Duration of the tour: Around 4 hrs.
After having your breakfast at the hotel, you are going to be meeting with your guide at the reception and then your unforgettable day in Istanbul starts!
Istanbul is the only city in the world that situated on two continents: Asia and Europe divided by Bosphorus Strait. Istanbul, capital city of three successive empires such as Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires with over 2,000 years of history as its location being on crossroads of Europe and Asia…
So in Istanbul you may feel the great mixture of oriental life and European life nested together with different cultures all around you. Enjoy the harmony of those cultures, people and listen to the sound in Istanbul calling you…
The Hippodrome of Constantinople will be your first visit where also most of the highlights in your program situated around this area.
The Hippodrome of Constantinapole was being used as a square for chariot races, athletic competitions and rebellions in Byzantium Era. After, in the Ottoman Period it was used for executions as well. Nowadays, it’s known as the heart of Sultanahmet where you see the four impressive monuments located; the GERMAN FOUNTAIN OF WILHELM II, the OBELISK OF THEODOSIUS, the bronze SERPENTINE COLUMN and the COLUMN OF CONSTANTINE and also most of the important sites are located around this area that makes your day easy as well..
Hagia Sophia will be your next visit..This mysterious place used to be a church built by emperor Justinian then converted into a mosque and today as a museum attracts a lot of attention by all the visitors..did you know that Hagia Sophia also mentions in the novel of Dan Brown called Inferno?
You are going to have a bit taste of both the Christian and Islamic effects at this impressive atmosphere…
Underground Cistern is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Istanbul which was built by Justinian in the 6 C AD to be used as a reservoir for water storage. This cistern is an underground chamber of 138 x 64.6 meters. The large space is broken up by a forest of 336 marble columns, which are aesthetically supported by strong columns and arches.
The citizens who settled in the vicinity were provided with their daily water requirements from the large round well-like holes opening from the ceiling structure.
In between 1985-1988 dirty water and tons of mud were removed and a promenade platform was built in the cistern. After the cleaning process was completed, the two Medusa heads, masterpieces of the First Age Art of Statuary were used as pedestals at the bottom of the two columns in the northwest corner of the cistern. It is not known exactly when or for what purpose the antique Medusa and Gorgon heads were brought to the Basilica Cistern, something not to miss inside !
Grand Bazaar, time for shopping for a while in one of the best shopping malls ever ! The world famous covered bazaar “The Grand Bazaar” (Kapalıçarsı) is, owing to its architecture, history, location, and sheer variety of merchandise, one of İstanbul’s most significant tourist sites. The Bazaar has eight different entrances, each of them facing one of the city’s most important historic monuments and there are more than 5000 shops located whether it be jewelers,antiques,carpets,copper or leather goods.. Built at the command of Sultan Mehmed the, Conqueror in 1461, the Bazaar initially consisted of just two warehouses (bedesten). In time, merchants began to set up their own stalls and workshops in the surrounding area. Dignitaries furthered the expansion with the addition of numerous caravanserais, so that soon the place had become a focus for trading goods from all over the empire.
You can find anything that you look for, even for yourselves even for your friends and relatives who waits some gifts from Turkey..! An important tip for you ; “do not forget to bargain !”. Part of the Turkish culture is “negotiation” which are not always very big amounts that we talk for discount but still remember that you are in the big city and Grand Bazaar is a tourist attraction more…
After the visit of Grand Bazaar, coming the end of an unforgettable day so you are going to be transferred back to your hotel.
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Places to Visit
- Hippodrome of Constantinapole,
- Hagia Sophia,
- Underground Cistern,
- Grand Bazaar