- City: Istanbul
- Duration: 3hrs 30mins
- Start Time: 8.30AM
- 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!
EXTENDED TOUR DESCRIPTION
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.
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.
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!
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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.