Istanbul Highlights - 1 day tour
In case you are on a stopover or you really have short time in Istanbul, this day trip is for you! Get a true taste of the city by exploring Istanbul highlights such as Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque while enjoying mouth-watering delicacies.
The magical city of Istanbul links the east and the west, and has been the centre of several empires over the centuries, the most powerful of which were the Eastern Roman and Ottoman.
Your day begins with the one of most spectacular spots of the city, standing still for 1500 years, the grand Hagia Sophia. Hagia Sophia is the former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral, later an Ottoman imperial mosque and it is one of the rarest structures that showcases a blend of architectural styles of both a church and a mosque. Constructed in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian of the Byzantine Empire, it is still among the world’s greatest architectural achievements. It is known as a long-enduring symbol of the cosmopolitan city and its role in the history of the city touches upon matters related to international politics, religion, art and architecture.The building reflects the religious changes that have played out in the region over the centuries, with the minarets and inscriptions of Islam as well as the lavish mosaics of Christianity.
Afterwards, we will just walk for a few minutes to the Basilica Cistern, one of Istanbul’s splendid historical buildings. It is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city. This big underground water reservoir was also constructed in 6th century and used to meet the water needs of the great Byzantium palace that covered a wide area where the emperor resided. It was constructed using 336 columns, the symmetry and sheer grandeur of conception are quite breathtaking.
Next stop will be the worldwide famous Blue Mosque which is built between 1609-1616. This impressive mosque has six minarets and considered as one of the world’s most beautiful mosques. You will understand why it is called “blue” as you step inside. The impressive interior is covered in beautiful blue Iznik tiles.
After the delicious lunch, we will visit the Topkapı Palace which is one of Turkey’s most enchanting historical landmarks. It served as the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans since 15th century. The construction of the palace began in 1459, ordered by Mehmed the Conqueror, six years after the conquest of Constantinople. It rambles over an enormous area, populated by armouries, apartments, bathhouses, kitchens, libraries and a historical church; Hagia Eirene.
Since Turkey became a republic, it has been a museum, where visitors are lured by ornate tiled walls and collections of jewels, relics and textiles, as well as courtyard gardens studded with trees and fountains.
Leaving Topkapi Palace, we will join the crowds in the incomparable Grand Bazaar. Constructed in 1461 and known as the first mall in the world, this mystic bazaar hosts 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops.
We will end the day with a lovely dinner in one of Istanbul’s famous rooftop restaurants. It’s a great time to meet the worldwide famous Turkish cuisine after a tiring day.
This tour can be customized in detail according to your preference. You can request a different itinerary, adjust the number of nights, select different hotels and experiences, include or exclude the meals.
Please contact us in order to submit an inquiry for this tour.