I ONLY HAVE A DAY IN ISTANBUL
Here is an itinerary that covers must-see sights in İstanbul for those who have only one day in the city.
From the Ottoman and Byzantine era with an expert of both empires’ history who will bring each storied structure to life.
Skip the line at The Underground Cistern, getting ahead of the crowds will help you appreciate the cistern even more.
Travel with a local to keep waiting times at minimum at Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, also explore the great shops at The Grand Bazaar where real ‘istanbulite’s shop with fair prices for high quality products.
Determined as one of the four historic areas of İstanbul by UNESCO World Heritage Convention, Sultanahmet peninsula hosts the world famous Hagia Sophia, the biggest church of its time and 17th century Blue Mosque with its famous İznik tiles.
This peninsula is where once both the Byzantines and the Ottomans ruled their empires from.
WHAT WILL YOU SEE?
Hippodrome: This is where the chariot games took place for centuries. Hippodrome was also the social center of the Byzantine capital Constantinople.
Blue Mosque: This 16th century mosque is the only historical mosque in the city with 6 minarets. It often has a long line, thus we recommend seeing it from outside.
Hagia Sophia: Hagia Sophia is certainly the most important monument in the city. You will listen to your guide in order to understand the deep history of church turned into mosque and admire the mosaics and calligraphy and the impressive architecture inside.
Underground Cistern: The cistern is also known as the “Basilica Cistern” was a water storage built during the reign of East Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Justinian between 532-537AD. It is the largest cistern in the city. – 140m (459 feet) long and 70m (229 feet) wide – 336 columns (12 row, 18 columns per row) – approximately 100 thousand tonnes of water capacity.
Lunch: Based on your feedback and preferences, your guide will pick one of our top recommended local restaurants in the area.
Grand Bazaar: Grand Bazaar is the first shopping mall of the world. It was built as Cevahir Bedesteni & Sandal Bedesteni in the 15th century, 1461 to be exact.
With 66 streets and over 2000 stores inside, it is a small town on its own, waiting to be explored.
Your guide will show you the so-called generational stores where the locals shop from. High end jewelry (diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and what not), handmade carpets & kilims, traditional ceramics, high quality shawls & pashminas, exquisite kaftans made from ‘ikat’ and intricate pillow cases made from ‘ikat’ and ‘suzani’, calligraphy, leather jackets & purses, towels and more are waiting to be discovered.
WHY BOOK THIS TOUR?
If you have only one day in the city, this tour will make a great introduction to Istanbul for you. It is a great combination of must-see sights and shopping.
You will see the iconic monuments that have embellished the silhouette of the city for centuries.