Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace. The mosques were incredibly beautiful, and I am so glad we picked a tour that allowed us to see so much. Our tour guide, (I do not know how to spell his name, but he told us to call him "See none," was incredible. Our tour felt semi private as there was only one other family with us. He was extremely informative but also made the tour fun and interesting for our sons. This was our first time in Turkey, and one of the few times we have travelled abroad, so I was initially a little nervous. However, I felt completely safe and welcomed the entire time. Also, initially I was concerned about our tour running late and possible missing our boat, but our guide made sure that were back in plenty of time. Unfortunately we were unable to see both the Grand Bazaar or the Spice Market as we were in Istanbul on a religious holiday.
Reviewer: Deanna Ratz
5 Stars
Great Overview of Key Highlights of Istanbul
April 23, 2023
Our guide was great and tailored all that we saw to our interests. He was knowledgeable and understood the context of all the sights. He was also adept in orchestrating our tour to optimize time.
Reviewer: Doug Heisick
5 Stars
Great day out
July 01, 2022
There was some confusion in the start time and the rep at the cruise port advised us to go for coffee and come back. She then sorted the problem and our guide came to the coffee shop and found us. The day was planned well, but went by so fast. One Palace was closed and the blue Mosque was under construction , but that just means we can see them next time! The coach was comfortable the group was small ( about 12) and the guide was excellent. . Lunch was provided and this was one of our best meals of the trip. Restaurant was lovely. Istanbul felt safe and we did not get hassled. The tour moved along quickly , but we did get free time to take photos at each stop. I would recommend this trip and will return to Istanbul and use shore excursions again.
Reviewer: Janis Halliwell
5 Stars
Great tour
July 01, 2022
This tour was great. We saw all the main highlights including going to the spice market which wasn't in the description. Very knowledgable guide and great restaurant for lunch.
Reviewer: Elizabeth Palatine
5 Stars