Explore the Roman and Byzantine history and monuments of Istanbul on a 3.5-hour afternoon tour, and learn about the city’s 2 great empires. Visit iconic sites, such as the Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, and underground Basilica Cistern.
What to Expect
Travel back in time on a “2 Great Empires” tour of Istanbul, and learn the Roman and Byzantine history of the city at iconic sites.
Following a pick-up from your hotel, travel by air-conditioned car or bus to Sultanahmet in the heart of the city. Stroll over to the Hippodrome, and learn about Istanbul’s rich Byzantine history. See the Column of Constantine, built of limestone blocks, an Egyptian obelisk from Luxor in pink Aswan granite, and the 5-meter bronze Serpentine Column, brought to the empire’s capital from Delphi. Close your eyes and hear the powerful voice of the emperor, and the victorious shouts of the gladiators!
Continue to the ancient Hagia Sophia, and pause to reflect on the fall of Constantinople and the painful 1,000-year history of the city. Learn about the emperors that were crowned here, and the crusaders who robbed their accumulated wealth. Walk across the worn flagstones to sense its 500-year history, and look at the 4 minarets built during the Ottoman era; a reminder of when the Turks conquered Constantinople and created a great new city.
Walk on to the Basilica Cistern to explore the underground reservoir, completed in 532 to channel water from the Valencia Aqueduct. Enjoy the cathedral-like atmosphere as your guide explains its history. Transfer back to your accommodation by air-conditioned vehicle.
- Museum entrance fees
- Hotel pick-up and drop off
- Transportation by air-conditioned car or bus
- English-speaking guide