City Trips and Tours
Arrival in Istanbul ( Ataturk Airport ) and transfer to the hotel with private vehicle and English speaking assistant.
Pick-up from the hotel lobby and depart on full-day tour (Imperial Tour + Ottoman Tour) on SIC basis
Imperial residence of Ottoman Sultans, the maze of buildings that was the focal point of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries. In these opulent surroundings the sultans and their court lived and governed. A magnificent wooded garden fills the outer, or first, court. In the second court, on the right, shaded by cyprees and plane trees, stand the palace kitchens, which now serve as galleries exhibiting the imperial collections of crystal, silver and Chinese porcelain. Today the third court holds the Hall of Audience, the Library of Ahmet III, an exhibition of imperial costumes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the treasury and a priceless collection of miniatures from medieval manuscripts. In the center of this innermost sanctuary, the Prophet Muhammet (S.A.V) brought to Istanbul when the Ottomans assumed the caliphaten of Islam.
The Suleymaniye Mosque is the largest mosque in Istanbul and was built between 1550-1557 AD by Sultan Suleyman I – "Sulyman the Magnificent". Suleyman was the richest and most powerful Sultan of the Ottoman Empire .
Inside the mosque you will be impressed by its size and also simplicity: tiles from Iznik and colored glass-work brings harmony to a place of prayer and silence.
Four massive solid columns support the mosque: one from Baalbek , another from Alexandria and two from old Byzantine Palaces.
The paintings inside the mosque are dated from the 19th century and were recently renovated.
Hagia Sophia , one of the greatest marvels of architecture, constructed as a basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian. It has been nominated as the 8th wonder of the world byhistorians.
The Blue Mosque: Dating from the 17th century, an architectural masterpiece famed for its exquisite blue tiles and six elegant minarets.
Hippodrome , the center of sportive (chariot races, athletics) events and political activities of the old city where held. Egyptian Obelisk, Serpentine Column Constantine Column and German Fountain of Wilhelm II are the monuments decorating Hippodrome.
Grand Covered Bazaar , Most attractive shopping center and biggest "souk" in the world with nearly 4000 shops selling antiques, jewelry, gold, carpets, leatherwear and souvenirs
Istanbul ‘s Grand Bazaar ( Covered Market;) is Turkey’s largest covered marketoffering excellent shopping : beautiful Turkish carpets, glazed tiles and pottery, copper and brassware, apparel made of leather, cotton and wool, meerschaum pipes, alabaster bookends and ashtrays, and all sorts of other things
Pick-up from the hotel lobbies and depart on ½ day Bosphorus cruise ferry & Spice Market on SIC basis.
The Bosphorus is the 32 km (20-mi)-long strait which joins the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea in Istanbul , and separates the continents of Europe and Asia .
The Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar is the second largest covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar. There are several documents suggesting the name of the bazaar was first called the "New Bazaar". However, due to the fact that many spices were imported via Egypt in the Ottoman period it then acquired its current name. It was built by architect Mustafa in 1660 and consists of 88 vaulted rooms. For me, I preferred it over its bigger cousin, the Grand Bazaar, as it’s smaller and has a more personal feel. It’s full of shops selling spices (naturally!), dried fruits, perfume oils, nougat, Turkish Delight, and honey.
Shops are usually open between 09:30 – 19:00 and normally closed on Sunday
Turkey , as a result of its geographical location, is a treasure-house of hand-made products. These range from carpets and kilims, to gold and silver jewelry, ceramics, leather and suede clothing, ornaments fashioned from alabaster, onyx, copper, and meerschaum.
When purchasing carpets, jewelry or leather products, it is advisable to consult your guide or do your shopping at a reputable store rather than in the street from vendors