`If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul.`
- Alphonse de Lamartine.
Call it Constantinople, call it Byzantium or call it Istanbul. Either way come discover the ancient history and traditions of this proud city that for millennia has straddled the East-West divide. Marvel at the stunning Blue Mosque and the incredible Hagha Sophia. Take time to learn about life under the Ottoman sultans in Topkapi Palace, and join in the bustle in the world`s ultimate market, the Grand Bazaar. And don`t forget to reward your palate with wonderful kebabs, hummus, olives and much more.
- Admire the stunning Blue Mosque
- Learn about life in Ottoman times in Topkapi Palace
- Appreciate the genius in the deign of Hagha Sophia
- Experience the Grand Bazaar, the most colourful of markets
- Enjoy world class cuisine in this foodie heaven.
Day 1: Arrival and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day free to explore. Overnight in hotel in Istanbul. Meal plan: N/A.
Day 2: Full day walking tour of Sultan Ahmet. The tour will start with Sultan Ahmet Square and the Hippodrome. You will visit Sultan Ahmet Mosque, also known as “the Blue Mosque“ famous for its striking blue Iznik tiles and 6 minarets. On the opposite side of the Sultan Ahmet Square you will visit Hagha Sophia; once the grandest church of its era and a work of engineering genius, Hagha Sophia also has one of the most highly regarded mosaics of Christ and the Mother Mary.
After Hagha Sophia, you will visit Topkapi Palace, home to the Ottoman Sultans for hundreds of years. With its extensive collection of Ottoman artefacts and an incredible jewellery collection you will get an insight into the lives of the Ottoman sultans. The Palace also commands an outstanding location overlooking the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn so that you can look across to Asia. After visiting Topkapi Palace you will be taken to Grand Bazaar to see one of the oldest and most colourful souks of our time. Return back to the hotel. Evening free. Overnight in hotel in Istanbul. Meal plan: B.
Day 3: Full day sightseeing tour of Istanbul starting with the Spice Market and Rustem Pasha Mosque, followed by a 90 minute boat ride in the famous Bosphorous river. Have a lunch in Ortakoy Village on the banks of the Bosphorous. After lunch visit the stunning Dolmabahce Palace. Evening is free to explore further or simply relax. Meal plan: B.
Day 4: Morning free. Transfer back to the airport. Meal plan: B.
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