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 togather 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 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 first 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…
The Blue Mosque (Called Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish) comes as your next visit. This imperial mosque is an example of classical Turkish architecture, and it is the only mosque that was originally built with six minarets. The architect was a student of Sinan, the greatest architect of classical Turkish architecture. He applied a plan used previously by his master, but on a larger scale. It started to be built in 1609 and was finished in 1616 during the rule of Sultan Ahmed I and with a very good condition still an active mosque by the prayers.
The name “Blue” actually comes from the exquisite tiles that are over than 20,000 located inside the mosque. The areas above the tiles and the inside of the domes are decorated with paintwork.Tiles are such a kind of jewelry on the walls of interior design, which are called Iznik (historic Nicaea) tiles. A special quality of ceramic tiles and pottery produced in Iznik during the 15 and 16th centuries. These exquisite tiles and pottery represent the cultural and artistic zenith of the Ottoman Empire. The examples of these tiles and pottery are part of the best collections of museums in Turkey and all around the world.
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 caravansaries, 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 wait 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
- Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays, could be replaced with Chora Museum.
- Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays, could be replaced with Archaeological Museum.
- Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays.