Full Day Byzantine and Ottoman Marvels with Lunch

Full Day Byzantine and Ottoman Marvels with Lunch Tour (Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome, Blue Mosque)
Price: $118.00
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Summary
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 inside of the Blue Mosque is under restoration for the rest of 2022. However, you are still able to visit the courtyard. 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  |  9 ReviewsReview This Tour
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
Istanbul is a beauty
June 29, 2022
Istanbul is such a nice area for the mosques and palace as well as the grand bazaar. We would have loved to be inside the blue mosque but Hagia Sophia is a wonder. Same as the palace. Grand bazaar is also a wonder but we could have skipped the leather showing since we are not interested in buying fake Burberry and Gucci leather jackets. Jan is a wonderful guide and the lunch was superb.
Reviewer: Renato
5 Stars
Wonderful Day!
January 08, 2022
Our tour guide was Selcuk Ersan. He was very professional and happy to answer any question that we had. We were picked up right outside the cruise port. Our driver was very safe and courteous. We drove around Istanbul in a passenger van. We were able to get many places that a large bus could not get to. There were four of us on this tour and we were all impressed with his tour. Request Selcuk by name if you can. We had lunch at a lovely restaurant overlooking the Straight of Bosporus.
Reviewer: Christine Hall
5 Stars
Plus Turkish Dinner and Show
January 31, 2017
Salcuk arrived at our Hotel and it was one of the best excursions ever. I don’t know if it was by coincidence but he was also our guide for our second excursion that night. The first tour was very educational with plenty of time on our own. The second was a great meal and wonderful entertainment. Salcuk answered all our questions, nothing was off limits. True to their words, they do not cancel tours based on attendance. My wife and I were the only ones on the tour. My wife's wallet slipped from her coat in the van. We didn't discover it until we were at the crowded bazaar. Shamefully, our minds immediately thought she was pick pocketed but Salcuk assured us they do not have pick pockets. As we started tracing our steps, Salcuk called the van driver who searched the van and found it on the floor. Needless to say we were very relieved and grateful as this was our first full day on an over a month long vacation and there was a large amount of cash. Definitely recommend!
Reviewer: Jim Tyrpin
5 Stars
See architectural marvels within walking distance
February 29, 2016
Although the historical cultural landmarks were right next to each other, did extensive walking on each one. The excursion was scheduled on a holiday where the Grand Bazaar was closed -- wife was disappointed about not getting the shopping experience, hubby was glad that travel weary feet could rest.
Reviewer: MediterraneanCruiser
4 Stars