Enjoy a combination of 2 of the best-selling tours in Istanbul. See the city’s top attractions and landmarks on a sightseeing tour. Then you’ll experience Turkish culture and cuisine on a cruise featuring a 4-course dinner and traditional entertainment.
What to Expect
Start your day with an 8-hour city sightseeing tour by luxury coach, seeing all of Istanbul’s top attractions with an expert local guide.
The focus of the tour is on the Sultanahmet or Old City area, where you’ll visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hagia Sophia Museum and the Blue Mosque. Contrast Hagia Sophia’s fascinating Ottoman-era and Byzantine architecture with the extravagance of the Blue Mosque, which was built to rival it. Admire the Mosque’s 6 minarets and interior Iznik wall tiles, while your guide tells you about the demanding sultan who designed it.
Then head underground inside the Basilica Cistern to discover Istanbul’s sunken palace, featured in the James Bond movie, From Russia with Love. As you stroll around its magnificent columns, you’ll learn about the cistern’s colorful history and its numerous renovations over the years.
After a break for lunch at a Sultanahmet restaurant, you’ll continue on to Topkapi Palace, where you’ll step back in time to a world when sultans and their harems ruled Istanbul. Explore the palace’s ornate Imperial Treasury, and then head back outside to visit Istanbul’s Hippodrome.
You’ll hear about the chariot races, polo games, royal celebrations, and brutal massacres that took place here, and envisage its former glory on a walk around the grounds.
The last stop of the day tour will be the Grand Bazaar, which is one of the world largest covered markets. Find the best spots to shop in this amazing souk before returning to your Istanbul hotel by coach.
Note that you’ll have approximately 2 hours at leisure before your evening program begins.
You will then board one of Istanbul’s finest cruise for an evening of traditional Turkish culture and cuisine. Relax over a delicious 4-course dinner with wine, beer, and soft drinks, and then sit back and enjoy a live belly dancing and Anatolian folklore show.
After the show, your guide will take you back to your central Istanbul hotel.
- Hotel pick-up and drop off
- Transportation by air-conditioned coach
- Entrance fees
- Belly dancing show
- 4-course dinner with drinks
Know Before You Go
• Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays and the visit will be replaced with Istanbul 2 Continents
• The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays, and you will have additional time to spend at the other locations instead