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1 or 2 Days Private Guided Highlights of Istanbul Tour

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Istanbul, Turkey
1 or 2 Days Private Guided Highlights of Istanbul Tour

From $116.85 per group (up to 12)

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon8 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 3 more
Good for avoiding crowds


There’s so much to see and do in Istanbul, it can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. This private 1- or 2-day tour is the perfect way to maximize your time. Tick off top attractions such as Topkapi Palace; admire architectural wonders like the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia; cruise along the Bosphorus between Europe and Asia; and shop for souvenirs at the famous Grand Bazaar.
  • 1- or 2-day private tour of Istanbul’s highlights
  • Marvel at landmarks like Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sophia
  • Browse the vibrant stalls of the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar
  • Opt to tour Dolmabahce Palace or cruise along the Bosphorus
  • Get insider tips and recommendations from a local Istanbul guide
  • Great-value tour includes hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • This private tour can be customized to your interests and ensures you’ll receive personalized attention from your guide
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Professional guide
1 or 2 days (depending on option selected)
Private Tour
Food and drinks
1-way transportation ticket (costs 3 TL, the equivalent of roughly 1 EUR.
Overnight Accommodation
Landing and facility fees

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
Pick up from Taksim , Old City hotels
We do not meet at Asia , Airport hotels and located more than 15 km away from old city


  • Istanbul

Day 1

Your private tour of Istanbul begins with pick-up from your central Istanbul hotel by your local guide. Day one kicks off with a walking tour through Sultanahmet, the heart of historic Istanbul, and a visit to Hagia Sophia, one of Turkey’s most magnificent monuments. Head inside to explore the magnificent basilica-mosque that was once the world’s biggest church, and marvel at the Byzantine and Ottoman treasures housed in its museum.

A short walk from Hagia Sophia is the famous Sultanahmet Mosque, nicknamed the ‘Blue Mosque’ thanks to its striking blue tile mosaics. After admiring the lavish interiors of the Blue Mosque, continue to Topkapi Palace, where you can walk in the footsteps of the great Sultans, peek into the harem and relive the glory days of the mighty Ottoman Empire.

Make a stop for lunch (own expense), before exploring the Roman Hippodrome, which was built in 203AD, and marvel at ancient monuments like the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. Finally, make your way through the labyrinth stalls of the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handicraft shops selling everything from handmade carpets to Turkish coffee, the atmosphere is electric, and it's a great place to try out your bargaining skills. 

After a full day exploring the city, your guide will escort you back to your hotel.

Day 2

If you’ve chosen the 2-day tour, your guide will pick you up on the second morning and whisk you into the heart of the Spice Bazaar. You’ll learn how it’s also known as the Egyptian Market because Egyptian exports were sold there during the Ottoman era, as you browse the myriad stalls, heaped with colorful herbs, spices, nuts, and Turkish Delights.

Next, hop aboard for a scenic cruise between two continents, as you glide down the Bosphorus – the narrow strait between Europe and Asia that connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. Keep your camera close to hand, as your guide points out the grandiose Ottoman palaces, mosques, and monuments that line the waterfront, and enjoy a fresh perspective of the city.

Back on dry land, prepare to be impressed as you take a tour of the opulent Dolmabahce Palace, the 19th-century Ottoman palace that stands in a spectacular location along the Bosphorus.

Finally, get a taste of life in modern Istanbul as you visit the bustling Taksim Square, and walk down the busy shopping boulevard of Istiklal Street. At the end of Istiklal Street, arrive in the historic Galata district, where you can explore the cobbled lanes and quirky boutiques, or climb the Galata Tower for a stunning view over the city.

After a full day exploring the city, your guide will escort you back to your hotel.
Stop At:  
Hagia Sophia Mosque
It was largest church in the world, built in Byzantium Period
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Not Included
Stop At:  
Topkapi Palace
It was imperial ottoman Palace and housed for 25 Sultans in 400 years
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Not Included
Stop At:  
Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque is original named Sultanahmet Mosque built in otomdan period as imperial Mosque
Duration: 45 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
German Fountain
It is fountain present from Alman Kaiser to Ottoman Sultan
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
There are obelisk located from Byzantium period where used for horse races
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Kapali Carsi
It is from ottoman period largest bazaar in Istanbul , There are more than 4000 shops avaliable
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Taksim Square
Starting point of istiklal street , main square of modern city
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Dolmabahce Palace
The Palace has been used after Topkapi Palace , it is modern Palace with Europen style
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Not Included
Stop At:  
Istiklal Caddesi
It is modern city live area, 2 km shopping area
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Bosphorus Cruise
It is Europe to Asia both cost visit by ferry
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Not Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • The following attractions will be closed on Grand Bazaar Sundays, Topkapi Palace Tuesdays and Dolmabace Palace Mondays and Thursdays. If the museum is closed on your chosen day, the local supplier will move the itinerary to the next available day. If not, they will replace the tour with a trip to the underground cistern or Galata tower
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • OPERATED BY Booking Guide Turkey
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during 1 or 2 Days Private Guided Highlights of Istanbul Tour?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by 1 or 2 Days Private Guided Highlights of Istanbul Tour.
What is the policy on sanitization during 1 or 2 Days Private Guided Highlights of Istanbul Tour?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by 1 or 2 Days Private Guided Highlights of Istanbul Tour.
What is the social distancing policy during 1 or 2 Days Private Guided Highlights of Istanbul Tour?
A:The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by 1 or 2 Days Private Guided Highlights of Istanbul Tour.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during 1 or 2 Days Private Guided Highlights of Istanbul Tour?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by 1 or 2 Days Private Guided Highlights of Istanbul Tour.

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27 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-8 of 27 reviews
A worthwhile adventure
, Oct 2021
I liked the Spice Bazaar and Grand Bazaar best, the Palaces and Mosques were ok but I had furniture overload before the winding path through the Palace allowed an exit. Our guide was wonderful, young, energetic, personable, knowledgeable, flexible, and downright nice. We did a LOT of walking and Istanbul is quite hilly so bring comfortable walking shoes and expect full days.
2 day guided tour with Saban
, Oct 2021
Our guide Saban was absolutely amazing and a pleasure to spend time with. Saban was very patient and guided us strategically through the city. He was extremely knowledgeable about Turkish history and all the key sites we visited. Thank you Saban for a memorable experience! Love from Houston! - Steph
Great 2 days in Istanbul
, Sep 2021
Saban was our tour guide for two days of all the top sights in Istanbul. We were short on time and he helped us make the most of our time and adapt the tour to see the sights we were most interested in. He arrived on time both days. Meeting us at our airBNB location and walking us to where our driver was waiting, the transport alone saved us valuable time between some of the further sights. He has been a guide for 11 yrs and was very knowledgeable on the history of Istanbul and helped us skip the line at several museums. Over all he was a friendly and super patient guide that kept us moving, but allowed is to take more time as needed without feeling rushed. I highly recommend this tour and especially Saban.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Excellent Tour of Istanbul
, Mar 2021
Naci Sakarya was my tour guide. He was simply amazing! The best tour of my life and I do travel frequently to many destinations. The tour was organized and every detail was carefully planed by Naci to meet and exceed all my expectations. His approach is very unique. He offers great historical and deep cultural experience. He asks for feedback and makes changes to best meet his clients needs. During the tour, I felt as I was with a local friend who desperately wanted me to have the experience of my life. He introduced me to various shop owners and local professionals. Everyone was friendly and welcomed me to their establishments. I will be returning to Turkey in few months and I will be asking for Naci. I highly recommend Naci as a tour guide and Turkey as a travel destination.
One day tour
, Feb 2020
Our guide was wonderful! He was very knowledgeable and we learned so much history of Turkey. We enjoyed the day and would highly recommend this tour!
icon Response from Host , Sep 2020
Great to see that you had perfect time! Thank you for sharing your experience
, Jul 2018
Our tour guide was exceptional. He was well mannered and knew about the history of all the attractions. He was very flexible with time but at the same time very prompt. I highly recommend Mr. Ismail as a tour guide. He is very kind and a gentleman as well. You will be in great hands and don’t have to worry about anything. If I go back to Istsnbul again, I would hire him again!!!
I did the 1-Day Private Guided Tour...
Lauren S
, Feb 2017
I did the 1-Day Private Guided Tour in Istanbul. I was traveling by myself, and even though I'm a seasoned traveler, I do not speak Turkish and it was my first time to Turkey. My guide picked me up promptly he was actually a little early! at 9:00 AM and we set off in a taxi to Old Town. I will note that you should read the description carefully - you are responsible for all transportation to the sites, as well as all tickets to the sites. The way my guide did it, he had gotten the tickets in advance and I paid him at the conclusion of our trip. We started our day at the Hippodrome and from there walked to the Blue Mosque. Note: if you are a woman, you have to have the proper covering head shawl and NO pants - not even long ones - you must have a long skirt, but it is provided for free by the mosque. After touring the Mosque, we walked to the Hagia Sofia, followed by the Topkapi Palace. We stopped for lunch in the palace before we went to a local and certified rug business. The business was a nice chance to sit, learn about the rugs, enjoy Turkish coffee, and see various rugs. You are not required to buy there, and I found it a nice way to do the rug experience in Istanbul. Finally, we stopped at the Egyptian Spice Market before heading back to the hotel, arriving around 4:00 PM. Note: The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays, when I did my tour, so we did not tour that. I did it the next day and it is not necessary to have a guide. Overall, my guide was very knowledgeable, helpful, and I enjoyed our day. My only complaint is about the pricing - this was a steep cost to pay for a day long tour, especially when there were additional costs. But for a single female traveler, this was a great way to feel comfortable touring Istanbul.
Had a 24-hour stopover in Istanbul...
, Dec 2016
Had a 24-hour stopover in Istanbul so I chose the 2-day tour first evening and following morning and afternoon. Communication was excellent from the start. They customized our trip to exactly what we wanted. Saban, our tour guide, was incredible. He made sure our every whim was catered to. Anything we wanted or needed, he had the answer. Saban took us to world-class dining, ancient sites, and spectacular markets. I felt like we got a good overview, despite our short stop. He was punctual and patient, great with kids, and very knowledgeable. We continued our vacation visiting three other countries, yet our visit to Istanbul was the highlight of our trip. I highly recommend this tour.

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