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Obelisk of Theodosius III

Obelisk of Theodosius III: Our most recommended tours and activities

Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour with Hotel Transfer

1. Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour with Hotel Transfer

Explore Istanbul on a guided tour. Choose from a 1-day tour to top attractions like the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace, or a 2-day tour with a cruise on the Bosphorus straight and a visit to the Dolmabahce Palace and Istiklal Street. Pick from a walking tour or a driving tour.  Day 1 – Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar Explore the highlights of Istanbul on this private full-day walking tour that covers the major attractions, from the Hagia Sophia Museum to the iconic Blue Mosque, to the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, to the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. The excursion starts with a pick-up from your Istanbul hotel and a walk through the lively streets of Turkey’s largest city to visit the dramatic former basilica of the Hagia Sophia, a great architectural beauty and an important monument during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. For many centuries, this was the largest church in the world, and it still holds the position for the 4th largest dome. Dedicated to the Hagia Sophia or 'divine wisdom', it is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Move on to the Blue Mosque, officially known as the Sultanahmet Mosque. The mosque’s striking blue tiles give it its more common name and make it one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions. Located close to Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque was considered the Supreme Imperial Mosque in Istanbul. Continue to Topkapi Palace, a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. The former palace boasted a population of about 4,000 people at its peak and was home to 25 sultans over a period of 400 years.  Located on a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn, it sits in tranquil gardens that provide shade from the blazing heat of the summer. Pop into the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. Visit the Hippodrome, the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. See the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column, the 3 remaining monuments from the original building. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. Complete your day with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handicraft shops selling everything from handmade carpets to Turkish coffee, the atmosphere is electric, and it's a great place to try out your bargaining skills. Day 2 – Spice Bazaar, Bosphorus cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Istiklal Street, Taksim The spice bazaar is located in Fatih. It's known as the Egyptian Market because, during the Ottoman period, Egyptian exports were sold there.  The Bosphorus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia that connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. Rumeli and Anadolu Fortresses are located at the narrowest point of the Bosphorus and there are magnificent Ottoman palaces and mosques along the Bosphorus. Keep an eye out for them. Built in the 19th century, Dolmabahce Palace was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and housed some of the last Ottoman Sultans. The palace site was created by filling in the small bay on the Bosphorus. This gave rise to its name, in Turkish, Dolma means 'filled' or 'stuffed,' and bahce means 'garden'. Istiklal Street is brimming with life. There, you'll find a plethora of shops, restaurants, and bars. From there, it is a 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area.

Istanbul Private Guided Tour

2. Istanbul Private Guided Tour

Discover the highlights of Istanbul on a private full-day tour that takes in the major attractions. Begin with a walk through the lively streets of Turkey's largest city to visit the dramatic former basilica of the Hagia Sophia; a great architectural beauty and an important monument during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Move on to the Blue Mosque, officially known as the Sultanahmet Mosque. It is the mosque's striking blue tiles that give it its more common name and make it one of Istanbul's most iconic attractions. Continue to Topkapi Palace, a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. You will also visit the Hippodrome, the former circus built in 203 A.D. by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. See the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. You'll also get to check out the gazebo-like German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. Finally, stop at the Grand Bazaar; one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with hundreds of small handcraft shops selling everything from handmade carpets to Turkish coffee.

Private 7-Hour Istanbul Tour with Red Carpet Treatment

3. Private 7-Hour Istanbul Tour with Red Carpet Treatment

Your private guide and driver will meet you at your hotel or cruise ship, and you’ll head out for a full-day VIP tour of Istanbul. Visit the Hippodrome, the center of sporting and political activities of ancient Constantinople. See the Obelisk from Egypt, the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the German Fountain of Willhelm II. Continue to the Blue Mosque, dating from the 17th century. This is one of the largest mosques in Istanbul and one of the principal features of the city skyline. It’s best known for its blue Iznik tiles and 6 minarets. Afterwards, you’ll visit Topkapi Palace, the former imperial residence that was the seat of the Great Ottoman Empire. Explore the spectacular museum and its vast collections of Chinese and Japanese porcelain and the treasury of the royal family. Continue to the Hagia Sophia, the magnificent Byzantine Church considered one of the finest and largest architectural works in the world. The last stop on the tour is the Grand Bazaar. In addition to its historical importance, this is a shopping venue that will tempt even the non-shoppers among you with its rich collection of precious handmade carpets, jewelry, leather, and souvenirs. At the end of the tour, you’ll be transferred back to your hotel or cruise ship.

Istanbul Imperial: Full-day Private City Tour

4. Istanbul Imperial: Full-day Private City Tour

Explore the highlights of imperial Istanbul on a private 7-hour tour that takes in the major attractions of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Being a private tour, the itinerary can be adjusted to fulfill your specific needs and wishes. From the iconic Hagia Sophia to the Blue Mosque, and from the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, to the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople, you will learn about Istanbul and Turkey's history, culture, and traditions, and gain an insight into the daily life of its inhabitants, discovering aspects of the city that tourists often miss. Start your tour at the Hippodrome, the former circus where Roman horse-chariots used to race to the cheers of the crowds. Three monuments survive from the original building, including the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. Continue to the Blue Mosque, a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture that combines Islamic and Byzantine elements. Officially known as the Sultanahmet Mosque, it is the mosque’s striking blue tiles that give it the more common name and make it one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions. Move to the nearby Topkapi Palace, former residence of the sultans of Turkey for 400 years and a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. In its heyday the palace boasted a population of about 4,000 people and was home to 25 different sultans. Hagia Sophia embodies the mix of the 3 great civilizations - Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic - and is the next stop on your tour, before going to the fascinating Basilica Cistern, where you will descend into its depths and stare at 1001 columns in the magical subterranean atmosphere. End at the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest closed markets in the world. Explore the maze of stalls and galleries and try you hand at bargaining for handmade carpets, evil eye trinkets, and antiques. Listen out for the babble of more than 100 languages, and try a strong Turkish coffee to set you on your way.

Istanbul: Highlights of Istanbul- Include Entry Fees&Lunch

5. Istanbul: Highlights of Istanbul- Include Entry Fees&Lunch

This is a fully guided tour inside the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya), Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Roman Hippodrome, Orient Exprés Train Station and Spice Bazaar. Along the way, stop to hear the stories of the Roman Hippodrome (including the Egyptian Obelisk and Serpent Column German Fountain) This tour starts from our meeting point which is located in the heart of Istanbul. Your guide will meet you and you will start with the Hagia sofia which hosted two religions over 1500 years. The tour will follow by Blue mosque which is the most popular mosque in Istanbul. It willl foloow by under ground Basicila Cistern with heads of Medusa turned upside down in the water. After this, the tour wil follow with the walk in Gulhane park which was the back yard of the Topkapı palace. We will follow to look at the station of the famous Orient Express, tasting the Turkish delights, nuts and spices at the Spice Bazaar. Take a break for lunch and enjoy traditional Turkish cuisine in a friendly setting at a non-touristy restaurant where your gourmet guide will choose some memorable food for you.  P.S. Blue mosque is closed due to renovation until the end of March 2023. We will still visit it from outside and it will be substituted with Rustem Paşa mosque.

Istanbul Private Full-Day Classics Tour with Options

6. Istanbul Private Full-Day Classics Tour with Options

Your full-day tour begins with a morning visit to the Hippodrome, which at one time was the center of Byzantine social and recreational life. A few parts of this spectacular site remain, including the Obelisk of Thutmose III and the Serpent Column. The Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is located next to the Hippodrome. Its exceptional architectural design features 1 main dome, 8 secondary domes, 6 minarets, and a vast number of blue tiles – hence the name. Built during the reign of Ahmed the First, the Blue Mosque continues to function as a mosque as well as being one of the city’s top tourist attractions. Next is a visit to Topkapi Palace, which dates back to 1459. It served as the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 4 centuries. In 1924, the palace was officially declared a museum. The Palace covers a large site and features several buildings. You’ll see a fine collection of Imperial and Ottoman utensils, relics, caftans, and portraits of the sultans. Following your visit to Topkapi Palace it will time for a lunch break, and your guide will recommend some restaurants where you can enjoy delicious Turkish cuisine. After lunch you’ll take a tour of Hagia Sophia, which served both Christianity and Islam at different times in history. When it was first built in 537, it was an Eastern Orthodox church. In 1453, when Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, the hall was transformed into an imperial mosque. Approximately 5 centuries later, Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum. After visiting Hagia Sophia you’ll travel to the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, comprising 61 covered streets and more than 3,000 shops offering almost anything you might need. The bazaar is a part of the walled city and was built during the years 1455-1461.

Istanbul: Full-Day Private Guided Tour

7. Istanbul: Full-Day Private Guided Tour

Meet your private guide at your hotel to begin your tour. Marvel at the iconic tiles and minarets of the Blue Mosque, built in the 1600s for Sultan Ahmet. Feast your eyes on the mosaics of the Hagia Sophia and discover a stunning and seamless blend of Christian and Islamic influences. Amble through the world's largest (and oldest) covered market on a tour of the Grand Bazaar and see the Basilica Cistern, an beautiful underground water storage system. Travel back further to the Byzantine Empire, when the city was known as “Constantinople” at the Hippodrome and its 4 monuments; the Fountain Of Wilhelm II, the Obelisk Of Theodosius, the Serpentine Column, and the Column Of Constantine. Go to Topkapı Palace to see the last Imperial residence of the Ottoman sultans and the seat of the Parliament.

Istanbul: Half-Day Highlights Guided Tour

8. Istanbul: Half-Day Highlights Guided Tour

Discover the historic treasures of the Sultanahmet district and go to the Hagia Sofia to admire the Byzantine mosaics inside the 6th-century church built by the Emperor Justinian. Get up close to the Iznik tiles of the Blue Mosque, where the tomb of the sultan Ahmed I is located. Move on to the Hippodrome of Constantinople to see where the chariot races and political gatherings took place during the Byzantine and Ottoman eras. Wander amongst the stalls of the Grand Bazaar and haggle for bargain prices on jewelry, carpets, leather goods and antiques inside one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world.

Historic Istanbul Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

9. Historic Istanbul Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

Discover the historic sites of Istanbul on a half-day sightseeing tour with round-trip transfers from centrally located hotels. A local guide will accompany you all the way, starting at the Hagia Sophia. Learn about the ancient Basilica that was started by Constantine the Great in the 4th century, and completed by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century. For 1,000 years it was the world’s largest cathedral. Today, it has been converted to a museum. Admire the impressive dome and minarets, as well as the beautiful mosaics, sculptures and columns inside. Your next stop will be the legendary Sultan Ahmed Mosque, better known around the world as the Blue Mosque. Get up close to this symbol of Istanbul and see the vibrant blue tiles that adorn its interior walls. Stroll around its beautiful courtyard, and see the 6 graceful minarets. Continue to the Hippodrome, site of chariot races during the Byzantine Empire. Admire the 3 remaining monuments; the Obelisk of Theodosius, the Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine. End with a walk around the labyrinthine Grand Bazaar to haggle for bargains among some 4,000 jewelry, pottery, spices, carpet, and leather stores.

Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar Optional Pick up

10. Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar Optional Pick up

Take a guided tour of Istanbul and visit some of its most popular sights. Explore the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar. Meet your tour at the Obelisk of Theodosius or get picked up from your hotel, depending on the option chosen. First, visit the Hagia Sophia, a monument of great importance to the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Learn about its history and architecture from your guide. Continue to the the Blue Mosque, built by Sultan Ahmet. Marvel at its handmade blue Iznik tiles and 6 minarets. Next, walk around the Hippodrome, where chariot races were once held. See the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, Egyptian Obelisk, Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine. Finally, stroll through the Grand Bazaar, the oldest and biggest covered market in the world. Get lost among its 65 streets and more than 4000 shops and try haggling over any souvenirs that catch your eye.

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What people are saying about Obelisk of Theodosius III

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 974 reviews

Our guide Ege was courteous, prepared, punctual, always exhaustive, available ...... nothing short of "perfect". He made us appreciate the beautiful Istanbul by revealing many of its secrets. It was my third time but I had never appreciated the city so thoroughly. My traveling companions also greatly appreciated her and her impeccable way of working. Thank you so much Ege, we would like to meet you again if we come back to Turkey. Sergio with Delia, Maria Rita, Stefania and Paolo.

Very good experience with our Turkish guide Erhan Tevfik who speaks good Spanish. He has very good knowledge of the history, art and culture of the city of Istanbul. He has also recommended us good places to eat and dine and tips for getting around Istanbul

Sheref was informative, knowledgeable, and flexible. He arrived at the meeting point punctually and provided historical and cultural context throughout the day. He was also adaptable to our interests along the way. Would definitely recommend.

Didem is a very informed guide about the history and culture of the various places we visited. She also helped us with good recommendations for restaurants and shopping. It was very easy communicating with her before and during the tour

tour guide was great and knew his information. He grew up in Turkey and could share stories from his childhood which I liked. is a small group walking tour but was just me on this tour and he personalized for what I liked.