Best Places to Visit in Istanbul

Visiting: Basillica Cistern, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace

Duration: 6 hours

Once arriving Istanbul, your guide will then take you to our luxury vehicle, in which you can relax before the exciting moment you will surely have with your private shore excursion to Istanbul. You will drive to historical peninsula with our tour transportation vehicle.

Underground Cistern – The city's most unexpectedly romantic attraction, will be your first visit of this shore excursion in Istanbul. The Basilica Cistern, once was the place that operated the complicated system that brought drinking water into Istanbul. The building was constructed in the sixth century. Unfortunately it was forgotten by the public for centuries. The modern tourism has brought it back to life now. It is filled with music and lights and tons of visitors coming daily. Look for the upside-down head of Medusa that forms the bottom of one of the columns surrounding the place. It is a good example of how the Byzantine builders saw Roman relics as nothing more than reusable rubble.

After visited Cistern Palace you will continue to Hagia Sophia - The Emperor Justinian built Hagia Sophia when Istanbul was Constantinople. It is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. It served as the principal mosque of Istanbul for almost 500 years, and became a model for many of the Ottoman mosques of Istanbul such as the Blue Mosque, the Suleiman Mosque, the Shehzade Mosque and the Rustem Pasha Mosque.

After Hagia Sophia you will visit Blue Mosque. The place is known for its marvelous interior design.  Once you enter the mosque, you will see the blue tiles surrounding its inner walls. Enjoy explore its architecture and historical exhibits. The best way to enter the mosque is from the Hippodrome, which is the West side of the mosque. It draws so many visitors everyday even though it is being used as an active mosque. So it is closed five times a day for half an hour each time during the time of the prayers. 

After the Blue Mosque we will continue to Topkapi Palace. The palace has been significant as it was both used as a royal residence, and occasional entertainments. Even today it contains holy religious items from the Muslim world. UNESCO has described it as “the best example[s] of ensembles of palaces [...] of the Ottoman period."

After the visit to Blue Mosque, you will visit Grand Bazaar –one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. The market houses more than 3000 shops, all along on 60 streets. It has been operating since the 15th century. Listen to your guide giving you the bargaining tips as this market is not for an innocent tourist. The shops look almost the same and sell the same stuff. You might feel like you are lost in a maze.

After a whole day exploring this magnificent city, your tour finishes with a drop-off at your port of call by your guide.


Lunch is not included in the cost of the tour. We will suggest options for local Turkish restaurants and provide ample time for you to have a sit-down lunch.


- Port pick-up and drop-off
- Entrance fees as per itinerary
- Luxury air-con coach
- Licensed tour guide
- Drinking water in vehicle


- Lunch and beverages
- Entrance fees to the Terrace Houses $15 extra (optional)
- Gratuities (optional)


This tour requires a bit of walking and we suggest you wear comfortable shoes or sandals. As it can be very hot in summer months, please bring sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and any other necessary sun gear with you.


For optional mosque visits you need to bring a sarong to cover legs and a head scarf for women.

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