Istanbul Highlights, 8 hrs:
Walking tour in Sultanahmet:
Istanbul Highlights itinerary is a strong and efficient immersion into Sultanahmet by visiting Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace in a single day.
With three prestigious hillside monuments and much more, Sultanahmet in Istanbul is an awe-inspiring hotspot for visitors.
In a single day our Istanbul Highlights tour covers the Hill of Dreams quickly: Blue Mosque + Hagia Sophia + Topkapi Palace + Grand Bazaar. These are Istanbul’s most important sites.
Note: Istanbul Highlights tour doesn’t include the Harem in Topkapı and Gallery in the Hagia Sophia. If you’d like to have more time in these two sites, consider booking our “Grand Tour of Istanbul”
Blue Mosque- (Closed Friday mornings until end of noon prayer, expect long lines at high season)
The world famous Blue Mosque is one of Istanbul’s premier sights. Sultan Ahmet’s imperial mosque is still a working mosque with fascinating tile work- 21,043 of them to be precise – in every shade of blue. Blue Mosque in Istanbul is an essential part of Istanbul Highlights tour that lets us cover mosque architecture and basics of Islam in a very relevant setting.
Topkapı Palace – Witness the glory of the Ottomans. Topkapı Palace is a place of opulence, complexity and mystery that inspires awe and is a must to see in our Highlights of Istanbul tour.
Topkapı Palace was the home and seat of the government of the Ottomans for nearly 400 years. It’s the heart of the great Ottoman Empire, ruled by the monarch who lived in Topkapı’s hundreds of rooms with a huge family and servants.
We do include the outer terraced gardens, (again, no other tour does this part) where flowerbeds blaze with tulips of many colors and we climb the high terrace to admire the view over the Golden Horn.
Istanbul Highlights tour doesn’t include the Harem. If you’d like to see the Harem consider booking Grand Tour of Istanbul or Topkapı Palace/Harem Tour.
Hagia Sophia: Hagia Sophia alone justifies a visit to Istanbul.The church of the Divine Wisdom is eternally impressive and important with its extraordinary dimensions and daunting beauty.
Its dome was a daring engineering feat in the 6th century and engineers still marvel at the building’s many innovations. It remains the most popular museum in the city. All of our guides love Hagia Sophia personally so you can expect to have an in depth explanations of the monument as part of our Istanbul Highlights tour.
Grand Bazaar – Mehmet II built Grand Bazaar in Istanbul in 1463 after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople.
Grand Bazaar is a classical example of Ottoman civil architecture in Istanbul and deserves a visit not only for the shopping experience but also to see the way it was built. It’s a covered box.
This ultimate medieval shopping center is a monstrous hives of little shops all under one roof and cut up into labyrinthal alleys, which are, arched overhead.
Grand Bazaar is Turkey’s largest and oldest covered market offering excellent shopping opportunities:
Iznik Tiles of glass crystal and quartz; traditional woven items in organic cotton, linen and silk; kaftans of many colors, endless jewels, pashmina throws, leather jackets, inlaid backgammon sets, magic carpets, golden bangles, copper plates, good books and good conversations with Turkish tea in small glasses.
Grand Bazaar is a great way to end any tour in Istanbul. We include shops that we like but also give you enough information so that you can choose to stay on your own for a longer time period or come back when you have more time.
You can choose to join our Istanbul Highlights tour as a shared tour ( there will be a maximum of 8 people so the experience is always intimate) or book a private tour and have one of the most fascinating touring experiences of your travel life!