OTTOMAN SPLENDOURS AND IMPERIAL TOUR

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Duration

8 hours

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

36 people

Languages

Arabic, English, Turkish

About this tour

Discover the famous sights in Istanbul on this full-day tour of the city. Admire the architecture at Hagia Sophia, explore Topkapı Palace, marvel at the design of the Blue Mosque, visit the ancient hippodrome, and explore the shops at the Grand Bazaar.

Departure at 8am. 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.

Our tour is continued at Topkapı Palace, which, from the 15th to the 19th century, was the principal residence of the Ottoman Sultans. We will 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 of which were 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 with their ancient trees; it is easy to imagine the sultan strolling here far from the cares of state and empire.

Dating back to 4th century, the Hagia Irene (Aya Irini in Turkish), formerly church, now a museum and a center cultural activities and exhibitions, is situated inside the 1st court of the Topkapi Palace. Hagia Irene also called as “St. Eirene” or “St.Irene’s” Church. It is one of the oldest Byzantium churches in Istanbul, was the 2nd largest church of the Eastern Roman Empire after Hagia Sophia.

Last but by no means least, we visit the Grand Covered Bazaar, most attractive shopping center and the biggest “souk” in the world with nearly 4000 shops selling antiques, jewellery, gold, carpets, leatherware and souvenir.

The Grand Bazaar (Grand Bazaar closed on Sunday / Replaced with Arasta 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.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a full-day historical tour of Istanbul
  • Visit Hagia Sophia, one of the greatest architectural marvels
  • Learn about the history of the Ottoman sultans at the Topkapı Palace
  • Admire the beautiful interior decoration of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, known as the Blue Mosque
  • See the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine at the ancient hippodrome
  • Explore the many shops at the Grand Bazaar

Included/Excluded

  • Hotel pickup and drop off
  • Transportation in comfortable, non-smoking, air-conditioned bus
  • Lunch set menu
  • All entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary
  • English speaking guidance (can be multilingual)
  • Drinks
  • Personal expenses
  • Photos and Videos
  • Gratuities (optional)

Itinerary

> Except Tuesdays is this tour is all year round available.
> Confirmation will be received at time of booking or within latest in 24 hours
> The pick-up time is approx. 08:00
> Drop off approx. 17:00
> Pick-up and drop off outside the main entrance of your hotel
> Offered as Private and Regular Tour
> During religious holidays and Sunday Grand Bazaar will be closed.
> We visit The Blue Mosque and Great Hagia Sophia Mosque on Friday from outside because of Friday
pray
> Harem section is not included
> Not wheelchair accessible
> Not recommended for participants with walking difficulties
> Infants must sit on lap if seats N/A
> Regular tour can have several breaks for shopping with local handicraft productions centers.

We Suggest
> Sunglasses
> Hat
> Comfortable shoes

Durations

6–8 hours

Languages

Arabic
English
Turkish

Tour's Location

From: 0,00 €

Owner

antalyadailytour

Member Since 2022

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