Sultan Ahmed Mosque
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Our most recommended Sultan Ahmed Mosque Activities with Animals

Istanbul Imperial: Full-day Private City Tour

1. Istanbul Imperial: Full-day Private City Tour

Explore the highlights of imperial Istanbul on a private 7-hour tour that takes in the major attractions of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Being a private tour, the itinerary can be adjusted to fulfill your specific needs and wishes. From the iconic Hagia Sophia to the Blue Mosque, and from the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, to the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople, you will learn about Istanbul and Turkey's history, culture, and traditions, and gain an insight into the daily life of its inhabitants, discovering aspects of the city that tourists often miss. Start your tour at the Hippodrome, the former circus where Roman horse-chariots used to race to the cheers of the crowds. Three monuments survive from the original building, including the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. Continue to the Blue Mosque, a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture that combines Islamic and Byzantine elements. Officially known as the Sultanahmet Mosque, it is the mosque’s striking blue tiles that give it the more common name and make it one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions. Move to the nearby Topkapi Palace, former residence of the sultans of Turkey for 400 years and a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. In its heyday the palace boasted a population of about 4,000 people and was home to 25 different sultans. Hagia Sophia embodies the mix of the 3 great civilizations - Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic - and is the next stop on your tour, before going to the fascinating Basilica Cistern, where you will descend into its depths and stare at 1001 columns in the magical subterranean atmosphere. End at the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest closed markets in the world. Explore the maze of stalls and galleries and try you hand at bargaining for handmade carpets, evil eye trinkets, and antiques. Listen out for the babble of more than 100 languages, and try a strong Turkish coffee to set you on your way.

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Istanbul: Full-Day Private Guided Tour

2. Istanbul: Full-Day Private Guided Tour

Meet your private guide at your hotel to being your tour. Marvel at the iconic tiles and minarets of the Blue Mosque, built in the 1600s for Sultan Ahmet. Feast your eyes on the mosaics of the Hagia Sophia and discover a stunning and seamless blend of Christian and Islamic influences. Amble through the world's largest (and oldest) covered market on a tour of the Grand Bazaar and see the Basilica Cistern, an underground water storage. Travel back further to the Byzantine Empire, when the city was known as “Constantinople” at the Hippodrome and its 4 monuments; the Fountain Of Wilhelm II, the Obelisk Of Theodosius, the Serpentine Column, and the Column Of Constantine. Go to Topkapı Palace to see the last Imperial residence of the Ottoman sultans, and the seat of the Parliament.

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Istanbul Private 2-Day Weekend Tour

3. Istanbul Private 2-Day Weekend Tour

This 2-day private tour has been specially designed for Saturday and Sunday. See all the important historical sites in the city, including mosques, palaces and markets. Enjoy a Bosphorus cruise as well. Day 1 (Saturday): Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, and Grand Bazaar Begin your weekend tour of Istanbul at the Hippodrome, which was once the center of early Byzantine social and recreational life. Its name refers to the fact that it was used as a site for horse racing. Next take a short walk to the Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Its exceptional architectural design features 1 main dome, 8 secondary domes, and 6 minarets. Topkapi Palace, constructed in 1459, served as the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 4 centuries. The site features several buildings and in the palace itself see collections of Imperial and Ottoman utensils, relics, caftans, and portraits of the sultans. After lunch enjoy a tour of Hagia Sophia, which served both Christianity and Islam at different historical periods. It functioned as an Eastern Orthodox church from 537, when it was first built, until 1453. When Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, the hall became an imperial mosque and served in this capacity for nearly 5 centuries. In 1935 Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum. Head to the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. This vast market features 61 covered streets and over 3,000 stores, offering almost anything you might need. The Grand Bazaar, built during the years 1455-1461, is a part of the walled city of Istanbul. Day 2 (Sunday): Dolmabahce Palace, Bosphorus Tour, Spice Market, Rustem Pasha Mosque The Sunday tour begins with a visit to Dolmabahce Palace, which is one of the most impressive buildings in Istanbul. Its construction began in 1842 and took 12 years to complete. After visiting the palace see Rüstem Pasa Mosque, one of the most interesting Ottoman mosques in Istanbul. Built from 1560-1563, the mosque is one of the many works of the famous imperial architect Mimar Sinan. It is noted for its Iznik tiles and stunning floral motifs. Stop for lunch before heading to the Spice Market, where you’ll see all kinds of spices and delights from Turkey, and other countries as well. In addition to the spices you’ll find caviar, jewelry, souvenirs, and more. The tour ends with an enjoyable Bosphorus cruise. You’ll be able to see both the European and Asian sides of Istanbul and admire landmarks such as Dolmabahçe Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace and Küçüku Mosque. See the luxurious wooden houses, known as yali, that were built along the strait.

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What people are saying about Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Cem went above and beyond my expectations. Having studied history at the University, he was like a library full of knowledge. He knew all the ins and outs of the city, all the shortcuts, and all the highlights to see. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many things in a full day tour. Jampacked, which was exactly what I asked for. We even had time to add on a Bosphorous river cruise. Amazing lunch at a great restaurant at the spice bazaar that did not feel like a typical tourist “kick-back for the tour guide” lunch spot. Truly exceptional. Highly recommended.

Our day trip with Ayla was an experience. Very good German tour guide with in-depth knowledge of history and safe local knowledge. Ayla responded to our requests, even if it exceeded the time limit, and also gave us a good insight into the everyday life of Istanbul. If we had had more time, we would have liked to spend another interesting day with her. Thanks Ayla

We spent 2 whole days with our guide "Horizon" who made us discover Istanbul with great pleasure and dynamism, knowing how to adapt well to everyone. He lived in France until his 15th birthday and knows perfectly the history of Istanbul and knows how to pass on with passion the past and the daily life of this magnificent city.

It was great and very interesting. Our guide, Murat, knew a lot about all the places we visited. He was very kind and pacient… he answered every question we had and helped translate for us. His Spanish was terrific and we understood him perfectly.

Very interesting tour and with Ayla we had an excellent guide who managed to guide us through the long waiting line. That was great and saved us hours of waiting. Ayla inspired us with her knowledge of the sights of Istanbul!