Best of Istanbul Tour with Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque

Best of Istanbul Tour with Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque

From £49 per person

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Key Details
3.5 hours
Skip the Line
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What You'll Do
  • Skip the lines waiting to enter Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern
  • Enjoy a guided tour of the Blue Mosque
  • Experience the best of Istanbul in a small group with an expert local guide
See the top sights of Istanbul’s historic Sulthanmet area on an intimate small group tour. Traveling with a local guide, you’ll enjoy skip-the-line access to the most popular sites and a gain much deeper understanding of the city's history and culture.
What to Expect
Your 3.5-hour tour starts at the Blue Mosque, where you’ll meet early in the morning to avoid the crowds. As you wait for the doors to open your guide will tell you about the history and architecture of this incredible temple, and about Islam’s cultural influence on Istanbul.

Once the doors open, you’ll slip off your shoes and women will don their headscarves, and enter to explore the beautiful tiled and carpeted interior of Istanbul’s foremost religious building.

Across the ancient Hippodrome is Hagia Sophia. Once a church, then a mosque, and now a museum, Hagia Sophia is one of the most-visited sites in Istanbul. Typically there are long lines waiting to enter, but with your guide you’ll skip the lines and gain express entrance.

Once inside you’ll admire the incredible mosaics, learning how easily Christian icons became Islamic. At this site in particular you’ll gain a deeper understanding of Turkish history and culture as well as the similarities among all major world religions.

The final stop of the morning takes you down to a level beneath the streets of Istanbul to the Basilica Cistern. Originally a cistern that provided water to the city, it’s now a remarkably preserved space featuring medusa-head columns and eerie lighting. Again, you’ll enjoy priority access, skipping the lines.

Your small group will have a maximum of 15 people, and you’ll have a headset to ensure you’ll be able to hear your guide’s informative commentary.
What's Included
  • Admission tickets and reservation fees for all sites
  • Skip-the-line access
  • Expert tour guide
  • Headsets
What's Not Included
  • Hotel pick-up/drop off
  • Food/beverages
  • Gratuities
Meeting Point

This tour meets in the Sultanahmet area, at the entrance gate to the Blue Mosque on the Hippodrome Square side, next to the Grand Vezir Restaurant & Cafe. You’ll find this entrance located near the Serpent Column, or Twisted Column, in the center of Hippodrome Square. Directions: From the cruise port – take the tram in the direction of Bağcılar and get off at the Sultanahmet stop. From there you can see the minarets of the Blue Mosque. Walk in that direction for about 5 minutes to reach the meeting point. From Taksim Square – take the funicular to Kabataş and then the tram in the direction of Bağcılar, getting off at the Sultanahmet stop. From there you can see the minarets of the Blue Mosque. Walk in that direction for about 5 minutes to reach the meeting point.

Know Before You Go
Please note:
• 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 the Blue Mosque. You will put them in a plastic bag, provided for you, and carry them with you. Both men and women are also required to have their knees and shoulders covered
• Women must wear a head covering when entering. Please bring a scarf with you
• Your tour operator cannot be held responsible for entry denied due to improper dress
• Be advised that the Blue Mosque is subject to unforeseen closures during special celebrations/festivities. These closures are generally announced only a few days in advance. If this occurs during your visit, you will spend more time at other sites. Your guide will still give you full information on the Mosque should you wish to visit on your own at a later date
• Unfortunately the tour operator is unable to accommodate wheelchair users and customers with walking disabilities on this tour

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Walks of Turkey

Product ID: 53609