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Ottoman treasures of Istanbul

Duration: Approximately 7 Hours

Activity: Moderate

Venues visited: Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar

 

The Ottoman Treasures tour is designed to introduce to you the three most important highlights of the Ottoman era namely the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Grand Bazaar. Begin your day with a drive over the Golden Horn to the ancient city of Istanbul.  Your first visit will be the Hippodrome was the scene of countless political and military dramas, including the famous chariot races. Next stop will be the Mosque of Sultan Ahmed I, otherwise known as The Blue Mosque.  It is renowned for its architectural harmony, proportion and elegance, is unique as it is the only original mosque in the world with six minarets. Breathtaking stained-glass windows and graceful arabesques decorate this mighty structure.  The highlight of the tour will be Topkapi Palace with the Harem section included. Topkapi Palace is a great walled complex hugging the shores of the Bosphorus and Golden Horn and it was once the residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Mehmet II built the palace-city, home for three centuries of Sultans, in the mid-1400s as a summer palace. Topkapi was enlarged by Suleiman the Magnificent into the Sultan's principal residence and with the successive Sultans grew into a great complex of buildings set in lovely gardens. Conclude your day with a visit to one of the most colorful sites of Istanbul; the Grand Bazaar, the heart of commerce in Ottoman times.  The bazaar is composed of two sections; the covered part and the modern part. The covered part is a whole quarter on its own and is surrounded by a wall which can be entered through eleven gates. The maze of streets and lanes are one of the greatest sights in the city, where various trades such as carpets, jewelry, leather goods, silver; varieties of souvenirs, textile, antiques, and home textile are segregated into particular sections of the bazaar. You will have the chance to explore the exotic atmosphere of the covered part for a brief period of time. You will also have the opportunity to visit the open and modern section of the Grand Bazaar which offers the best artworks and most reliable shopping. During your time in the Grand Bazaar, you will be taken for a presentation on the unique art of Turkish carpets and will have plenty of time to shop. Free time for lunch will be provided.

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