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Istanbul's most famous attractions in one tour. This full day tour of highlights are considered the main attractions for the old city of Istanbul. Once Byzantium, then Constantinople and now Istanbul...history, fascination of the Roman and Byzantium periods, which then all changed when it was conquered by Mehmet in 1493. Be intrigued and absorbed by the stories and see the places that are not to be missed when travelling to Istanbul, all with a knowledgeable guide.
The tour begins at Hagia Sophia, one of the great marvels of Byzantine architecture. Built as a basilica in 537 by Byzantine Emperor Justinianus, St.Sophia was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years.
The Blue Mosque is unique with its six minarets and famous for its 20,000 blue Iznik tiles which decorate the interior and give it its name.
We have lunch at a local Turkish restaurant.
Our next stop is Topkapi Palace, the extraordinary palace that was the residence of the Imperial Ottoman Sultans and the center of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 400 years. (The Treasury and the Harem sections are not included in this tour.)
The final stop of the day is the Grand Bazaar, the largest covered market in the world with more than 60 streets and 4.000 shops, selling leather clothing, carpets, antiques, jewelry, hand-woven fabrics and much more.