At 8:30 we start the day from your hotel. First part of our tour will comprise visits to historical sites. The second part is to do with city walk and shopping in the ever popular Grand Bazaar (closed on Sundays). One interesting highlight is we shall visit the most famous water-pipe cafe (nargile place) in the city if wished.
Roman Hippodrome, almost all tour groups start their visits with the Roman Hippodrome, the political and recreational heart of Roman/Byzantine Constantinople.
Blue Mosque is one of the most beautiful mosques in the city, adorned with six minarets and graceful interior tiles. You are strongly advised to start with the Blue Mosque first as it gets very crowded with the cruise ships groups, and remember also time restrictions due to prayers time. Be warned: dress code !
These two sites will take about three quarters of your time. For the mosque entry please remember that you have to abide with the dress code. Next on the list we have two most important highlights, Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia. We can take any one of the two first as it suits. Then we sit for some refreshments if needed. After the break we visit the one left last.
Hagia Sophia, the greatest achievement of the East Roman architects. They changed the magnitude and style of Western Architecture and unrivalled for nearly 1000 years. You are advised to start with the upper gallery first. Be warned: closed on Mondays !
Topkapi Palace, residential and administrative palace of the Ottoman dynasty for almost 400 years. After the mid 19thC the dynasty moved to Dolmabahce Palace, one of the newly built waterfront palaces that housed the imperial family and its administrative offices. Be warned: closed on Tuesdays !
At 1:30 we have the lunch Break at one of the authentic restaurants in the area.
At about 2:30 we continue our tour with city walking (water-pipe cafe) and shopping adventure in the Grand Bazaar. If time allows the tour may be extended to cover the Spice Bazaar as well.
This is just a sample itinerary. If wished customized itineraries can be made to suit your time and interests.
Following options are available for those who have time available to see more places.
Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum,facing the Blue Mosque on the Hippodrome side, a treasure-house of 1000 years of fine art.
Princes Islands, resort islands off the coast of Istanbul in the sea of Marmara. These islands are only one hour boat trip away from the city. They are characterized by Victorian-era houses. They are free of motor vehicles. So walking, cycling, or taking a horse-driven carriage tour are among the activities.
Beyoglu: all time popular district of Istanbul.It still reflects the romance of 19th-century Istanbul.