Best Istanbul Old City Tour
Meeting and Picking up
Please inform us about your hotel location. We will inform you about the pick-up time. The pick-up and drop-off by vehicle are not available at the main attraction Sultanahmet area. If your hotel is in the main attraction area, the guide will pick you up by walking from your hotel.
Since Full Day Best Istanbul Old City Tour included transportation, we will pick up you from city center hotels and start to visit Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace and Hagia Irene Church.
We have this tour option in spanish and russian language as well. If you are not english speaking person, you can join one of our Istanbul spanish old city tour or Istanbul russian old city tour. Istanbul Spanish Old City Tour program will be same like english program. Since we dont have so much spanish people, we dont have it every day. Please inform us about your istanbul tour date, we will let you know about dates of spanish tour. But Istanbul Russian Old City Tour program will be little different. Please visit our russian language page to see our Istanbul russian tour programs. If you have any question, please text us on whatsup, we will be glad to help you and make your visits memorable.
As Manolya Tours, we highly recommend you Istanbul Old City Tour.
istanbul old city walking tour
What to Expect?
- Hippodrome: The Hippodrome of Constantinople, a significant site in historic Istanbul, served as a chariot racing track and cultural hub during the Byzantine Empire. Constructed by Emperor Septimius Severus, it gained prominence for thrilling chariot races and featured notable monuments such as the Obelisk of Thutmose III and the Serpent Column. The Kathisma served as the imperial box for emperors. Damaged during the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the Hippodrome underwent changes under Ottoman rule and is now the Atmeydanı Square. Though much of its original structures are gone, remnants like the obelisks and the Serpent Column endure, offering glimpses into Istanbul’s historical tapestry.
- Hagia Sophia Mosque: Hagia Sophia Mosque, originally built as a Byzantine cathedral in Constantinople, is a renowned architectural masterpiece with a rich history. Commissioned by Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century, it served as a prominent Eastern Orthodox Christian cathedral for nearly a thousand years. Following the Ottoman conquest in 1453, it was converted into a mosque and remained so for centuries.
In 1935, as part of Turkey’s secularization efforts, Hagia Sophia was transformed into a museum under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. However, in 2020, the Turkish government, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, decided to revert Hagia Sophia to a mosque, reigniting global discussions on its historical and cultural significance.
Today, Hagia Sophia Mosque stands as a place of Islamic worship, drawing both local and international visitors. The conversion has sparked debates regarding religious freedom, cultural preservation, and the delicate balance between history and contemporary identity. The mosque continues to be a symbol of Istanbul’s diverse heritage and the intersection of different civilizations. If you want to visit Hagia Sophia Mosque, you need to pay 50 euro extra. So our Istanbul tour guide will buy tickets without waiting on the line.
- Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque): The Blue Mosque, officially known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is a renowned architectural gem located in Istanbul, Turkey. Commissioned by Sultan Ahmed I and constructed between 1609 and 1616, the mosque is characterized by its six minarets, a central dome, and intricate blue tiles that adorn its interior, earning it the nickname “Blue Mosque.”
Situated in the historic Sultanahmet district near other iconic landmarks like Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, the mosque stands as a testament to Ottoman architectural brilliance. With its expansive prayer hall, adorned with columns, arches, and the luminous central dome, the Blue Mosque is both a place of active worship and a major tourist attraction.
Open to visitors outside of prayer times, the mosque welcomes millions of tourists annually who are captivated by its stunning design, intricate tilework featuring floral patterns and calligraphy, and its historical and cultural significance. The Blue Mosque continues to be a symbol of Istanbul’s rich heritage and an influential example of Ottoman mosque architecture.
- Topkapi Palace: Topkapi Palace, located in Istanbul, Turkey, is a historic palace that served as the primary residence for Ottoman sultans for over four centuries. Constructed in the 15th century after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, the palace features a blend of Ottoman, Persian, and Islamic architectural styles.
Key features include a series of courtyards, pavilions, and rooms, each serving specific functions. The palace includes the Harem, a private residence for the sultan’s family and concubines, and the Imperial Treasury, housing valuable artifacts such as the Topkapi Dagger and the Spoonmaker’s Diamond.
Topkapi Palace played a crucial role in Ottoman governance and was the seat of power for numerous sultans. Following the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1924, the palace was converted into a museum. Today, it stands as a major tourist attraction, offering visitors a glimpse into Ottoman grandeur, rich history, and cultural artifacts, making it a captivating destination in Istanbul. If you want to visit Topkapi Palace, you need to pay 50 euro extra. Our Istanbul tour guide will buy ticket without waiting on the line of museum.
- Grand Bazaar: The Grand Bazaar, located in the heart of Istanbul, is one of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets, dating back to the 15th century. Spanning an extensive area with over 60 covered streets, it features a myriad of shops and stalls offering a diverse range of goods, including jewelry, textiles, carpets, spices, and ceramics.
Characterized by its unique architecture with vaulted ceilings and domes, the Grand Bazaar provides a vibrant and bustling shopping experience. Haggling is a common tradition, adding to the lively atmosphere of the market. Beyond being a marketplace, the Grand Bazaar serves as a cultural hub, reflecting Istanbul’s rich history and diversity.
As a popular tourist destination, the Grand Bazaar attracts millions of visitors each year who come to explore its historic lanes, engage with local vendors, and immerse themselves in the traditional market ambiance. Despite its historical charm, the Grand Bazaar has evolved with the times, adapting to modern preferences while preserving its cultural significance.
- Hagia Irene Church: Hagia Irene, located in Istanbul, Turkey, is an ancient church with a rich historical and cultural legacy. Initially constructed by Roman Emperor Constantine I in the 4th century AD, it shares historical ties with its contemporary, Hagia Sophia. The church features early Christian basilica architecture and has undergone renovations and repairs over the centuries.
Throughout its history, Hagia Irene served various religious and imperial functions during the Byzantine Empire. After the Ottoman conquest in 1453, it was repurposed for non-religious uses, such as an arsenal and military warehouse. Unlike Hagia Sophia, Hagia Irene has retained its status as a museum, allowing limited access to visitors.
In modern times, the church occasionally hosts concerts and cultural events due to its historical significance and acoustic qualities. While not as frequently visited as some other landmarks in Istanbul, Hagia Irene remains a valuable cultural heritage site, providing a glimpse into the city’s diverse historical periods.
- You will receive confirmation at the time of booking
- We don’t have wheelchair access
- Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesday. There is no tour on Tuesday.
- It is near public transportations
- We recommend most travelers this Istanbul Old City Tour
- If you cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience, you will receive full refund.
- When you cancel less than 24 hours before start time, you will not be refunded.
- If you want any changes less than 24 hours before start time, it will not be accepted.
- If the tour canceled due to poor weather, we will offer a different date or a full refund.