It's always a good idea to see the highlights of the city during the first day of your visit to Istanbul for a good introduction accompanied by the stories of this stunning city blended with history, culture, mythology, geography and cuisine. For someone who is visiting a new city for the first time it's a place people are just passing by. When it comes to the exploring the hidden gems you may need a company.
Check out what we are going to do.
Feel free to personalize this offer.
At your hotel
Meeting at the hotel, railway station, port or by any monumental building
The best of the best in the city, called Hagia Sophia. The church of the holy wisdom, which was originally built as an Eastern Orthodox church, was later converted into a mosque by the Ottomans. Hagia Sophia still continues to surprise with its unique architecture. This amazing building is 1500 years old and it has a lot of stories to be narrated.
Main palace of Ottoman Empire, the Topkapi Palace, which was the main residence for Ottoman Sultans for over four hundred years. In the palace, you will have a chance to see its beautiful courtyards and unique collections of weapons, clocks, jewelries and holy relics. The highlight of the palace is definitely the 86 carat Spoonmaker's diamond.
The most popular mosque in Turkey, also known by foreign visitors as the Blue Mosque -- to see Ottoman architecture and splendid blue tiles on the walls.
It's time to enjoy some local food and relax for a while.
Basilica Cistern (also called Sunken Palace by the locals), because of its architecture. There, we will see medusa heads and beautiful ionic and Doric columns. This place is an underground water storage area, which is hard to believe when you see how beautiful it looks for a water reservoir.
No baseball no basketball what was there to entertain the residents of Constantinople? It was of course the Hippodrome just like in many other Roman cities. I have always been amazed by the thinking of those people watching the chariot races at the time.
After a long day it is time to relax and have fun in the Grand Bazaar, where you can literally find anything in more than 4000 shops. I will accompany you in the bazaar with some recommendations, and will be ready to help you with bargaining, if needed.
You can spend more time in the bazaar or I can drop you back to the meeting point.
At your hotel
transportation, lunch, entrance fees, personal expenses
This is a walking tour as all the sights are within a walking distance. However if the hotel you are staying is far from the old city transportation could be arranged upon your request. I recommend to wear comfartable shoes and a had scarf for the ladies.