Sultanahmet Square
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Our most recommended Sultanahmet Square Cruises & Boat Tours

Istanbul: Half-Day Highlights Tour for Cruise Ship Visitors

1. 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 Combo: Classic City Tour & Bosphorus Cruise

2. Istanbul Combo: Classic City Tour & Bosphorus Cruise

Meet your guide at your hotel or port and start the tour with the highlights of Istanbul. See the beautiful Hagia Sophia, admire the great blend of Christian and Islamic influences with beautiful interior of mosaics and significant history. Marvel at the Blue Mosque, a great monument of oriental architecture which houses 27,000 pieces of handmade blue tiles. The Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market are two colorful indoor bazaars and have lots of shops offering a variety of spices, rugs, purses, flavored teas, jackets, Turkish delight, nuts, as well as ceramics and small souvenirs. At the end of your tour, why not opt to take a cruise along the Bosphorus to see both Istanbul’s European and Asian sides, Galata Tower, Dolmabahce Palace, the Rumelian Fortress, old Ottoman villas, Bosphorus bridges, and mosques. Tickets can be bought on the spot and the cruise will take place in a public ferry (unless you book the Private Yacht option).

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.

Byzantine Istanbul Half-Day Morning Tour

4. Byzantine Istanbul Half-Day Morning Tour

Take a half-day tour of Istanbul and explore it from the perspective of the Byzantine Empire. See ruins of Byzantine churches, the site of former Roman chariot races, and the magical alleys of the historic Grand Bazaar. Visit the Hippodrome, location for thrilling chariot races in the days of the Roman Empire. The track is now some 6.6 feet (2 meters) below ground, but has been marked on the paving of Sultan Ahmet Square. You will see the surviving obelisks, as well as the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the Byzantine German Fountain of Wilhelm II. Continue to Hagia Sophia, also known as “The Church of Holy Wisdom.” Undoubtedly one of the greatest architectural creations in the world, the temple was so richly decorated that Justinian proclaimed, “Solomon, I have surpassed you!" Your guide is an expert on Byzantine history, art, and architecture, and will describe important moments from the empire’s history as you continue to the iconic Blue Mosque. Named for its stunning decoration of Iznik tiles, you will also admire its slender minarets End your tour at the Grand Bazaar, the oldest and largest covered market in the world. Explore the alleys, where nearly 4,000 shops offer a superb selection of antiques, leather, evil eye trinkets, and Turkish rugs. Try out your haggling skills to see if you can bag a true Turkish bargain.

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

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

Explore Istanbul according to your own interests on a tailor-made sightseeing tour. A licensed guide will meet you in your hotel or port and work with you to create an itinerary that suits you best, leaving you satisfied that you have seen all of Istanbul. Marvel at monuments from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, such as Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern on the first day. On day two, take the public ferry to Bosphorus to see both Istanbul’s European and Asian sides. From here, visit Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal Street and the spice market. Day three takes you on a walk through the streets of Fener-Balat neighboorhood. Enjoy a cable car ride and soak up views of Pierre Loti Hill, then visit Chora Church to see the mosaics and frescoes.

Istanbul: Private Walking Tour

6. Istanbul: Private Walking Tour

Enjoy personalized attention while visiting Istanbul's must-see attractions. Explore the Hippodrome of Constantinople and its ancient monuments brought to the empire from various places including the Obelisk of Thutmosis III from Egypt and the Serpent Column from Delphi. Move on to the Sultanahmet Mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque due to its striking blue tiles. Continue to the Hagia Sophia, a center of worship for the Christian and Muslim world for many centuries.  After visiting Hagia Irene and seeing the Fountain of Sultan Ahmet III, immerse yourself into the rich history of the Ottoman Empire at Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman Sultans for over 600 years. Here, you will get the opportunity to visit all rooms, galleries, and courtyards including the Harem.

Istanbul: Half Day Morning Walking Tour

7. Istanbul: Half Day Morning Walking Tour

Visit Hagia (St.) Sophia, one of the greatest marvels of architecture, constructed as a basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian. St.Sophia has been the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years. It is considered the masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. After having been the Patriarchal basilica of Constantinople, it was converted into a mosque in 1453 by Sultan Mehmet II. the Conqueror and in to a museum by Atataürk in 1935. Explore the Blue Mosque, facing Hagia Sophia, famous with its blue Iznik tiles and unique with 6 minarets, built in the name of Sultan Ahmet. The last great imperial mosque of the classical period, its name comes from the 20,000 marvelous blue-toned Iznik tiles decorating the interior walls. Discover the Hippodrome, center of sportive (chariot races, athletics) events and political activities of the old city. Obelisk of Theodosius, Serpentine Column, German Fountain of Wilhelm II are the monuments decorating Hippodrome. You will also see one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, The Grand Bazaar.

Istanbul: 3-Night/4-Day City Tour with Airport Transfers

8. Istanbul: 3-Night/4-Day City Tour with Airport Transfers

Day 1: Get picked up from the airport and transfer to your hotel in Istanbul. Check-in and stay overnight here. Day 2: Begin your full-day of sightseeing at 9 AM when you will meet your guide in the lobby of your hotel. Spend the day exploring all of Istanbul's top attractions and sights including the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, and Grand Bazaar). After the tour, transfer back to your hotel at around 6 PM ready for your second overnight stay.  Day 3:  Meet your guide in the lobby of your hotel at 8:15 AM and enjoy another full day of sightseeing. Visit the Spice Market then take a boat cruise along the Bosphorus River. Explore Beylerbeyi or Dolmabahce Palace, and Camlica Hill. After the tour, transfer back to your hotel at around 6 PM ready for your third and final overnight stay.  Day 4:  After being picked up from your hotel, transfer to the airport ready and in time for your onward departure.

Istanbul: Full-Day Old City Tour with Cruise and Lunch

9. Istanbul: Full-Day Old City Tour with Cruise and Lunch

Start your tour of Istanbul at the Hagia Sophia Museum, often referred to as the 8th Wonder of the World. Wander through the building's interior, which has been converted into a museum, and admire its beautiful art pieces including several Byzantine mosaics. Next, head to the Blue Mosque and see the 20,000 magnificent blue-toned tiles that give the mosque its name.  Later, head to the Hippodrome of Constantinople, the former political center of the city, where you can learn more about the city's ancient history and see artifacts from the Constantinople era. Learn more about Turkish culture at the Caferağa Medresseh. In the Egyptian spice market, soak up the sights and smells of this bustling food market. During your cruise along the Bosphorus, admire the Dolmabahçe Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, and the Ciragan Palace Kempinski. Stop for a traditional lunch of meatballs before continuing your cruise, taking in views of ancient wooden villas and bridges and other unique maritime landscapes.

Istanbul: Bus and Boat City Tour

10. Istanbul: Bus and Boat City Tour

Discover the best of Istanbul with a combination package that includes a panoramic city tour and a boat tour from the Bosphorus. This ticket is valid for 1 day, during which you can join the tours as often as you’d like at the available times. You are free to join the tours on the same day within the ticket time limit. Istanbul Panoramic City Tour:On the 90-minute sightseeing tour, you will witness stunning panoramic views of the city as you pass Galata Bridge, where you can see the iconic Galata Tower and the majestic Dolmabahce Palace. During the tour, listen to fascinating stories from your live guide on Byzantine and Ottoman times when you pass by Taksim Square, Golden Horn, the Historical Peninsula, UNESCO World Heritage sites, and much more. Bosphorus Boat Tour:Sit back and relax as the 90-minute boat tour takes you to the Asian and European shores. Enjoy the beautiful skyline as you pass historical sites, palaces, fortresses, and the Bosphorus bridges, becoming fully enchanted by the scenery. Witness famous sights of Istanbul from the historical waterway and cruise along the famous Bosphorus, which separates Europe and Asia.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Sultanahmet Square

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What people are saying about Sultanahmet Square

My guide (Musa) was exceptional and was very well versed in the history of Istanbul. He was very knowledgeable, friendly, and kind. I could not have asked for a better day-long tour in Istanbul. He was very open to customizing the tour based on my interests and made me feel very comfortable and at ease navigating Istanbul. Thank you so much, my friend!

We had an exceptional guide, very nice who also spoke Italian, he explained a lot of things about Turkey and Istanbul he took us to the most beautiful streets and gave us exhaustive answers to any question.

Guide was professional, polite and highly informed. Really enjoyed the tour. We would highly recommend it.

We had a lot of fun and a lot of interesting moments with our very nice tour guide Kadir Küçükeren

Great experience, the guide (Emre) is very knowledgeable, kind. To recommend !!