Istanbul City VIP Tour
Istanbul City Tour
Following our arrival in Istanbul we are met at the airport and transferred to our hotel where we will have our dinner and overnight stay. After breakfast, we set off on a full day of sightseeing in Istanbul.
We will start off with a visit to the renowned Sultanahmet Mosque, known popularly as The Blue Mosque, an incredibly beautiful mosque of worship known for its blue Iznık (Nicaean) tiles and unique for the fact that it has six minarets. We continue on to the Hippodrome, once the vast arena that functioned as the heart of sporting (chariots races and athletics) events and political activities of the old city. From here we go to the nearby Hagia Sophia, the Church of Divine Wisdom. Ranking as one of the greatest marvels of world architecture, this awe-inspiring building was constucted as a basilica in the 6th century by Byzantine Emperor Justinian. Just a short walk across the square takes us to the Underground Cistern, the largest of the many underground cisterns built during the Byzantine Empire to supply the city with water.
This cistern is especially fascinating because the Byzantine builders recycled many stone structures - capital heads and columns-- that had been used in earlier temples. Now an upside down Medusa stares out at us from her watery home. After enjoying our lunch at a local restaurant. We continue on to the Suleymaniye Mosque: Ranking as one of the masterpieces of the famous Ottoman architect Sinan, this mosque was built in the name of Suleiman the Magnificent during the 16th century. The tour will end with the visit to the Grand Bazaar, the vast and legendary covered market that is the biggest souk in the world with nearly 4000 shops of antiques, jewelry, and carpets. Overnight in the hotel. After breakfast visit to the Topkapi Palace. This visit to the imperial palace of the Ottoman Sultans will include tours of the imperial treasury, the Chinese porcelain section, the calligraphy section and many more. We will also visit the optional Jewelry Collection segment of the palace.
From here we go on to theEgyptian Spice Market, an arched complex of shops that have long and traditionally specialized in spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. We will spend free time in the afternoon. We are transferred to the airport for our departure flights.