Sultan Ahmed Mosque
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Highlights of Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour

1. Highlights of Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour

Day 1 – Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hipporome, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar Explore the highlights of Istanbul on this private full-day walking tour that covers the major attractions, from the Hagia Sophia Museum, to the iconic Blue Mosque, to the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, to the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. The 8-hour excursion starts with a pick-up from your Istanbul hotel and a walk through the lively streets of Turkey’s largest city to visit the dramatic former basilica of the Hagia Sophia, a great architectural beauty and an important monument during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. For many centuries, this was the largest church in the world, and it still boasts the 4th largest dome after St. Paul's in London, St. Peter's in Rome and the Duomo in Florence. Dedicated to the Hagia Sophia  or 'divine wisdom', it is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Move on to the Blue Mosque, more officially known as the Sultanahmet Mosque. The mosque’s striking blue tiles give it its more common name and make it one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions. Located close to Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque was considered the Supreme Imperial Mosque in Istanbul. Continue to Topkapi Palace, a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. The former palace boasted a population of about 4,000 people at its peak and was home to 25 sultans over a period of 400 years. Located on a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn, it sits in tranquil gardens that provide shade from the blazing heat of the summer. Pop in to the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. You will also visit the Hippodrome, the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. Three monuments from the original building remain, including the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. You will also pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. Your day won’t be complete, however, without a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handcraft shops selling everything from handmade carpets to Turkish coffee, the atmosphere is electric, and it's a great place to try out your bargaining skills. Day 2 – Spice Bazaar, Bosphorus cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Istiklal Street, Taksim The spice bazaar is located in Fatih. It's known as the Egyptian Market because, during the Ottoman period, Egyptian exports were sold there. The Bosphorus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia that connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. Rumeli and Anadolu Fortresses are located at the narrowest point of Bosphorus. There are also magnificent Ottoman palaces and mosques along the Bosphorus. Keep an eye out for them! Built in the 19th century, Dolmabahce Palace was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and housed some of the last Ottoman Sultans. The palace site was created by filling in the small bay on the Bosphorus. This gave rise to its name, in Turkish, Dolma means 'filled' or 'stuffed,' and bahce means 'garden'. Istiklal Street is brimming with life. There, you'll find a plethora of shops, restaurants, and bars. From there, it is a 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area.

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Istanbul: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar Tour

2. Istanbul: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar Tour

Like most visitors to Istanbul, especially first-time visitors; you will want to see and photograph the Blue Mosque. Complete with its 6 minarets and ornate glass windows, this site is a must when visiting Istanbul. Following that, you will travel next door to the Hagia Sophia Museum. A magnificent Byzantine Church, it is one of the finest and largest architectural works of art in the world.  After the Hagia, you'll find your way to the entrance of the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest covered markets in the world. In addition to its historical importance, it's a bazaar that will tempt even those without an interest in shopping with its rich collection of precious handmade carpets, jewellery, leather, and souvenirs.

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Istanbul: Tourist Pass with Over 50 Attractions & Services

3. Istanbul: Tourist Pass with Over 50 Attractions & Services

Save time and money with a convenient 2, 3, 5 or 7-day passport to Istanbul. The Istanbul Tourist Pass is an online city Pass that provides access to some of the city’s top sights, during the days you choose. It is the only city pass available that allows you to enjoy Istanbul in a simple, convenient, and fun way. All the passes include a chat service during available hours with professional guides over WhatsApp. By presenting your GetYourGuide voucher at the entrance, gain access to:• Hagia Sophia Guided Tour in English (check meeting point and tour schedule)• Topkapi Palace Museum Guided Tour in English (check meeting point and tour schedule)• Basilica Cistern Guided Tour in English (check meeting point and tour schedule)• Dolmabahçe Palace Guided Tour in English (check meeting point and tour schedule)• Blue Mosque Guided Tour (check meeting point and tour schedule)• Grand Bazar Guided Tour (check meeting point and tour schedule)• Hagia Irene Museum in English (check meeting point and tour schedule)• Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum Guided Tour in English (check meeting point and tour schedule)• Tiled Pavilion Museum (check meeting point and tour schedule)• Museum of the Ancient Orient (check meeting point and tour schedule)• Photoshoot in Ottoman attire (1 per person)• Şerefiye Cistern Guided Tour• Madame Tussauds Wax Museum• SEA Life Aquarium• Sapphire Observation Deck with 4D Skyride Simulation• Museum of Illusions• Hop-on hop-off Bosphorus boat cruise (1-ring or 1-day, Bosphorus Strait or Golden Horn)• Bosphorus boat tour• Princes’ Islands boat trip• LEGOLand (adults cannot enter LEGOLand without a child)• Xtrem Aventures• Pera Museum• Dialogue in the Silence• Istanbul Airport Shuttle (One way)• Jungle & Dungeon & Safari• Sakıp Sabancı Museum• Upside Down House Photo Experience• Jungle & Dungeon & Safari (cannot be visited without children)• The Museum of Selfies• Dialogue in the Silence• Bursa Day trip• Sapanca Lake & Maşukiye Daily Tour• Istanbul Segway Tour• Emaar Aquarium and Underwater Zoo• Istanbul Toy Museum By making reservations in advance and presenting your GetYourGuide voucher, get access to the following:• Discount on a 1-way airport transfer. You are allowed to choose the direction• Whirling dervishes ceremony (requires a reservation in advance)• Bosphorus dinner cruise. Dinner and shows included (requires a reservation in advance)• Dialogue in the Dark• Miniaturk Park Istanbul• Panoramic bus tour from Europe to Asia• Eyup Sultan Mosque• Pierre Loti• Discounted COVID PCR Test• 2-Day free Wi-Fi device

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Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque Small Group Tour

4. Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque Small Group Tour

Discover the classic monuments of Istanbul on a half-day guided tour of the city center. Benefit from pick-up at your centrally located hotel, and then make your way by air-conditioned vehicle to Sultan Ahmet Square. Skip the long lines to the magnificent Hagia Sophia, built on the site of an earlier church under the orders of the Emperor Justinian I . Learn how it became the largest cathedral in the world and was later converted to a mosque during the Ottoman Empire. Continue to the Blue Mosque to see the splendid blue Iznik tiles and minarets of the city's most iconic attraction. Learn more about the former arena of the Byzantine Empire at the ruins of the Hippodrome of Constantinople.

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Istanbul: Tour of Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque By Night

5. Istanbul: Tour of Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque By Night

Skip the line and enjoy an atmospheric evening visit to the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque. Immerse yourself in the history and architecture of these iconic buildings. Witness these UNESCO world heritage sites away from crowds of tourists. Learn about Byzantine and Ottoman Istanbul from your professional, licensed guide. Marvel at this historic and beautiful architecture in a unique evening atmosphere.

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Istanbul: Guided Sightseeing Tour With Lunch

6. Istanbul: Guided Sightseeing Tour With Lunch

Experience the perfect immersion to the wonderful history and culture of Istanbul with this comprehensive sightseeing tour of the busy city. In the morning, get picked up at your hotel by an air-conditioned vehicle, then immediately head off to the Blue Mosque, which is also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, and check out the blue tiles of the interior that gave the mosque its current name. Next, spend some time shopping for memorable souvenirs at the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s largest covered markets, before you rest and recharge with a delicious lunch at an authentic Turkish restaurant. In the afternoon, explore famous sites that were preserved from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires and learn fascinating facts and stories from your English-speaking guide. Stop by the Topkapi Palace, the largest and oldest palace in the world, along with the Tombs of the Sultans in Hagia Sofia. See several small buildings that look like miniature mosques and contain lavishly decorated tombs of five different sultans and their extended families. Next, cross the busy Galata Bridge, which has restaurants and cafes underneath it open all day and night, to get to the Golden Horn, a magnificent inlet bordered by city's domes and mosques. Finally, stop at Leander's Tower, one of the most iconic images of Istanbul, before you get dropped off back at your accommodation.

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Istanbul: Museum Pass and Bosphorus Boat Tour

7. Istanbul: Museum Pass and Bosphorus Boat Tour

You can visit up to 10 of Istanbul's museum. You do not need to wait in long queues to get admission tickets so you will save time and save money. The museums included are the Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapı Palace Museum and Harem, Chora Church Museum, Hagia Irene Church Museum, İstanbul Archaeological Museums, İstanbul Mosaic Museum,  Museum for the History of Science and Technology in Islam, Fethiye Church Museum, Galata Mevlevi House Museum, and Rumeli Hisar Museum.  The 1.5-hour Bosphorus boat tour is a guided cruise and departs at 10:00 AM or 2:00 PM.  The Bosphorus Strait connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara and splits the European and Asian sides of Turkey. This romantic cruise along the Bosphorus will allow you to admire the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Beylerbeyi Palace, and the Ciragan Palace. See ancient wooden villas and bridges and all the wonderful unique maritime landscapes.

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Full-Day Walking Tour of Istanbul's Old City

8. Full-Day Walking Tour of Istanbul's Old City

The historic Old City in Istanbul is stunningly beautiful, and we can help you make the most of your visit with this full-day guided walking tour. Our professional local guide will take you through all the sights of the Old City, giving you valuable insight into the history of this fascinating place. The tour starts at the Hagia-Sophia Museum before you head to the world heritage monument. We will then walk to the Blue Mosque to see the glorious architecture of this historic building, which dates back to the early 1600s. Then it’s off to the Roman Hippodrome Square, where your tour will show you the Egyptian Obelisque, Roman Pillar, Greek Column and the German Fountain. Then it's off to a recently discovered Cistern. Afterwards, walk to the Topkapi Imperial Palace, the largest palace in Istanbul. Once the residence of Ottoman Sultans, the palace is now a museum, which houses different collections, each fascinating in their own way. The tour winds down at approximately 17:00, after a short walk to the entrance gate of the world famous Grand Bazaar.

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Istanbul: 5-Day Guided Museum Pass

9. Istanbul: 5-Day Guided Museum Pass

Enjoy a pass that will take the hassle out of visiting all the must-see sights of Istanbul. This 5-day pass will grant you skip the line access to the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Dolmabahçe Palace, Hagia Irene, and Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum. As you sightsee through these culturally and historically significant locations your pass will also ensure your very own English speaking guide, maximizing your visit to all of these spectacular places.  Experience Hagia Sophia, a great architectural beauty and an important monument both for the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires. Once a church, later a mosque, and now a museum at the Turkish Republic, find out why the Hagia Sophia has always been a precious building.  Discover the Topkapi Palace and how it was built between 1466 - 1478 and served for over 400-years as the residency and administrative headquarter of the Ottoman Sultans.  Visit the Basilica Cistern, built in the 4th-century and enlarged in 532 AD, used as water storage during Byzantine times. Listen to your guide as they explain the mystery of the Medusa heads from Greek mythology. Enjoy a totally unique art experience with a ticket and guided tour package of the Ibrahim Paşa Palace. This unique building, currently housing the largest selection of Turkish and Islamic artworks is a stone structure just as beautiful as the artwork it houses. During your guided tour of the Museum, you will have access to the building's ceremony room and second court, where the collections are held. Visit the second largest church of the Eastern Roman Empire, following Hagia Sophia located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace with your experienced guide. It ranks as the first church completed in Constantinople, before Hagia Sophia. Your 5-day pass allows you to visit these sites on the following schedule: Monday: 10:00 AM - Hagia Sophia (60 mins) (B) 11:30 AM - Topkapı Palace and Hagia Irene (75 mins) (T) 2:30 PM - Blue Mosque (20 mins) (B) 3:30 PM - Hagia Sophia (60 mins) (B) 4:45 PM - Grand Bazaar (30 mins) (B) Tuesday: 9:00 AM- Hagia Sophia (60 mins) (B) 10:15 AM - Hagia Sophia (60 mins) (B) 11:30 AM - Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum (45 mins) (B) 2:00 PM- Blue Mosque (20 mins) (B) 3:30 PM - Dolmabahce Palace (60 mins) (D) Wednesday to Sunday: 9:00 AM - Grand Bazaar (30 mins) (B) 9:00 AM -(Except Sundays) - Blue Mosque (20 mins) (B) 10:00 AM (Except Fridays) Hagia Sophia (60 mins) (B) 10:15 AM, 10:45 AM, 3:30 PM Topkapi Palace and Hagia Irene (75 mins) (T) 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM - Dolmabahce Palace (60 mins) (D) Guided tours begin at the (B) Bigbus Bus Stop in front of the Hagia Sophia Museum, unless otherwise noted. (D) Meeting point for this tour is in front of the door of the clock tower of the Dolmabahçe Palace. (T) The meeting point for this tour is the entrance of the Carpet Museum (Halı Müzesi), outside the Topkapı Palace.

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Full-Day Istanbul City Package Tour

10. Full-Day Istanbul City Package Tour

After breakfast between 8:00 AM and 9:30 AM, get picked up from your hotel. Visit Topkapi Palace, the great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries housing an exquisite collection of crystal, silver, and Chinese porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury, miniatures, the Holy Mantle, and enshrining relics of the Prophet Mohammed. Across from St. Sophia, built in the 16th century by the architect Mehmet, is the Sultanahmet Imperial Mosque, known as the Blue Mosque because of its magnificent interior decoration of blue Iznik tiles. The Ancient Hippodrome, the scene of chariot races, with the three monuments: the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine. Then visit the Hagia Sophia, previously known as the Church of Divine Wisdom, simply the best of its kind. Hagia Sophia is the greatest surviving example of Byzantine Architecture. For 1,000 years it was the largest church in the world, decorated with stunning 6th-century golden mosaics. Today it is a mosque. Enjoy a lunch break at 1:00 PM. After lunch, experience the traditional silk weaving skills of Turkish women at the carpet weaving courses provided by The Ministry of National Education. You will get the opportunity to see jewelry, the handcrafts center, and a modern leatherwear show. Enjoy the experience of shopping while gaining knowledge of the ancient craftsmen with a local guide of knowledge who will teach you how to haggle on the streets of Istanbul. The rest of the evening is yours to explore Istanbul.

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What people are saying about Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 340 reviews

We really enjoyed our trip together with Ahmet, our tour guide. He is very knowledgeable of the sites and the history behind these sites. I personally became really interested about the Ottoman empire because of his stories. He also recommended a nice place to eat - the food is very delicious. This activity is highly recommended :).

Çeren has been our guide today EXEPTIONAL It has been a very special experience, very good, friendly and I have made a very interesting visit We had a small problem with a visit that we had hired and she has solved it for us A 10 for Çeren

MR. Shaban the tour guide was very knowledgeable and made our experience very enjoyable with his story telling . He is professional , punctual, courteous and most importantly very passionate about Istanbul and it’s history.

Fantastic day with Çağlar in Italian. Tour at Aya Sofia and Sulejmani mosque with interesting explanations and anecdotes. Saw the Grand Bazaar It helped us a lot to orient ourselves and what to do in Istanbul. Optimal!

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