Private Tour: Ottoman Istanbul Full-Day Tour

Private Tour: Ottoman Istanbul Full-Day Tour
Private & Custom Tours > Private Sightseeing Tours > Private Tours
$65
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes
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Description

Experience the best of Ottoman Istanbul on this full-day private tour. Accompanied by an expert private guide, visit top Istanbul attractions including the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and captivating Grand Bazaar. Also, visit the spectacular Hagia Sophia during its regular opening hours, or upgrade to enjoy a crowd-free visit either before or after its official opening times. Your tour also includes lunch at a traditional restaurant, as well as personalized attention from your private guide. A very special way to witness the highlights of old, Ottoman Istanbul!

Start your experience with a pickup from your centrally located Istanbul hotel. Board your air-conditioned minivan and receive a blue-and-white ‘evil eye’ token as a gift from your private guide.

If you have chosen not to upgrade to visit the Hagia Sophia outside its regular public opening hours, head straight for this stunning edifice and enjoy a 1-hour guided tour of its beautiful interior. Originally built as a basilica in the 6th century, this incredible building was the greatest church in Christendom until 1453, when the Ottomans turned it into a mosque. Marvel at its soaring domed ceiling and shimmering Byzantine mosaics as your guide details how it was built and the treasures it contains.

Next, head for the nearby Blue Mosque, whose six minarets are an iconic part of Istanbul’s skyline. Go inside to admire its walls and ceilings, coated in the blue Iznik tiles that lend it its name.

Continue past the Istanbul Hippodrome, where chariot races were held during the Ottoman Empire, and visit the Topkapi Palace. The seat of Ottoman Sultans for over 400 years, this palace museum brims with priceless Ottoman treasures at every turn.

After lunch at a local restaurant (see Itinerary for a sample menu), dive into the colorful Grand Bazaar. Explore this frenetic marketplace and browse the stalls piled with everything from antiques and spices to jewelry. Stop along the way to savor some Turkish coffee and then, finish at the Bosphorus waterfront to enjoy magical views of the cityscape. Your tour then ends with a hotel drop-off.

Optional Early or Late Entrance to Hagia SophiaUpgrade to enjoy an out-of-hours visit to the spectacular Hagia Sophia and enjoy your 1-hour private guided tour free from the crowds! Exploring this stunning landmark will be more rewarding without the noise and bustle that can sometimes fill the building during its regular, public opening hours, giving you the opportunity to appreciate its beauty and treasures in more depth with your guide.

Choose the Early Entrance option to visit during the early morning, before the official 9am opening time, and before the rest of your tour. Alternatively, choose the Late Entrance option to visit in the evening, after your tour and after the Hagia Sophia’s official closing time of 6pm in winter (November to March), or 8pm in summer (April to October).

Experience the best of Ottoman Istanbul on this full-day private tour. Accompanied by an expert private guide, visit top Istanbul attractions including the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and captivating Grand Bazaar. Also, visit the spectacular Hagia Sophia during its regular opening hours, or upgrade to enjoy a crowd-free visit either before or after its official opening times. Your tour also includes lunch at a traditional restaurant, as well as personalized attention from your private guide. A very special way to witness the highlights of old, Ottoman Istanbul!