Your full-day tour kicks off with a convenient pickup from your central hotel, located on the European-side of Istanbul. Climb into your luxury air-conditioned Mercedes minivan and settle in for a comfortable and fashionable ride. Meet your expert guide, a local who will educate you about Istanbul’s deep history.
Stretch your legs at your first stop of the day, the Istanbul Archaeology Museum. Keep your eyes tuned to the intricate works in the exhibits as your guide explains their historical significance. Works in the museum date back as early as the 4th century. A set of handy headphones will allow you to hear your guide clearly amidst the crowds of other visitors.
Pick up more fascinating insights from your guide en route to your next stop, such as the different rulers of Istanbul throughout history. See evidence of Roman, Ottoman, and Byzantine empires scattered throughout the streets today.
Next, stop at Topkapi Palace, a sprawling work of architectural art built by 15th-century sultans. Stroll the maze-like quarters as you stumble upon gardens, fountains, vistas, and even the harem quarters. Listen to your guide tell stories of this unique time, and admire the intricate Ottoman décor.
Satiate your appetite at Istanbul’s renowned Matbah restaurant, serving traditional Turkish delicacies during a 4-course lunch. See the Itinerary for a sample menu. Once you’re re-energized, continue to Chora Church, a stunning Byzantine-era monastery.
A tour of Istanbul would not be complete without a visit to Hagia Sophia, your final stop. Tour the museum’s Ottoman- and Byzantine-era artifacts, admire the architecture, then climb back into your Mercedes van for a brief rest on the drive back to your Istanbul hotel.