Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour (8 hours):Your 8-hour daytime Istanbul tour begins with by meeting your professional guide and boarding your mode of transportation, a luxury coach bus. First up, cruise over to the Sultanahmet area where you will visit the remarkable Hagia Sophia Museum, an UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. Stroll the grounds of one of the oldest churches in the world, that became a mosque, and is now a museum. Admire the Ottoman and Byzantine architecture, then walk to the neighboring, one of the most important structures in the Muslim world. Snap a photo in front of this iconic building, with its six signature minarets, then venture inside where you’l marvel at walls of Iznik tiles.
Follow your guide to the Basilica Cistern, and underground palace. Listen as your expert guide illuminates the site with fascinating historical anecdotes, including its appearance in a James Bond film.
Refuel with lunch at a Sultanahmet restaurant, then continue ton your tour. Next up is Topkapi Palace, one of the oldest and largest palaces in the world. Explore the intimate passageways and even stop for a photo op in one of the famed harem rooms and the Imperial Treasury. Your guide will fill you in on all of the juicy and historic details of this site. Onward, to Istanbul’s Hippodrome.
Hear tales of the fames polo matches, regal celebrations, massacres, and chariot races that once happened here. Finally, hit the Grand Bazaar , one of the world’s largest covered markets. Peruse the charming storefronts, filled with carpets, blankets, clothes, and other wares. Return to your coach bus, and then recoup at your hotel for two hours until the second portion of your tour begins.
Istanbul by Night: Turkish Dinner and Show (4 hours):Once you’ve rested up, await your chariot, a luxury coach bus, and travel to your fine-dining traditional Turkish restaurant. Admire the city’s sparkling skyline from your seat, as your bus travels through the city at its most dazzling hour. Savor a 4-course dinner with wine, beer, or non-alcoholic drinks. After dinner, watch a tantalizing belly dancing performance set to the tune of traditional Anatolian folk music. After the show, your guide will take you back to your central Istanbul hotel.
Please note: Topkapi Palace (Closed on Tuesdays; will be replaced with Istanbul Archaeology Museum), Hagia Sophia (Closed on Mondays; will be replaced with Chora Museum), Grand Bazaar (Closed on Sundays; additional time will be spent at the other locations).