Xelexi.com – Experience the best of Istanbul on this unforgettable experience that combines two best-selling tours at a saving of 10%! Start with a full-day city sightseeing tour by air-conditioned coach, seeing top Istanbul attractions like Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. After your tour, enjoy a couple of hours at leisure before heading to an esteemed Istanbul restaurant, where you’ll sit down to a traditional 4-course Turkish dinner and enjoy a performance of live folk music and belly dancing.
Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour (8 hours):
Start your day with an 8-hour city sightseeing tour by luxury coach, seeing all of Istanbul’s top attractions with an expert local guide. Focusing on the Sultanahmet area of this incredible city, your tour visits the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hagia Sophia Museum and the Blue Mosque. Contrast Hagia Sophia’s fascinating Ottoman-era and Byzantine architecture with the extravagance of the Blue Mosque — built to rival it. Admire the famous mosque’s six minarets and interior Iznik wall tiles while your guide tells you tales of the demanding sultan who designed it.
Then head underground inside the Basilica Cistern to discover Istanbul’s ‘sunken palace’ that featured in the James Bond movie From Russia with Love. As you stroll around its magnificent columns, hear of the cistern’s colorful history with its numerous renovations over the years.
After a break for lunch at a Sultanahmet restaurant, continue to Topkapi Palace and step back in time to a world when sultans and their harems ruled Istanbul. Explore the palace’s ornate Imperial Treasury, and then head back outside to visit Istanbul’s Hippodrome. Hear of the chariot races, polo games, royal celebrations and brutal massacres that took place here, and envisage its former glory on a walk around the grounds. Last stop of the day is at the Grand Bazaar – one of the world largest covered markets. Find the best spots to shop in this amazing souk before returning to your Istanbul hotel by coach. You’ll have approximately two hours at leisure before your evening experience starts.
Istanbul by Night: Turkish Dinner and Show (4 hours):
Leave your hotel by luxury coach and head to one of Istanbul’s finest restaurants for your evening of traditional Turkish culture and cuisine. Relax over a delicious 4-course dinner with wine, beer or soft drinks, and then sit back to watch a live belly dancing and Anatolian folklore show.
Soak up the atmosphere of the hypnotic Turkish performance and clap along with raucous locals in time to music. After the show, your guide will take you back to your central Istanbul hotel.
- Topkapi Palace (Closed on Tuesdays; will be replaced with Istanbul Archaeology Museum)
- Hagia Sophia (Closed on Mondays; will be replaced with Chora Museum)
- Grand Bazaar (Closed on Sundays; additional time will be spent at the other locations)