OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND BYZANTINE LEGACY TOUR
As we journey across the Galata Bridge, wind along the banks of the Golden Horn and drive under the Byzantine Aqueduct of Valens, you will become immersed in Istanbul’s rich history, heritage and culture. En route to the heart of Sultanahmet district, you can glimpse the ancient Süleymaniye Mosque.
Discover the remnants of the Byzantine Hippodrome – once one of the largest chariot race arenas in the Byzantine Empire. Kaiser’s German fountain, the Serpent Column of Delphi, the Egyptian Obelisk and the Walled Obelisk of Constantine VII are also within close proximity.
We visit the iconic Sultanahmet Mosque (famously known across the globe as the Blue Mosque) to admire the 21,000 blue Iznik tiles that decorate its ornate interior. Situated across the square is the Hagia Sophia, converted from a church to a mosque – and now a museum.
Diamonds Are Forever
After lunch, we continue the tour with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Topkapi Palace. During the 15th and 16th centuries, it was the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Today, it is a museum that houses the 86-carat Spoonmaker’s Diamond – the 4th largest diamond in the world.
Enjoy free time exploring the labyrinth complex of the Grand Bazaar’s 58 streets and 4000 shops and stalls.