Encompassing all the must-see attractions, this tour begins with a drive to the Blue Mosque, whose name derives from the blue tiles that adorn the interior. The mosque complex was completed by 1616, right next to one of Istanbul's most ancient sites, the Hippodrome, where horse races were held. You can't miss its 3,500-year-old obelisk. Then, it's on to one of Istanbul's most famous religious sites, the breathtaking Haghia Sophia Museum and Church of Divine Wisdom, which many art historians consider to be the eighth wonder of the world. The massive domed building is supported in many places by green and purple columns, purple being a sacred color in the Byzantium Empire. Next in line on this all-star tour is Topkapi Palace, located on the Seraglio Point overlooking the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus River and the Sea of Marmara. The palace is now a museum, showcasing the imperial era. Then, after a delightful buffet lunch at an exclusive hotel in Istanbul, you will enjoy free time at the Grand Bazaar, the world's largest and oldest covered market.
Please note: On Tuesdays, the Topkapi Palace will be replaced with the Beylerbeyi Palace. The covered section of the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays, being replaced with an orientation drive along the Golden Horn and city walls. The Haghia Sophia Museum is closed on Mondays and would be replaced with the Chora Museum. The Blue Mosque will be closed to all visitors until after 2:30 pm on Fridays. Morning tours will have an exterior visit only. Conservative dress is required for visiting the mosques. All female guests will be required to cover their heads, shoulders and arms and shorts above knee-length are not allowed for both male and female visitors.