Our tour of the fascinating and unique city of Istanbul begins in the historic Sultanahmet district. The powerful empires of the Greeks, Romans, Venetians, and Ottomans have greatly influenced the history of the city, once famously known as Constantinople.
We visit the Byzantine Hippodrome where crowds of 100,000+ people used to gather regularly to watch competitive chariot races and political activities during the Byzantine Empire. You will also get the chance to see the Kaiser’s German fountain, the Serpent Column of Delphi, the Egyptian Obelisk and the Walled Obelisk of Constantine VII which are all located nearby.
We continue to the Sultanahmet Mosque (famously known as the Blue Mosque) to admire the ornate interior that is decorated with 21,000 beautiful blue tiles. Across the square is the famous Hagia Sophia. It began life as a church, was later a mosque, and is now a museum.
Next, we move on to the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site of Topkapi Palace, the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans during the 15th and 16th-Centuries. We stop nearby for lunch at Konyali Restaurant where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Bosphorus.
The Cathedral Of The Holy Spirit
In the afternoon, you have free time to visit the Grand Bazaar or other parts of Istanbul at your leisure.
Alternatively, enhance your Istanbul excursion by extending the experience with mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. Built in 1846, the Baroque church is the main spiritual centre for the Catholics of the Vicariate of Istanbul Latin community. The cathedral’s crypt is the burial site of many historically significant people.