In a nutshell The tour takes us on a discovery of some of the most majestic attractions in the Turkish city, its major reference points of reference that highlight its panorama and enrich its history.
Good to know
- Blue Mosque
- Hagia Sophia
- Basilica Cistern
- The excursion takes us to discover some of the main sights of the Turkish city, starting with the Blue Mosque.
- During the guided tour of one of Istanbul’s main reference points which boasts imposing domes, marvellous gardens and six tall slender minarets, we can admire the interior covered in blue and turquoise ceramic tiles after which the mosque - which is renowned for its harmonious architecture, proportions and elegance - takes its name. An imposing building decorated with breathtaking stained glass windows and elegant arabesques.
- The walk continues with a visit to Hagia Sophia, i.e. the Church of the Holy Wisdom. Originally, it was the largest Christian cathedral of Byzantine rite worship and was built above an ancient church dating back to 360 AD. It was temporarily a Catholic cathedral during the 13th century, then a mosque for almost 500 years and was turned into a museum during the past century.
- We admire this architectural wonder, famous for its giant dome, considered the eighth wonder of the world by art historians and the most important Byzantine monument in the world.
- The next stop on our excursion is a precious hidden gem: the Basilica Cistern, also known as “Underground Palace”, dates back to the 6th century and is the largest and most magnificent covered cistern in Istanbul.
- This grand cistern was originally Byzantium’s water reservoir and was later used to store and provide water to the nearby Topkapı Palace and surrounding buildings.
- This enormous underground space characterised by an almost-mysterious atmosphere boasts a majestic vaulted ceiling supported by 336 columns salvaged from the remains of ancient monuments.
- It is thought that the names derives from the Stoa Basilica, one of the large squares on the first hill of the city at the times of Byzantium, which was located precisely above the Cistern.
Good to know
- You must remove your shoes to visit the mosque; you will be given a bag to carry them with you.
- The Blue Mosque may be closed to the public during the month of Ramadan. In this case, the excursion will include a visit to another historic Mosque.
- The Hagia Sophia Art Gallery is not included in the tour.
- As this excursion is conducted mainly on foot, you are advised to wear comfortable shoes.
- Do not forget to bring a hat and sun cream.
- We recommend paying attention when walking to avoid injuries.
- The itinerary may be subject to change.