Istanbul Highlights: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Grand Bazaar

4.5 Hours
Group Activity
Moderate
Cruise Friendly

From (USD) $202 Per Person (Based on 2)

Istanbul Highlights: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Grand Bazaar

4.5 Hours
Group Activity
Moderate
Cruise Friendly

From (USD) $202 Per Person (Based on 2)

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      Istanbul Highlights: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Grand Bazaar

      Istanbul, Turkey
      From (USD) $202 Per Person (Based on 2)
      Highlights
      • Blue Mosque: Istanbul's most photogenic building was built by Sultan Ahmet I and features blue domed ceilings, floor-to-ceiling Iznic tile mosaics, and six towering minarets.
      • Hagia Sophia Museum: Constructed by the Byzantines in 532 A.D., the stunning domed church was converted to an imperial mosque by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453.
      • Grand Bazaar: Along a winding maze of streets are rows of colorful stands peddling exotic textiles, fragrant teas, and iron-cast lanterns.
      About this Istanbul tour

      Sultan Ahmet I was a little insecure about the size and beauty of the Hagia Sophia he couldn't have the city's loveliest monument be one that was built by his ancient competitors. So in the early 1600s he built his namesake mosque to out-wow the neighboring Sophia, and his Blue Mosque made quite the formidable rival.

      Stacked with the biggest courtyard of any Ottoman mosque in the world, a wonderfully curvaceous exterior with cascading domed ceilings gave the Blue Mosque some va-va-voom voluptuousness. Blue Iznik tiles top off her alluring features, tens of thousands of intricate tiles adorn her walls, while over 260 windows lend plenty of light.

      Like any jealous Sultan, Ahmet wished he could construct an invisible fortress around his prized possession. Maybe that's why he built six towering minarets more than any other mosque at the time to show everyone in town that his Blue Mosque was spoken for. Judging by their shape and size tall, pointy, and wide - Ahmet probably had something to prove to his rivals.

      Today the Blue Mosque is just as exclusive with suitors trying to get inside: non-Muslims can only visit between the five daily prayer hours, and they've got to abide by the Mosque's high fashion standards no shoes for anyone, and ladies have to wear a head scarf. After all, Ahmet's beautiful blue lady was a decent one above all.

      Short but sweet

      Ahmet's love affair with the Blue Mosque was sadly short-lived. He died of typhus at the ripe old age of 28, just about 13 years after he assumed the throne. His legacy would be his namesake mosque, though he wouldn't get much time to enjoy her opulence.

      Getting prepared
      Tour Participation Requirements
      Bring photo ID Bring photo ID
      Bring money Bring money
      Great photo opportunities Great photo opportunities
      Wear sunscreen Wear sunscreen
      Wear comfortable shoes Wear comfortable shoes
      Wear Jeans Wear Jeans
      Wear Hat Wear Hat
      Wear Sunglasses Wear Sunglasses
      Cancellation policy

      Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.

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      General disclaimer

      Your order is subject to TourTrek's Booking Ticket Agreement, including all TourTrek and GoBe policies incorporated therein.

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