Turkey Istanbul Stopover

Istanbul is known as the “Pearl of the East and the Jewel of the West”. The city stands on the divide between two very different cultures, religions, and social views. Historically and geographically this great city has the weight of a nation behind it. And a country that still claims several of the wonders of the world. Enjoy 5 days in Istanbul visiting and discovering some of the magnificent Bazaars, Mosques and Palaces.
Turkey Istanbul stopover four pictures in a collage of the Blue Mosque, Egyptian Spice Bazaar, Bosphorus cruise and interior of the blue mosque
At a Glance
Day_1  Welcome to Istanbul. Transfer to hotel
Day_2  Full Day Istanbul tour
Day_3  Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise and Shopping Tour
Day_4  Istanbul: Day at leisure
Day_5  Transfer to Istanbul Airport. End of tour

Have one full free day to explore the city on your own. You can do some shopping in the many markets and bazaars. You will also enjoy a cruise on the Bosphorus River.  Your guide can show you all the wonderful articles on sale at the markets and help you with haggling.

Architectural Masterpieces

Witness the classic sites of heritage and history that abound in Istanbul on 5 day tour. Visit architectural masterpieces, marvel at awe-inspiring, Byzantine-era tile-works, and see the imperial treasures of Ottoman sultans. You also experience the customs of trade-life at a bustling bazaar.

Your tour starts with a brief stop at the Hippodrome, once the sporting and social center of the Roman capital of Constantinople, and still home to a few remaining obelisks. You then continue to the Byzantine basilica, Hagia Sophia, where you’re sure to be dazzled by the 30 million gold tesserae (tiny mosaic tiles) and the great Calligraphic Panes that line the interior.

Put your haggling skills to test and find a bargain at the Grand Bazaar, or simply observe the trade of diamonds, perfume, food, and rugs, before moving on to the Sultan Ahmet-inspired masterpiece—The Blue Mosque. Admire the finely decorated Ottoman tiles and stained-glass windows on your way to the solemn Tomb of Sultan Ahmet.

Meander through the regal rooms of the Topkapi Palace, the residence of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries. See the imperial treasury and its collection of Chinese porcelain, costumes, and weaponry.

Additional information

Hotel Rating4 Star, 5 Star

Day 1

Istanbul – Arrival Day:
* Welcome to Turkey Istanbul Airport.
* Meet with our representative at the arrival Hall for transfer to your hotel & check in.
* There are two airports in Istanbul.
– Istanbul Ataturk airport is 20 km away from city center and;
– Sabiha Gokcen airport is 55 km away from city center.
– Transfer from Ataturk airport to your hotel is included. If you arrive to Sabiha Gokcen airport please contact us for transfer rates.

Day 2

Istanbul City Tour:
* Pick up at 08:30 am from your hotel for a day tour of old Istanbul city.
* Visit St. Sophia; this ancient basilica; built by Constantine the Great in the 4th century and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century; is one of the architectural marvels of all time.
* Topkapi Palace; the great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries housing an exquisite collection of crystal; silver; and Chinese porcelain; robes worn by the sultans and their families; the famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury; miniatures; the Holy Mantle; enshrining relics of the Prophet Mohammed.
* Sultanhmet Imperial Mosque; across from St. Sophia built in the 16th century by the architect Mehmet; is known as the Blue Mosque because of its magnificent interior decoration of blue Iznik tiles.
* Lunch break at 13:00 pm.
* Afterwards your tour guide will take you to the Grand Covered Bazaar In this labyrinth of streets and passages are more than 4;000 shops with each trade having its own area: the goldsmiths’ street; the carpet sellers; Turkish arts and crafts; such as hand painted ceramic plates; hand-honed copper ware; brass ware and trays; water ewers; onyx-ware and meerschaum pipes.
* After the tour; return to your hotel.
* Overnight in Istanbul.
* Please Note: Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays; Topkapi Palace closed on Tuesdays; and Grand Bazaar closed on Sundays.
* If your tour is on one of these days we would offer you to visit Underground Cistern instead of Hagia Sophia and Topkapi palace museum; instead of Grand Bazaar you will visit Spice Bazaar.

Day 3

Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise& Shopping Tour:
* Pick up at 08:30 am from the hotel and depart for the Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise and Shopping Tour.
* Visit the Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar); the air here is filled with the enticing aromas of cinnamon; caraway; saffron; mint; thyme and every other conceivable herb and spice.
* Bosphorus by Boat – a traditional excursion by boat along the waterway separating Europe and Asia. The shore is lined with old wooden villas; palaces of marble; fortresses; and small fishing villages. During the excursion you will see the magnificent sights of the following attractions from your boat.
– Dolmabahce Palace; and further along;
– the parks and imperial pavilions of Yildiz Palace.
– On the coastal edge of this park; is Ciragan Palace; 300 meters of its marble facade faces the shore.
– At Ortakoy a great variety of artists gather every Sunday to display their work along the street. Ortakoy is a symbol of tolerance with a church; a mosque and a synagogue existing side by side for centuries.
– Rumeli Fortress; built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 prior to the conquest of Istanbul was completed in only four months to control and protect the infamous Bosphorus passage. It is one of the most beautiful works of military architecture anywhere in the world.
– Beylerbeyi Palas (Palace) is the summer residence of Ottoman sultans exists in its original renovated glory featuring original antique furniture and magnificent gardens with the Harem on the Asian side of Istanbul.
– Bosphorus Bridge; enjoy a unique chance to step from one continent (Asia) to another (Europe).
– Camlica Hill; the highest point in Istanbul; at the top of it you can rest and admire the magnificent panorama of Istanbul and the Bosporus from the beautiful gardens; landscaped in traditional Turkish Ottoman style.
* Shopping tour (after cruise)
– Experience the traditional silk weaving skills of Turkish women at the carpet weaving courses provided by The Ministry of National Education.
– You will get the opportunity to see jewellery; handcrafts centre and a modern leather wear show.
* After the tour; you are taken back to your hotel

Day 4

Istanbul Day at leisure:
* Enjoy a free day in Istanbul

Day 5

Istanbul – End of Tour:
* After breakfast check out from the hotel for transfer to Istanbul Airport.
* Services end at Istanbul Airport.
* Thank you for choosing Azure Travel for your Turkey experience. We thank you for your patronage & look forward to serving you again in the near future.

* Arrival transfer from Istanbul Ataturk Airport to hotel
* 4 nights in Istanbul
* 4 buffet breakfasts
* 1 x Guided Istanbul City Tour
* 1 x Guided Istanbul Bosphorus cruise and shopping tour
* All entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary
* Transportation in AC, non-smoking coach
* Professional English-speaking tour guides
* Departure transfer to Istanbul Ataturk airport

* Seasonal Supplements MAY apply
* Rates valid at time of quoting, and all subject to any exchange rate fluctuations, airlines and supplier rate changes and fuel levies.
* Please Note: Hagia Sophia is open every day, Topkapi Palace closed on Tuesdays, Grand Bazaar closed on Sundays.

* Seasonal Supplements MAY apply
* Rates valid at time of quoting, and all subject to any exchange rate fluctuations, airlines and supplier rate changes and fuel levies.
* Please Note: Hagia Sophia is open every day, Topkapi Palace closed on Tuesdays, Grand Bazaar closed on Sundays.

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Turkey aerial view of St. Sophia and Blue Mosque
Tureky elevated view of istanbul across the Bosphrus river
Turkey a suburban street view in Buyukada
Turkey Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise boat on the river iwth Istanbul in the background
Turkey view of a bridge over the Bosphorus River
Turkey interior view of the Grand Covered Bazaar
Turkey view of Istanbul across the Bosphorus
Turkey view of Topkapi Palace showing minarets and domes
Turkey view of Topkapi Palace with people sitting on benches in the gardens
Tureky across the Bosphorus showing the Blue Mosque and St. Sophia
Turkey view of Isanbul accross the Bosphorus
Turkey close up of interior of the Blue Mosque
Turkey Interior of St Sophia
Turkey inside the Imperial hall at Topkapi Palace
Turkey view of the entrance ot the Spice Bazaar
Turkey St. Sophia
Turkey view of Topkapi palace
Turkey Bosphorus-Cruise