Meet your tour guide in your hotel or port and start the tour with the highlights of Istanbul:
Hagia Sophia is where the ancient cultures of East and West speak to you with clear voice. This building is a great blend of Christian and Islamic influence with beautiful interior of impressive mosaics and a very significant history. Built in the 6th century by the Emperor Justinian, it played a very important role in the Christian and Islamic World. After the Ottoman conquest the bells, the altar, the iconostasis and the sacrificial vessels were removed, and many of the mosaics were eventually plastered over to convert the church into a mosque.
The Hippodrome, where the chariot races were held during the Roman Empire.
The Blue Mosque, built in the early 1600s for Sultan Ahmet I, it is a truly magnificent masterpiece of architecture with amazingly delicate proportions for a building of such massive scale. The blue shade of the 27.000 pieces of Iznik quartz tiles give the mosque it’s popular name and 6 towering minarets give it its uniquely recognizable structure.
The Basilica Cistern is a subterranean wonder and one of the greatest of Istanbul’s surviving Byzantine sites, in fact it is a former water storage chamber.
The Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market are two colorful indoor bazaars with lots of shops offering a variety of spices, rugs, purses, flavored teas, jackets, Turkish delight, nuts, as well as ceramics and small souvenirs.
Topkapi Palace: more than just an imperial residence of Ottoman sultans, it was the seat of the Supreme Executive and Judiciary Council for almost 400 years. Topkapi Palace is a great monument of Oriental architecture, which houses exhibits of art, books, jewels, plates, costumes and the Treasury and the Holy Relics.