Grand Bazaar and any two: Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque

5.5 Hours
Group Activity
Strenuous
Cruise Friendly

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

Grand Bazaar and any two: Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque

5.5 Hours
Group Activity
Strenuous
Cruise Friendly

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

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      Grand Bazaar and any two: Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque

      Istanbul, Turkey
      From (USD) $202 Per Person (Based on 2)
      Highlights
      • Hagia Sophia: Former Christian basilica, imperial mosque, and present-day museum was the world's largest cathedral for nearly a 1,000 years. Its vast dome is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture.
      • Topkapi Palace: Built for the sultan who conquered Constantinople, this vast walled complex was built as royal residences and later turned museum. Features grand courtyard gardens and priceless religious art collections.
      • Blue Mosque: Formally known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, because of the floor-to-ceiling blue tile mosaics inside, Istanbul's most photogenic building features huge domes and six towering minarets.
      • Grand Bazaar: More than 90 million people a year come to haggle at the world's oldest and largest covered market. Wander through a colorful maze of winding lanes and shops selling everything from textiles to tea.
      About this Istanbul tour

      This ancient crossroad city has physically divided and culturally mingled East and West for thousands of years. It has changed hands repeatedly among tribes, nations, empires, and alliances of empires. It's been the sentry guarding passage between Asia and Europe on the Silk Road, and a link between the Black and the Mediterranean seas through the Bosporus Strait. Istanbul was a capital of Christianity after the fall of Rome and capital of Islam after the Ottoman conquest. Learn more of the city's fascinating story on this tour.

      The arrival of the Ottoman Empire launched an age of decadence for this city that straddles two continents. You'll see magnificently decorated mosques, mosaic-filled churches, and sumptuous, sprawling palaces including the splendid playground for the salacious sultans who reigned between the 15th and 19th centuries.

      When Mehmet the Conqueror took Istanbul (then Constantinople) in 1453, he moved the capital of the Ottoman Empire to the strategically located city and set to work building his grand palace. While Topkapi was only supposed to be his summer fling, he got a little too comfortable lounging in its tree-shaded courtyards, opulent carved pavilions, and 400-room harem, and the royal residence became the center of Ottoman rule for the next 400 years, housing as many as 4,000 people.

      A palace in a city as prized as Istanbul deserved to be dazzled with diamonds and baubles, and the Ottoman sultans adorned Topkapi with the richest collection of jewels in the world, including the 86-karat Spoonmaker's Diamond. According to one legend (there are many), a swindling jeweler traded a naive fisherman three spoons for what he said was worthless glass, but is actually one of the world's most famous diamonds. True or not, it's a story to keep in mind at the bazaar.

      No such thing as a slow day

      The Grand Bazaar gets between a quarter of a million people and 400,000 visitors a day. But you don't become the oldest and biggest covered market in the world overnight; its labyrinth of 61 streets and 3,000-plus shops accumulated through fires and earthquakes over the course of 550 years. If you're willing to haggle, there are bargains to be had on books, leather, jewelry, ceramics, silverware, carpets, and even belly-dancing outfits.

      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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