Small-Group Istanbul in One Day Tour Including Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia
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Small-Group Istanbul in One Day Tour Including Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia
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Small-Group Istanbul in One Day Tour Including Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia

1 day
Small Group
Full Day
Instant confirmation
About this activity
Start your day with a pickup from your European-side hotel or alternatively, meet your guide at a central meeting point. Before departing by coach, listen to a brief breakdown of your day. The sequence of your itinerary is subject to change, so certain attractions (as detailed below) may be visited in a different order. Lunch at a traditional restaurant is included halfway through the day; see the Itinerary for a sample menu.

Head to the Blue Mosque to marvel at its six minarets and the thousands of Iznik tiles that cascade a sea of blue over the building’s interior. One of the finest examples of classical Ottoman architecture, the mosque was built at the bequest of Sultan Ahmet I who demanded a mosque to rival the grandeur of the Hagia Sophia.

Both a church and a mosque in its past life, Hagia Sophia (or Aya Sofya) is now a UNESCO-listed museum that showcases Ottoman- and Byzantine-era artifacts. Browse the interior’s architecture and historical exhibits with your guide, and then continue to Topkapi Palace. Like Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace now exists as one of Istanbul’s premier museums, home to a collection of ornamentation that once belonged to the city’s 15th-century sultans and harems.

Continue through Istanbul Hippodrome, seeing the granite Egyptian obelisk that was gifted to the city, and hear how the site once represented the hub of the city’s sporting and political life. After stopping for photos, visit Basilica Cistern — Istanbul’s ‘sunken palace’ — a site that famously featured in the James Bond movie From Russia with Love. The site is one of the largest of the city's ancient cisterns that lie beneath the ground.

The final attraction included in your tour is the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s most famous souks. Comprising nearly 60 streets and thousands more shops, the bazaar can be overwhelming. Let your guide introduce you to its colorful (if chaotic) highlights, and shop for jewelry, leather, pottery, spices and more.

Your tour finishes with a drop-off at your European-side hotel or in central Istanbul.

Please note: The Grand Bazaar will be closed on Sundays and Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays. If your tour falls on any of these days, an alternate attraction (such as Chora Museum or another market) may be visited instead, Topkapi Palace (Closed on Tuesdays; will be replaced with Istanbul Archaeology Museum). You may visit the Basilica Cistern or Nakkas Cistern.
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  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Lunch - 3-course lunch
  • Entry/Admission - Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya)
  • Entry/Admission - Topkapi Palace
  • Entry/Admission - Basilica Cistern
Not included
  • Gratuities
  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Minimum age is 4 years
  • Children 18 years and under must be accompanied by an adult
  • Cover ups and head scarves are provided at the Blue Mosque
  • Not recommended for participants with walking difficulties
Youssra H
4 | 2019-09-23

Amazing Tour and the tour guide was wonderful. I was picked up 15 min later than what the tour told me and I had a flight back home at 9pm but only dropped off at 6pm instead of 5pm and I had to run to the hotel to rescue time.

3 | 2019-09-23

Guide was knowledgeable but didn’t allow for slow/injured walkers to catch their breath when they caught up.

Kelvin P
4 | 2019-09-23

Our Guide was very informative and knowledgeable. It is always interesting to see places and know about its history. The Tour Covered all the sites as indicated. The Pick and drop facility is only for pick and drop ;). As all the sites are very close to each other within walking distance. So its walking from start to finish, until you are lastly dropped at you hotel. So its a whole lot of walking. we loved the traditional lunch with all the delicacies served. Good Tour overall. But be ready to walk a lot.

Hamza S
2 | 2019-07-31

The guide was nice but didn’t explain as other that were near us we were just given a quick introduction and most of the visiting was done on our own. She gives most of the details when you ask not as an initiative I feel like we could have learned much more. Also not all Topkapi Palace expenses were covered as for the Harem we had to pay on our own.The food was awful, no one in the table ate it. When we asked the guide, she said that this restaurant always proposes the same menu, rice and chicken, and it’s up the the travel agency to take action to change it. definetly didn’t enjoy the food. All in all, it’s an ok experience but the ratio price/quality is not worth it. Won’t do it again.

Lakith L
5 | 2019-07-30

This was one of the best city tours we have taken. Our guide Sevilay was outstanding, and very knowledgeable on history of Istanbul that she was eager to share. We only had two of us, and another couple on the tour that made this almost a private tour. The tour covers all the important spots in old town, and avoids the long lines if you were going on you own. Haiga Sofia had at least a 30 min line and we just walked in with our guide.

Stuart P
5 | 2019-07-18

My brother and I had very limited time in Istanbul so chose an all day tour of main places of interest. This tour covered all our needs. We were picked up at our hotel and enjoyed the company of 9 other people Sevilay, our guide, was very informative and also great fun. Ask for her on this tour. I recommend this tour if you want to jump all the lines and see all the main sites in one day. Thanks again Sevilay(spelling?)

Harvinder C
5 | 2019-07-03

The guide Achem was the excellent. He had so much knowledge regarding this tour. A very pleasant young man.

Philip M
4 | 2019-07-03

Omar was a superb tour guide, clearly explaining all of the many historic venues that we visited; however we really disliked the prolonged visit to a Turkish carpet store (~1 hour) where we were subjected to an endless sales pitch to buy their carpets. The brief carpet making demo was interesting but everything else dragged on much too long.

Gilda Hamilton
2 | 2019-07-03

I was very disappointed with this tour as our entire stay in Dubai and Turkey was great. This is the only tour that did not call us the day before to confirm time of pick up (even though I called and WhatssApp several times) The tour was upset because we weren't ready buy again we had no idea as of what was going on! The tour was beautiful because of the places we went to of course. Everyone had a hard time listening to the guide as his voice was very low. Lunch was good and included. We left early to do our own thing.

Laura K
5 | 2019-07-03

We had a great tour. Lots of walking - so be prepared. Our tour guide left so quick that we were not able to thank him for his patience (we had a slow couple on the trip with us) and thoroughness.

Burke A
5 | 2019-07-03

Our tour guide (I think he said his name was Hasan?) was Very Knowledgeable about each if the sites we visited. Our tour group of 7 enjoyed a bit of background info and overview about what we were about to see at each stop, then were given sufficient time to explore and get photos as needed. We didn’t feel rushed and since we were so prompt, we even got a bonus stop at one of the few remaining Cisterns in Istanbul! We would certainly recommend this tour to others. Our group tour group consisted of one couple (me and my wife), 2 men traveling each on their own, and 3 friends/co-workers (2 women, 1 man)

5 | 2019-07-03

We prebooked before we reached Istanbul, and are glad we did. We saw the sights that we wanted, We beat the queues which can be pretty lengthy. There is a fair amount of walking involved, so be prepared for that. good value for money.

3 | 2019-04-01

The guide was very punctual which was impressive. I got mixed up with timing for Tour. He was giving out to me which was definitely not pleasant early in the morning. Organized tour. Explanations on monuments were not too clear. Was an average experience.

5 | 2018-12-03

Was a great one day tour. The lunch provided was good. Had sufficient time to have a first look at all the attractions. Could have used a bit more time at the Palace.

5 | 2018-10-25

Excellent tour! Our guide was knowledgable about the history and politics of sights, his delivery of information clear and articulate. Highly recommend this tour! Hagia Sophia.....Amazing!

Christina and Ray
4 | 2018-10-19

We had about 10 people in our group. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. Transportation was with neon tur company and the van was comfortable and clean. The lunch was delicious just some portions. Our guide explained everything at each location first and then allowed free time to go on our own and take pictures. I felt no pressure at the carpet store.

5 | 2018-10-12

Having a small group is great. We didn’t need to have those headsets on that large groups need. We got more one on one time with the guide to ask questions. We got alone time at almost each place to explore after a history lesson from the guide. I highly recommend Neon Tours!

Maria R
5 | 2018-10-05

This was a perfect way to see Istanbul in a day tour.They picked us up from our hotel and dropped us too !!!The guy was very knowledgeable and with a very good English!!The places were very interesting and the lunch in a very good place and good food !!!

Georsadd G
3 | 2018-08-28

The highlight for me of this tour is Hagia Sophia, being the best out of all of the sites in this tour. Blue Mosque was undergoing reconstruction and Topkapi Palace was too crowded. Felt like the Cistern was just an option because we were asked if we wanted to see it. It was included in the itinerary before this tour is purchased so that should be a no brainer. Before we went to the Bazaar, felt like we were forced to buy these beautiful carpets but I personally did not book this tour to buy carpets. I was hoping we were provided better description on where and what to see in the Bazaar as it is too big and we were already too tired for walking a lot during the day to find our way in the Bazaar.

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