Grand Bazaar
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Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

1. Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

You will start at the old Hippodrome of Constantinople which was the sports and social center of the old city. Discover major works of art including the Obelisk from Egypt, the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the fountain of Willhelm II, constructed by the Germans. From there, continue to the Blue Mosque, whose six minarets are a key fixture of Istanbul’s skyline. Next, head for the Topkapi Palace, which was home to the Ottoman emperors between the 15th and 19th centuries. Marvel at the jewel-stuffed treasury and priceless displays of Oriental porcelain. Move on to the Hagia Sophia Mosque. Behold the dome and stunning Byzantine mosaics of this architectural gem as your guide recounts its turbulent history. Then visit the Grand Bazaar with over 3,000 shops selling everything from carpets to jewelry to ceramics and leather goods. Also stroll around the Spice Bazaar with its incredible smell from almost every spice imaginable, as well as dried fruits and nuts, sweets and the ubiquitous Turkish Delight.

Istanbul: Full-Day Small Group City Highlights Tour

2. Istanbul: Full-Day Small Group City Highlights Tour

Get to know some of the best sights of Instanbul with a local guide on this trip to Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Square, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar. Enjoy included pickup and drop-off and skip-the-line entry privileges. Start your day with pickup from your hotel, then hop in an air-conditioned vehicle and set off on your journey to see Istanbul’s greatest landmarks. First, head to Hagia Sophia, meaning divine wisdom. The Hagia Sophia was used as a church for 916 years and as a mosque for 481 years. In 1934, by the order of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, it was converted into a museum and has since been open to visitors. Next, visit Topkapi Palace and enter inside. As well as being the imperial residence of the Sultan, this palace was also the seat of government for the ottoman empire. In 1924 it was converted into a museum. Today, it's famous for its harem, royal treasury, and holy relics sections. Continue to Hippodrome of Constantinople (Sultanahmet Square), built by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus in 203 A.D. During the Roman period, this square was the civil center for the people of the city where once 100,000 spectators could be held. Located in the heart of Sultanahmet surrounded by the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace, today Hippodrome is home to the Egyptian Obelisk (Dikilitaş), the Serpentine Column (Burma Sütun), the Constantine Column, and the German Fountain. Next up on the itinerary is the Blue Mosque. This mosque was built by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I in the year 1616 and is located opposite the Hagia Sophia. Today, the Blue Mosque is one of the most famous landmarks of the old city with its famous six minarets, dome, and blue tiles decorating the interior walls. Visit the Grand Bazaar. Featuring 18 entrances and more than 4000 shops, the Grand Bazaar is one of the greatest bazaars in the world. Stroll through the unique shops and experience the atmosphere of everyday local life. At the end of the tour, sit back and relax as you're driven back to your pickup location.

Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private City Guided Tour

3. Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private City Guided Tour

Discover the best of Istanbul on this 1, 2, or 3-day private tour that covers the major attractions, such as the Hagia Sophia Museum, the iconic Blue Mosque, the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, and the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. A few of the possible attraction you'll visit on your tour include: The Hagia Sophia, a great architectural beauty and an important monument during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. For many centuries, this was the largest church in the world, and it still boasts the 4th largest dome after St. Paul's in London, St. Peter's in Rome, and the Duomo in Florence. Dedicated to the Hagia Sophia or 'divine wisdom', it is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. The Blue Mosque, more officially known as the "Sultanahmet" Mosque has striking blue tiles give it its more common name and make it one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions. Located close to Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque was considered the Supreme Imperial Mosque in Istanbul. Topkapi Palace, a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. The former palace boasted a population of about 4,000 people at its peak and was home to 25 sultans over a period of 400 years. Located on a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn, it sits in tranquil gardens that provide shade from the blazing heat of the summer. Pop in to the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. The Hippodrome is the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. Three monuments from the original building remain, including the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handcraft shops selling everything from handmade carpets to Turkish coffee, the atmosphere is electric, and it's a great place to try out your bargaining skills. The spice bazaar is located in Fatih. It's known as the Egyptian Market because during the Ottoman period, Egyptian exports were sold there. The Bosphorus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia that connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. Rumeli and Anadolu Fortresses are located at the narrowest point of Bosphorus. There are also magnificent Ottoman palaces and mosques along the Bosphorus. Keep an eye out for them. Built in the 19th century, Dolmabahce Palace was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and housed some of the last Ottoman Sultans. The palace site was created by filling in the small bay on the Bosphorus. This gave rise to its name — in Turkish, Dolma means "filled" or "stuffed," and bahce means "garden". Istiklal Street is brimming with life. There, you'll find a plethora of shops, restaurants, and bars, and from there, it's an interesting and scenic 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area. See this and more depending on which length tour option you select. Possible Itinerary for each day of the tour: Day 1: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Hippodrome Day 2: Spice Market, Bosphorus Cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal, Galata Tower Day 3: Suleymaniye Mosque, Chora Church, Fener/Balat Districts, Pierre Loti Hill

Istanbul Combo: Classic City Tour & Bosphorus Cruise

4. Istanbul Combo: Classic City Tour & Bosphorus Cruise

Meet your guide at your hotel or port and start the tour with the highlights of Istanbul. See the beautiful Hagia Sophia, admire the great blend of Christian and Islamic influences with beautiful interior of mosaics and significant history. Marvel at the Blue Mosque, a great monument of oriental architecture which houses 27,000 pieces of handmade blue tiles. The Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market are two colorful indoor bazaars and have lots of shops offering a variety of spices, rugs, purses, flavored teas, jackets, Turkish delight, nuts, as well as ceramics and small souvenirs. At the end of your tour, why not opt to take a cruise along the Bosphorus to see both Istanbul’s European and Asian sides, Galata Tower, Dolmabahce Palace, the Rumelian Fortress, old Ottoman villas, Bosphorus bridges, and mosques. Tickets can be bought on the spot and the cruise will take place in a public ferry (unless you book the Private Yacht option).

Istanbul: Best of the City Private Full-Day Walking Tour

5. Istanbul: Best of the City Private Full-Day Walking Tour

This private experience is the perfect introduction to Istanbul for first-time visitors. Enjoy a guided full-day tour to discover the best of the city. The tour can be fully customized to suit your needs, simply tell your guide what interests you the most.  Visit the historic Hippodrome, the exquisite Blue Mosque and the iconic Hagia Sophia. Experience the lavish lifestyles of the Ottoman Sultans with a tour of Topkapi Palace, or browse the colorful stalls of the Grand Bazaar. The choice is yours. Benefit from pickup and drop-off at your centrally-located hotel. With your private guide you’ll enjoy priority entrance to all the sights, so standing you won’t waste time standing in queues.

Secrets of Istanbul: 5-Hour Walking Tour with Lunch

6. Secrets of Istanbul: 5-Hour Walking Tour with Lunch

Your 5-hour guided walk begins in Sultanhamet, in the heart of the main tourist area of Istanbul. From here you’ll head to the Blue Mosque, where you’ll admire the 6 minarets and stunning tiles that were made in Iznik, the birthplace of the Ottoman Empire. Next your guide will tell you about Hagia Sophia and the Roxana Baths before continuing on to the ancient Hippodrome. Hear about the famous obelisk that was shipped from Egypt to the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius in 6th century A.D. Walk along the ancient roadway past the Ottoman Parliament House and then make your way to the Grand Bazaar. Marvel at the labyrinth of streets lined with textiles and most every other kind of product as well! You can learn the local art of bargaining here. Enjoy a stroll to the nearby Sahaflar Book Market, where books were printed for the first time during the Ottoman era. Learn about Islam and its holy book, the Koran. On the way to the Suleymaniye complex you’ll pass by the spectacular façade of Istanbul University and enter the Cagaloglu district, which is a shopping hub for locals that’s far from the main tourist attractions. Once you reach the Suleymaniye complex you’ll see the Turkish bath, the library, the madrasah, eateries, and the grand Suleymaniye Mosque that dominates the skyline along the Golden Horn. Learn about the history of the Mosque, named after the most famous and powerful of sultans, Suleyman the Magnificent. Your guide knows a great hidden teahouse here where you can drink çay (tea) and try a nargile (water pipe) with its intoxicating aroma and fruity flavors. After the break, you’ll continue on through the hidden streets of Istanbul. See local markets where products are made on site. Visit the hidden Rustem Pasha Mosque and admire its lovely tiles. Then it will be time to taste some baklava, a delicious Turkish dessert. Explore the spice market and see a mountain of Turkish spices, Turkish delight, and local handicrafts. From the Spice Bazaar you’ll take a walk so that you can appreciate the views of the picturesque Galata Bridge. Finally it’s time to relax for a delicious lunch of local specialties. After lunch your guide can tell you how to get back to your hotel and give you some advice on other things to do in your free time.

Istanbul Private Full-Day Classics Tour with Options

7. Istanbul Private Full-Day Classics Tour with Options

Your full-day tour begins with a morning visit to the Hippodrome, which at one time was the center of Byzantine social and recreational life. A few parts of this spectacular site remain, including the Obelisk of Thutmose III and the Serpent Column. The Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is located next to the Hippodrome. Its exceptional architectural design features 1 main dome, 8 secondary domes, 6 minarets, and a vast number of blue tiles – hence the name. Built during the reign of Ahmed the First, the Blue Mosque continues to function as a mosque as well as being one of the city’s top tourist attractions. Next is a visit to Topkapi Palace, which dates back to 1459. It served as the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 4 centuries. In 1924, the palace was officially declared a museum. The Palace covers a large site and features several buildings. You’ll see a fine collection of Imperial and Ottoman utensils, relics, caftans, and portraits of the sultans. Following your visit to Topkapi Palace it will time for a lunch break, and your guide will recommend some restaurants where you can enjoy delicious Turkish cuisine. After lunch you’ll take a tour of Hagia Sophia, which served both Christianity and Islam at different times in history. When it was first built in 537, it was an Eastern Orthodox church. In 1453, when Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, the hall was transformed into an imperial mosque. Approximately 5 centuries later, Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum. After visiting Hagia Sophia you’ll travel to the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, comprising 61 covered streets and more than 3,000 shops offering almost anything you might need. The bazaar is a part of the walled city and was built during the years 1455-1461.

Istanbul: Full-Day Private Old City Tour

8. Istanbul: Full-Day Private Old City Tour

Your guide will greet you at your hotel at 09:00 to begin your 8-hour walking tour in the capital of 3 great empires. Your tour begins at Topkapi Palace, the former imperial residence from which the Great Ottoman Empire was ruled for nearly 400 years. Today a spectacular museum, it is well known for its collection of royal treasures. Your guide will tell you about 4 centuries of glorious victories as well as tragic times. From Topkapi Palace you’ll walk to Hagia Sophia along a cobblestone road lined with old Ottoman-era houses. This 6th century church, a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, features stunning mosaics. You’ll learn about the history of the structure, a main attraction of Istanbul since its construction. After a stop to enjoy lunch you’ll continue by foot to the site of the Hippodrome, the center of sportive and political activities in ancient Constantinople. See the Obelisk from Egypt, the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the Fountain of Willhelm II. The Blue Mosque, built in the 17th century, and also known as the Sultanahment Mosque, is one of the principal adornments of the Istanbul skyline. Admire the interior covered with blue Iznik tiles. Your final stop will be at the Grand Bazaar. Your guide will tell you about history of the Bazaar and provide some helpful tips on navigating its more than 4,000 shops. The tour ends between 16:00 and 17:00.

Byzantine Istanbul Half-Day Morning Tour

9. Byzantine Istanbul Half-Day Morning Tour

Take a half-day tour of Istanbul and explore it from the perspective of the Byzantine Empire. See ruins of Byzantine churches, the site of former Roman chariot races, and the magical alleys of the historic Grand Bazaar. Visit the Hippodrome, location for thrilling chariot races in the days of the Roman Empire. The track is now some 6.6 feet (2 meters) below ground, but has been marked on the paving of Sultan Ahmet Square. You will see the surviving obelisks, as well as the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the Byzantine German Fountain of Wilhelm II. Continue to Hagia Sophia, also known as “The Church of Holy Wisdom.” Undoubtedly one of the greatest architectural creations in the world, the temple was so richly decorated that Justinian proclaimed, “Solomon, I have surpassed you!" Your guide is an expert on Byzantine history, art, and architecture, and will describe important moments from the empire’s history as you continue to the iconic Blue Mosque. Named for its stunning decoration of Iznik tiles, you will also admire its slender minarets End your tour at the Grand Bazaar, the oldest and largest covered market in the world. Explore the alleys, where nearly 4,000 shops offer a superb selection of antiques, leather, evil eye trinkets, and Turkish rugs. Try out your haggling skills to see if you can bag a true Turkish bargain.

Istanbul: Small Group Skip-the-Line Luxury Day Tour

10. Istanbul: Small Group Skip-the-Line Luxury Day Tour

Discover the only city in the world on 2 continents - where east meets west - on a full-day sightseeing tour of Istanbul by luxury minibus. Following a pick-up from your hotel or cruise ship, visit the Hippodrome to explore the former center of sport and political activities in Constantinople. Marvel at the Obelisk from Egypt, Serpentine Column from Delphi, and fountain of Wilhelm II. Continue to the iconic Blue Mosque, known for its glorious blue Iznik tiles and 6 minarets. Admire the former imperial residence of the Ottoman sultans at Topkapi Palace, and learn how the Great Ottoman Empire was ruled. Today, the palace is a spectacular museum, with one of the largest collections of Chinese and Japanese porcelain, along with the famous treasury of the Royal Family. Next, go to the Hagia Sophia, a magnificent Byzantine Church that is considered one of the finest architectural works of art in the world. Stroll the alleys and warrens of the Grand Bazaar, and interact with the vendors selling their rich collection of precious handmade carpets, jewelry, leather, and souvenirs. Transfer back to your hotel or cruise ship for the end of the tour services.

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What people are saying about Grand Bazaar

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 8 reviews

Kenan was helpful, knowledgeable and professional. Nice sense of humor as well, my husband and I had a nice experience overall and felt we were able to squeeze a lot in one day, and Kenan was flexible enough to adapt to our wants and needs… It was amazing how he seems to know the Grand Bazaar like the palm of his hand! I wanted to see fabrics and he took me to three exquisite small stores, had tea with the owners, made me feel like a local, not a tourist. At Topkapi he knew so much about the architecture, the time frames, and very interesting anecdotes and folk legends… and hey I am an Art Historian! Recommend

Our tour guide, Kenan, took us through Istanbul's top sights with impeccable German and excellent knowledge. He always responded to our special requests and gave us an unforgettable day in Istanbul in his friendly way. It was an absolute stroke of luck to have him assigned as a guide.

Wonderful guide, informative, English was perfect and knew his way around the busy old town area.

Amaziiiing! Ensar is the nicest guide ever and always with a smile on his face!

Great tour! Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable. Definitely recommend!