Full day tour of Iconic Istanbul
Towards to the most iconic sights of Istanbul in this morning tour that commences with a visit to the Blue Mosque. This magnificent mosque which was designed by Sinan and completed in1616 is known for its majesty and superb iznik ceramic tiling.
Continue outside to stroll along the Hippodrome. This vast public space was built by the Romans in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD to accommodate events such as chariot races and gladiator fights. It is alsohome to the Column of Constantine, an Egyptian obelisk and the Serpentine Column.
Next to the Hippodrome we will visit the Hagia Sophia. Originally built in 537AD as a Greek Orthodox church, this breath-taking building was converted to a mosque by the Ottomans and is now a museum. Inside there are two floors built around a central nave. It is adorned with superb decorations and has an enormous dome that soars overhead.
Finish the morning with a walk through the Grand Bazaar for some shopping or just to absorb the sights, sounds and historic architectural beauty of this bustling market.
After Lunch, we visit to the famous Topkapi Palace and skip the queues that flock to see this magnificent and historically significant site. Built in the middle of the 15th century, the walled complex comprised of the palace and its buildings dominate a small raised peninsula.
The buildings are nestled within beautiful grounds that sweep down to the sea. For centuries, the palace was the political centre of the highly influential Ottoman Empire and although it is now purely a museum, as you visit its parts including courtyards, the Treasury, various pavilions, the holy relics, weapons and the Harem you will see how great it was.
A lesser known part of the Hagia Sofia complex is the adjacent structure that houses the Sultan Tombs where five 16th and 17th century Ottoman sultans are interred. Alongside each sultan’s sarcophagus are many others that hold their wives, children and other notables. The tombs are all beautifully designed and feature beautiful examples of tile work, mosaics, calligraphy and kundekari (a decorative form of carpentry consisting of interlocking pieces of wood and mother of pearl).
Not far from Topkapi Palace, this tour also takes you to Little Hagia Sophia Mosque which was constructed in the 6th century as a Greek Orthodox Church before being converted to a mosque in the early 16th century. Inside, this small octagonal mosque features a beautiful two-storeyed colonnade, marble pillars and a stunning umbrella dome.
Evening, you will be transferred to the Istanbul airport for your flight to Kayseri/Nevsehir. On arrival, you will be transferred to your accommodation. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Meal: Breakfast and Lunch Included
Overnight: Hotel in Cappadocia