Full Day Special Istanbul Old City Tour
Full Day (8:20am–17:00pm)
Departure : Everyday except Tuesdays
Highlights : Blue Mosque - Hippodrome - St.Sophia Museum - Grand Bazaar - Egyptian Obelisk - Topkapi Palace
We begin our tour of the Sultanahmet district, the heart of old Istanbul, at Hagia Sophia* . Built by the Emperor Justinian in the early 6th century AD and designed by Anthemius of Tralles and Isodore of Miletus, the church is one of the marvels of world architecture. Converted into a mosque in 1453, it is now a museum. Its massive dome still dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. It is also famed for its mosaics, including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses and a poignant Virgin and Child. Next,we visit the Blue Mosque** which takes its name from the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. Built by Sultan Ahmet I in the early 17th century and designed by a pupil of Sinan, the greatest of Ottoman architects, it is the only imperial mosque with six minarets. Its courtyard is especially grand. The Hippodrome, the stadium of ancient Byzantium, held 100,000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire. Of these, an Egyptian obelisk and a bronze sculpture of three entwined serpents from Delphi survive. The Grand Bazaar was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4,000 shops are full of treasures including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons, and leather goods. Wandering through the Grand Bazaar, indulge in some shopping, Ottoman style.
We begin at Topkapı Palace***, from the 15th to the 19th century, was the principal residence of the Ottoman Sultans. We visit the fabulous Imperial Treasury and the Baghdad Kiosk. Topkapı Palace is now a museum and has unrivalled collections of jewelry, including the Spoonmaker’s Diamond, the 3rd largest in the world. It also possesses numerous Ottoman court costumes and ceramics, notably including one of the world’s finest collections of Chinese celadon ceramics, many gifts from other rulers. Interestingly, some of the ceramics have a special glaze that was said to change color in the presence of poison. We also visit the Imperial Armory, displaying centuries of Ottoman weaponry. But perhaps the loveliest feature of Topkapı Palace are its courtyards’ ancient trees; it is easy to imagine the sultan strolling here far from the cares of state and empire. Our final stop, the New Mosque, or Yeni Cami, is new only in the extended timeframe of Turkish history. The New Mosque overlooks the harbor next to the Galata Bridge on the Golden Horn. The beautiful exterior consists of a great courtyard, two slender minarets, and a cascade of domes tumbling down from a central dome. Hundreds of pigeons make their nests among the architecture.
*St. Sophia closed on Monday, replaced with Underground Cistern.
**Blue Mosque visit is not possible on Friday due to limited access of the Friday Prayer.
***Topkapi Palace closed & this tour is not operated on Tuesday.
Note: Pick-up from hotel is only available if your hotel is located in the city center (taksim, sultanahmet, beyazit, laleli, aksaray, besiktas, ortakoy)
Out of above mentioned locations need to meet at City center ( Meeting point ) – Charged transfer provided.
• Hotel Pick-up & drop-off
• Entrance fees as per itinerary
• Lunch (Excluding beverages)
• Guide and Air-conditioned Vehicle
• All local taxes
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