For private airport transfers, guided tours and similar travel services, please contact with our concierge service: firstname.lastname@example.org Istanbul’s top sights are grouped right around the Hippodrome in Sultanahmet Square, so you can visit them all on your first day.
Topkapi Palace (Visitor Hours: between 09:00-17:00 hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays). Get there at 8:45 am and go straight to the Harem, which gets overcrowded. Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia) (9-4, closed Monday; stay 1 hr). Right next to Topkapi. Don’t miss the best mosaics, on the upper level.
Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) (stay 1/2 hr). Just across the park from Ayasofya, on the Hippodrome. The mosque is closed to visitors for 25 minutes after each call to prayer, and for several hours midday on Friday. Byzantine Hippodrome (stay 1/2 hr). Enjoy the monuments in the park. Sunken Palace Cistern (Basilica Cistern) (9-5; stay 1/2 hr). Located at the NE end of the Hippodrome beneath the little park. Grand Bazaar (9-5, closed Sunday & holidays; stay 1-2 hrs, longer if you’re really shopping). Walk uphill on Divan Yolu from the Hippodrome and see the sights along the way, or take the tram along it to Carsikapi.
A Turkish bath (1-3 hr) can be amazingly refreshing after a long day! You can also use the one inside our facilities with refreshing and relaxing message service. Our Sultan Hamam is best place to experience a Turkish Bath.
To tour Istanbul’s top sights, one day (or two days/1 night) is a bit rushed (but possible); 3 days/2 nights is comfortable; 4 days/3 nights is wonderful!
Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia & Hippodrome (Thursday or Friday) Morning flight to Istanbul International Airport (IST), and transfer to Hotel Sultania. Contact with the hotel or send us an email with your flight details we can arrange your transfer. Have lunch our roof top Olive restaurant, then take a walking tour of Sultanahmet, the heart of historic Byzantium/ Constantinople/ Istanbul: theHippodrome, Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia), the Blue Mosque and Yerebatan Saray (Sunken Palace Cistern). In the evening, relax over a candlelight dinner in Olive restaurant with the view of History next to you.
Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, Istiklal Get to Topkapi Palace before its doors open and go straight to the Harem to assure your place in the guided tour. After the tour, explore the rest of the palace/museum, perhaps having an early lunch. In the afternoon, walk or ride the tram along Divan Yolu to the Grand Bazaar for shopping, or take a taxi to the Kariye Muzesi(Church of the Holy Savior in Chora) to see its splendid Byzantine mosaics. In the evening, stroll along Istiklal Caddesi (La Grande Rue de Péra) in Beyoglu to find a cozy cafe, bar or taverna for a drink, then dinner.
Bosphorus Cruise Hop aboard a ferry for a cruise up the Bosphorus to Sariyer near the Black Sea. After a seafood lunch, ride south stopping at the Sadberk Hanim Museum, Rumeli Hisar castle, and/or Yildiz Palace and Park. Stop in trendy Ortakoy for seaside tea and snacks, then taxi to Taksim Square for some strolling and window-shopping in Nisantasi or along Istiklal Caddesi.
Lots of Choices!
If there’s time before your board your homeward flight, visit the Archeological Museums, the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, or the Egyptian Bazaar (closed Sunday, but there’s a big flea market outside on that day); or search for art and antiques off Istiklal Caddesi; or hop aboard a ferry for the one-hour intercontinental round-trip/return cruise from Eminonu across the Bosphorus to Uskudar, Kadikoy or Haydarpasa.
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