Sultanahmet Square
Churches & Cathedrals

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended Sultanahmet Square Churches & Cathedrals

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.

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.

Istanbul: Best of the City Private Full-Day Walking Tour

3. Istanbul: Best of the City Private Full-Day Walking Tour

This private experience is the perfect introduction to Istanbul for first-time visitors. Enjoy a guided full-day tour to discover the best of the city. The tour can be fully customized to suit your needs, simply tell your guide what interests you the most.  Visit the historic Hippodrome, the exquisite Blue Mosque and the iconic Hagia Sophia. Experience the lavish lifestyles of the Ottoman Sultans with a tour of Topkapi Palace, or browse the colorful stalls of the Grand Bazaar. The choice is yours. Benefit from pickup and drop-off at your centrally-located hotel. With your private guide you’ll enjoy priority entrance to all the sights, so standing you won’t waste time standing in queues.

Istanbul: 6-Hour Highlights Tour

4. Istanbul: 6-Hour Highlights Tour

This is a fully guided tour inside the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya), Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Orient Express train station, Galata Bridge and Spice Bazaar. Along the way, stop to hear the stories of the Roman Hippodrome (including the Egyptian Obelisk and Serpent Column German Fountain), mausoleums of Ottoman sultans and Constantine’s Column. Learn about the famous Orient Express. Take a break for lunch and enjoy traditional Turkish cuisine in a friendly setting at a nontouristy restaurant where your gourmet guide will choose some memorable food for you. Please note the itinerary will change slightly on certain days due to changes in the opening hours. 

Istanbul: Half-Day Highlights Tour for Cruise Ship Visitors

5. Istanbul: Half-Day Highlights Tour for Cruise Ship Visitors

Enjoy a hassle-free small-group walking tour in Istanbul designed specifically for cruise ship passengers. Meet your local, expert guide at the port right after your ship has docked and join your half-day tour in the morning of afternoon. Take a short tram ride from the dock to the Old Town of Sultanahmet, and benefit from a walking tour instead of sitting on a bus in traffic. Start your tour in Sultanahmet Square to check out Istanbul's greatest monuments. Enjoy a scenic stroll around Sultanahmet and witness the local life. Enter the Blue Mosque, the most visited monument in Istanbul. Marvel at this imperial Ottoman Mosque on a comprehensive guided tour with a professional guide. Afterward, soak up breathtaking views from the courtyard, and take a gentle stroll around the neighborhood. Continue your journey to Topkapi Palace, the last stop for the day. There, explore the palace, grounds, and courtyards on a guided tour. Marvel at the palace's opulence and mystery, and learn about the Ottoman family and their importance in Istanbul's history. Finish with a visit to the holy relics and the imperial kitchens. At the end of your tour, choose to spend free time in Topkapi Palace grounds or follow your guide back to the ship.

Istanbul: Small Group Skip-the-Line Luxury Day Tour

6. Istanbul: Small Group Skip-the-Line Luxury Day Tour

Discover the only city in the world on 2 continents - where east meets west - on a full-day sightseeing tour of Istanbul by luxury minibus. Following a pick-up from your hotel or cruise ship, visit the Hippodrome to explore the former center of sport and political activities in Constantinople. Marvel at the Obelisk from Egypt, Serpentine Column from Delphi, and fountain of Wilhelm II. Continue to the iconic Blue Mosque, known for its glorious blue Iznik tiles and 6 minarets. Admire the former imperial residence of the Ottoman sultans at Topkapi Palace, and learn how the Great Ottoman Empire was ruled. Today, the palace is a spectacular museum, with one of the largest collections of Chinese and Japanese porcelain, along with the famous treasury of the Royal Family. Next, go to the Hagia Sophia, a magnificent Byzantine Church that is considered one of the finest architectural works of art in the world. Stroll the alleys and warrens of the Grand Bazaar, and interact with the vendors selling their rich collection of precious handmade carpets, jewelry, leather, and souvenirs. Transfer back to your hotel or cruise ship for the end of the tour services.

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.

Istanbul: Self-Guided Walking Tour with Audio Guide

8. Istanbul: Self-Guided Walking Tour with Audio Guide

Explore the beauty of Istanbul on a self-guided audio tour. Admire the incredible architecture of the Hippodrome, the Tomb of the Sultans, the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, and the Great Palace Mosaic Museum. Download the MP3 audio tour combined with a fully detailed map of the area and start your adventure with your audio device as your guide. Soak in the vibrant atmosphere while listening to fascinating facts and stories of the city. Spend some time to taste the different food varieties and traditions while you wander through many parks and squares of the city. Walk at your own pace and submerge yourself into the colorful vibe of the capital city of Turkey. Visit the famous Blue Mosque and learn about its many changes over the last 500 years. Continue to see the other architectural heritages such as Archaeology Museum, the Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia, and the Basilica Cistern. Enjoy a hassle-free audio tour to the only city extending over Europe and Asia. 

Istanbul: Full-Day Private Highlights Tour

9. Istanbul: Full-Day Private Highlights Tour

Experience the top sights in Istanbul with this private full-day tour. Enter Topkapi Palace, learn about the Hagia Sophia, view the Egyptian and Constantine obelisks, see the Hippodrome and spend some time in the Grand Bazaar. Stroll through the rooms of the Topkapi Palace where there were once harem ladies, eunuchs, pashas, viziers and concubines. See royal dresses, jewels, and porcelain. View the Topkapi dagger, the spoonmaker's diamond, and relics of John the Baptist. Next, head to the Hagia Sophia to learn about how it was built and how it has transformed over the years. Continue to the Hippodrome where Byzantine emperors once enjoyed horse races. See the Egyptian and Constantine obelisks. Drive to the German Fountain to hear about the alliance it represents. Visit the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, to find out why it is called the Blue Mosque. Finally stop at the Grand Bazaar to stroll through a colorful variety of carpets, craftworks, tiles, and crockery.

Istanbul Cruise Port: Visit the City Highlights Driving Tour

10. Istanbul Cruise Port: Visit the City Highlights Driving Tour

Make the most of your time in Istanbul with this driving tour to the city's most popular attractions. Shop for some souvenirs at the Grand Bazaar and learn about the city's history at locations like the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace. Meet your guide at the Galata Port cruise arrival gate. Find your guide easily, as they will be holding a sign with their company logo clearly printed on it. Sit back and relax on the air-conditioned drive to the ancient Hippodrome which was once a public arena for chariot races. Continue to the Blue Mosque, a stunning example of Ottoman architecture. Enter this mosque to view its impressive main dome from the inside. Capture pictures of its iconic exterior to share with friends. Drive to the Topkapi Palace and step inside this home to the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire. Stroll through the museum in which houses the Muslim world’s holiest relics, including the cloak and sword of the Prophet Mohammed. Stop for break where you can go and purchase a delicious Turkish lunch. Make your way to the 4th-century Hagia Sophia. Explore this museum which was once the Cathedral of Constantinople for over a thousand years before being converted into a mosque in 1453. Finally, travel to the Grand Bazaar, the largest and the oldest covered marketplace in the world. Look through shops with leather, clothing, rugs, antiques, and jewelry. Experience the sights, sounds and aromas of the market. Return to the port in at the end of your tour.

Frequently asked questions about Sultanahmet Square Churches & Cathedrals

What are other things to do than Sultanahmet Square Churches & Cathedrals that are worth visiting in Istanbul?

The other unmissable things to do in Istanbul are:

Which Sultanahmet Square Churches & Cathedrals are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Other Sightseeing Options in Sultanahmet Square

Want to discover all there is to do in Sultanahmet Square? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Sultanahmet Square

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 93 reviews

Kenan was helpful, knowledgeable and professional. Nice sense of humor as well, my husband and I had a nice experience overall and felt we were able to squeeze a lot in one day, and Kenan was flexible enough to adapt to our wants and needs… It was amazing how he seems to know the Grand Bazaar like the palm of his hand! I wanted to see fabrics and he took me to three exquisite small stores, had tea with the owners, made me feel like a local, not a tourist. At Topkapi he knew so much about the architecture, the time frames, and very interesting anecdotes and folk legends… and hey I am an Art Historian! Recommend

Absolutely amazing tour! We were taken on a walking tour around the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sofia, the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. We were also shown traditional Turkish rug artisans at work, which was fascinating. Our guide, Baris was fantastic - he gave the full history and background of each place visited and answered all our questions. Couldn't have asked for a better tour or guide! Cannot recommend enough :)

Wonderful guide, informative, English was perfect and knew his way around the busy old town area.

Amaziiiing! Ensar is the nicest guide ever and always with a smile on his face!

Kaya was an excellent guide. Highly recommended experience!