Upon arrival in Istanbul, you will be met by a Ya’lla Tours USA representative and transferred to your hotel for overnight.
Visit the Blue Mosque OR the Rustem Pasa Mosque.* Then stroll around the historical Hippodrome where chariot races were held.
Continue to St. Sophia, originally a Christian Basilica built by the emperor Justinian in the 6th century then converted to a mosque during the Ottoman Empire. See the beautiful mosaics on display at the museum. Visit Topkapi Palace, legendary residence of the Ottoman Sultans.
Lunch en route. Enjoy free time to explore the exhilarating bazaar of Istanbul.
Return to your hotel for overnight.
Visit the Egyptian Bazaar, used as the spice market since 1665. Next, board the ferry which crosses the Bosphorus, visiting both Europe and Asia, with stops en route to take photos of the natural beauty. Sites along the way include the 15th century Rumelihisar fortress, summer palaces and the unique wooden houses of the area. Drive by coach via the Intercontinental Bosphorus Bridge to Camlica Hill on the Asian side to see the breathtaking view of Istanbul. Visit the Beylerbeyi Palace, the summer residence of Ottoman Sultans, with original furniture and magnificent gardens.
Lunch en route.
Return to Istanbul and your hotel for overnight.
You will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight.
*Crowds at the Blue Mosque are making visits increasingly difficult. Often the wait just to enter is over an hour. On very busy days (Fridays are especially bad) we will substitute the Rustem Pasa Mosque for the Blue Mosque. Although far less famous, Rustem Pasa is an exceedingly beautiful