- Half-day sightseeing tour of Istanbul's Imperial past
- Learn how Istanbul served as the capital of an astounding four empires over thousands of years
- Visit Hagia Sophia, a magnificent museum offering insight into Istanbul's complex past
- See the inner workings of the Great Palace of Constantinople in the underground Basilica Cistern or Nakkas Cistern
- Shop for authentic Turkish mementos at the massive Grand Bazaar
Departure & Return
Departure PointTraveler pickup is offered
What To Expect
Arrive at Hagia Sophia, constructed in the 6th century as a Greek Orthodox church when Istanbul was known as Constantinople. Built by the Roman Emperor Justinian, learn how this basilica reigned as the largest in the Christian world before the Ottoman empire captured and converted it into an imperial mosque. A museum since the early 20th century, walk through its impressive dome structure and observe beautiful Byzantine mosaics. Listen as your guide explains the intricate history of the second-most visited museum in Turkey.
Nearby, cruise underground to the Basilica Cistern which was used as a water filtration system by the Byzantine Empire in the 6th century. Marvel at the immense size of the largest of hundreds of old cisterns in Istanbul. Gain insight into the importance of this cistern as your guide explains how it served the Great Palace of Constantinople.
Return to the surface and make your way to the oldest and largest canopied markets in the world - the Grand Bazaar. Since the 15th century, when the Ottomans began their reign, this market has been a cultural and trade center for jewelry, pottery, spices, quality leather goods, and fine carpets. As you explore some of the 61 streets and 3,000 plus shops, stop to ogle local treasures and if you want haggle for a souvenir.
Once you leave the bustling market, follow your guide to your minivan and finish your tour with a transfer back to your hotel.
Please note: On Mondays, the Hagia Sophia is closed and will be swapped with Chora Museum, you may visit the Nakkas Cistern or Basilica Cistern, and the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays, so extra time will be allocated to the other two landmarks.
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Not recommended for children aged 4 and under
- Children 18 years and under must be accompanied by an adult
- In the event of any museum closures, an alternative similar museum will be visited
- Hagia Sophia will be closed on Mondays, should you travel on this day, you'll visit the Chora Museum instead
- The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays and on religious holidays (September 1-4, 2017) should you travel on these days, you'll spend additional time at Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern
- Not wheelchair accessible
- Infants must sit on laps
- Not recommended for pregnant travelers
- Most travelers can participate
- This tour/activity will have a maximum of 14 travelers
- OPERATED BY Neon Tours
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
- This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.
Learn more about cancellations.
- Face masks required for travelers in public areas
- Face masks required for guides in public areas
- Face masks provided for travelers
- Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
- Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
- Gear/equipment sanitized between use
- Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
- Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Imperial Istanbul Half-Day Tour: Hagia Sophia, Basillica Cistern and Grand Bazaar.
- "Found this very annoying and not to viator standards, dont mind even 10 mins of trader promotion but to spend half hour or more was very annnoying, and we needed a proper refreshment stop." See review