Day 2 : ISTANBUL (Full day Old City Tour of Istanbul and Topkapi Palace) (B,L)
Breakfast at the hotel will be followed by a full day tour of Old City Istanbul and Topkapi Palace.
Meet you guide at the hotel reception at 10.00 am and drive to the Sultan Ahmet Center, the heart of the “Old City” from where the Byzantian and Ottoman Empires were ruled.
Visits will start with the Hippodrome, center of sportive (chariot races, athletics) events and political activities of the old city.
Obelisk of Theodosius, Serpentine Column and German Fountain of Wilhelm II are the monuments decorating Hippodrome.
Then visit The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, displaying art collection from different civilizations of Anatolia. Continue with the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Imperial Mosque), famous for its delicate blue ceramic tiles and then Saint Sophia (Aya Sofya), primarily a church – turned mosque – turned museum, which takes the breath away with the sheer architectural size of its interior and magnificent dome, constructed as a basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian.
Exploration of Istanbul's treasures continues with the visit to the bustling Grand Bazaar (Covered bazaar - Kapalicarsi), biggest “souk” in the World with its more than 4000 shops and stalls. Enjoy shopping for almost anything (jewelry, antiques, carpets, textile, garments, spices, souvenirs, etc.).
A light lunch at a Turkish Restaurant then afternoon visits will continue with the spectacular Topkapi Palace, imperial residence of Ottoman Sultans. Built on one of the seven hills of Istanbul, this huge complex commands the views of the Sea of Marmara, The Bosporus, and the Golden Horn. It was the seat of government for the Ottoman Empire for many centuries (1453-1852). Visit the extravagant Imperial Treasury, Sacred Islamic Relics of Prophet Mohammed, Sultan Portraits, Imperial Kitchen, where up to 800 cooks prepared as many as 6,000 meals a day with valuable collection of golden dining sets, the priceless Chinese and Japanese porcelain, Weapons and Armors Section, Calligraphy Section, and the Imperial Harem (extra) encompassing more than 400 rooms.
The tour will continue with the Sultan Tombs, there are five tombs of Ottoman Sultans within the graveyard at Hagia Sophia. The ceramic panels are the most beautiful examples of the 16th century with purple, red, green and blue flower motives. Prince robes and a small piece from the Kaaba covers are displayed on the sarcophaguses.
Return to hotel for an overnight stay.
Admission Ticket Included