Walks of Turkey

Walks of Turkey

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Best of Istanbul - Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia & Basilica Cistern
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Key Details

  • City: Istanbul
  • Duration: 3hrs 30mins
  • Start Time: 8.30AM

Tour Highlights

  • Explore the best of historic Istanbul with a guided tour of the Sulthanmet area; home to the top historic and cultural sights of the city. With small groups and only the best (most fluent) guides, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the city.
  • Marvel at the incredible architecture of the Blue Mosque with a guided tour inside; skip long lines at Hagia Sophia & the Basilica Cistern to discover the history of Turkey; and wander the Hippodrome tracing roots back to Constantinople.
  • With small groups of only 15 people or fewer, you’ll get personal attention from our friendly expert guides. And with only the best licensed guides leading our Istanbul tours, we guarantee you’ll have no surprises on the day – no charges and no carpets!
Inside Hagia Sophia, Istanbul Understand Islamic art at Hagia Sophia Incredible art inside Hagia Sophia Hagia Sophia is also known as Aya Sofya Inside Hagia Sophia, Istanbul The Hagia Sophia, Istanbul Inside the Blue Mosque, Istanbul The painted domes of the Blue Mosque Praying in the Blue Mosque, Istanbul Ceiling of the Blue Mosque, Istanbul Having a guide means your visit has context The courtyard of the Blue Mosque Our guides are fun expert locals With small groups it's easy to hear Ancient Roman Obelisk, Istanbul Medusa head column, the Basilica Cistern Underground in the Basilica Cistern, Istanbul Discover the history of the Basilica Cistern Basilica Cistern column details

EXTENDED TOUR DESCRIPTION

The Blue Mosque on our Istanbul tours

Explore the Blue Mosque with an expert local Istanbul tour guide

Your morning starts at the Blue Mosque, where you’ll arrive before the biggest crowds of the day. Here you’ll meet your Istanbul tour guide – a fluent English-speaker, handpicked by our team for their passion, knowledge and integrity. Together you’ll admire the six minarets of the mosque, understanding a little of Islam through the architecture of this incredible structure and the stories behind its construction.

As soon as the mosque opens it’s headscarves on and shoes off for a peaceful (thanks to our small groups) exploration of this beautiful space.

Mosaics at Hagia Sophia

Skip long lines for a Hagia Sophia tour; once the most important church in Christiandom

One of the most popular attractions in Istanbul, Hagia Sophia is subsequently one of the busiest – with lines that often stretch for two hours in high season. Traveling with our fully licensed tour guides, with pre-reserved tickets, you’ll breeze past the hoards for skip the line entry. It’s a good thing too, since you’ll need every second to appreciate this fascinating structure.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, Hagia Sophia (aka Aya Sofya), is one of the few structures you’ll ever see that served as both a church and a mosque – and very important versions of each. Learn how this came to pass and spot the signs of on a guided Hagia Sophia tour. Admiring Arabic symbols mingled with ancient Christian mosaics, your guide will surprise you with insight on just how similar Christianity and Islam are in their teachings.

The Basilica Cistern on our Istanbul tour

Discover Istanbul’s underground cistern and its carved Medusa heads

Similar to Hagia Sophia, the Basilica Cistern is prone to long lines – but again, your guide has special entrance! Skip general access lines to use the tour guide ticket window (tickets included in price of tour), getting you quickly out of the sun and into the cool underground of Istanbul.

For many visitors, the Basilica Cistern is a surprise highlight of our Istanbul tours. Once responsible for Constantinople’s water supply (introduced by the Ancient Romans) it takes us even further back in time with beautiful carved sculptures of Medusa’s head and a chilling atmosphere.

Traveling in small groups of 15 people or fewer, with headsets for any groups larger than 6, you’ll get personal attention from your Istanbul tour guide, finding them easier to interact with and question. With pre-reserved tickets at all ticketed sights (the Blue Mosque does not require tickets, entrance is free) and all reservation fees covered, you can rest assured that there will be no surprise charges. So all you need to worry about is soaking up the very best of Istanbul!

Sites visited

  • Blue Mosque
  • Hagia Sophia
  • Hippodrome
  • Basilica Cistern

Included

  • Express entrance tickets for Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern
  • Small groups of 15 people or fewer
  • Headsets on groups larger than 6
  • Expert Istanbul tour guide
  • Walks of Turkey ‘No Surprise Guarantee’

Reviews

5-stars from over 51 Customer Reviews

Again fabulous tour, terrific guide. Very generous with his time. Very knowledgeable. Just remind visitors on this tour NOT to eat breakfast.
Our guide was great, as was the overall tour. We will recommend this tour to friends.
The guide was very knowledgeable and interested in giving a good tour. I took two tours with walks and they were both great. I took two other tours from other providers and they were not as good.
Jimmy was an excellent guide and I would definitely recommend this tour to my friends and family.
Murat did a wonderful job. And he was patient with two of us being photographers that wanted to take pictures more than we wanted to listen! Thank you for the tour!
Guide was very informative. I liked the length of the tour and didn't feel rushed at all.
Dilan was amazing! Everything was perfect regardless of the snowstorm throughout the day and cold weather. I really enjoyed the tour!
Engin was really nice, gave us a lot of interesting information on the main monuments we visited and made the whole tour really enjoyable!
We really had a great time, Kerem was a great guide, speaking fluently English and introduced us also to the local customs and culture habits.
Guide and tour were excellent.
Duygu was great ... Informative , interesting and personable . Great person for your "team" . Would be great to have a cuisine tour for Turkey . We took one in Florence once , very enjoyable . Use local executive chefs as guides if no other are available .
Very professional and detailed. I was very impressed with Duygu's knowledge.
It was very interesting to learn so much history about Ottoman Empire, and our tour guide Kerem was really good he done very well guiding us through everything, I would rate him high because he was so good and friendly and good command of English . and he was knowledgeable. thank you for the service I would recommend your company to others.
I had tha same tour guide for all 3 tours. He was excellent guide in all of them. I had a great time for all the tours.
I had tha same tour guide for all 3 tours. He was excellent guide in all of them. I had a great time for all the tours.
Duygu gave us a great tour of these sites and gave a very entertaining insight into the history and main characters.
Once again we were so blessed to have a guide who spoke excellent English and had such knowledge and passion about his subject. We could not recommend this trip highly enough.
Great value and a great, friendly, knowledgeable and open minded Guide. Thank You!
Camille was wonderful! He answered all of our questions and spent extra time ast each site. Fantastic!
Camille was wonderful! He answered all of our questions and spent extra time ast each site. Fantastic!
Our visit was very interesting and joyful... we learned a lot. Our guide was excellent and has a good sense of humor, he knew all about it... we strongly recommend this visit.
Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and professional. We loved everything about the tour - and the lunch.
Great tour and guide was really knowledgeable
We had Hatice for this tour as well, and the above comments apply to this tour.
If I could give Hatice more than most satisfied I would.
Dugyu was excellent and very clear - we felt it was a great tour - and only having 8 people was also excellent. Please thank Dugyu from us - as I have said she was really clear, positive and had a charming personality as well.
Great tour, guide was very knowledgeable and was able to answer all questions
A wonderful tour. Very informative guide with lots of historical and local knowledge.
My tour guide Engin (sounds like Amin) was very professional, friendly and knowledgeable. He made sure we saw all the main areas and gave a detailed explanation. He also gavce adequate time for photos etc. Very good tour guide and a very good tour by your company.
The tour of the Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern & Blue Mosque was simply excellent. Our guide Guyan came with so much knowledge of the history of Turkey and these locations it would have to the best walk I have ever done. I cannot recommend Walks of Turkey enough, certainly 5 star.
A most excellent tour fantastic places to see in Istanbul, especially Basilica Cistern the other companies didn't all offer that on the itineraries. Ocrun was also fantastic very knowledgeable and caring, I would recommend him to anyone wanting to visit Istanbul.the other brilliant thing was the early start time of the tour it allowed us to get in early before its too crowded it all suited us very much no complaints what so ever. FANTASTIC X
The three sites for the tour were great. Construction is a bit of a bummer but I really enjoyed Ayasofia because we could go upstairs and really see everything.

Important information

Before you travel, please read our important notes about possible disruptions & site entrance requirements

Please remember that the Blue Mosque is a holy place, and attire must be appropriate for the visit. Both men and women are asked to take off their shoes when entering (you will put them in a plastic bag, provided by the Mosque, and bring them with you). Both are also asked to have their knees and shoulders covered. Women are asked to wear a head covering when entering. Please bring a scarf with you. Walks of Turkey cannot be held responsible for denied entry due to improper dress.

Note: We advise our clients that the Blue Mosque may be closed during special celebrations/festivities. These closures are generally only announced a few days prior. If this occurs during your visit, we will spend more time at other sites. Your guide will still give you full information on the Mosque should you wish to visit this on your own at a later occasion. We are unable to provide refunds or discounts.

Again fabulous tour, terrific guide. Very generous with his time. Very knowledgeable. Just remind visitors on this tour NOT to eat breakfast.
Our guide was great, as was the overall tour. We will recommend this tour to friends.
The guide was very knowledgeable and interested in giving a good tour. I took two tours with walks and they were both great. I took two other tours from other providers and they were not as good.
Jimmy was an excellent guide and I would definitely recommend this tour to my friends and family.
Murat did a wonderful job. And he was patient with two of us being photographers that wanted to take pictures more than we wanted to listen! Thank you for the tour!
Guide was very informative. I liked the length of the tour and didn't feel rushed at all.
(No comment)
Dilan was amazing! Everything was perfect regardless of the snowstorm throughout the day and cold weather. I really enjoyed the tour!
(No comment)
Engin was really nice, gave us a lot of interesting information on the main monuments we visited and made the whole tour really enjoyable!
We really had a great time, Kerem was a great guide, speaking fluently English and introduced us also to the local customs and culture habits.
Guide and tour were excellent.
Dilan was prompt, knowledgeable and personable. We had a fantastic day and I saw many things I would never have seen on my own. I also appreciated that there was no prescribed shopping time (I hate wasting time looking for souvenirs when we are there to explore the city) though Dilan always was accomodating if we wanted to stop and pick up a trinket or two. Lunch surpassed my expectations, the baklava and Turkish delight shop in the Spice market was amazing and the finale at the end on the rooftop near the Tower was a perfect way to end our day. Dilan made Istanbul come to life. Thank you.
Duygu was great ... Informative , interesting and personable . Great person for your "team" . Would be great to have a cuisine tour for Turkey . We took one in Florence once , very enjoyable . Use local executive chefs as guides if no other are available .
Very professional and detailed. I was very impressed with Duygu's knowledge.
It was very interesting to learn so much history about Ottoman Empire, and our tour guide Kerem was really good he done very well guiding us through everything, I would rate him high because he was so good and friendly and good command of English . and he was knowledgeable. thank you for the service I would recommend your company to others.
I had tha same tour guide for all 3 tours. He was excellent guide in all of them. I had a great time for all the tours.
I had tha same tour guide for all 3 tours. He was excellent guide in all of them. I had a great time for all the tours.
Duygu gave us a great tour of these sites and gave a very entertaining insight into the history and main characters.
(No comment)
(No comment)
(No comment)
Once again we were so blessed to have a guide who spoke excellent English and had such knowledge and passion about his subject. We could not recommend this trip highly enough.
Great value and a great, friendly, knowledgeable and open minded Guide. Thank You!
Camille was wonderful! He answered all of our questions and spent extra time ast each site. Fantastic!
Camille was wonderful! He answered all of our questions and spent extra time ast each site. Fantastic!
Our visit was very interesting and joyful... we learned a lot. Our guide was excellent and has a good sense of humor, he knew all about it... we strongly recommend this visit.
(No comment)
The whole tour was very well organised and it was a pleasure to get to know Istanbul in a small group. Yasemin is such a nice tour guide and knew a lot about the history of all the sights. I really liked that she even told us a lot about everyday life in Istanbul/Turkey. We could have asked her everything and she wouldn't have minded to answer all the questions. The lunch which was included was very good too. I would always recommend to friends and family to do the whole day tour with Walks of Turkey. The next time I'm in Istanbul I will surely book another tour with Walks of Turkey - probably the Food Tour. Thank you for this amazing experience and thanks a lot to Yasemin!
The guide was very personable and did well providing information throughout the tour. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque was closed on the day of the tour due to unexpected reasons which was a bit of a disappointment, however, the guide did take us to a smaller mosque nearby at the end of the tour. I was able to make it back to the Sultan Ahmed Mosque a few days later when it was open.
Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and professional. We loved everything about the tour - and the lunch.
Hatice was phenomenal! The actual event was very good as well.
Great tour and guide was really knowledgeable
(No comment)
We had Hatice for this tour as well, and the above comments apply to this tour.
If I could give Hatice more than most satisfied I would.
Dugyu was excellent and very clear - we felt it was a great tour - and only having 8 people was also excellent. Please thank Dugyu from us - as I have said she was really clear, positive and had a charming personality as well.
(No comment)
Great tour, guide was very knowledgeable and was able to answer all questions
(No comment)
Emrecan is an outstanding guide! Not only is she extremely knowledgable about the history of these areas but she is able to make each ancient site come alive. We felt like we had stepped back in time. Both my husband and I came away with a clearer understanding and appreciation for the different civilizations that have existed in Istanbul. Emercan took such good care of us. We appreciated the many personal connections she had in the city which really enhanced our experiences that day. She even went out of her way to help us deal with the airport baggage claim area and help us locate our missing bags. If it wasn't for her, I truly do not think that we would have gotten our luggage back in time for our cruise. The high standards that Emercan sets for herself flow into the experience that people have on her tours. Both my husband and I feel that this tour was the highlight of our trip to Turkey! Thank you again, Emercan!
A wonderful tour. Very informative guide with lots of historical and local knowledge.
My tour guide Engin (sounds like Amin) was very professional, friendly and knowledgeable. He made sure we saw all the main areas and gave a detailed explanation. He also gavce adequate time for photos etc. Very good tour guide and a very good tour by your company.
(No comment)
All was very good
(No comment)
Very enjoyable day and experience. We visited many sights and our guide was fluent in English and very knowledgeable. We were taken to a few locations that without the guide we would never been aware.
(No comment)