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Historic Istanbul tour

The rich and varied history of Istanbul comes alive during this full-day guided tour that takes in the classical, Byzantine and Ottoman periods. You will be picked up from your hotel and visit the Hippodrome, which was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople and where chariot races were held in front of emperors and thousands of spectators. The tour will then make its way to the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque because of the tiles adorning its interior. We’ll cross the landscaped gardens of Sultanahmet Square to Hagia Sophia, which for 1,000 years it was the most important church in Orthodox Christianity. After the Ottoman conquest it became a mosque and it is now a museum, a testament to man’s ingenuity and faith in God. The next visits will be to the Milion Stone, the marker from which all distances were measured in the Byzantine Empire, and the Caferaga Madrasah cultural centre. Afterwards, we will enjoy a set Turkish lunch. The first stop of the afternoon is the Arasta Bazaar close to the Blue Mosque and from there we’ll head for a couple of hours to the Topkap? Palace, the fabulous complex from where the Ottoman Empire was ruled by the sultans and where they kept their harem. Our last call will be to the epic Grand Bazaar, which attracts up to 400,000 visitors daily to its more than 3,000 shops in 61 covered streets. The rich and varied history of Istanbul comes alive during this full-day guided tour that takes in the classical, Byzantine and Ottoman periods. You will be picked up from your hotel and visit the Hippodrome, which was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople and where chariot races were held in front of emperors and thousands of spectators. The tour will then mak Meeting/ Pick up point: Hotel lobby.Start or opening time: 8.30am.End or closing time: 6pm.

Languages: English.

Others: An English-speaking guide will accompany the tour. If either Hagia Sophia or the Topkapi are closed, the underground Basilica Cistern will be visited. Transfers, admission and lunch are all included.