Istanbul tour (lunch included)
Cruise port: Turkey - Istanbul
Duration: Full day
Your Istanbul tour starts from the Karakoy Ship port to the Old City area. On the way to the old city you will see Galata District which was a capital of commerce during the Ottoman Empire, Galata Tower, Galata Bridge, Eminonu Square and New Mosque.
Your first stop will be the Ancient Hippodrome, which was a sporting and social centre of Constantinople (former name of Istanbul, when the city was Capital of the Byzantine Empire).
After Hippodrome you will continue to the fabulous Blue Mosque. This mosque is well known for its handmade Iznik tiles.
The tour continues with the Hagia Sophia Museum, former church and mosque, which is a very important place for the Orthodox World.
Afterwards, we will visit the Topkapi Palace, a primary residence of the Ottoman Empire for approximately 400 years. You will have your lunch at the fourth courtyard of the palace at the Konyali Restaurant that offers a Bosphorus view.
Lastly you will have a shopping opportunity at Grand Bazaar, which is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3000 shops.
Your tour will end after a long day at the Karakoy Ship Port.
REMARKS: An alternative tour follows the same itinerary but allows less time at the Grand Bazaar (1 hour) and offers the opportunity to attend Mass at the Holy Spirit Cathedral at the end of the tour.