Discovering the Sultanahmet Old City on foot is inspirational since it is a world of its own, overflowing with Turkish culture and the enchanting scents of layers of history, leaving one at peace. Istanbul has been the hero and subject of many poems, novels and movies since Istanbul is different in so many ways. The Hippodrome is the starting point for our tour on foot which will lead you to the historical peninsula that was the site of the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire and Ottoman Empire connecting Europe and Asia as a cradle of culture.
The Hippodrome was the site for politically important chariot and horse races during the Byzantine Empire period, as well as for revolts and gatherings, not to mention performances by musicians, belly dancers, and acrobats, and spectacles like wild animal fights.
Located on the historical peninsula of Istanbul, Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) is renowned as the largest and most important architectural example of classic style following that of Master Architect Sinan. It is adorned with the most exquisite Iznik tiles, the most significant aspect of the building in terms of art and architecture. The mosque is unique as it is the only mosque in Turkey with six minarets built by a sultan.
As soon as you step into Haghia Sophia, you will be immediately impressed by its gigantic, magnificent single dome. Haghia Sophia has been the world’s largest cathedral for over 1000 years. It was built in the 6th c. AD on the orders of Emperor Justinian, was used as a mosque by the Ottomans, and has hosted visitors since 1935 as a museum. It is a superb historical example in which one can see Eastern and Western cultures blended together.
Topkapi Palace, full of spectacular collections of art and historical artifacts, was the state headquarters for its central administration and home for Ottoman sultans for over 400 years. At one time, over 4000 people lived within its walls.
At the end of our tour, we will get lost in the labyrinthine streets at the Grand Bazaar and enjoy the historical and cultural atmosphere. Be prepared for the genuine and witty jokes of the salesmen as they spread their cheer.