This tour begins with a visit to the famous Topkapı Palace, with its maze of buildings, gardens, and courts. The palace was used by royalty from the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries. You will see a magnificent wooded garden in the outer – or first – court. The second court is shaded by beautiful cypress and sycamore trees with the palace kitchens to the right of the court. This area now houses galleries exhibiting the imperial collections of crystal, silver and Chinese porcelain. A unique part of the Palace is The Harem, the secluded quarters of the wives, concubines, and children of the sultan, which echoes of the intrigue of centuries. A visit to The Harem is only included in private tours. Nowadays, the third court holds the Audience Hall, the Library of Ahmet III, an exhibition of imperial costumes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the treasury, and a priceless collection of miniatures from medieval manuscripts.
WiFi on board
What's Not Included
ADULT: Age: 1 - 99
Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
Face masks required for guides in public areas
For healthier travel experience, we will be upgrading our standard vehicles to SUVs, MPVs and Vans for 8 people or less and 16 or 33 seater minibuses for 9 people or more, both options at no extra cost. All medical regulations will be adhered to during th
Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
Infants are required to sit on an adult’s lap
Public transportation options are available nearby
Service animals allowed
Specialized infant seats are available
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitised
All areas and surfaces are wheelchair accessible
Face masks provided for travellers
Face masks required for travellers in public areas
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Infants and small children can ride in a pram or stroller
Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
Regular temperature checks for staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Transportation options are wheelchair accessible
Travelers should have at least a moderate level of physical fitness
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
Topkapi Palace was constructed between 1460 and 1478 during the reign of Mehmed the Conqueror. Served as the royal residence for Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years, Topkapi Palace is actually a large complex consisting of four main courtyards and many smaller buildings including mosques, harem, a hospital, bakeries, and mansions. The palace houses the world famous 86 carat Spoonmaker's Diamond.
Admission Ticket Included
The word "Harem" means 'forbidden'. The Harem was not only an erotic hut, unlike many don't want to believe. It was forbidden for all males, except the black noblemen guarding the sites, the Sultan's private space and his sons. On the other hand, women had no difficulty entering. But there was no way out once you get in. Built in the late XVIth century, the Harem was a maze of about 300 beautifully tiled rooms, connected by courtyards and wells. More than 1.000 harem women, children and black eunuchs were at home in its height or gilded cage we say. After the admission of Harem, the girls were trained and converted into Islam and they received an adequate palace training: how to write, read, play an instrument, sing, dance, and make the Sultan happy. The Harem's leader was its “Valide Sultan”, the sultan's mother. Not only did she keep the Harem organised, she also decided on the woman's life and death and had an enormous impact on the selection of women and concubines of the sultan.
Admission Ticket Included
The German Fountain is a gazébo-styles fountain located at the north end of the ancient hippodrome, Istanbul, Turkey and opposite Sultan Ahmed I's mausoleum. It was built to commemorate Wilhelm II's second birthday in 1898, when he came to Istanbul. Built in Germany, it was then transported in part and assembled at its present location in 1900. The octagonal dome in neo-byzantine style is eight marble columns with golden mosaics in the inside of the dome. In four of medallions, Abdülhamid II's tughra is written on green background, and in other four Wilhelm's symbol "W" is written on a Prussian blue background. Also, over "W" there is a crown and below it a "II" is written. The fountain was surrounded with a bronze fence, but unfortunately this has been lost. The outside of the dome is ornately patterned bronze; the dome's ceiling is decorated with golden mosaics and again with Abdülhamid II's tughra and Wilhelm II's symbol.
Admission Ticket Free
The ancient Hippodrome, the scene of chariot races and the centre of Byzantine civic life, stood in the open space in front of the Blue Mosque, an area now called Sultanahmet. Of the monuments which once decorated it only three remain: the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine. Remains from the curved-end section of the Hippodrome's wall can be seen on the southwest side of these three monuments. Today the square forms the centre of Istanbul's historical, cultural and touristic activities. You should take particular note of the surrounding wooden houses, particularly the 18th-century ones on Sogukcesme Street.
Admission Ticket Free
Facing St. Sophia stands the supremely elegant, six-minaret, imperial Sultanahmet Mosque. Built between 1609 and 1616 by the architect Mehmet, the building is more familiarly known as the Blue Mosque because its interior gleams with a magnificent panelling, of blue and white Iznik tiles. During the summer months an evening light and sound show both entertain and inform. The Mosque of Sultan Ahmed is the first of the two mosques with six minarets in Turkey. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is one of Istanbul 's impressive monuments. The mosque is also one of the Ottoman mosques in Turkey dominating the skyline of Istanbul. You can easily spot the minarets in these panoramic photos of Istanbul. The majestic Blue Mosque is difficult to miss in the middle of Istanbul. It can hold up to 10,000 worshipers as one of the largest mosques in Turkey. Its acoustics are designed so precisely that you can almost hear the voice, even if the mosque is full, of anyone praying.
Admission Ticket Free
One could visit Istanbul for the shopping alone. The Kapali Carsi, or Covered Bazaar, in the old city is the logical place to start. This labyrinth of streets and passages houses more than 4,000 shops. The names recall the days when each trade had its own quarter: the goldsmiths' street, the carpet sellers' street, the street of the skullcap makers. Still the commercial centre of the old city, the bazaar is the original shopping mall with something to suit every taste and pocket. Turkish crafts, the world-renowned carpets, brilliant hand-painted ceramics, copperware, brassware, and meerschaum pipes make charming souvenirs and gifts. The gold jewellery in brilliantly lit cases dazzles passers-by Leather and suede goods of excellent quality make a relatively inexpensive purchase. The Old Bedesten offers a curious assortment of antiques. It is worth poking through the clutter of decades in the hope of finding a treasure. Delve into the 554-year of shopping history with us!
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