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Skip the Line: Hagia Sophia plus Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

star-3.54 Reviews
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Fatih, Turkey
7

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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Safety measures
icon4 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more

Overview

Explore the bustling Grand Bazaar and save time with skip-the-line access to top attraction Hagia Sophia on this half-day small-group guided tour in Istanbul. Bypass the long queues at Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO-listed monument, and learn about the history of this former church and mosque. Ogle mosaics and gaze up at the its dome structure, an engineering marvel. Then, take the pulse of the Grand Bazaar, a bustling covered market with over 4,000 shops and stalls. Learn the bargaining ropes from your guide, and then peruse through countless tapestries, antiques and souvenir stalls. This small-group tour is limited to 15 people, creating a more personalized experience with your guide.
  • Half-day tour of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia and Grand Bazaar with an expert guide
  • Enjoy priority access to and a tour of the spectacular Hagia Sophia
  • Marvel at the dome and mosaics of this UNESCO-listed wonder
  • Learn about the 6th-century building and its time as a church and mosque
  • Explore the captivating Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s largest indoor markets
  • Get shopping tips from your guide and browse some of the 4,000 stalls
  • Enjoy a personalized experience on a small-group tour of 15 people at most
Have questions?
(888) 651-9785
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Local guide
Gratuities
Food and drinks
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Headphone
Masks

Departure Point

Sultan Ahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı No:1, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey

Return Details

Beyazıt, Kalpakçılar Cd. No:22, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Close by to Hagia Sophia’s entrance, meet your guide and kick off your small-group tour. Start with a leisurely walk around Hagia Sophia and admire this 6th-century architectural spectacle. Listen as your guide tells the storied history of Istanbul from its time within the Roman and Byzantine Empires as Constantinople and when it served as the Ottoman capital.

After you maneuver past the line, enter Hagia Sophia and learn how it was originally built as the world’s greatest Christian Basilica by Byzantine Emperor Justinian. See the beautiful golden mosaics and glimpse up at the huge dome as you hear how the church was converted in 1453 to a mosque and in 1935 to a museum after the reign of the Ottomans.  

Walk past stunning art highlights like the 9th-century mosaic of the Virgin and Child and learn why art historians believe this monument is the eighth wonder of the world. After capturing photos of this amazing building, leave and head to the Grand Bazaar.

Arrive at one of the largest covered markets in the world and follow your guide into this lively myriad of corridors and alleys. Discover Istanbul’s main souk with over 4,000 shops and stalls and perk your ears up to the sounds of commerce which was established hear in the 15th century.

Learn historical factoids as you make your way to the hans (courtyards) and bedestens (domed halls). Stay close to your guide as you embrace this colorful atmosphere and enjoy some helpful bartering tips too. Perhaps put your guide’s advice to work and haggle for gold, antiques, jewelry or even a beautiful rug at one of many stands.

End your tour at the Grand Bazaar and either continue shopping for souvenirs or return to your hotel at your leisure.

Please note: Hagia Sophia (Closed on Mondays; will be replaced with Underground Cistern), Grand Bazaar (Closed on Sundays; additional time will be spent at the other locations).
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Kapali Carsi
Grand Covered Bazaar, most attractive shopping center and the biggest "souk" in the world with nearly 4000 shops selling antiques, jewellery, gold, carpets, leatherware and souvenir. (Art demonstration of handmade Turkish carpets upon request)
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia, the Church of Divine Wisdom, one of the greatest marvels of architecture, constructed as a basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Sultanahmet Square
Sultan Ahmet Center", the heart of the "Old City" from where the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires were ruled.
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque, facing Hagia Sophia, famous with its blue İznik tiles and unique with 6 minarets, built in the name of Sultan Ahmet.
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • A minimum of 4 people per booking is required
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Plan Tours

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. 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 Skip the Line: Hagia Sophia plus Grand Bazaar in Istanbul?
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
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Skip the Line: Hagia Sophia plus Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Skip the Line: Hagia Sophia plus Grand Bazaar in Istanbul?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Skip the Line: Hagia Sophia plus Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Skip the Line: Hagia Sophia plus Grand Bazaar in Istanbul?
A:The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Skip the Line: Hagia Sophia plus Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Skip the Line: Hagia Sophia plus Grand Bazaar in Istanbul?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Skip the Line: Hagia Sophia plus Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during Skip the Line: Hagia Sophia plus Grand Bazaar in Istanbul?
A:This activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Skip the Line: Hagia Sophia plus Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.

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Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews
star-1
The guide was very friendly but he...
cullrichgaona
, Jun 2016
The guide was very friendly but he didn't speack well English or Spanish and didn't give us as much information about the destination we visited . We felt sorry and didn't make a scene cause we were tired.
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star-2
Maybe it is because we were only two...
Louise D
, Sep 2015
Maybe it is because we were only two in this tour but something was missing. And the guide was not speaking an excellent english. And the ''skip the line'' was a waste of money as there was not much line outside.
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star-5
Wonderful way to start our vacation...
Jane B
, Aug 2015
Wonderful way to start our vacation in Istanbul. Really enjoyed the skip the line access rather than standing in a long line.
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star-5
Nuestro guía fue Alí Suha Uyar quien...
DANIEL ANTONIO S
, Mar 2016
Nuestro guía fue Alí Suha Uyar quien con una maestría excepcional nos hizo sentir que estábamos viviendo la apasionante historia de Estambul.
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