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Istanbul Classics & Highlights Full Day Tour

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Fatih, Turkey
Istanbul Classics & Highlights Full Day Tour

Select Date and Travelers

Number of travelers
1 Adult2 Adults3 Adults4 Adults5 Adults6 Adults0 Children1 Child2 Children3 Children4 Children5 Children6 Children0 Infants1 Infant2 Infants3 Infants4 Infants5 Infants6 Infants
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon7 hours 30 minutes to 8 hours 20 minutes  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Overview

Head back in time and discover the old world of the Sultanahmet area during this full-day small-group guided walking tour in Istanbul. This tour explores the amazing UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hagia Sophia Museum and the Blue Mosque which exemplify why Istanbul is the city where east meets west. Enjoy a walk through the famous Topkapi Palace where Sultan's roamed and harems flourished. Plus, spend time observing the Hagia Irene’s Byzantine architecture and stroll through the Grand Bazaar to witness handicrafts created by local artists.
  • Explore Hagia Sophia and admire its Ottoman and Byzantine architecture
  • Stroll around the Blue Mosque and learn about Sultan Ahmet I with his extravagant tastes
  • Visit Topkapi Palace Museum and see the ornate treasury in the third courtyard
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 15 people ensures a more intimate experience
Saved to wishlist!
Lunch
Local guide
Hotel pickup and drop-off
All Fees and Taxes
Entrance fee of Topkapı Palace and Hagia Irene
Drinks
Personal expenses

Departure Point

Sultan Ahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı No:1, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey

Departure Time

9:00 AM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Enjoy a pickup by minibus at your central Istanbul hotel and cruise to central Istanbul to meet your guide for your small-group guided walking tour. Begin with a walk to the stunning Hagia Sophia. Learn how this monument began as the world’s largest church, converted to a mosque, and in the early 20th century became a museum, its present form. Marvel at the incredible architecture that supports the Hagia Sophia’s immense dome and learn about its Byzantine and Ottoman influences.

Next, head across Sultanahmet Square to admire the German Fountain, a 19th century tribute from General Emperor Wilhelm. Onward to the location of political and sporting life, the Hippodrome. Learn about the chariot races and riots that once took place here during the Ottoman Empire’s reign.

Walk to the nearby Blue Mosque and admire the six towering minarets that add to Istanbul’s fantastic skyline. Then step inside the mosque and listen to stories of Sultan Ahmet I, who at a mere 19 year’s old delegated the construction of the mosque. Alongside your guide, stare up at the detailed blue Iznik tiles that cover the ceiling.

Afterward, break for a tasty Turkish lunch and enjoy meze style plates. Then, traverse Sultanahmet’s beautiful landscape on foot to Topkapi Palace Museum. Not only is this one of the world’s oldest and biggest palaces, but it’s also Turkey’s most popular museum. Step inside and move through its four courtyards to observe historical artifacts and antiquities. Hear lore of the sultans who resided here from the 15th and 19th centuries and observe the elegant Fountain of Sultan Ahmet III.

Following your 2-hour tour of Topkapi Palace continue on to the once Eastern Orthodox church - Hagia Irene. Ogle its beautiful architecture as you gain insight about Istanbul’s oldest Christian place of devotion. Finally, visit the largest covered market in Turkey and one of the largest in the world, the Grand Bazaar. As you roam with your guide and pass bustling shops and stalls, witness local artists create traditional crafts. Then return to central Istanbul where your tour ends.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Hagia Sophia Mosque
Hagia Sophia is the former Greek Orthodox patriarchal cathedral, an imperial mosque during Ottoman Period, a museum since 1935 until 2020, and recently has been turned back into a mosque. Built in 537 AD at the beginning of the Middle Ages, it was famous in particular for its massive dome. It was the world's largest building and an engineering marvel of its time. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture”.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
German Fountain
The gift of Kaiser Wilhelm II to the Sultan. You will listen the stories of this liaison with the orient.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Hippodrome
Hippodrome of Constantinople, the center of Byzantine civic life, from political and theological controversies to chariot races and riots. The word hippodrome comes from the Greek hippos, horse, and dromos, path or way. For this reason, it is sometimes also called Atmeydanı ("Horse Square") in Turkish.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque is a historical mosque located in historical peninsula of Istanbul. It was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. The complex contains Ahmed's tomb, a madrasah and a hospice. Hand-painted blue tiles adorn the mosque’s interior walls, and at night the mosque is bathed in blue as lights frame the mosque’s five main domes, six minarets and eight secondary domes. It sits next to the Hagia Sophia, another popular masterpiece of the city.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Deraliye
You will have lunch in Deraliye Ottoman Cuisine Restaurant
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Kapali Carsi
As one the world’s largest covered markets, the Grand Bazaar is home to thousands of shops and stalls spread over nearly 60 blocks. Find the best places to shop in this mystical maze as your local guide introduces to you its best traders and helps you to bag a few bargains!
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Hagia Irene Museum
Hagia Irene located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace is the oldest church of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Topkapi Palace
The Topkapı Palace or the Seraglio, is a large museum in Istanbul, Turkey. In the 15th century, it served as the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans. Construction began in 1459, ordered by Mehmed the Conqueror, six years after the conquest of Constantinople. Topkapı was originally called the "New Palace" to distinguish it from the Old Palace in Beyazıt Square. It was given the name Topkapı, meaning Cannon Gate, in the 19th century. The complex was expanded over the centuries, with major renovations after the 1509 earthquake and the 1665 fire. The palace complex consists of four main courtyards and many smaller buildings. Female members of the Sultan's family lived in the harem, and leading state officials, including the Grand vizier, held meetings in the Imperial Council building. After the 17th century, Topkapı gradually lost its importance.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Sogukcesme Sokak
The street between Hagia Sophia and Topkapı Palace, full of historical houses
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Grand Bazaar is closed on Sunday.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 6 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Istanbul Walks
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • 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.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Istanbul Classics & Highlights Full Day Tour?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Istanbul Classics & Highlights Full Day Tour.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Istanbul Classics & Highlights Full Day Tour?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Istanbul Classics & Highlights Full Day Tour.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Istanbul Classics & Highlights Full Day Tour?
A:The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Istanbul Classics & Highlights Full Day Tour.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Istanbul Classics & Highlights Full Day Tour?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Istanbul Classics & Highlights Full Day Tour.

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Reviews

4.0
star-4
44 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 44 reviews
star-5
Definitely Worth It!
lartelesforo
, Feb 2020
John (Can) the tour guide made the whole experience worthwhile. He was funny and very knowledgeable about Istanbul's history.
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
We glad to see you happy during your tour and thank you for your positive comments, we hope to see you again in İstanbul. Sincerely,
star-5
ISTANBUL WALKING TOUR
audiocodes19
, Jan 2020
It was an excellent trip, Guide Mr Littfik was very knowledgeable person, friendly and down to earth person, we all enjoyed the trip, he has taken us local restaurant for lunch it was amazing. we recommend this Istanbul walking tour which covers most of the main attractions.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Thank you for you excellent comments and compliments to our guide Ludvig. We hope to see you again in İstanbul. Sincerely, Bilal Uğur
star-5
ISTANBUL WALKING TOUR
audiocodes19
, Jan 2020
It was an excellent tour, guide was super ,very knowledgeable person, we recommend this tour which covers most of the main attractions
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Thank you for your good comments and compliments for our guide. We glad to see you happy with your tour. We hope to see you again in Istanbul. Sincerely, Bilal Uğur
star-5
Easy way to see highlights
mariagZ1086JM
, Aug 2019
The Istanbul Small-Group Walking Tour is an easy way to see the highlights Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar. Becareful, the palace is closed on Tuesday and when I found out, they changed the tour date for me. We stayed at the palace after the tour so we could see the harmen that's extra. The lunch was delicious.
icon Response from Host , Nov 2019
Thank you for your good comments, we glad to see you happy with tour. We hope to see you again in Istanbul. Sincerely
star-4
Our guide, Ahmet, was incredibly...
Duane M
, Sep 2017
Our guide, Ahmet, was incredibly well-informed on the highlights of the old city. I would definitely recommend this tour, early-on, during a trip to Istanbul. I only wished I had more time to spend there.
star-4
Walking tour of most of the major...
David A
, May 2017
Walking tour of most of the major attractions in the old city. The guide was very good knowledgeable, interesting and able to communicate. However, the attractions are really not that attractive resulting in a blah feeling. Caution - the walk is very long approx 5 miles mostly over uneven cobblestones.
star-5
All you need to see on a short...
G J R M
, Jul 2016
All you need to see on a short visit, Our guide Hami, was pleasant and well-informed about the history of the city. She pointed out little details of the places and monuments that we would otherwise have missed. Pleasant lunch with her company with stories of everyday life in Istanbul. A bit pressed for time as there was so much to take in on a first visit to a very old city.
star-4
It was good. I learned some new...
Weatherford T
, Aug 2015
It was good. I learned some new things about history and Turkey. It was a little heavy on quantity of people. The guide is good, Muhammar I think his name was. The tour company could be better on first impressions logistics, introductions, coordinating and synchronising meeting points. I did two tours with this company. They are pretty good, but could use improvement on the aforementioned... Furthermore, I wish Viator would list reviews in a fully chronological manner. Unless there's been a change, I know my four star review will be buried under every single five star review that was written at an earlier date.
star-4
Make sure your guide makes you visit...
Titus T
, Jul 2015
Make sure your guide makes you visit the Blue Mosc, they usually do avoid the long lines.
star-5
Oh what a day it was. Our guide...
Taranveer S
, Jun 2015
Oh what a day it was. Our guide Muharrem was an immensely charming fellow. Always smiling and ever ready to answer any question. The tour covered a lot of ground and included a yummy local lunch and a visit to a Turkish Carpet factory. You get hardly half an hour at the Grand Bazaar though, so treat this tour as a refresher introductory visit to Grand Bazaar and plan a later trip by yourself if you want to shop. Over all, I had a great experience thanks to Muharrem and the well planned itinerary. p.s. - wear the best and the most comfortable walking shoes you can find.

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