Number of Days: 6
Tour Type: Guided by Key Tours (found on Groupon)
Total Cost: $999
Days 1–2: After touching down in Istanbul, an escort will accompany you to your hotel. That afternoon, you’re free to take in the city’s sights and sounds at your leisure. The following morning, you’ll embark on a sightseeing tour of Istanbul. Visit two of the world’s most exquisite places of worship: the Hagia Sophia, which has served as both a mosque and an Orthodox cathedral since its construction in the 6th century, and the Blue Mosque, known for six narrow minarets that flank its exterior and the 20,000 blue tiles that decorate its domes. You’ll also visit the Topkapi Palace. Built in the late 15th century, this grand labyrinthine structure was home to several sultans during the Ottoman Empire. Also on the docket is the Hippodrome of Constantinople, a former site of chariot races that now features Grecian, Egyptian, and German monuments. The day ends with a trip to the colorful Grand Bazaar.
Day 3: You can book an optional day tour and cruise the Bosporus, a sea strait that divides Istanbul and, consequently, the continents of Asia and Europe. You’ll sail past the Golden Horn, a peninsula that historically sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman ships for thousands of years.
Day 4: Today is yours for exploring. Recommended excursions include a trip to the top of Galata Tower, which has loomed above Istanbul’s skyline since 1348. Up top, you can admire unrivaled panoramic views of the city. Other possible outings include a visit to the renowned Spice Bazaar and the historic Old City.
Day 5: You can join an optional private tour of a trio of local museums known collectively as the Istanbul Archaeological Museums. The main Archaeological Museum houses the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great, whereas the Museum of the Ancient Orient contains an impressive collection of artifacts from the dawn of human civilization, including two Neo-Hittite basalt lions. The Museum of Islamic Art is best known for its Turkish carpets, calligraphy, and religious art.
Day 6: You’ll travel back to the airport on your own and board your flight home.
*Itinerary directly from Groupon
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