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Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia

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Datca, Turkey
Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia

Select Date and Travelers

Number of travelers
1 Adult2 Adults3 Adults4 Adults5 Adults6 Adults7 Adults8 Adults9 Adults0 Children1 Child2 Children3 Children4 Children5 Children6 Children7 Children8 Children9 Children
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon8 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Overview

Fit all of Istanbul's attractions at the top of your bucket list into one packed day, with the help of an expert local guide. Stroll Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet neighborhood, brimming with iconic buildings and storied streets. Tour the Blue Mosque, one of the most important sites in the Muslim world. Delve into history of the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and Istanbul Hippodrome as well as the 'sunken palace' of Basilica Cistern. And you won’t want to miss the and the bustling Grand Bazaar or savory 3-course lunch.
  • Full-day Istanbul sightseeing tour around the Sultanahmet neighborhood
  • Visit top Istanbul attractions with a knowledgeable local guide
  • Refuel with a 3-course lunch at a traditional Istanbul restaurant in Sultanahmet
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 14 people ensures personalized attention from a guide
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Hotel pickup and drop-off
Air-conditioned vehicle
Lunch
Gratuities
Food and drinks, unless specified

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered

Departure Time

9:00 AM
Your action-packed full-day Istanbul sightseeing tour begins with a pickup from your European-side hotel or by meeting your guide at a central location. Start with a brief orientation to the day ahead and then set off in your comfortable coach to your first destination. Keep in mind the order of places may change from what is described below. 

Venture to the Blue Mosque, one of the most stunning sights in Istanbul. Admire its six signature minarets and many ornate Iznik tiles that come together to form its dazzling blue walls. Listen as your expert guide tells you about the fascinating history of this Ottoman-era mosque. Then walk to the Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO-listed museum that was once a church and a mosque.

Next, stroll over to Topkapi Palace, a crown jewel of Istanbul. Explore its intricate corridors and intimate rooms where sultans once entertained elite guests—and were entertained by their harems. Your guide points out interesting bits of backstory to the rooms, bringing to life this ornamental palace and museum. Midway through the day, break for a traditional Turkish lunch (see Itinerary section for sample menu). 

Move on to the Hippodrome, where you can admire a granite Egyptian obelisk that was a gift to Istanbul. At one point, this location marked the epicenter of the city’s sports life and also served as a political center. Then it’s on to Istanbul’s sunken palace, the Basilica Cistern, one of the biggest ancient cisterns in Istanbul. Follow your guide as he tells fills you in on the history of these historic places. 

Your final stop is also one of the most iconic: the Grand Bazaar. Stroll through its colorful alleys, more than 60 in all, in awe of the crafts, smells, sounds and sights. As one of the most famous souks in the world, you won’t want to miss this. Duck into leather, jewelry, and ceramic stores as well as spice stalls and other unique outlets. Say hello to the friendly local shop owners and craftspeople. After, bid farewell to your guide and the rest of your group when your tour concludes with a convenient drop-off at your European-side hotel or in central Istanbul.

Please note:  Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays and the Grand Bazaar is closed Sundays. If your tour is on one of these days, an alternate, such as Chora Museum or another market, may be visited instead. Topkapi Palace, closed on Tuesdays, is replaced with Istanbul Archaeology Museum).
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Hippodrome
Continue through Istanbul Hippodrome, seeing the granite Egyptian obelisk that was gifted to the city, and hear how the site once represented the hub of the city’s sporting and political life. After stopping for photos.
Duration: 25 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Blue Mosque
Head to the Blue Mosque to marvel at its six minarets and the thousands of Iznik tiles that cascade a sea of blue over the building’s interior. One of the finest examples of classical Ottoman architecture, the mosque was built at the bequest of Sultan Ahmet I who demanded a mosque to rival the grandeur of the Hagia Sophia.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Hagia Sophia Mosque
Both a church and a mosque in its past life, Hagia Sophia (or Aya Sofya) is now a UNESCO-listed museum that showcases Ottoman- and Byzantine-era artifacts. Browse the interior’s architecture and historical exhibits with your guide, and then continue to Topkapi Palace.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Topkapi Palace
Like Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace now exists as one of Istanbul’s premier museums, home to a collection of ornamentation that once belonged to the city’s 15th-century sultans and harems.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Basilica Cistern
Might be replaced with Serefiye Cistern. Visit Basilica Cistern — Istanbul’s ‘sunken palace’ — a site that famously featured in the James Bond movie From Russia with Love. The site is one of the largest of the city's ancient cisterns that lie beneath the ground.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Istanbul Handicraft Center
You'll have chance to see carpet making demonstration.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Kapali Carsi
Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s most famous souks. Comprising nearly 60 streets and thousands more shops, the bazaar can be overwhelming. Let your guide introduce you to its colorful (if chaotic) highlights, and shop for jewelry, leather, pottery, spices and more.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum age is 4 years
  • Children 18 years and under must be accompanied by an adult
  • Cover ups and head scarves are provided at the Blue Mosque
  • Guests must call 24 hours in advance for pick up times
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Blue Mosque may be replaced with Suleymaniye Mosque or Rustem Pasha Mosque on fridays due to pray times
  • Not recommended for participants with walking difficulties
  • Travelers should have a strong physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 14 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Neon Tours

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
See all safety measures taken by Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia?
A:This activity will have a maximum of 14 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Small-Group Tour Including Topkapi Palace, Underground Cistern and Hagia Sophia.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips


  • "My brother and I had very limited time in Istanbul so chose an all day tour of main places of interest." See review
  • "Very good tour with a very informative guide covering the main attraction in central Istanbul, highly recommended." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
1,258 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 1,258 reviews
star-5
Delightful guide,...
David_B
, Sep 2021
Delightful guide, knowledgeable and fun to be with. He kept us on schedule as well. Highly recommend. Travelers from Texas
star-5
A pretty good tour
Jan_N
, Sep 2021
We've had a very personal tour (just the two of us and the guide) and it was very pleasant. The guide was very polite, spoke good English and gladly answered our questions.
star-5
Great time with a great host
Ric_M
, Sep 2021
Ali was a wonderful guide, well-versed in the history of the many sites included in the tour. We had ample time for investigating the mosques and other sites, including plenty of photo-taking time. We had some specific items we were seeking in the Grand Bazaar and Ali was knowledgeable and helpful in finding them. All in all, a great day with an unbelievably good lunch stuck in the middle of it. Can’t recommend highly enough.
star-5
Informative tour with all the big sights!
Traveler2021
, Aug 2021
Very small personal tour. Tour guide was very knowledgeable. We saw all the main sights and learned a lot.
star-5
do it!
tania
, Aug 2021
this tour is brilliant. Seckin our guide was really interesting and knew loads of fascinating historical details. the places you visit are fabulous and it’s plenty long enough. you do not want longer especially if it’s hot. we did go to the carpet shop that others have mentioned but it was interesting, and you don’t have to buy anything. only one point. they don’t pick you up from hotels on anatolian side i got a taxi to another pick up point. it wasn’t difficult. but with remembering.
star-4
Memorable experience with a lot of history
Adem_R
, Aug 2021
The experience was very memorable. The tour guide that we had knew very well English which made the experience better that we were able to understand him well. He was very knowledgeable and educated my group well. And it was nice that it was just my wife and I in the group, making it very personal and comfortable.
star-5
Highly recommended
Junaid
, Jul 2021
Our tour guide Hakan was the best tour guide we have had so far during our travels. One of us had done this tour 7 years back and the difference was very prominent, Hakan was much more knowledgeable about the places and engaging. He not only gave us a good tour and insights into the cutural facts and history of Istanbul, he also went out of his way to assist us during our shopping at the Grand Bazaar. He gave us useful tips and suggestions for good places to eat and shop. Definitely recommend.
star-5
Tour
Alfie
, Jul 2021
Great tour and knowledgeable guide. It was a lot of walking but it’s nice because we started early. We also enjoyed the lunch that comes with
star-5
Highly recommended
kdoherty
, May 2021
Very knowledgeable and personable. He had a lot of history on many places and time periods of Turkish history. Will definitely book with him again for other tours!
star-4
Great Tour!
Gabriel_P
, Dec 2020
Unfortunately the Cistern was not opened, I think because of restoration. but the rest was really amazing!
1 traveler found this review helpful

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