Meeting at your hotel
Private guide in your language
Underground Cistern tickets
Fast-track at the ticket offices
Neighbourhood Maps ( Online )
20% VAT Tax
Hagia Sophia ticket
Lunch and transportation
“We took the one day in Istanbul tour with Sinan as our Guide. Not only did we see all of Istanbul’s highlights we also felt like VIPs for the day. It was so nice not to wait in line with all the other tourist which gave us more time to explore the hidden parts of Istanbul. Sinan was a true gentleman with a rich knowledge of Istanbul and its history.” Read more on Tripadvisor
This is the ultimate tour for first time visitors to Istanbul. We visit the most fascinating sights of historical Istanbul (Sultanahmet area) on this specially curated day: A perfect introduction to our bewildering imperial city and its thousands of years old history.
From the soaring grandeur of the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque to the mystic world of the ancient underground cisterns and the world’s largest covered markets, this tour takes in Istanbul’s most spectacular sights and goes beyond them to show you the bustling energy of the city’s coffee houses, tea gardens, bazaars, and traditional workshops.
Take a journey through one of the world’s greatest cities with a professional guide, who will bring its secrets to life.
The Hippodrome: Obelisk of Theodosius (Egyptian Obelisk), Serpent Column, German Fountain, Walled Obelisk (Tower of Brass): This 4th century Hippodrome was the center of chariot racing as well as celebrations, protests and festivals during the Byzantine Empire. It was also the symbol of imperial power, decorated with large monuments brought from all over the empire that are still surviving. With its capacity for 40,000 people, Hippodrome was the center of urban life.
Blue Mosque: Also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque, this breath-taking building is one of the most majestic Ottoman mosques in all of Turkey. It is dubbed the Blue Mosque because of over 20,000 handmade ceramic Iznik tiles that decorate the interior, featuring many different tulips, rose, carnation, and lily designs, well lit by 260 windows.
Hagia Sophia: Often referred to as the eighth wonder of the World, the Hagia Sophia is among the most celebrated structures in the world with its 1500 years of history. Think about this - for a thousand years, it was the largest building on the planet!
Mystic world of ancient cisterns: There’s something almost mystical about entering the underground world of the historic cisterns that hide underneath the city. Unlike the world above-ground, these grand ruins are dressed in a deep silence that embraces visitors and very quietly tell the tale of their past grandeur. It is estimated that there have been more than 200 underground cisterns in Istanbul and a few are open to visitors. You get to choose between two largest and most famous ones: Basilica Cistern, (Yerebatan Sarnıcı in Turkish) or Theodosius Cistern (Şerefiye Sarnıcı in Turkish) where there is also a 3D mapping light show.
Grand Bazaar (together with Cevahir Bedesten and Zincirli Han, two of most historic caravanserais): Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. Of course, not all of its more than 4,000 shops are worth your time, but getting lost in this shopping labyrinth, only to discover exactly what you’re looking for, is pretty special nonetheless.
Tea or Turkish Coffee Break at a traditional Madrasa (Muslim religious school) complex.
If you have any particular interests or have already seen some of these sights and want to see different ones, get in touch and we can tailor made the tour, just for you.
Istanbul Tour Studio reserves the right to adjust ticket prices in case of an official change/increase in ticket prices. We will notify you prior to your tour if there is such a change.
We kindly remind our female guests to bring a headscarf or pashmina to cover their head and shoulders when visiting a mosque.
As of 15 January 2024 the visitors are required to purchase a ticket when entering Hagia Sophia Mosque. The ticket price is 25 EUR per person. On this program, you can either choose to visit Hagia Sophia Mosque from outside and/or purchase a ticket with the assistance of your guide (skipping the ticket line) and visit the temple from the inside. In other words, the tour price does not cover Hagia Sophia Mosque tickets.