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Istanbul Shore Excursion: Private Istanbul Express Sightseeing Tour

Istanbul Shore Excursion: Private Istanbul Express Sightseeing Tour

star-4.511 Reviews
|
Istanbul, Turkey
Safety measures
icon4 hours  (Approx.)
Pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds
Safety measures
icon4 hours  (Approx.)
Pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Don’t worry—here are some similar options


Safety measures
icon4 hours  (Approx.)
Pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Overview

With no time to spare, see Istanbul’s top monuments and highlights on this private express shore excursion. This sightseeing tour is perfect for folks with limited time, yet crave an in depth taste of Istanbul. Visit the Hagia Sophia museum, a 6th century city icon filled with mosaics and an imposing dome roof. Nearby, see the Blue Mosque and its interior walls covered in blue Iznik tiles. Discover the maze of shops and stalls in the Grand Bazaar where your guide enlightens you to its Ottoman influences and rich history. With personalized attention from your private guide, experience the greatness of Istanbul.
  • Private shore excursion to three top Istanbul attractions
  • Head deep into the sight-packed, Istanbul Old Town (Sultanahmet) with an expert guide
  • Visit the spectacular Hagia Sophia to see its stunning dome and mosaics
  • Marvel at the Blue Mosque, with its minarets and dazzling blue tiles
  • Delve into the chaotic Grand Bazaar to see its stalls, halls and courtyards
  • Enjoy in-depth attention from a private guide on this shore excursion
  • Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship
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Port pickup and drop-off
Transport by private, air-conditioned minivan
Professional guide
Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy
Gratuities
Food and drinks, unless specified

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered

Ports

  • Istanbul Port


Departure Time

8:00 AM
Disembark at the Istanbul cruise port and meet your guide to start your half-day private shore adventure of Istanbul's top monuments. Aboard your air-conditioned minivan take a short trip the old Sultanahmet district and visit Hagia Sophia built in 539 AD by Roman Emperor Justinian. Learn how this UNESCO-listed monument was once one of the world’s largest churches, then a mosque, and now a museum. Head inside and admire the unbelievable architecture and exquisite Byzantine mosaics, amazing accomplishments in the 6th century. Then, see Ottoman relics as you listen to your guide tell stories of  their past.

From here, stroll nearby to the Blue Mosque, another spectacular sight in Istanbul originally designed to trump the Hagia Sophia’s beauty. Built in the 17th century, marvel at its six towering minarets and incredible dome structure. Then, follow your guide inside and learn why Blue Mosque is given its name as you capture panoramic views of the nearly 20,000 blue Iznik tiles that jacket the ceiling.

Continue with a leisurely walk to the stimulating Grand Bazaar, one of the largest covered markets in the world since 1456. Stay close to your guide as you maneuver around this Ottoman style labyrinth of stalls, shops and bedestans (domed market halls) which makeup the structures early support components. Discover countless lanes sectioned into specific commerce quarters of jewelry, carpets, and other eclectic goods. Perhaps stop in one of the 13 open courtyards, also known as hans, where caravans would set up shop during medieval times. See something you like, gets some advice from your guide and try your luck bargaining.   

Enjoy soaking up this bustling market’s rich culture before your return to the port where your tour ends.

Special note: On the day of your tour, the order of each activity visited above may be modified.

Worry-free Shore Excursion:Don’t worry, this tour guarantees you will get back to Istanbul cruise port! In the unlikely event that your ship has disembarked, we will organize transportation to the next port-of call. Plus, you can book worry free. If by chance your ship is delayed to arrive and you cannot attend the tour, we will refund your money. See our terms and conditions for full details.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Hagia Sophia Mosque
Meet your expert guide at the cruise port and board your air-conditioned minivan to begin your 4-hour private shore excursion of Istanbul's highlights. Head for Sultanahmet, Istanbul Old Town, and make your first stop at the Hagia Sophia, the breathtaking, UNESCO-listed church-turned-mosque-turned-museum. Completed in 537 AD by the Roman Emperor Justinian, this towering masterpiece was once one of the world’s largest Christian basilicas, and is coated in shimmering Byzantine mosaics. Admire its dome — an extraordinary architectural feat for the 6th century — and view the mosaics and Ottoman artifacts as your guide charts their history. Continue to the Blue Mosque, another of Istanbul’s signature sights. Designed to outshine the nearby Hagia Sophia, this classical 17th-century mosque is a whirl of domes and minarets. Head inside with your guide to see the 20,000 blue İznik tiles that cover its ceiling and give it its name. Next, be swept up in the colors and chaos of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. This huge, covered marketplace was established in 1456 and rings with stalls selling a myriad of goods, from jewelry to carpets. As you stroll, learn how the lanes are divided into different merchandise areas in traditional Ottoman style, and see the bedestans (domed market halls) that formed the original structure. Get buying tips from your guide and explore some of the 13 hans – open courtyards — that were caravan stops for medieval merchants. After time to absorb the sights and sounds, return to the port, where your tour finishes. Please note: the order of activities as described above may be subject to change on the day of your tour. Worry-free Shore Excursion: We will ensure your timely return to Istanbul cruise port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Blue Mosque
We will visit Blue Mosque
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 2 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability
  • It is highly recommended that you wear comfortable clothes and shoes
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • OPERATED BY Fez Travel
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Istanbul Shore Excursion: Private Istanbul Express Sightseeing Tour?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
See all safety measures taken by Istanbul Shore Excursion: Private Istanbul Express Sightseeing Tour.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Istanbul Shore Excursion: Private Istanbul Express Sightseeing Tour?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Istanbul Shore Excursion: Private Istanbul Express Sightseeing Tour.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Istanbul Shore Excursion: Private Istanbul Express Sightseeing Tour?
A:The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Istanbul Shore Excursion: Private Istanbul Express Sightseeing Tour.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Istanbul Shore Excursion: Private Istanbul Express Sightseeing Tour?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Istanbul Shore Excursion: Private Istanbul Express Sightseeing Tour.

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
11 Reviews
2 stars
0

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 11 reviews
star-3
our guide was wonderful. but all...
mannmar
, Oct 2015
our guide was wonderful. but all the tour companies should have known it was a Muslim Holy Day and that the grand Bizarre and Spice fair would be closed. access to the Blue Mosque was available only after 2:30PM
star-5
So much information to digest. I think...
KARLENE P
, Oct 2015
So much information to digest. I think Sofia hagia was my favourite
star-5
Wonderful and informative guide, He...
Becky
, Oct 2015
Wonderful and informative guide, He took our needs into consideration and took us across the bridge to Asia!
star-5
LOVED Istanbul! Lovely, fascinating...
Grace H
, Sep 2015
LOVED Istanbul! Lovely, fascinating city! Wonderful food too. Wish we had more time there. Sadly our guide had his own agenda which didn't include seeing the sights we wanted, as much as him talking at length about minor things that would have been interesting if we had had more time in the city. It felt like he was holding us back from seeing as much as we could in our allotted time.
star-5
An excellent tour with a great...
Denise G
, Aug 2015
An excellent tour with a great guide. Our guide was waiting on the pier when the ship docked. We had a private guide and a competent drive. Our guide was able to avoid most lines and get us right in to all of the sights. She took us everywhere we wanted to go and helped us negotiate all of our purchases in the grand Bazaar. We were delivered back to our ship in a timely fashion.
star-5
We where picked up from the port and...
Jenny H
, Aug 2015
We where picked up from the port and the guide took us to the Old City and explained the history of Instanbul. He was very pleasant and helpful. It is the only way to see the city and well worth the cost. Great value.
star-5
Excellent. We were picked up...
Rita S
, Aug 2015
Excellent. We were picked up outside our ship, and had a full day of sightseeing. Our guide was very knowledgeable and took us to everything we asked and more. I would highly recommend this to anyone.
star-4
Great tour! Awesome that it's led by...
Kennedy P
, Aug 2015
Great tour! Awesome that it's led by locals who know the history and culture. It's worth having a tour guide because you get to skip the very long lines at the big sites. BAD: they force you to sit through a Turkish Rug presentation where they try and force you to buy a rug. It is almost scary.
star-1
Horrible! Guide more interested in...
Michael G
, Jul 2015
Horrible! Guide more interested in taking us to rug places, that she had an obvious connection to, than conducting the tour. Fez tour guide was just horrible! Beware on this tour! No one wants to purchase a 28000 rug when they are expecting to tour the site highlighted in this package. Shame on you Viator for allowing this to happen. We felt light we were being held hostage in the rug store until the owner was offended by me saying I was not going to purchase a rug no matter how many times he lowered the price.
star-4
Unfortunately, we arrived in...
cherylking
, Jul 2015
Unfortunately, we arrived in Istanbul on a festival day at the end of Ramadan which meant many stores including the Grand Bazaar and the spice market were closed. It also meant that the city was extremely busy and crowded. However, our guide was able to get us into the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia without too much trouble and he was very knowledgeable about both spots. We were given opportunities to explore on our own and to take photos after he gave us insight as to what to look for. An amazing tour.

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