The Blue Mosque
Straddling the Bosphorus, Istanbul was for centuries regarded as the hub of the civilised world and is the city that links the continents of Asia and Europe. See the splendid Topkapi Palace, the breathtaking Blue Mosque with its unique six minarets, the Hippodrome, the Grand Bazaar, the Hagia Sophia Museum, the beautiful frescoes of the 11th century Chora Church and the amazing Underground Cistern. On the shores of the Bosphorus stands the impressive Dolmabahce Palace, formerly the grand palace of the Ottoman Sultans.
Hippodrome Square • Hagia Sophia • Grand Bazaar • Blue Mosque • Topkapi Palace
Day 1 Fly to Istanbul and transfer to your hotel.
Day 2 Today's guided tour begins with Hippodrome Square, once a horse racing track at the centre of the city's social life. Continue to the Hagia Sophia, originally the cathedral of Constantinople, converted into a mosque and now a museum. After lunch visit the Byzantine Basilica Underground Cistern, the largest surviving Byzantine cistern in Istanbul, also known as the 'Sunken Palace'.
Day 3 Explore the Great Palace Mosaic Museum which houses mosaics from the Byzantine period. After lunch, visit Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, Turkey's largest covered market, where locals sell beautiful Turkish carpets, glazed tiles and pottery, copper and brassware.
Day 4 After breakfast, enter the Sultan's palace, the grandest of the Ottoman Imperial Palaces. Cruise along the Bosphorus, the world's narrowest strait, forming a boundary between Europe and Asia as it connects the Black Sea and the Marmara.
Day 5 This morning, visit the Suleymaniye Mosque, built for Süleyman 'The Magnificent', the grandest monument of the Ottoman era. Continue to the Blue Mosque, one of the most famous silhouettes of Istanbul with its six minarets. After lunch, visit Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman Sultans until the 19th century and today a museum.
Day 6 Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.
All tours are tailored to your requirements
Arcadia Hotel, Istanbul
Situated in the centre of Istanbul's historical area, this 4 star hotel is an ideal base from which to explore the city. Facilities include a roof top restaurant and bar with stunning views of the Blue Mosque. All 48 rooms are air-conditioned and equipped with minibar, satellite television, telephone, safety deposit box, hair dryer and WIFI internet connection.
• 4 star • Central location
• Roof top restaurant
Your tour includes:
• Scheduled flights between the UK and Istanbul
• 5 nights bed and breakfast in Istanbul
• Excursions and admissions as detailed in the itinerary
• English speaking guides
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