Either I conquer Istanbul or Istanbul conquers me. – Fatih Sultan Mehmet – the conqueror. Journey in the footsteps of the city’s most famous ruler and conquer Istanbul in just a day. This is the ultimate all-in-one introduction to the sites everyone must-see in Istanbul, with a locals-know twist. Visit Turkey’s iconic UNESCO-listed historic spots such as the jaw-dropping Hagia Sophia, the beautiful Blue Mosque, and the pretty, tree-lined ancient Hippodrome, and learn how Istanbul has stood strong through the centuries. Eat a tasty Turkish lunch with locals at a hidden restaurant, then listen to stories of how generations of sultans lived at the grand Topkapi Palace, overlooking the gorgeous Bosphorus Strait. Finish it all off with a backstreet tour and some good-natured haggling with local artisans in the Grand Bazaar.
Enjoy a tasty Turkish lunch with locals in a hidden café
Get tips on what else to see, do and eat during your stay
Haggle with local vendors and get lost in the labyrinth of alleys of Grand Bazaar
Listen to stories of sultans at Topkapi Palace (entrance fee included - except for the Harem))
Local Licensed English-speaking Guide
Stop at the spine of ancient Hippodrome (admission is free)
Take in the majestic Blue Mosque (admission is free)
Visit the mesmerising ancient site of Hagia Sophia (admission is free)
What's Not Included
Additional food and drinks
Hotel pickup and drop-off
CHILD: Age: 6 - 11
ADULT: Age: 12 - 99
Mosques have very strict dress codes, when visiting women must where long loose clothing, insure their arms and legs are fully covered. Women are also required to cover their heads at all times. Men must not show above their knees and cover their shoulder
Public transportation options are available nearby
While we strongly recommend that all travellers are vaccinated against COVID-19 to reduce the risk of transmission and avoid putting undue strain on healthcare services, vaccinations are not a requirement to join an Intrepid Urban Adventures tour.
Local Impact: How you will help the local community by joining this tour: On this tour you will visit cultural heavy hitters like the Hagia Sophia Museum, the Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome, and Topkapi Palace. Your tour includes entrance fees to all of them
On this tour you will have a chance to try different Turkish delicacies at local cafes, and in doing so you will be supporting small, locally-owned business.
Suitable for all physical fitness levels
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.
For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
What To Expect
Hagia Sophia Mosque
Start your Istanbul tour with a dose of awe at Justinian the Great’s Hagia Sophia. This masterpiece of Byzantine architecture stands tall and proud in downtown Istanbul, holding within its walls more than 1,500 years of Turkish history. This mind-bogglingly beautiful site is also somewhat of a chameleon — it has lived its long life as a church, a mosque, and now as a museum. It’s also a movie star: anyone who’s seen From Russia with Love will feel a bit like James Bond when they step inside.
Admission Ticket Free
You’ll then head just across the street to the jewel in the Istanbul crown. Sultan Ahmet I’s Blue Mosque is one of the most striking sights in Istanbul, with its iconic blue-tiled walls (the tiles number in the tens of thousands!), 260 windows, and six minarets. Don’t forget to ask your guide the significance of those six spires.
Admission Ticket Free
Once you’re filled with Turkish cuisine, Topkapi Palace awaits. This opulent complex overlooking the Bosphorus is a true Istanbul treasure, with many colourful stories about the rich sultans who lived there between 1453 and 1839.
Admission Ticket Included
Next, your Istanbul city tour will take you to the ancient Hippodrome. Today, this charming promenade is a popular meeting point for Istanbulites, but it is also an integral part of Turkish history. Chariot races once took place along this strip, which was also home to the notorious Nika riots — a dramatic political protest in 532 AD that led to the massacre of tens of thousands of people.
Need a break? We’ll step back to the present and join the locals as we lunch in a hidden café. You’ll enjoy friendly conversation with members of the community and learn about daily life in Istanbul.
Admission Ticket Included
Lastly, you’ll seek out treasures of a different kind in Istanbul’s famed Grand Bazaar, which offers up 3,000 shops to explore along 61 streets. Meet a few of the local characters, perfect your haggling skills, have a true Turkish coffee, and shop till you drop.
Note that the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays, so if you choose a Sunday departure, you’ll explore the nearby vibrant Spice Market, filled with delectable and colourful Turkish spices, treats, coffees, and teas.
Our Travel guide can help you plan your holiday to Istanbul by offering you detailed information on hotels, activities, golf courses and car rentals in Istanbul. We offer a comparison of nearly all hotels, car rentals and activities that are available in Istanbul and surrounding area with an option to make a real time secure booking. By booking in advance you are certain to have everything prepared for your trip to Istanbul.