Take a full day tour of Istanbul. This fascinating city will capture you immediately. This full day tour is a combination of our "Istanbul Classics - Half Day Morning Tour" and "Istanbul Ottoman Relics - Half Day Afternoon Tour".
The tour starts at the "Sultan Ahmet Center", the heart of the "Old City" from where the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires were ruled.
The tour will then stroll over to the Hagia Sophia, the Church of the Divine Wisdom, one of the greatest marvels of architecture, constructed as a basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian. Right in front of the church you'll get the chance to see also the Blue Mosque, famous for its blue İznik tiles and unique with 6 minarets, built in the name of Sultan Ahmet.
Afterwards the tour continues at the Hippodrome, center of sportive events (chariot races, athletics) and political activities of the old city. Take a look at the beautiful monuments decorating the Hippodrome; such as the Serpentine Column, Obelisk of Theodosius and German Fountain of Wilhelm II.
Before you make a pause and have a lunch at a turkish restaurant, you'll also visit the Grand Covered Bazaar, where the most attractive shopping center and the biggest "souk" in the world can be fournd. There's something interesting and nice also for your taste as you can enjoy nearly 4000 shops selling antiques, jewellery, gold, carpets, leatherware and souvenirs (Art demonstration of handmade Turkish carpets upon request).
After lunch you'll enjoy the second part of the tour starting with a visit of the Topkapı Palace, residence of Ottoman Sultans exhibiting imperial treasury, sacred Islamic relics of Prophet Mohammed, kitchen, Chinese porcelain, weapons, calligraphy section etc. Please note that live guide commentary is not allowed in special sections. (Harem is not included in the program).
Topkapı grew and changed with the centuries, but the palace's basic four-courtyard plan remained the same. The Ottomans followed the Byzantine practice of secluding the monarch from the people: the first courtwas open to all; the second only to people on imperial business; and the third and fourth only to the imperial family, VIPs and palace staff. Discover more about the palace's history while you expert guide follows you through.
The second part of the tour includes the visit of the Sultan Tombs. There are five tombs of Ottoman Sultans within the graveyard at Hagia Sophia. The ceramic panels are the most beautiful examples of the 16th century with purple, red, green and blue flower motives. Prince robes and a small piece from the Kaaba covers are displayed on the sarcophaguses.
This tour ends approximately at 5 pm.