Embark on a captivating guided tour through the heart of Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet district, as we explore the magnificent Topkapi Palace, the iconic Hagia Sophia, and the mysterious Basilica Cistern. Enjoy priority admission and skip-the-line entry to these world-renowned sites, ensuring a seamless and memorable experience.
Overview of the Tour:
Our comprehensive tour includes:
- Priority admission to Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, and Basilica Cistern
- Expert English-speaking tour guide
- Small group or private tour options
- Wheelchair accessibility
- Duration: 4 hours
Join us on this unforgettable journey through the heart of Istanbul’s historic district, and uncover the fascinating stories behind these magnificent landmarks. With priority admission, expert guidance, and a well-crafted itinerary, you’ll experience the best of Istanbul’s cultural treasures in a single, unforgettable tour.
Basilica Cistern Guided Tour (30 minutes)
Descend into the ancient Basilica Cistern, an awe-inspiring underground water reservoir dating back to the 6th century. Marvel at the vast network of pillars and intricate Byzantine architecture as you walk along wooden pathways above the water. Don’t forget to snap a photo of the famous upside-down Medusa heads that add a touch of mystery to this subterranean marvel.
Hagia Sophia Guided Tour (1 hour)
Next, we’ll head to the breathtaking Hagia Sophia, an architectural masterpiece with a history spanning over 1,400 years. Learn how this magnificent building served as a cathedral, a mosque, and now a museum, bearing witness to the ever-changing landscape of Istanbul. Admire the stunning dome, minarets, mosaics, and Roman columns that make the Hagia Sophia a true wonder of the world.
Topkapi Palace Guided Tour (2.5 hours)
Finally, immerse yourself in the opulence of the Ottoman Empire as you explore the sprawling Topkapi Palace complex. Wander through its terraced gardens, pavilions, and courtyards, and soak in the breathtaking views over the Golden Horn. Admire the exquisite craftsmanship of mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell inlays, and marvel at the beautiful Iznik tiles adorned with Quranic verses. The tour concludes with a visit to the sacred relics and imperial kitchens. Optionally, you can choose to visit the Harem at your own pace.
- Skip-the-line entry to Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, and Hagia Sophia
- Expert tour guide
- Small group or private walking tour, depending on the option chosen
What’s Not Included
- Transportation to the meeting point
- Entry to Topkapi Palace Harem
- Dress code: Shorts, short skirts, and sleeveless shirts are not allowed
- Be prepared for airport-style security checks
- Expect long lines at the Hagia Sophia, especially during local holidays
- Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace may close without notice due to high-level state visits
- Basilica Cistern has 50 steps going down and up, with no elevator available
- Harem visit is not included in the guided tour, but you can choose to explore it at your leisure