Description:

Istanbul straddles East and West, enticing your senses and expanding your perceptions of the world around you. Todays day full day tour will give you a glimpse at some of Istanbul's incredible sites and sounds, and leave you with a deeper understanding of this rich land. We begin our day at one of Istanbul's greatest architectural masterpieces - the Hagia Sophia. This 6th century basilica will stun you with its towering minarets and beautiful handcrafted mosaics. It is called, by some, the 8th wonder of the world, and you'll soon see why. Soon after our visit to Hagia Sophia, we will head across the street to the Blue Mosque. One of the most famous monuments in all of Turkey, the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque) is a monument to the Ottoman empire and its builders. It gets its name from the more than 20,000 Iznik blue tiles that adorn its facade and interior, and its history will impress you as you receive a tour. We then step back in time a bit to the Hippodrome. Here we can imagine what life might have been like as locals traveled to see the chariot races at this famous sports arena. The area dates back to Egyptian times, and there are still relics of the past dotting this incredible area. With so much history, it's time to take a little shopping break! We head to the Grand Bazaar, where you'll have the chance to barter on everything from fine leather goods, to spices and plenty of sweets to satisfy your sweet tooth! There are nearly 4000 stalls here, so you're sure to find something for yourself (and maybe even a gift or two!) After lunch, we head to the Topkapi Palace. This grand palace was the official and primary residence in the city of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years (1465-1856) of their 624-year reign. Today it serves as an incredible museum and monument to that time, and you will have plenty of time to stroll through its gardens and galleries filled with fine Chinese porcelain and silver. You can also see many of the imperial costumes worn by the Sultans and their families, as well as monuments of the Prophet Muhammed ( salla Allah alaihi wa ala alihi wa sahbihi wa sallam ) . Our day ends here, and you will be transferred back to your hotel filled with good food, fascinating sites, and a rich history!