- Combine a Bosphorus cruise with a full walking tour of the top sights - incl. Lunch
- Skip the line entrance at Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern
- Local culture with a walk through the Grand Bazaar, local streets & Spice Bazaar
- Enjoy an incredible rooftop view near the Galata Tower
We’ll walk the historic hippodrome to Hagia Sophia. Once a Greek Orthodox basilica, then a mosque, now a museum, it has so many stories to tell – not to mention the most beautiful, gold-laden interior. We’ve pre-reserved tickets here and, since you’re traveling with a licensed tour guide, you’ll get straight inside, past lines that often stretch for hours. Enjoy a guided tour of the building and ask all the questions you want, before we move onto our next stop – the Basilica Cistern. Again, a licensed guide means you’ll skip ticket lines to gain faster entrance. Built in the 6th century this huge ancient cistern is most notable for its carved Medusa columns, but its size and atmosphere will take your breath away.
The morning section of our tour also includes a walk past Topkapi Palace, where your guide will give you an introduction to the palace and its harem from outside. Then it’s off to lunch. To be sure you’re getting the best from every single moment of your day, we’ve pre-reserved our favorite local Turkish restaurant, where you’ll enjoy a huge spread of kebab meats (chicken, lamb and beef), sauces, hummus, rice, salad and borek pastries. And the best bit? We’ll take care of the bill; lunch is included in the price of your tour!
After lunch we’ll take a short walk to the Grand Bazaar, the incredible shopping hub of Istanbul. Here your guide will give you a tour of the huge bazaar (one of the largest covered markets in the world with 60 streets and 5,000 shops) telling you about Turkey’s famous jewelry, ceramics, carpets, fashions and quirks and teaching you how to get the best bang for your buck if you come back shopping later. We’ll take a walk then through the local shopping street, lined with stores selling beautiful hijabs and local fashions. We’ll take a quick detour up a flight of stairs to a special viewing point along the way – our own Aladdin’s rooftop, from where you’ll encounter incredible views over the Bosphorus and the city around it. Then it’s on to the Spice Bazaar to learn about Turkish flavors and how Istanbul’s varied spices are actually the greatest indicator of its long history.
A sure highlight of our tour is our private Bosphorus cruise. Your group may combine with one other group of 15 for this part (plus their guide), but that’s it! For one whole hour you’ll have a private boat pretty much to yourselves as you cruise the waters separating Europe and Asia.
We finish our tour on the other side of the bridge, with a walk through the local fish market before making our way uphill to the Galata Tower. Rather than climbing the tower, which is crowded, we’ll find the same views nearby in a more relaxing spot at a private café. Feel free to treat yourself to a Turkish coffee or a beer while admiring the view – after all, you’ve just seen Istanbul in a day.
- All tickets and reservations (including Hagia Sophia & the Basilica Cistern)
- Bosphorus cruise on a private boat (no more than 30 passengers)
- Turkish buffet lunch of kebab meats, hummus, sauces, pastries & a soft drink
- Access to a special rooftop near the bazaar
- Expert guide
- Hotel Pick-Up/Drop-Off
● Please note that the tour meeting time is 15 minutes prior to the start time. No refunds or re-bookings can be provided for late arrivals or no shows after tour commencement or departure.
● Please remember that the Blue Mosque is a holy place, and attire must be appropriate for the visit. Both men and women are asked to take off their shoes when entering (you will put them in a plastic bag, provided by the Mosque, and bring them with you). Both are also asked to have their knees and shoulders covered. Women are asked to wear a head covering when entering. Please bring a scarf with you. Walks of Turkey cannot be held responsible for denied entry due to improper dress.
● Unfortunately Istanbul is a hilly and crowded city, please wear comfortable shoes and keep your belongings in a safe zipped pocket.
● Guests should be advised that the tour includes walking down and up steep hills and that often the ground is uneven. One of the rooftop views also requires climbing uneven and high steps. For this reason we cannot accommodate guests with mobility impairments or strollers on our group tour.
● This tour is a “carpet & shopping free” tour. Your guide will in fact remain with you throughout the tour instead of letting you explore the Bazaars on your own.
● Note: We advise our clients that the Blue Mosque is subject to unforeseen closures during special celebrations/festivities. These closures are generally only announced a few days prior. If this occurs during your visit, we will spend more time at other sites. Your guide will still give you full information on the Mosque should you wish to visit this on your own at a later occasion. We are unable to provide refunds or discounts.
● IMPORTANT: As lunch is included on this tour, please notify us before booking if you have any food allergies, dietary restrictions, or other special requirements.
If cancelling less than 48 hours before the chosen start date no refund applies.