Day 2 : istanbul
Breakfast at Hotel. Travel through time on a full-day tour of Istanbul, and see the main monuments from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Following a pick-up from your hotel, transfer to the Hippodrome, site of major political life and sports activities during the Roman and Bzyantine Empires.
Marvel at the last remaining monuments at the complex, including the Obelisk from Egypt and the Serpentine Column from Delphi. Next, go to the Church of St. Sophia, also known as the /“Church of Holy Wisdom,/” and /“Hagia Sophia./” One of the world’s architectural masterpieces, the former church and mosque is now a museum of artifacts from Byzantium.
Continue to the Blue Mosque to see the city/’s icon up close. Famed for its stunning Iznik tiles, the building/’s graceful minarets can be seen from many points in the city. Next, explore the narrow lanes of the Grand Bazaar, the oldest and largest covered market in the world. Discover decorative jewelry, leather work, souvenirs and carpets in more than 4.000 shops.
Your next stop will be Topkapi Palace, former residence of the Ottoman sultans, now home to an exquisite collection of crystal, silverware, and Chinese porcelain, as well as robes worn by the sultans, and the jewels of the Imperial Treasury.
Then, head to Sultans Tombs. Made up of 5 tombs of the Ottoman Sultans, within the graveyard at St. Sophia, these ceramic panels are the most beautiful examples of the 16th century with purple, green, blue and red flower motives. The prince’s robes and a small piece from the Kaaba covers are displayed on the sarcophaguses. Please note, Sultans Tombs are closed on Monday and will be replaced with a visit to the Little Hagia Sophia Mosque. Overnight at hotel.