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Informative, friendly and professional guide
Day 1: Istanbul Airport - IstanbulStart your 3-day tour with a transfer from Istanbul Atatürk International Airport or Sabiha Gökçen International Airport to your central Istanbul hotel. Alternatively, if you are already in Istanbul, opt for a hotel-to-hotel transfer for a hassle-free start to your tour. After checking in, the day is yours to spend at leisure (any food, drinks and entrance fees at own expense). Perhaps visit Istanbul’s Byzantine churches or Ottoman mosques, or check out its world-famous souks (markets). Overnight: 4-star Orka Royal or Momento Hotel in Istanbul Day 2: Istanbul (B, L)Following breakfast, enjoy a full-day guided tour of Istanbul by comfortable minibus, taking in the highlights of the old Sultanahmet district. First stop is the Blue Mosque – Istanbul’s spectacular mosque, crowned by six skyline-dominating minarets. Explore the interior with your guide and marvel at the ceiling of intricately patterned blue tiles that lend the building its name. Continue to the iconic Hagia Sophia, a building that started life as a Christian church before being converted into a mosque and then into a museum. Head inside and admire the impressive mosaics and frescoes that date from the Ottoman era. After a break for a typical Turkish lunch of soup, meatballs or chicken accompanied by fresh fruit, continue to the Topkapi Palace – the seat of Ottoman sultans between the 15th and 19th centuries, and stuffed with imperial treasures and artifacts. See the Harem (own expense) and Treasury, and learn about the sultans who lived here. Having explored here, walk the bustling streets to the Hippodrome, the site of a long-ago stadium where chariot races were once held during Byzantine and Ottoman times. Lastly, visit the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s largest covered markets. Dip into the stall-packed lanes to browse the dizzying array of wares that spans everything from gold and jewelry to clothes and antiques. Then, finish with a visit to a carpet workshop and drop-off at your hotel. Spend the evening at leisure in Istanbul, perhaps dining out at one of the city’s enticing restaurants. Overnight: 4-star Orka Royal or Momento Hotel in Istanbul Day 3: Istanbul – Istanbul Airport (B)After breakfast, the morning is yours to spend as you wish in Istanbul – perhaps shopping for souvenirs or sightseeing independently. At a pre-arranged time in the afternoon, check out of your hotel and finish your tour with a transfer to Istanbul Atatürk International Airport or Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, or another Istanbul hotel.
Two nights of accommodation
Meals as per itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Hotel/airport pickup and drop-off
Food and drinks, unless specified
Entrance fee (approximately 20 Turkish Lira) to the Topkapi Palace Harem
Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 1 day of travel. In this case confirmation will be received as soon as possible, subject to availability
Not wheelchair accessible
Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
According to availability at time of booking, accommodation will be in one of the mentioned hotels
Hagia Sophia is closed every Monday; should your tour fall on this day, you will visit Chora Church instead
Topkapi Palace is closed every Tuesday; should your tour fall on this day, you will visit the Basilica Cistern and Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum instead
Istanbul Atatürk International Airport or Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, or your centrally located Istanbul hotel
If you choose to start and end your tour with an Istanbul airport transfer, please provide your flight arrival and departure times when booking. Alternatively, if you choose a hotel-to-hotel transfer, please specify your Istanbul hotel details when booking. Both options require you to reconfirm your details at least 24 hours before departure (contact info will be provided on your booking voucher).
Concludes at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport or Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, or your centrally located Istanbul hotel