Classical Old City Tour
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)
Highlights: Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar
Operates: By Coach / Daily / All Year Around / Max. 12 persons
Price: Price on Application
After breakfast your guide will meet you in the hotel reception or cruise ship port. Our first visit is to Topkapi Palace, the residence of the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries and which was home to the mystical Harem, see the wealth of the Treasury and some of the Holiest Islamic relics. From the gardens of the fourth courtyard, with its pavillions where the Sultan would relax, you can gaze across the panorama towards Galata Tower, the Golden Horn and the Asian side of the Bosporus. The 6thC architectural masterpiece of Hagia Sophia, is a former Orthodox Patriarchal Basilica. In 1453 it was converted to a mosque and today is a museum. The Golden Dome, which represent Heaven, and the mosaics are awe inspiring. After lunch we cross the Sultan Ahmet gardens to visit the "Blue Mosque", so named because of the astounding 21,043 Iznik blue tiles that cover the interior. The Imperial Mosque is the only Ottoman Mosque with six minarets. At the side of the mosque we walk through the Hippodrome, which was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople. Today the park contains The Serpent Column of three intertwined snakes, the Obelisk of Pharaoh Thutmose III and the Fountain of Kaiser Wilheim II. On route to the Grand Bazaar we stop at the 6thC Basilica Cistern for the inevitable photo shoot of the Medusa’s Head, which is exposed at the base of two, of the 336 columns that support the roof.The Grand Bazaar is a must for the shopaholics with over 4000 shops selling every conceivable item from tourist tat to antiques. From the bazaar we return to your hotel.