Grand Bazaar
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Our most recommended Grand Bazaar Solo travelers' tours

Secrets of Istanbul: 5-Hour Walking Tour with Lunch

1. 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: Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia

2. Istanbul: Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia

Begin the tour of the Sultanahmet district in the heart of old Istanbul at Hagia Sophia. Built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, this church is a marvel of world architecture. Its massive dome dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. It is famous for its mosaics including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses. Then discover the Basilica Cistern, s the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul; was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. Explore the Grand Bazaar which was the commercial heart of the old city. Its 4,000 shops are full of treasures including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons, and leather goods.

Istanbul: Top Attractions Tour with Skip-the-line Tickets

3. Istanbul: Top Attractions Tour with Skip-the-line Tickets

See Sultanahmet with your own eyes as an awe-inspiring hotspot for visitors with four prestigious hillside monuments and much more. Visit the world-famous Blue Mosque, Istanbul’s premier sight. Blue Mosque in Istanbul is an essential part of any Istanbul tour that lets you see mosque architecture and learn the basics of Islam in a very relevant setting. Walk the gardens and courtyards of Topkapı Palace to witness the glory of the Ottomans. Topkapı Palace is a place of opulence, complexity, and mystery that inspires awe and is a must to see on your Istanbul tour. Visit the inspiring Hagia Sophia, which on its own, justifies a visit to Istanbul. The church of the Divine Wisdom is eternally impressive and important with its extraordinary dimensions and beauty. You can expect to have in-depth explanations of the monument as part of your tour.  The Grand Bazaar is a classical example of Ottoman civil architecture in Istanbul and deserves a visit not only for the shopping experience but also to see the way it was built. This ultimate medieval shopping center is a monstrous hive of little shops all under one roof and cut up into labyrinthal alleys. Grand Bazaar is Turkey’s largest and oldest covered market offering excellent shopping opportunities: Iznik Tiles of glass crystal and quartz; traditional woven items in organic cotton, linen, and silk; kaftans of many colors, endless jewels, pashmina throws, leather jackets, inlaid backgammon sets, magic carpets, golden bangles, copper plates, good books and good conversations with Turkish tea in small glasses. Have one of the most fascinating touring experiences of your travel life! 

Istanbul: Full-Day Heritage Tour

4. Istanbul: Full-Day Heritage Tour

Begin your tour of the Sultanahmet district, the heart of old Istanbul, at Hagia Sophia. Built by the Emperor Justinian in the early 6th century A.D. and designed by Anthemius of Tralles and Isodore of Miletus, the church is one of the marvels of world architecture. Converted into a mosque in 1453, it is now a museum. Its massive dome still dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. It is also famed for its mosaics, including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses and a poignant Virgin and Child. Next, you will visit the Blue Mosque which takes its name from the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. Built by Sultan Ahmet I in the early 17th century and designed by a pupil of Sinan, the greatest of Ottoman architects, it is the only imperial mosque with six minarets. Its courtyard is especially grand. The Hippodrome, the stadium of ancient Byzantium, held 100,000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire. Of these, an Egyptian obelisk and a bronze sculpture of three entwined serpents from Delphi survive. The Grand Bazaar was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4,000 shops are full of treasures including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons and leather goods. Wandering through the Grand Bazaar, indulge in some shopping, Ottoman style. Enjoy your lunch at a rooftop restaurant with a view of the Bosphorus. Visit Topkapi Palace, the great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries, housing an exquisite collection of precious gems, jewelry thrones of sultans, robes worn by the sultans and their families, miniatures, the Holy Mantle and the Chamber of Sacred Relics. (The harem is not included in the program and visit will require an extra entrance fee.) Last but by no means least, visit the New Mosque completed in 1665. Originally named Valide Sultan Mosque, the construction was ordered by Safiye Sultan, the wife of Sultan Murad III and the mother of his successor Sultan Mehmed III, hence the name Valide Sultan meaning Queen Mother. The mosque is an Imperial Mosque and one of the famous architectural landmarks of Istanbul.

Topkapi, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome & Bazaar

5. Topkapi, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome & Bazaar

Your 6-hour tour begins in the morning with a short drive from your hotel to the the ancient Byzantine Hippodrome, where your guide will show you the Egyptian Obelisk, Serpentine Column, and Fountain of Wilhelm II. Afterwards you’ll visit the Blue Mosque, known for its 6 elegant minarets and blue Iznik tiles. See the Saint Sophia Museum, built as a church during the reign of Emperor Theodosius and destroyed in the fire of Nika Revolt in 532 A.D. After a lunch break at a local restaurant (included in the tour price), you’ll visit the Topkapi Palace, the residence and administrative center of the Ottoman sultans. You’ll also have the chance to shop for some Turkish handicrafts before the transfer back to your hotel.

Istanbul: Half Day Morning Walking Tour

6. Istanbul: Half Day Morning Walking Tour

Visit Hagia (St.) Sophia, one of the greatest marvels of architecture, constructed as a basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian. St.Sophia has been the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years. It is considered the masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. After having been the Patriarchal basilica of Constantinople, it was converted into a mosque in 1453 by Sultan Mehmet II. the Conqueror and in to a museum by Atataürk in 1935. Explore the Blue Mosque, facing Hagia Sophia, famous with its blue Iznik tiles and unique with 6 minarets, built in the name of Sultan Ahmet. The last great imperial mosque of the classical period, its name comes from the 20,000 marvelous blue-toned Iznik tiles decorating the interior walls. Discover the Hippodrome, center of sportive (chariot races, athletics) events and political activities of the old city. Obelisk of Theodosius, Serpentine Column, German Fountain of Wilhelm II are the monuments decorating Hippodrome. You will also see one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, The Grand Bazaar.

Istanbul: Small Group, Old City, Full Day Walking Tour

7. Istanbul: Small Group, Old City, Full Day Walking Tour

Your guide will collect you from your hotel around 8 AM in a climate-controlled vehicle to embark on a walking tour of Istanbul's Sultanahmet, the heart of the Old City and both Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Your first stop is the 1500-year-old Hagia Sophia, with its grand, gilded dome: your guide will explain its rich heritage and history.  Next, stroll to the Blue Mosque, with its six slender minarets. Built for Sultan Ahmet I in the seventeenth century, it's one of the best-preserved examples of Ottoman architecture. Continue to Istanbul's Hippodrome, once the site of epic chariot races, and also the center of Byzantine life for a thousand years. Your guide will explain the countless dramas that have unfolded on this site. Stop at the historic Caferaga Medresesi to learn about traditional handicrafts and music, before breaking for lunch at a local restaurant. Your next stop is Topkapi Palace, the home of the Ottoman sultans, their harem and their eunuchs for around 400 years. Finally, delve into the stalls and alleyways of the Grand Bazaar, one of the most famous markets in the world. Haggle for jewelry, leather, or carpets, or simply window shop. Your tour finishes at 5 PM in central Sultanahmet.

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What people are saying about Grand Bazaar

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 90 reviews

So this tour was amazing!! It turned out that I was the only one on the tour but Salih was so nice it felt like walking around with a friend. Even though it was 5 hours the time flew by and wasn't even tiring. It was helpful that there were enough stops throughout that it felt like a leisurely wander through the old city. The stops on the tour were many of the famous places including the Grand Bazaar and the spice market, but I was able to learn some history I might not have discovered on my own, thanks to Salih. The book market was lovely, the walk to the stunning Suleymaniye mosque was beautiful, and the inclusion of a visit to the jewel-like Rustem Pasha mosque was worth it alone. The stop for tea and nargile was the highlight of the tour for me, particularly since I would not have tried that on my own, though I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were snacks and a yummy lunch. Everything about this tour was wonderful and I would recommend it to anybody! Thank you, Salih!

Salih, my tour guide, was absolutely fantastic and full of knowledge. He was very understanding with my needing to reschedule and immediately offered an alternate time to accommodate. His English is impeccable and his knowledge and understanding of his city of Istanbul is vast. I'm so grateful I took his tour as we got to be around the wonderful locals and take a break and get out of the touristy, yet history rich neighborhoods of Istanbul. He is full of great tips on what to do to get the most out of the city. I'm very happy I took his tour and would take again.

Salih is a fantastic guide! He is very knowledgable and personable. We absolutely loved the tour, and definitely will use him again. Highly recommended!

Worth the tour if you want to understand the history behind all the majestic places in Istanbul.

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