Walks of Turkey

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Key Details

  • City: Istanbul
  • Duration: 3hrs
  • Start Time: 10AM

Tour Highlights

  • Skip long lines to gain immediate access to Topkapi Palace & Harem. Explore the best sites of the Palace including the Sultan’s controversial harem, learning the history of the great Ottoman Empire – and of the sultans, concubines & eunuchs that resided here for 400 years.
  • This original itinerary explores newly opened areas not usually covered on Topkapi Palace tours, including the kitchens, the (surprisingly luxurious) foot soldiers’ barracks and the hidden heart of the palace; the harem, where crown princes, wives, mistresses and the Sultan’s many children lived.
  • With pre-reserved Topkapi Palace tickets you'll save time otherwise wasted in line, including additional tickets to the Harem. Meanwhile, having an expert local tour guide means you’ll get so much more from the experience - truly understanding the sites you visit.
The Imperial Hall Circumcision Room The Crown Prince's Apartment The Crown Prince's Apartment Topkapi Doorway Hagia Eirene Church Inside the Revan Kiosk The Revan Kiosk Baghdad Kiosk View from Topkapi Palace View from Topkapi Palace Doorway in the Harem Topkapi Palace dome interior

EXTENDED TOUR DESCRIPTION

The Baghdad Kiosk, Topkapi Palace” class=

GIVE TOPKAPI PALACE THE ATTENTION IT DESERVES ON AN EXTENDED TOUR, PLUS AREAS PREVIOUSLY CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC!

Three hours is enough to see the best of Topkapi Palace – but only if you plan it well. We’ve carefully devised an itinerary to be sure that you get the most from your time with us. Traveling with an expert local tour guide (a fluent English speaker), you’ll experience the best of the palace’s history, architecture and art but most importantly, with the help of our guides you’ll understand it!

Visit areas previously closed to the public, like the palace kitchens where a staff of 800 made up to 6,000 meals per day; enter the military corps barracks to discover surprising luxury in their hammam, pipe room and prayer room (and see the appeal of joining the Sultan’s army!); and see the Sultan’s Audience Chamber – where ministers were either showered with gifts and promotions or strangled by deaf, mute eunuchs.

The Imperial Hall in Topkapi Palace Harem

VISIT THE PALACE HAREM FOR A GLIMPSE OF THE SULTAN’S COMPLICATED PRIVATE LIFE.

The highlight of our Topkapi Palace tour is a visit to the Harem. This, after all, is where you’ll find all the best gossip - not to mention the most stunning decorations. Consisted of 400 rooms, this is the inner heart of Topkapi Palace, home to the Sultan’s mother, his wives, concubines and children, the crown princes, and the servants and eunuchs that served them all.

The living quarters here offer a great insight into life in the palace; the sumptuous interiors of the Sultan’s mother’s chambers clearly state her position at the top of the food chain. Your guide will point out secret spots of the palace, like the Sultan’s secret door to the Imperial Hall, concealed by a mirror. They’ll show you the concubine chambers and the official ‘Favorite’s Apartment’. You’ll also see the Crown Prince Apartment and learn how princes spent their time at the palace in seclusion, learning the discipline of the harem from eunuchs.

Gilded door, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

WITH YOUR OWN DEDICATED TOUR GUIDE (HANDPICKED BY WALKS) YOU’LL GET MORE FROM YOUR VISIT.

We know our guides are the most important part of this (or any) tour, so we’ve handpicked only the best, most fluent, fun and friendly tour leaders to join our team - expert storytellers who can take you back in time, to the golden age of Topkapi Palace.

Throughout your tour you’ll travel in small groups of 15 people or fewer so you’ll find it easier to hear and interact with your guide. Our carefully crafted route takes you to a mixture of iconic sites but also quieter spots where you’ll have space and time to talk. After your tour, your guide will leave you inside to visit the busiest areas on your own. They’ll give you the information you need to enjoy relics like the cloak and sword of Muhammed, but won’t waste your time together waiting in lines that often stretch for an hour (not to mention the fact that guides can’t even speak inside afterwards!)

With no external affiliations, you can rest assured that our guides will never take you to any carpet shops or pressure you in any way, while all-inclusive pricing with pre-purchased Topkapi Palace tickets and reservation fees covered, means you could even leave your wallet at home.

Sites visited

  • Portrait Gallery
  • Topkapi Palace Harem
  • Military Corps Barracks
  • Baths of the Royal Family
  • Imperial Hall
  • Courtyard of the Eunuchs
  • Sultan’s Mother’s Apartment
  • Fourth Courtyard
  • Hagia Irene Church (from outside)
  • Mosque of the Ağas
  • Armor Room
  • Audience Chamber

Included

  • Topkapi Palace tickets
  • Topkapi Palace Harem ticket
  • Dedicated, handpicked Walks tour guide

Reviews

5-stars from over 27 Customer Reviews

Taner was our guide for the Topkapi Palace. He is also a friendly, very knowledgeable guide who made us feel at home in his country. He certainly gets a best rating.
Terrific guide and tour. Loved the tour and history. Very knowledgeable! You have a great company and concept. Reasonably priced with the best guides. We sought out Walks of Turkey following a terrific experience in Rome with Walks of Italy. Would tour anywhere Walks does business! Many thanks.
Excellent guide. She is a well prepared person, has a great compromise with her job and offered us interesting information. Thank you very much.
What an experience! I enjoyed it thoroughly! The guide was really professional he responded each and every of my question.
Kamil was wonderful and I had an amazing day! He was very knowledgeable, funny, and knew lots of great small facts that made the tour that much more enjoyable.
Engin is very informative and patient with us. He has sound knowledge of the tour and has given us a good summary of the history of the place. He paid attention to our needs and would ask us to sit whilst he stands and does the briefing (at which point my baby has fallen a sleep during the tour). Overall, we learned a lot from the trip.
Engin was very knowledgeable about the Topkapi Palace and the history of Istanbul. Really enjoyed this tour.
Very helpful and knowledgeable guide. We enjoyed the tour very much.
Duygu was excellent - a nice balance between serious historical content and amusing anecdotes.
Absolutely fabulous.. Best tour in a long time. Would recommend her to anyone. Thanks very much.
Really enjoyed this tour. Our guide was fantastic. He showed us things and explained things that I don't think I would have known about if I had taken a different tour. We had a small group which made it a lot of fun too. This will be one of my best memories of Istanbul.
Hatice was a knowledgeable and informative guide. She took the time to explain the different parts and places assuming that we could go back in our own time. I enjoyed her company and discussions and wish that I had time for more! Well done Hatice!
Hatice was amazing! It its truly hard to describe how lucky we felt she was our guide. Passionate and knowledgable about what she does, open to any questions and discussions, she conducted an amazing tour, very informative and fun! Last but not least, she has a very warm and kind personality and we'll remember this Istanbul experience connected to her; we really felt we made a new friend.
both Duygu and Hatice were excellent especially the latter. Just remind Duygu to take a "Walks of Turkey" board with her, as when we arrived at the Topkapi gate at about 0950, we could not see any sign of her and we really thought we had missed her, hence we didn't really get going until about 1030. Also think she doesn't need to give such detailed information about the Topkapi and the Ottoman Empire before getting started on the tour.. Otherwise, excellent
Tour guide went above and beyond to explain
We had a fantastic guide and can strongly recommend him! We had limited time, so not having to stand in line for tickets was great.Our guide was very knowledgeable,we enjoyed the tour. We can definitely recommend "Walks of Turkey"!
Our guide was excellent!
it was great tour and our tour guide was so experienced one of her job,thanks to her and family of Walks of Turkey
We very much enjoyed our day with Orchun and as a travel agent I look forward to booking my clients with you. He had great knowledge, spoke very good English and was very personable.

Important information

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

Please note that guides are not allowed to give explanations inside some of the rooms of Topkapi Palace, such as the Imperial Treasury, for example. In these cases the guide will give you the information from outside and let you explore the room at your own pace. The guide will however remain with you throughout the rest of the tour.

Taner was our guide for the Topkapi Palace. He is also a friendly, very knowledgeable guide who made us feel at home in his country. He certainly gets a best rating.
Originally, I was planning to do a city tour with another company but changed it because I thought trying to cover everything in one day would be too much. Even with just the one location, there was still a huge amount of information to take it, and a lot for the guide to try to cover. As it was a very small group, it was very easy to ask questions, which I think made the guide's job slightly more difficult as we didn't really stick to his plan. But he handled it all very well and created a really interesting tour.
Terrific guide and tour. Loved the tour and history. Very knowledgeable! You have a great company and concept. Reasonably priced with the best guides. We sought out Walks of Turkey following a terrific experience in Rome with Walks of Italy. Would tour anywhere Walks does business! Many thanks.
Excellent guide. She is a well prepared person, has a great compromise with her job and offered us interesting information. Thank you very much.
What an experience! I enjoyed it thoroughly! The guide was really professional he responded each and every of my question.
(No comment)
Kamil was wonderful and I had an amazing day! He was very knowledgeable, funny, and knew lots of great small facts that made the tour that much more enjoyable.
Engin is very informative and patient with us. He has sound knowledge of the tour and has given us a good summary of the history of the place. He paid attention to our needs and would ask us to sit whilst he stands and does the briefing (at which point my baby has fallen a sleep during the tour). Overall, we learned a lot from the trip.
(No comment)
Engin was very knowledgeable about the Topkapi Palace and the history of Istanbul. Really enjoyed this tour.
Very helpful and knowledgeable guide. We enjoyed the tour very much.
(No comment)
(No comment)
Duygu was excellent - a nice balance between serious historical content and amusing anecdotes.
Absolutely fabulous.. Best tour in a long time. Would recommend her to anyone. Thanks very much.
(No comment)
Really enjoyed this tour. Our guide was fantastic. He showed us things and explained things that I don't think I would have known about if I had taken a different tour. We had a small group which made it a lot of fun too. This will be one of my best memories of Istanbul.
(No comment)
Hatice was a knowledgeable and informative guide. She took the time to explain the different parts and places assuming that we could go back in our own time. I enjoyed her company and discussions and wish that I had time for more! Well done Hatice!
Hatice was amazing! It its truly hard to describe how lucky we felt she was our guide. Passionate and knowledgable about what she does, open to any questions and discussions, she conducted an amazing tour, very informative and fun! Last but not least, she has a very warm and kind personality and we'll remember this Istanbul experience connected to her; we really felt we made a new friend.
both Duygu and Hatice were excellent especially the latter. Just remind Duygu to take a "Walks of Turkey" board with her, as when we arrived at the Topkapi gate at about 0950, we could not see any sign of her and we really thought we had missed her, hence we didn't really get going until about 1030. Also think she doesn't need to give such detailed information about the Topkapi and the Ottoman Empire before getting started on the tour.. Otherwise, excellent
(No comment)
Tour guide went above and beyond to explain
We had a fantastic guide and can strongly recommend him! We had limited time, so not having to stand in line for tickets was great.Our guide was very knowledgeable,we enjoyed the tour. We can definitely recommend "Walks of Turkey"!
Our guide was excellent!
it was great tour and our tour guide was so experienced one of her job,thanks to her and family of Walks of Turkey
We very much enjoyed our day with Orchun and as a travel agent I look forward to booking my clients with you. He had great knowledge, spoke very good English and was very personable.