Enjoy the Istanbul day tour with your own English-speaking guide in a private car. Visit the Topkapi Palace, Roman Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar.
Price per person: $180
Meet and greet at the hotel. Today, you will explore the highlights of Istanbul, former Constantinople. Start with the visit of the main residence of the Ottoman dynasty, the magnificent Topkapi Palace which is the standing witness of glorious but secret and intriguing lives of the Ottoman sultans. It is now a museum notable not only for its architecture and collections but also for the history and the culture of the Ottoman Empire that it recalls. After lunch at a local restaurant, take a stroll through the once glorious Roman Hippodrome which accommodates the ancient Egyptian Obelisk and the Serpentine Column. Besides being an arena of chariot races, it was employed for public events such as parades, meetings and festivals as well. Next, admire a masterpiece of the Byzantine architecture, the 6th – century Hagia Sophia which has been revered as the largest and the most important Christian place of worship in the world for many centuries. It was designed to be the major basilica of the Byzantine Empire and held the record for the largest dome in the world until the Duomo was built in Florence in the 15th century. Get a delightful walk through gardens and proceed to the imperial Blue Mosque which dominates Istanbul’s majestic skyline with its elegant composition of ascending domes and six slender soaring minarets. The careful choreography of more than 20,000 Iznik tiles rise from the mid-sections of the mosque and dazzle the visitors with their brilliant blue and turquoise hues which lend the mosque its popular sobriquet. End the day with the famous Grand Bazaar to explore the oldest shopping mall of the world through its peculiar oriental ambiance and colourful mazy lanes. Return to the hotel.