Obelisk of Theodosius III
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Our most recommended Obelisk of Theodosius III Activities

Highlights of Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour

1. Highlights of Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour

Day 1 – Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hipporome, 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 8-hour 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 boasts the 4th largest dome after St. Paul's in London, St. Peter's in Rome and the Duomo in Florence. 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, more 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 in to the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. You will also visit the Hippodrome, the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. Three monuments from the original building remain, including the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. You will also pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. Your day won’t be complete, however, without a visit to 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, 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 Bosphorus. There are also 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.

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Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3 Day Private Guided Tour

2. Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3 Day Private Guided Tour

Discover the best of Istanbul on this 1, 2, or 3-day private tour that covers the major attractions, such as the Hagia Sophia Museum, the iconic Blue Mosque, the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, and the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. A few of the possible attraction you'll visit on your tour include: 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 boasts the 4th largest dome after St. Paul's in London, St. Peter's in Rome, and the Duomo in Florence. Dedicated to the Hagia Sophia or 'divine wisdom', it is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. The Blue Mosque, more officially known as the "Sultanahmet" Mosque has 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. 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 in to the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. The Hippodrome is the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. Three monuments from the original building remain, including the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. The Grand Bazaar is 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, the atmosphere is electric, and it's a great place to try out your bargaining skills. 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 Bosphorus. There are also 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, and from there, it's an interesting and scenic 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area. See this and more depending on which length tour option you select. Possible Itinerary for each day of the tour: Day 1: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Hippodrome Day 2: Spice Market, Bosphorus Cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal, Galata Tower Day 3: Suleymaniye Mosque, Chora Church, Fener/Balat Districts, Pierre Loti Hill

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Istanbul: Blue Mosque and Old Town Guided Historical Tour

3. Istanbul: Blue Mosque and Old Town Guided Historical Tour

Immerse yourself in the history of Istanbul as you visit some of the most interesting sites of the city.  Begin your tour by visiting the Million Stone, built in the early 4th century AD, which is considered the origin of all roads leading to the European cities of the Byzantine Empire. Continue your walk to the German Fountain - a gift from the German Emperor Wilhelm II to Sultan Abdulhamid II from 1898. Next, see the Palace of Ibrahim Pasha, an Ottoman imperial court residence built in the 16th century. Admire the unique building and learn about its history. Then, visit the Hippodrome, which was the center of political and sporting life in Istanbul during the reign of the Roman and Ottoman Empire.  The tour ends in the courtyards of the Blue Mosque. The tour guide will inform you about all the important highlights inside the Blue Mosque. Afterward, you can discover the UNESCO World Heritage site, built-in 1616, with its 6 minarets and beautiful decor. Explore the monument at your own pace and stay inside as long as you want. Admission to the Blue Mosque is free.

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Istanbul Private Guided Tour

4. 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.

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Istanbul: Full-Day Private Guided Tour

5. Istanbul: Full-Day Private Guided Tour

Meet your private guide at your hotel to being 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 underground water storage. 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.

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Topkapi, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome & Bazaar

6. Topkapi, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome & Bazaar

Your 6-hour tour begins in the morning with a short drive from your hotel to the the ancient Byzantine Hippodrome, where your guide will show you the Egyptian Obelisk, Serpentine Column, and Fountain of Wilhelm II. Afterwards you’ll visit the Blue Mosque, known for its 6 elegant minarets and blue Iznik tiles. See the Saint Sophia Museum, built as a church during the reign of Emperor Theodosius and destroyed in the fire of Nika Revolt in 532 A.D. After a lunch break at a local restaurant (included in the tour price), you’ll visit the Topkapi Palace, the residence and administrative center of the Ottoman sultans. You’ll also have the chance to shop for some Turkish handicrafts before the transfer back to your hotel.

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Istanbul Classics Half-Day Morning Tour

7. Istanbul Classics Half-Day Morning Tour

Experience Istanbul's remarkable and historic highlights on a half-day tour through the city's most picturesque area, a must for any visitor to this unforgettable city. Our day will begin at the Hagia Sophia - The Church of Divine Wisdom. This amazing structure was first dedicated as a church by the Roman Emperor Justinian in the year 360, was turned into a mosque during Ottoman rule, and was opened to the public as a museum in 1935. Admire the layers of history in this beautiful building. Next, you will see the German Fountain, a gift from Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany to Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid. Hear the fascinating story of the Kaiser's trips to the Ottoman Empire, and the relationship forged between the two rulers. Then, walk along the nearby and beautifully preserved Hippodrome, where the chariot races were once organized by the Romans and Byzantines. The Hippodrome is home to even more impressive monuments, including a magnificent Egyptian obelisk. Finally, explore the Blue Mosque, Istanbul's first mosque with six minarets, dating back to 1616. This stunning piece of architecture takes its name from the amazing blue tiles that decorate its interior.

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Istanbul: Highlights Tour and Bosphorus Cruise

8. Istanbul: Highlights Tour and Bosphorus Cruise

See the main historical sights of Istanbul and take a 2.5-hour luxury cruise along the beautiful shoreline as the sun sets. Visit the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the Little Hagia Sophia Mosque and the Grand Bazaar. Learn about their histories on a guided tour. See the site of the Ancient Roman hippodrome. Transfer to the glass-encased luxury yacht in the evening and enjoy a welcome drink of traditional Turkish demirhindi. Enjoy the sights of the city at dusk with informative commentary. Feel the soothing breeze coming over the Sea of Marmara at dusk on this highlights tour and cruise in Istanbul.

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Istanbul: Half Day Morning Walking Tour

9. Istanbul: Half Day Morning Walking Tour

Visit Hagia (St.) Sophia, one of the greatest marvels of architecture, constructed as a basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian. St.Sophia has been the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years. It is considered the masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. After having been the Patriarchal basilica of Constantinople, it was converted into a mosque in 1453 by Sultan Mehmet II. the Conqueror and in to a museum by Atataürk in 1935. Explore the Blue Mosque, facing Hagia Sophia, famous with its blue Iznik tiles and unique with 6 minarets, built in the name of Sultan Ahmet. The last great imperial mosque of the classical period, its name comes from the 20,000 marvelous blue-toned Iznik tiles decorating the interior walls. Discover the Hippodrome, center of sportive (chariot races, athletics) events and political activities of the old city. Obelisk of Theodosius, Serpentine Column, German Fountain of Wilhelm II are the monuments decorating Hippodrome. You will also see one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, The Grand Bazaar.

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What people are saying about Obelisk of Theodosius III

We really enjoyed our trip together with Ahmet, our tour guide. He is very knowledgeable of the sites and the history behind these sites. I personally became really interested about the Ottoman empire because of his stories. He also recommended a nice place to eat - the food is very delicious. This activity is highly recommended :).

In my life I have visited several places in Europe, Asia, Africa and America. Istanbul immediately won me over by being among my 5 most beautiful cities I have ever visited. A melting pot of cultures and traditions. It releases a unique and magnetic energy. W Istanbul

MR. Shaban the tour guide was very knowledgeable and made our experience very enjoyable with his story telling . He is professional , punctual, courteous and most importantly very passionate about Istanbul and it’s history.

Fantastic day with Çağlar in Italian. Tour at Aya Sofia and Sulejmani mosque with interesting explanations and anecdotes. Saw the Grand Bazaar It helped us a lot to orient ourselves and what to do in Istanbul. Optimal!

Excellent time, very attentive guide who speaks perfect French, without his sympathy. His explanations, his implication was irreproachable. Thank you very much for this wonderful day