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Private Highlights Of Istanbul With Lunch At Topkapi Palace

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A great program for guests who are visiting Istanbul for the first time. In addition to an orientation tour, you will visit the city's big three; The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace.

Private Highlights of Istanbul with Lunch at Topkapi Palace

After meeting your professionally-trained guide, you will set off on an orientation drive through the business center of the modern city, across the Galata Bridge, along the banks of the Golden Horn and under the Byzantine Aqueduct of Valens. Along the way, you will see the Saleymaniye Mosque, dedicated to Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. You will continue around the mighty city walls, which once protected Constantinople from the many invasions and attacks it incurred over the centuries. In the Old City, your first visit will be to the Byzantine Hippodrome, which was once one of the largest chariot race grounds of the Byzantine Empire.

Visit the Sultanahmet Mosque, where large groups of pilgrims commenced their pilgrimage to Mecca. It is decorated with 21,000 blue Iznik tiles giving it the nickname "The Blue Mosque." You will then walk to the world-famous monument of Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine Church of Divine Wisdom, where you can marvel at the superb mosaics and the marble decorations.

Then you will walk through the immense gardens to experience typical Turkish cuisine in Konyali Restaurant, located within the Topkapi Palace grounds. After lunch, your tour will continue with a visit to the magnificent Topkapi Palace, the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans. See the famous treasury section, home to the Spoonmaker Diamond, the 7th biggest diamond in the world. Enter the kitchen buildings, today displaying the third richest collection in the world of Chinese and Japanese porcelain. From the palace, you will then visit the exotic Grand Bazaar area where you will have the chance to see a special demonstration on Turkish Carpets and have the opportunity for shopping. After your free time in the Bazaar, you will return to the pier.

Please Note: The covered area of the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sunday; a visit to the Spice Market will be substituted. Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays.

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Shore Excursions Group was created with one goal in mind: to provide exceptional travel experiences to cruise passengers in the ports they visit around the world. To accomplish this, we have compiled an exceptional array of tours delivered by local experts with decades of experience serving travelers and delivering excellent tours. Our owners and management team are comprised of seasoned travel industry executives who leverage their considerable experience to deliver memorie ...
from $165.00 (USD)
Per Person
Tour Type
Group Size
Activity Type(s)
Cultural, Historic
Tour Duration
9 Hours
Activity Level
Tour Leaves From
Cruise Ship Pier
Food/Beverage Provided
Special Instructions
When visiting religious sites, shoulders and knees should be covered. The Blue Mosque is a place of worship, and women are required to wear a head covering when entering. Head coverings are available at the Blue Mosque entrance at no charge. There is no need to cover the face as the covering is meant to hide a woman's hair only. Comfortable, sensible slip-on shoes are recommended. Sunscreen and sun glasses are suggested.
The Grand Bazaar Covered Section is closed on Sundays. Walking is over cobblestone, tiled and paved surfaces. There are a few steps at the entrance to the Blue Mosque and at Hagia Sophia. Topkapi also has steps between the different sections of the palace.