Istanbul Sightseeing Tour Including Süleymaniye Mosque and Lunch

Istanbul Sightseeing Tour Including Süleymaniye Mosque and Lunch
Tours & Sightseeing > City Tours > City Tours
$70
Duration: 8 hours
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Description

Take an Istanbul sightseeing tour with a difference: one that visits the beautiful Süleymaniye Mosque instead of the Blue Mosque, plus three other iconic sights. With a knowledgeable guide, absorb the calm beauty of the Süleymaniye, Istanbul’s largest mosque, which was built for Süleyman I in the 16th century. Plus, visit the underground Basilica Cistern, explore the Grand Bazaar, and marvel at the treasures, courtyards. Your full-day tour includes a tasty 3-course Turkish lunch at a hotel midway through.

Start your tour with a pickup from your centrally located Istanbul hotel and hop into your comfortable, air-conditioned coach or minivan. As you head for the Sultanahmet district, hear illuminating facts about Istanbul’s past and its time as Constantinople — the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman empires.

First, stop at Süleymaniye Mosque, the city’s largest mosque. Built by Ottoman architect Minar Sinan between 1550 and 1558 for Sultan Süleyman I, this architectural wonder boasts an understated design intended for quiet reflection. Admire the four minarets and head inside with your guide to admire the simple yet poetically beautiful interior.

Drive on to the Basilica Cistern and follow the steps down into this 6th-century subterranean water facility. Built by Roman Emperor Justinian, the cistern is crowded with pillars — two of them with plinths carved with the face of Medusa. Soak up the eerie atmosphere of the chambers and channels as you learn how they once supplied water to Istanbul before lying forgotten for centuries.

Continue to the Grand Bazaar, Turkey’s largest covered market. With roots dating to the 15th century, this labyrinthine souk houses almost 4,000 stalls. Browse the dizzying array of wares, from books and carpets to gold and pottery, watch artisans at work, and perhaps haggle for a bargain or two.

After lunch at a local hotel (see the Itinerary for a sample menu), return to your sightseeing trail at the magnificent Topkapi Palace. Home to Turkey’s Ottoman emperors between the 15th and 19th centuries, this extraordinary museum boasts splendors at every turn.

Admire the courtyards, collections and jewelry with your guide

Then, with your visit over, travel back to your hotel, where your tour ends.

Please note: the order of activities as described above may be subject to change on the day of your tour.

Take an Istanbul sightseeing tour with a difference: one that visits the beautiful Süleymaniye Mosque instead of the Blue Mosque, plus three other iconic sights. With a knowledgeable guide, absorb the calm beauty of the Süleymaniye, Istanbul’s largest mosque, which was built for Süleyman I in the 16th century. Plus, visit the underground Basilica Cistern, explore the Grand Bazaar, and marvel at the treasures, courtyards. Your full-day tour includes a tasty 3-course Turkish lunch at a hotel midway through.