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Istanbul Tour

The Way of Exploring Istanbul Like a Local

Explore the glory of the three old Empires; Roman, Byzantium and Ottoman Empires on this full day Istanbul guided tour.

This Istanbul Tour will make sure that you get to visit all the important sights in the city while providing you the ultimate experience. Be picked up from your hotel by our vehicle and enjoy guided tours all throughout the day.

You'll start at the iconic Ancient Hippodrome, a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. Then proceed to the Blue Mosque, an Ottoman-era historical imperial mosque and famous for its six minarets. After that, you'll walk to Hagia Sophia, once a church and then a mosque in 1453. The next sight to visit is the Topkapi Palace, an amazing museum which served as the main residence of Ottoman sultans during the 15th century. Learn about the interesting story and colorful history of Topkapi Palace from your friendly tour guide. We will then take you to a rooftop terrace restaurant where you can have delicious lunch while you see the breathaking views of the Bosphorus and Istanbul panaroma from a different perspective. The last stop of this Istanbul City tour will be the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops on a total area of 30,700 m2, attracting between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.

Istanbul Tour is a full day guided City tour that covers all the "must-see" sights on a single day. Picture yourself in Istanbul, wandering around Sultanahmet sightseeing world-famous landmarks, or standing in front of the Obelisk, The Obelisk of Theodosius is the Ancient Egyptian obelisk of Pharaoh Thutmose III re-erected in the Hippodrome of Constantinople by the Roman emperor Theodosius I in the 4th century AD.

The places you will visit on this Istanbul Tour;

Roman Hippodrome "Sultanahmet Square or Horse Square"

The known history of Sultanahmet Square, which is one of the first and most crowded places in Istanbul dates back to the Romans. This square, which was used as a hippodrome during the Roman Empire and later Byzantine Empire, continued its importance until the 10th century as the meeting, entertainment, excitement and sports center of the city, as it is today. In addition to chariot races, bands of musicians, belly dancers, acrobats, fights with wild animals were always held here. The Imperial Palace, known as the "Great Palace", started near the Hippodrome and stretched down to the seaside. Only one floor mosaic panel of the great hall has survived from this palace.

Obelisk "Theodosius Column"

The granite Obelisk in the middle of the Hippodrome dates back to BC. In 1450, Pharaoh III. It was built in memory of Thutmosis and was erected across the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes. It was brought to Istanbul in 390 by the order of Emperor Theodosius. Obelisk; It was rising on a marble base with reliefs of the emperor and the people around him. The reliefs on the pedestal are quite worn today as they are made of marble, but since granite is a very durable stone, the hieroglyphic inscriptions on the Obelisk are as legible as the first day. Over the centuries, the marble pedestal remained deep as the ground rose. If you ask why there is an Obelisk here; The tradition of placing obelisks in hippodromes dates back to BC, when Emperor Augustus had an obelisk placed in the Circus Maximus Square in Rome. It goes back to 10 years.

Istanbul Tour, Egyptian Obelisk

Walled Obelisk

The second obelisk, which has a coarser workmanship compared to the first, is located at the south end of the Hippodrome. Although little is known about it, it is thought to have been erected by Constantine or Theodosius I. VII. It was covered with bronze by Constantine Porphyryogenitus (913-59), but IV. During the Crusade, when it was thought to be gold, it was dismantled and looted by the soldiers.

Serpent Column "Burme Column"

The column, in which the heads of three entwined snakes form the three legs of a golden vase, dates back to BC. It was built to commemorate the war in which the Greek city-states united and defeated the Persians in 478 and was erected in front of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi. The column on which the names of the 31 victorious city-states are engraved is said to have been made by melting the shields of the defeated Persians. Emperor Constantine, who brought the column to Istanbul in the 330s, had the column erected in the garden of Hagia Sophia. The column was later brought to the Hippodrome and served as a fountain. The snakeheads are thought to have remained in place until the 1700s, but were smashed by a drunken Polish diplomat (or one of those playing the javelin). Today, only a fragment of one of the heads remains in the Istanbul Archeology Museum. The column was written by Jason Goodwin and was written by XIX. He plays the leading role in the detective novel "Snake Column", set in the 19th century.

German or Kaiser Wilhelm Fountain

At the entrance of the Hippodrome, on the side of Hagia Sophia, there is a green domed fountain designed by Mark Spitta. The work was commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm in memory of his visit in 1898 to Sultan II. It was given to Abdulhamid as a gift. Inside the dome are mosaic monograms of the two leaders. In the place of the fountain, there was a tree that used to be called the Vakvak Tree (the name given to a tree in hell whose fruits are in the shape of a human skull) and where in 1826 rebel janissaries were hanged.

Blue Mosque or Sultanahmet Mosque

The Blue Mosque, which left its mark on the silhouette of Istanbul with all its splendor and stands with its graceful minarets and like a dervish with its hands raised to the sky, was built by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I on the Historical Peninsula by Architect Sedefkar Mehmet Aga between 1609 and 1616. The mosque, which is called the Blue Mosque by the Europeans because it is decorated with blue, green and white colored Iznik tiles and the interior of its half domes and large dome is also decorated with blue-weighted hand-drawn works, became the main mosque of Istanbul after Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum in 1934. reached its position. Another feature of the Blue Mosque is that it is one of the four mosques in Turkey with six minarets.

Istanbul Tour, Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

When we move to the lower part of the square, Hagia Sophia, standing in front of us with all its majesty, welcomes us. Standing upright for centuries, this temple is the largest church built by the Eastern Roman Empire in Istanbul, and was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I between AD 532-537 and was built three times in the same place. This building, which has stood for 15 centuries, is among the masterpieces of art history and architecture. Hagia Sophia, the most important symbol of Byzantine architecture with its large dome, is the oldest cathedral in the world.

Istanbul Tour, Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace is the residence of the Ottoman Sultans, the administrative and educational center of the state. Istanbul conqueror Sultan II. The Ottoman sultans and the people of the Palace lived in the palace, which was built by Mehmed between 1460-1478 and some additions were made over time, until the middle of the 19th century. After the Ottoman monarchy was abolished in 1922, Topkapi Palace was turned into a museum on April 3, 1924, by the order of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest and first big shopping malls in the world and one of the unique structures that must be seen in Istanbul. Located in the center of the city, the bazaar resembles a labyrinth of gigantic dimensions. The bazaar, located between Nuruosmaniye, Mercan and Beyazit, is a magnificent structure with 64 streets and streets, two covered bazaars, 16 inns, 22 gates and 3,600 shops. The foundation year of the bazaar was accepted as 1461. However, the real big bazaar was built in wood by Suleiman the Magnificent. During the imperial period, it was known as "Carsu-i Kebir", that is, "Great Bazaar".

Istanbul Tour, Grand Bazaar

Istanbul Tour Inclusions

Good to Know Before You Go

The Rooftop Terrace Restaurant Where Our Guests have lunch

10 Unknown Facts About Topkapi Palace

  1. The oldest and largest palace in the world.
    Topkapi Palace, whose construction was completed in 1478, is considered to be the oldest and largest palace in the world, which has survived to the present day with an area of 400,000 square meters.

  2. It has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1985.

  3. Mysterious harem
    There are 400 rooms in the Harem alone.

  4. There was a madrasah, mosque, parliament and even a mint in the palace. In the period when it was most crowded, about 4,000 people lived in the palace.

  5. It is seen that the architecture of the palace was inspired by the camps of the nomadic Turks.

  6. Sultans ruled the Empire from Topkapi Palace for 400 years.
    Until the Dolmabahce Palace was built in the 19th century, the Sultan and his family lived in Topkapi Palace.

  7. The world's largest apple.
    In Topkapi Palace, the 86-carat Spoonmaker's Diamond, considered one of the largest diamonds in the world, is on display.

  8. III. Ahmet Fountain.
    Known as the Sultan of the Tulip Era, Ahmet III had the Ahmet III Fountain built, which is considered one of the most important architectural examples of the Tulip Era, right at the exit of Topkapi Palace.

  9. Palace Kitchens Exhibition.
    The Palace Kitchens Exhibition has an important place in the world in its field with more than 10,000 porcelain pieces.

  10. Sacred Relics.
    In the Sacred Relics Exhibition Hall, especially after the conquest of Egypt by Yavuz Sultan Selim, many items and objects that were brought to Istanbul, which are important to the religion of Islam, are exhibited.

12 Interesting Facts About Hagia Sophia

  1. The word Hagia Sophia means the Holy Temple of God
    When we look at the word origin of Hagia Sophia, the word Sofia means "wisdom" in Greek. The word aya means "holy or divine".
    So Hagia Sophia means "holy wisdom". His full name in Greek is Naos tes Hagias tou Theou Sophias. It means "Holy Temple of God" in Turkish.

  2. Hagia Sophia is the Third Church Built on the Same Area
    The first church was known as Great??, Megále Ekklesía meaning "Great Church". After this church burned in 404, the second church II. It was built by order of Theodosius.
    However, this church also suffered the same fate as the first. During the Nika revolt against Emperor Justinian I, the second church was burned and destroyed. After the rebellion, Hagia Sophia was built in the same place between 532-537.

  3. Hagia Sophia was built in a surprisinly short time
    While the construction of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris took nearly a century, Hagia Sophia was built in 5 years, 10 months, and 4 days. It is said that more than 10,000 people must have worked to build such a church.

  4. The design of Hagia Sophia was done by mathematicians named Isidore and Anthemius
    Emperor Justinian, I commissioned architects Isidore and Anthemius to design Hagia Sophia. Isidore before
    He is a physicist and mathematician who has taught at Alexandria University and Constantinople. Anthemius was known as a mathematician and geometer.

  5. The materials used to build Hagia Sophia were obtained from different parts of the Byzantine Empire
    The columns used in the construction of the church were obtained from the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the large stones from Egypt, the black stones from the Bosphorus, the yellow stones from Syria and the green marbles from Thessaly.

  6. The Iconoclasm Period in the Eighth and Ninth Centuries Resulted in the Removal of Many Mosaics and Paintings from Hagia Sophia
    Iconoclasm is a culture's planned attack on its religious icons and other symbols or monuments for religious or political motives.
    Iconoclasm was carried out periodically in the Byzantine Empire. This led to the removal of many mosaics and paintings from Hagia Sophia.

  7. It was converted into a mosque with the conquest of Istanbul on May 29, 1453
    The Ottoman Empire conquered Istanbul on May 29, 1453. Immediately after the conquest, Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror ordered that Hagia Sophia be restored and converted into a mosque.

  8. Its Unique Architectural Design Has Been Preserved While It Was Transformed into a Mosque
    While Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque, many frescoes and mosaics were preserved. 4 minarets of 60 meters each have been added to the outside, as well as a mihrab, pulpit and a fountain for ablution.
    In addition, a school, kitchen, library, tombs and sultan's hut were built.

  9. The most intense restoration period was fulfilled during the reign of Sultan Abdulmecid
    Sultan Abdulmecid commissioned the architect brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati for this restoration. The restoration was completed by eight hundred workers between 1847 and 1849.
    The dome and vaults were combined, the columns were straightened, and the exterior and interior decoration of the building was revised.

  10. Hagia Sophia was turned into a museum on February 1, 1935, by the order of Ataturk
    Hagia Sophia remained the main mosque of Istanbul for nearly 500 years until it was converted into a museum by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, on February 1, 1935.

  11. It Remained The World's Largest Cathedral Until 1520
    It remained the largest cathedral in the world until the construction of Seville Cathedral in 1520.

  12. Hagia Sophia is one of the most important works of ancient architecture with its unique design
    Hagia Sophia was designed with a very large dome, which is said to have changed the history of architecture. There are forty windows at the base of the dome.
    It is famous for the beauty of its mystical light reflecting on the area where the worshipers sit. The unique character of Hagia Sophia's design indicates that it is one of the most ambitious monuments of ancient architecture and superior masterpieces of Byzantine architecture.

  13. Photo Gallery

    Guided Istanbul Old City Tour

    This Istanbul Tour will take you with an expert Tour Guide on a walk through the extraordinary views of the Historical Center of the city. It will offer you the opportunity to explore the historical stratifications and art evolution of the city, and you will experience a stroll among monuments, mosques, and churches, perfect for your first day in Istanbul.

    This tour is full of attractions, and it is the perfect one to complete your experience in Istanbul. You will visit lots of historical places including the Ancient Roman Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, and more. You will see a lot of sites, you will hear an incredible amount of stories provided by your art historian Professional tour guide and you will be able to follow the line of the artistic evolution of Istanbul over the years.