Private Tour: Istanbuls Ottoman Experience Including Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque (3795IST_P02)
Turkey, Marmara, Istanbul
Discover three top Istanbul attractions in the citys UNESCO-listed Sultanahmet neighborhood on a 4-hour private tour! While learning about the Ottoman days of Istanbul, when the city was known as Constantinople, visit the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. Hear tales of the extravagant sultans who typified the city under Ottoman rule, and ogle incredible architecture and artifacts inside each of the city landmarks.
Start your tour with a pickup from your European-side hotel or alternatively, meet your private guide at a central meeting point. Before leaving by minivan, listen to a brief breakdown of your day. The sequence of your itinerary is subject to change, so the attractions (as detailed below) may be visited in a different order.
Hop out of your minivan in Sultanahmet, Istanbuls UNESCO-listed historical heart, and wander through the Hippodrome your first attraction of the tour. The hub of daily life during its Ottoman-era heyday, the Hippodrome was once a vast arena with galleries where people from all walks of life would gather for political meetings, chariot races and even riots. Today, the historical site exists as a city park thats popular with locals and visitors alike. Pose for photos in front of the Obelisk of Theodosius, a gift to the city from Egypt, and then continue by foot to the nearby Blue Mosque.
After marveling at the mosques iconic six minarets, head inside the famous place of worship to see the thousands of Iznik tiles that cascade a sea of blue throughout the buildings interior. An incredible example of classical Ottoman architecture, the Blue Mosque was built on the orders of Sultan Ahmet I who demanded a place of worship to rival the grandeur of the Hagia Sophia another of Sultanahmets impressive mosques.
Take some time to explore inside with your private guide, and then walk over to Topkapi Palace, the final attraction visited on your tour. Once the lavish abode of eccentric 15th-century sultans and their harems, Topkapi Palace now leads a tamer existence as one of the citys top museums. Browse the exhibits that feature artifacts and ornamentation from Ottoman days, and hear colorful stories about the characters who lived in one of Istanbuls most ostentatious palaces.
Leave Topkapi Palace, and stroll the short distance to your minivan to finish your tour with a drop-off at your European-side hotel or at the start point in the center of town.