Sultanahmet Square
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Our most recommended Sultanahmet Square UNESCO Sites

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: Blue Mosque and Old Town Guided Historical Tour

2. 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: Private Walking Tour

3. 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: Bus and Boat City Tour

4. 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.

Istanbul: Highlights & Grand Bazaar for Cruise Ship Visitors

5. Istanbul: Highlights & Grand Bazaar for Cruise Ship Visitors

Meet your local expert guide at the port after your ship has docked and join a hassle-free small-group walking tour of Istanbul. Take a short tram ride from the dock to the Old Town of Sultanahmet, and then benefit from a leisurely walking tour instead of sitting on a bus in traffic.   Start your tour in Sultanahmet Square to check out Istanbul's most significant monuments. Enjoy a scenic stroll around Sultanahmet and witness the local life. Visit the inspiring Hagia Sophia and avoid the long lines efficiently led by an expert guide. Witness the most significant symbol of the Greek Orthodox religion in Istanbul. Learn how it was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople. See the elements of a mosque and a church standing next to each other. Admire the basilica's stunning dome, minarets, mosaics, paintings, columns, and mosaic gallery. Continue your journey to the Blue Mosque, the most visited monument in Istanbul. Gaze in awe at the imperial Ottoman monument on a comprehensive guided tour. Afterward, take in breathtaking views from the courtyard and take a gentle stroll through the neighborhood.   Last, follow your guide to the Grand Bazaar in the Old Town. Discover the classic example of Ottoman civil architecture and indulge in some shopping at Turkey's largest and oldest covered market. Immerse yourself in the bazaar's intricate geography and swarming passageways. Learn about the oldest shops, exotic goods, and talented artisans. Get tips from your guide at the end of the tour about what to see next. At the end of your tour, choose to spend free time in the Grand Bazaar or follow your guide back to the ship.

Istanbul: Private Half-Day Sightseeing Tour with a Local

6. Istanbul: Private Half-Day Sightseeing Tour with a Local

Spend half a day exploring the sights and landmarks of Istanbul with a local driver. The tour begins with pickup from your hotel and some time to discuss and customize the tour to suit your interests. From there, head off into the city and immerse yourself in the magic of Istanbul. Discover the rich-history of the city, dating back to the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires. Marvel at iconic buildings including Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Galata Tower, and the Dolmabahçe Palace. As you explore, listen to your driver share fascinating local insight into Istanbul’s impressive history, culture, and traditions. Finish the tour with a visit to Bosphorus Bridge where you can admire epic views. By the end of the tour, you’ll have a better understanding of Istanbul’s history and landmarks, as well as plenty of recommendations to enhance your vacation.

Private Walking Tour: Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia

7. Private Walking Tour: Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia

Admire some of Istanbul’s most wondrous monuments with an expert local guide on this private, half-day walking tour. Relive the days of thrilling chariot races at the ancient Hippodrome of Constantinople. Today the Hippodrome is an open-air museum where you can see remnants of the original structure as well as the Obelisk of Theodosius, the Serpentine Column, and the Fountain of Wilhelm II. Next, visit one of the most majestic adornments of Istanbul's skyline ̶ the Blue Mosque. Officially known as the Sultanahmet Mosque, it is the mosque’s striking blue tiles that give it its more common name and make it one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions. The mosque also features a beautiful courtyard and six towering minarets. Then explore the ancient basilica of Hagia Sophia, one of the finest and largest architectural marvels in the world. The largest church in the world for over a thousand years, Hagia Sophia is now a museum featuring beautiful Byzantine mosaics, paintings, and sculptures.

Istanbul: Byzantine and Ottoman Relics Tour with Local Guide

8. Istanbul: Byzantine and Ottoman Relics Tour with Local Guide

In the heart of the “Old City” you will stumble upon: Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) is a UNESCO-listed museum that contains Ottoman and Byzantine works. From the Golden Age of Byzantine Empire, this once a Christian church is one of the most extraordinary buildings in the history of architecture. Listen to its history and examine the architecture together with a professional guide. Next stop is Topkapi Palace, the largest and oldest palace in the world to survive to our day and also was the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for approximately 400 years. Then, make a visit to the Blue Mosque with six minarets, which was built at the bequest of Sultan Ahmet I, and is one of the best preserved and most significant examples of Ottoman architecture. Continue to Istanbul Hippodrome where chariot races were held. It was the center of Byzantium’s life for 1000 years and of Ottoman life for another 400 years and has been the scene of countless political dramas. Stop by Caferaga Medresesi, a cultural organization that teaches and promotes traditional Turkish handicrafts. The courtyard is home to the pleasant Caferağa Medresesi Çay Bahçesi tea garden. A small break for lunch in a local restaurant serving typical Turkish dishes will be served. The last stop of your journey is the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. Its numerous shops are bursting with everything you can imagine, from jewelry to silk clothing, and traditional copperware to exotic, Oriental imports and many more hidden gems.

Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar for Cruise Ship Visitors

9. Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar for Cruise Ship Visitors

Meet a local, expert guide at the port and hop on a tram to discover old Istanbul. Start in Sultanahmet Square, home to the city's greatest monuments such as the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, and learn the history of the city while taking in the local sights.  Continue your journey to Topkapi Palace and avoid long lines with priority admission tickets. Walk the palace grounds, gardens, and courtyards and appreciate the glory and opulence of the Ottoman Empire. See the Holy Relics, Imperial Kitchens, Royal Court, and the terraced gardens with tulips. Climb to the high terrace to admire the view over the Golden Horn.  Afterward, make your way through the old town to the Grand Bazaar. Explore the ever-changing maze of stalls and chat with the local craftsmen in this covered market that dates back to the 15th century. Go beyond the standard carpet showrooms and discover vintage and rare pieces. Learn the art of haggling and practice getting the right price with a local vendor. If you're lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the money market, a dark passage where illegal but tolerated currently trading takes place between vendors.  Enjoy a tea overlooking the bazaar and get some additional tips from the guide. At the end of the tour, choose to spend some free time in the bazaar or follow the guide back to the port.

Eight Day Turkey Tour: Seven Churches of Asia

10. Eight Day Turkey Tour: Seven Churches of Asia

Turkey, in antiquity known as Asia, was home to seven wondrous churches. It didn’t refer to an actual building, but rather seven Christian cities in Western Anatolia, which now lie in ruins. Visit these ancient places and walk the same steps that the world’s earliest Christians did. Before that, you’ll see all of Istanbul’s major sites, including the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sophia. Then you’ll travel to Izmir and start your tour of ancient Christianity, seeing many Roman ruins along the way. Soak in the thermal baths at Pamukkale, just as tourists have done for centuries – it was founded, after all, as a resort town by the Ancient Romans. Each step along the way, your expert guide will be there to provide you with context and information regarding each of these wonderful cities. Detailed Itinerary: Day 1: Arrival Arrive in Istanbul and enjoy a comfortable transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul. Day 2: Istanbul Tour Explore Istanbul and visit the historic old town. Then visit the Hippodrome, Istanbul’s first sports stadium, and the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque). Then visit the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace and a traditional bazaar. Day 3: Istanbul - Izmir Visit the Grand Bazaar before touring the port of Istanbul and seeing the Cistern of Istanbul. Flight to Izmir. Day 4: Pergamon – Thyatira – Izmir Explore the Pergamum Acropolis, and visit the Ancient Roman health center of Asklepieion. See the Red Basilica and continue on to Thyatira and back to Izmir. Day 5: Izmir – Sardis – Philadelphia – Laodicea – Hierapolis Visit the Sardis Church and ruins of the Temple of Artemis, then travel to Philadelphia Church. Then to the Roman resort of Pamukkale with its therapeutic thermal baths and the Cotton Castle. Finally, head to the Gate of Domitian, and the Nymphaion. Day 6: Ephesus – Kusadasi See the Basilica of St. John the Apostle. Then head to the ancient city of Ephesus and its Archeological Museum. Day 7: Izmir to Istanbul Relax in Kusadasi and flight back to Istanbul. Day 8: Departure Airport transfer in time for your flight.

Frequently asked questions about Sultanahmet Square UNESCO Sites

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Other Sightseeing Options in Sultanahmet Square

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What people are saying about Sultanahmet Square

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 102 reviews

It's really worth it! I bought over the internet, presented the code to the guide (who was at the indicated time and place), without queuing and without complications! Attentive, helpful and super friendly guides! I loved it and recommend it!

There were only 3 of us but it made for an excellent intimate setting and “John Lennon/Wayne” () was brilliant and knew a lot about Istanbul’s 8500 year history. Loved it.

very informational tour with a great guide.

A very fun day out with the family where we got to learn more about the history of the city. The tour guide was lovely and kind and made the trip very enjoyable.

great way to get to know the main sights in Istanbul. the unbeatable guide, super friendly and with an impeccable accent. I would definitely take it again

Great tour with all the basics. Great guide. Thanks again!! Unfortunately there are big renovations going on inside the mosque. Still worth seeing!