Sultanahmet Square
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Our most recommended Sultanahmet Square Activities

Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

1. Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

You will start at the old Hippodrome of Constantinople which was the sports and social center of the old city. Discover major works of art including the Obelisk from Egypt, the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the fountain of Willhelm II, constructed by the Germans. From there, continue to the Blue Mosque, whose six minarets are a key fixture of Istanbul’s skyline. Next, head for the Topkapi Palace, which was home to the Ottoman emperors between the 15th and 19th centuries. Marvel at the jewel-stuffed treasury and priceless displays of Oriental porcelain. Move on to the Hagia Sophia Mosque. Behold the dome and stunning Byzantine mosaics of this architectural gem as your guide recounts its turbulent history. Then visit the Grand Bazaar with over 3,000 shops selling everything from carpets to jewelry to ceramics and leather goods. Also stroll around the Spice Bazaar with its incredible smell from almost every spice imaginable, as well as dried fruits and nuts, sweets and the ubiquitous Turkish Delight.

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Istanbul: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

2. Istanbul: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

See all the sights of Istanbul on this hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. Choose between flexible Classic and Premium tickets. Save money with a family ticket and take the kids to child-friendly sites such as the Dolphinarium or the Miniatürk model village, where Turkey’s most important monuments are recreated in miniature. You will have access to 2 routes. Buses come regularly and frequently on both routes. Informative recorded commentary is available in 8 different languages, including English, Turkish, Arabic, Russian, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Complimentary earphones are provided. Jump off at any of the stops on the Red Route and see architecture from the Byzantine and Ottoman eras. Cross the Bosphorus Bridge to Asia to see the Beylerbeyi Palace and watch all the activity of the Bosphorus Straits. Marvel at the old city wall of Constantinople and the Roman Aqueduct on the Golden Horn/Blue Route, which also includes the iconic Blue Mosque. The City Tour (Red) Route: • Sultanahmet Square • Galata Bridge • Tophane • Port • Dolmabahçe • Naval Museum • Beylerbeyi Palace • Akaretler / W Hotel • Taksim Square • Egyptian Spice Bazaar Golden Horn/Blue Route: • Sultanahmet Square • Galata Bridge • Patriarchate • Cable Car • Dolphinarium • Miniatürk • Transport Museum / Rahmi Koç Museum • Egyptian Spice Bazaar

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

3. 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 & Topkapi Palace Combo Ticket

4. Istanbul: Hagia Sophia & Topkapi Palace Combo Ticket

Visiting Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace requires standing in 2 lines: one for the ticket, and one for the security check. With this combo ticket, you skip the ticket lines and enter the two most famous landmarks in Istanbul as fast as possible, giving you more time to spend inside these museums. To use your voucher, meet your local host at the entrance of Hürrem Sultan Hamam. They are available at the time selected during the booking process at a very visible meeting point. Your host will then take you through the skip the ticket line gate to enter the museums. With this combo ticket, you can visit each museum one time. You can visit both museums in one day or you can visit each museum on different days. It is recommended to visit the museums either before 10:00 AM or after 2:00 PM since it will be less crowded inside.

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Topkapi Palace and Harem: Guided Tour with Admission Ticket

5. Topkapi Palace and Harem: Guided Tour with Admission Ticket

Immerse yourself in Istanbul’s best sight on this exceptionally well-led guided tour. Discover Ottoman history in the Palace and the life of Sultan's family in the harem. Meet your dedicated guide at a hot spot for traditional Turkish delicacies, where there are restroom facilities and you can purchase water or snacks. Then let your guide take you to Topkapi Palace. Enjoy a 3-hour tour of Topkapi Palace, the heart of the Ottoman Empire. The complex of low buildings, pavilions, and courtyards was a self-contained city, which most inhabitants rarely left. Explore the outer-terraced gardens and admire the view over the Golden Horn. Visit the harem, ruled by the Queen Mother who wielded domestic and political power. The harem housed hundreds of women and family members as well as hundreds of eunuchs, who performed a wide range of duties. Admire cupboard doors inlaid with mother of pearl and tortoise shell and stunning Iznik tiles with verses from the Quran. The tour ends with a visit to the holy relics and the imperial kitchens.

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Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3 Day Private Guided Tour

6. Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3 Day Private Guided Tour

Discover the best of Istanbul on this 1, 2, or 3-day private tour that covers the major attractions, such as the Hagia Sophia Museum, the iconic Blue Mosque, the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, and the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. A few of the possible attraction you'll visit on your tour include: 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. The Blue Mosque, more officially known as the "Sultanahmet" Mosque has 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. 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. The Hippodrome is 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. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. The Grand Bazaar is 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. 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, and from there, it's an interesting and scenic 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area. See this and more depending on which length tour option you select. Possible Itinerary for each day of the tour: Day 1: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Hippodrome Day 2: Spice Market, Bosphorus Cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal, Galata Tower Day 3: Suleymaniye Mosque, Chora Church, Fener/Balat Districts, Pierre Loti Hill

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Istanbul: Blue Mosque and Old Town Guided Historical Tour

7. Istanbul: Blue Mosque and Old Town Guided Historical Tour

Immerse yourself in the history of Istanbul as you visit some of the most interesting sites of the city.  Begin your tour by visiting the Million Stone, built in the early 4th century AD, which is considered the origin of all roads leading to the European cities of the Byzantine Empire. Continue your walk to the German Fountain - a gift from the German Emperor Wilhelm II to Sultan Abdulhamid II from 1898. Next, see the Palace of Ibrahim Pasha, an Ottoman imperial court residence built in the 16th century. Admire the unique building and learn about its history. Then, visit the Hippodrome, which was the center of political and sporting life in Istanbul during the reign of the Roman and Ottoman Empire.  The tour ends in the courtyards of the Blue Mosque. The tour guide will inform you about all the important highlights inside the Blue Mosque. Afterward, you can discover the UNESCO World Heritage site, built-in 1616, with its 6 minarets and beautiful decor. Explore the monument at your own pace and stay inside as long as you want. Admission to the Blue Mosque is free.

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Turkey: Istanbul & Cappadocia 6-Day Tour

8. Turkey: Istanbul & Cappadocia 6-Day Tour

Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul Welcome to Turkey. On arrival at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, a tour representative will meet you at the airport holding a sign with your name on it. You'll have a private transfer to your hotel in Istanbul. Day 2: Full-Day Istanbul Tour After breakfast, you'll be picked up from your hotel to begin your tour of Istanbul, the only city in the world situated on two continents. Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul – its three names span more than 2600 years of history. You'll visit the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Hippodrome, where chariot races and the Byzantine riots took place. Visit the Grand Bazaar for shopping. Then overnight in Istanbul. Please note: The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays. When day 2 falls on a Sunday, the Grand Bazaar will be visited on day 3. Day 3: Full-Day Istanbul Tour After breakfast and pick up from your hotel, you'll visit the Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar). The air here is filled with the enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and every other conceivable herb and spice. Then enjoy a boat trip on the Bosphorus River. The shore is lined with old wooden villas, palaces of marble, fortresses, and small fishing villages. In the afternoon, visit an underground cistern. Overnight in Istanbul. Day 4: Fly to Cappadocia and Tour You'll be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the Istanbul airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Your guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Cappadocia where you can leave your luggage. Then head out to explore. The first stop is Three Sisters Fairy Chimneys in Urgup. Then you'll head to Pigeons Valley and learn the importance of pigeons in Cappadocian culture. Finally, descend toward the center of the earth in the Kaymakli Underground City, one of the largest and the deepest of the underground cities in Cappadocia. Overnight at a cave hotel. Day 5: Cappadocia Tour and fly to Istanbul After breakfast, you'll be picked up for the drive to Devrent Valley where you'll take a walk through this lunar landscape with its unusual rock formations. You'll see some of the best examples of fairy chimneys at Pasabag Fairy Chimneys Valley, before proceeding to the town of Avanos. Avanos is famous for its tile and pottery workshops. Later visit the Goreme Open Air Museum where you will enjoy the fantastic rock churches and beautiful frescos decorating the walls. Then drive to the Uchisar Rock Castle for a breathtaking panorama view. You'll end the day visiting Esentepe Windy Hill for more panoramic views before transfer to the airport for the flight back to Istanbul. In Istanbul, you'll be transferred to the hotel for the night. Day 6: Home After breakfast check out from the hotel and enjoy your private transfer back to Istanbul Airport or to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport for your flight home.

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Istanbul: 3-Hour Segway Tour

9. Istanbul: 3-Hour Segway Tour

Visit Istanbul's top sights on this Segway tour. Start the tour at Sultanahmet, traveling to Hippodrome Square, which has witnessed gladiator fights, chariot races and many riots. Then head to the Sultanahmet Mosque and admire its unique blue facade. Later, head to the Hagia Sophia, one of the most breathtaking examples of Turkish architecture, before continuing to Gulhane Park, the oldest and largest urban park in Istanbul, where you will stop for a break. Continue your tour through Constantine's Column, one of the most prominent examples of Roman art, before arriving at Beyazıt Square and Mosque. Then visit Şehzade Mosque, which is considered by architectural historians as Sinan's first masterpiece. Finish your tour by heading to the largest mosque in Istanbul, Suleymaniye Mosque.

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Istanbul: 2-Day Historical Tour to Gallipoli and Troy

10. Istanbul: 2-Day Historical Tour to Gallipoli and Troy

Journey through some of the most momentous events in history - separated by centuries - on a 2-day tour of southwest Turkey. Visit the battlefields and war memorials of the ill-fated Anzac Campaign from World War I at Gallipoli in the Dardanelles, and then go to the historic city of Troy, site of the Trojan War and legends of Helen and Paris. Your overnight accommodation will be in the coastal town of Eceabat on a peninsula of the Aegean Sea, and the nearest town to the Gallipoli battlefields. Day 1: Istanbul - Gallipoli Meet for the 7:30 AM bus transfer to Eceabat, with a scheduled arrival at approximately 12:30 PM. Then, start your tour of the Gallipoli war museums, monuments and battlefields, traveling through the dark days of World War I at the Kabatepe War Museum in the Gallipoli Historic National Park. Learn about some of the defining moments of the ill-fated Anzac campaign by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). Continue to Beach Cemetery, site of John Simpson´s Grave, one of the best known of the ANZAC soldiers. Discover where the Australian and New Zealand troops set up base at Anzac Cove. Go to Ari Burnu, the 1st landing site of the ANZAC troops. Pay your respects to the fallen Australian soldiers at the Lone Pine Cemetery memorial, and continue to Johnston´s Jolly to walk in the trenches dug by the ANZAC troops. Take in the views of Shrapnel Valley and its Judas tree, before going to the Turkish Memorial to the many Turkish soldiers that lost their lives in the campaign. Next, visit The Nek on the Anzac battlefields. Continue to the small cemetery of Walker´s Ridge near Suvla Bay. Finally, pay your respects to the fallen soldiers of the New Zealand troops at Chunuk Bair. Transfer to your hotel in Eceabat for an evening at leisure. Day 2: Troy Following breakfast at your hotel, transfer to Troy at 8:00 AM. Explore the myths and legends behind the ancient city and Trojan War, including some of its principal players, such as Helen, Menelaus, Zeus and Paris. See the replica of the famous Trojan Horse (used in the Hollywood blockbuster "Troy") at the entrance to the archaeological site, before exploring the remains behind the city walls, including landmark monuments such as the Temple of Athena and the Scaean Gate. Learn where the Trojan Horse was taken at one of the Gates of Troy, and more. The tour of Troy ends at around 11:30 AM. You will then be transferred to the bus station to catch the 1:00 PM bus to İstanbul. Feel free to use the free shuttle to Sultanahmet Square on arrival in Istanbul.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Sultanahmet Square

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What people are saying about Sultanahmet Square

Mahmed (Mohamed) was an amazing tour guide, very patient and professional, he explained the history behind the attractions giving us that little extra bit of information. We were never rushed or felt pressure to do or buy anything. Will definitely recommend this tour and will do it again in the future!!

Izki is an amazing guide. She was so smiley and with an abundance of knowledge delivered in the perfect amount. We learnt so much. Thanks again.

Hello very pleasant and very interesting thank you to Mr. Mehmet, the very kind and very cultured guide. See you soon.

The tour guide was very resourceful and informative. He was very helpful and I had a great tour.

Beautiful sites and very knowledgeable tour guide Amet