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Best Of Istanbul Tour

image Tour Type       : Full Day Tour Lunch Included
Duration         : 8 hours
Guiding          : English
Tour Highlights  : Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Bosphorus Cruise, Cable Car to Pierre Loti Cafe, Rustem Pasa Mosque

Price     : 85 EUR per person
Price per child (3-7 age) : 60 Eur
Price per child (0-2 age) : FREE

Our shuttle will pick you up from hotel which you are staying and you will visit the following sights with an experienced and licensed professional guide.

* Hotel Pick-up & drop-off service are available only from the hotels located in the city center. There may be a extra charge for transportations from other locations or airport. Please contact us for charges.

TOUR ITINERARY

A boutique tour with max. of 14 participants

Cable Car to Pierre Loti: Enjoy the beautiful view from the cable car as you climb the hill to the cafe named for the famous French writer and naval officer, Louis Marie Julien Viaud a.k.a. Pierre Loti (1850 -1923), who wrote fiction based on his experiences in Istanbul.

Bosphorus Cruise: We will cruise on the Bosphorus to allow you the prime perspective from which to view the finebosphorus_tour_istanbul_1 palaces, pavilions, Ottoman houses and seaside neighborhoods along the shores of this famous and historic waterway connecting the Black Sea and the Maramara Sea.

The Marmaray : Provides a unique chance to make a link between the European and Asian continents by train in a sub-sea tunnel (resting upon the sea floor beneath the waters of the Bosphorus Strait). This engineering feat was first conceived by a legendary Ottoman sultan in 1860. Designed to withstand earthquakes, this is the world's first underwater tunnel that connects two continents. In theory, it brings closer the day when it will be possible to travel from London to Beijing via Istanbul by train! The giant rail system of Istanbul's Marmaray Project was inaugurated and opened on October 29, 2013 following four years of construction delays that were largely due to the discovery of ruins dating from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods.

Rumeli Fortress (From the sea): The largest fortification for the protection of Istanbul built by Sultan Mehmet II in 1451 before his conquest of the city. This garrison is well preserved and its towers and walls can be seen clearly as our boat passes by.

Rustem Pasha Mosque: This majestic and surprising little mosque was designed by the most famous of Ottoman architects, Mimar Sinan, for the Grand Vizier Rustem Pasha who had married Princess Mihrimah, one of the daughters of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. Its construction took place from 1561 to 1563. The mosque is famous for its exquisite tiles from Iznik that are set in beautiful floral and geometric arrangements and which cover not only the facade of the porch but also the mihrab, minbar, walls, and columns of the interior.

A nice luncheon will be served in a quaint local restaurant.

Basilica Cistern: Built by Justinian after 532, the Basilica Cistern stored water for the Great Palace and nearby buildings. Lost to memory, it was rediscovered in the mid sixteenth century by Petrus Gyllius, who had been sent to1_Underground Cistern Constantinople by the French King Francis I in search of Byzantine monuments and manuscripts. Gyllius, who noticed that the local people were lowering buckets through holes in the floors of their houses to retrieve water, found an entrance and thus put this mysterious subterranean architectural surprise back on the map. You will marvel at the almost 10,000 square meters of space supported by 336 marble columns each nine meters in height.

Hagia Sophia Museum: The Hagia Sophia that you can visit today was the primary church of Byzantine Constantinople and was built upon the site of two earlier churches that had been 1_hagia-sophia-Istanbul-hagia-sophia-istanbul-turkey-3destroyed. Emperor Justinian I (527-565) commissioned the project and had materials brought in from all around his empire for the massive church's construction. The Hagia Sophia was the most important church of the Christian East. Structurally, it was the first of its design and boasted the largest dome that had yet been engineered which provided a voluminous and well illuminated interior. After Constantinople fell to the Ottomans in 1453, the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque and was used as such throughout the Ottoman period. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the modern Turkish Republic's most revered founding father and its first Prime Minister, initiated the process to have the Hagia Sophia transformed into a museum which opened for visitors in February 1935.

Sultanahmet Mosque/Blue Mosque: This mosque was built by Sultan Ahmet I between 1609 and 1616 and is located in the district of old Istanbul that is named after this Ottoman Sultan and it is distinguished by its six slender minarets. The central dome is 43 m in height and 33.4 m in diameter and there are 260 stained glass windows throughout the mosque. Due to the intricately decorated blue, green and red tiles of its interior, it has long been referred to as the Blue Mosque. These tiles, produced and painted by hand in Iznik (ancient Nicaea), are an attraction in and of themselves. The Quranic inscriptions that you will see throughout the mosque were made by Seyyid Kasim Gubari, one of the most famous calligraphers of his time.

Roman Hippodrome and Monuments: The ancient Hippodrome was the center of Byzantine social life and the scene of fiercely competitive chariot races. It was located in the square that is now in front of the Blue Mosque and is still the site of ancient relics from its glory days. These are the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine. Remains of the curved end of the Hippodrome wall can be seen on the southwest side of the three monuments.

After the tour, you will be returned to your hotel. Please note that the order in which sights are visited may vary.

What is Included in the tour ?
Hotel Pick-up & drop-off - by air-conditioned non-smoking tour coaches.
Entrance Fees mentioned by the itineraries.
Lunch Lunch (drinks not included)
Professional Licenced Tour Guide.
Services Charges & Local Taxes.

What is Excluded in tour?
Drinks at lunch
Tips and gratuities
Personal expenses

INFORMATION for Hotel Pick-up & Drop-off :
Hotel Pick-up & drop-off service are available only from the hotels located in the city center.
There may be a extra charge for transportations from other locations or airport. Please ask for charges.
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Two really great tours. Much more comprehensive than other tours which are more expensive, for instance visiting the...

Posted by Stephen Brice on 19 Nisan 2015 Pazar