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Istanbul is unique and unforgettable. Our full day excursion will immerse you in this vibrant, colourful and fascinating city at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Many empires have held power in the place once called Constantinople including the Greeks, Romans, Venetians and the Ottomans.
The historic heart of old Istanbul is the Sultanahmet district and our starting point is the Byzantine Hippodrome where horse and chariot racing once drew crowds of 100,000 or more. Nearby is the Kaiser’s German fountain, the bronze Serpent Column of Delphi, the Egyptian Obelisk and the Walled Obelisk of Constantine VII.
Recognised across the globe is the Mosque of Sultan Ahmet, more popularly known as the Blue Mosque because of the stunning hand painted blue tiles inside. It is well worth taking a few minutes just to gaze and let the amazing beauty sink in whether you are inside or outside.
Across the square sits the imposing Church of the Holy Wisdom of God or Hagia Sophia, once a church, then an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture.
We then visit the incomparable Topkapi Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where we have lunch at the Konyali Restaurant enjoying a view over the Bosphorus.
If all this still leaves you with a thirst for more discovery you can do no better than explore the sights, sounds and colours of Istanbul’s incredible Grand Bazaar, with 4000 shops and stalls, 58 streets under one roof, 400,000 visitors daily and millions of things for sale.