Tour Highlights : Hagia Sophia, Underground Cistern, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Bosphorus Cruise, Cable Car to Pierre Loti Cafe, Rustem Pasa Mosque
Pick up & Drop off from hotel or from the Istanbul cruise port. You will visit the following sights with an experienced and licensed professional guide with this tour.
A boutique tour with a max. of 14 participants
Underground Cistern : Built by Justinian after 532, the Basilica Cistern stored water for the Great Palace and nearby buildings. Lost to memory, it was rediscovered by Petrus Gyllius, who came to Constantinople in search of Byzantine monuments. Gyllius, who noticed that the local people were lowering buckets through holes in the floors of their houses to retrieve water, found an entrance and thus put this mysterious subterranean architectural surprise back on the map. A mesmerizing attraction, sure to please!
Sultanahmet Mosque/Blue Mosque : This mosque was built by Sultan Ahmet I between 1609 and 1616 and is located in the district of old Istanbul that is named after this Ottoman Sultan and it is distinguished by its six slender minarets. The central dome is 43 m in height and 33.4 m in diameter and there are 260 stained glass windows throughout the mosque. Due to the intricately decorated blue, green and red tiles of its interior, it has long been referred to as the Blue Mosque. These tiles, produced and painted by hand in Iznik (ancient Nicaea), are an attraction in and of themselves.
Roman Hippodrome and Monuments : The ancient Hippodrome was the center of Byzantine social life and the scene of fiercely competitive chariot races. It was located in the square that is now in front of the Blue Mosque and is still the site of ancient relics from its glory days. These are the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine. Remains of the curved end of the Hippodrome wall can be seen on the southwest side of the three monuments.
Hagia Sophia Museum : The Hagia Sophia that you can visit today was the primary church of Byzantine Constantinople and was built upon the site of two earlier churches that had been destroyed. Emperor Justinian I (527-565) commissioned the project and had materials brought in from all around his empire for the massive church’s construction. The Hagia Sophia was the most important church of the Christian East. Structurally, it was the first of its design and boasted the largest dome that had yet been engineered which provided a voluminous and well illuminated interior. After Constantinople fell to the Ottomans in 1453, the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque and was used as such throughout the Ottoman period.
Bosphorus Cruise : We will cruise on the Bosphorus to allow you the prime perspective from which to view the fine palaces, pavilions, Ottoman houses and seaside neighborhoods along the shores of this famous and historic waterway connecting the Black Sea and the Maramara Sea.
Rumeli Fortress (From the sea) : The largest fortification for the protection of Istanbul built by Sultan Mehmet II in 1451 before his conquest of the city. This garrison is well preserved and its towers and walls can be seen clearly as our boat passes by.
Cable Car to Pierre Loti : Enjoy the beautiful view from the cable car as you climb the hill to the cafe named for the famous French writer and naval officer, Louis Marie Julien Viaud a.k.a. Pierre Loti (1850 -1923), who wrote fiction based on his experiences in Istanbul .
Rustem Pasha Mosque : This majestic and surprising little mosque was designed by the most famous of Ottoman architects, Mimar Sinan, for the Grand Vizier Rustem Pasha who had married Princess Mihrimah, one of the daughters of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent......
* A nice lunch will be served in a quaint local restaurant.
** After the tour, you will be returned to your hotel. You may also choose to part from your guide at the location of the last visited sight of the tour. Please note that the order in which sights are visited may vary.
Closed : Hagia Sophia Museum is closed on Mondays and replaced with the Topkapi Palace complex and residence of the Ottoman Sultans
What is Included in tour ?
Hotel Pick-up & drop-off - by air-conditioned non-smoking tour coaches.
Entrance Fees mentioned by the itineraries.
Professional Licenced Tour Guide.
Lunch (drinks not included)
Services Charges & Local Taxes.
What is Excluded in tour?
Drinks at lunch
Tips and gratuities
P.S : Free Pick-up & drop-off service are available only from the hotels located in the city center.
You will be informed for cost for pick-up & drop-off service from the hotels located out of the center.
Discounts : Please Mail us us for Group Booking discounts or for questions.