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Top Sites of Old Istanbul Tour - Small Group - Half Day Tour

The best choice for any first-timer, Top sites of Old Istanbul, is a Half-day, small group tour. Discover what has made Istanbul such a majestic and historically significant city by hitting all of the hot spots and then some!

Duration : 4 Hours

Group Size : 2 to 10 people

Starts : 10 am


  • Visit Blue Mosque, whose interior is covered in some of the most exquisite iznik tiles ever produced
  • Gain insights to history and culture from your local guide
  • Admire historical buildings on the shores
  • Explore the labyrinth that is the Grand Bazaar
  • Be stunned by stellar views of Istanbul and hear tales of both Byzantine and Ottoman drama and intrigue.


After meeting with your guide you will cover the sites below and the tour will end in Grand Bazaar
  • Hippodrome: The former center of sportive and political activities of Constantinople. You will be able to see the Obelisk from Egypt, Serpentine Column from Delphi, and fountain of Willhelm II.
  • Blue Mosque: One of the biggest mosques of Istanbul from 17th-century architecture is one of the principal adornments on the skyline of Istanbul. Also famous for its blue tiles and 6 minarets.
  • Basilica Cistern: The Basilica Cistern is one of Istanbul's most surprising tourist attractions. This huge, palace-like underground hall, supported by 336 columns in 12 rows, once stored the imperial water supply for the Byzantine emperors.
  • St. Sophia: The magnificent Byzantine Church of all times; one of the finest and largest architectural works of art in the world.  
  • Grand Bazaar: In addition to its historical importance, it's a bazaar that will tempt even the nonshoppers with its rich collection. ( on Sundays, Grand Bazaar is closed and  will be replaced with Spice Bazaar )
Please Note:
  • Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays and will be replaced with Spice Bazaar.
  • This tour involves entering Blue Mosque. Ladies and gentlemen are required to dress appropriately by covering their shoulders and ensure coverage past their knees. Ladies will need to cover their heads. Scarfs are available at the mosque, but feel free to bring your own scarf to use. 
Your guide can meet you at the meeting point where they will confirm the itinerary with you. You will then travel to the first attraction by walking. Travel to each attraction thereafter will be via walking as they are in close proximity to one another. Tour ends in Grand Bazaar and Sundays ends in Spice Bazaar. Your guide can describe to you how to go back to the hotel or anywhere you would like to go
Children Policy: Children aged 6 to 11 years are 15 Euros, we recommend parents of children under 6 years old to book a private tour, Children aged 12 and over are charged full price of 45 Euros

What is included

  • Licenced tour guiding
  • Entrance fees
  • Tea or Turkish Coffee
  • Foods and drinks
  • Gratuities to the tour guide


Group tour happens only in English language and this tour can be customized as private in the Spanish language too
Pudding Shop Lale Restaurant, 1 minute walking distance from the Sultanahmet tram station.
We recommend having pants or full-length skirts or dresses, with long sleeves. You should also have a scarf to cover your head. Please note: most mosques have clothes to cover and it is free of charge at entrances.
This tour can be booked as private for your party. Please contact us for further details

Meeting point

Pudding Shop Lale Restaurant at Sultanahmet


Leave a review

15 May 2021 - 10:01

Tripadvisor User KonstantineYelis

My girlfriend and I signed up for the small group half-day tour of the old city in Istanbul. We arrive at 9 am at our meeting spot and were greeted by our tour guide, who was also one of the owners of this company. It turned out that we were the only ones that signed up for this tour and ended up getting a private tour for the same price as the group tour. Despite no one else signing up, our tour guide was as enthusiastic and attentive as if there was a full group. He was friendly and fun. He was also a history student so his knowledge of the city was second to none. We started at the column which Constantine deemed to be the center of the world. We then went to the Aya Sofia, where we skipped the line (that's part of the package) and got a thorough tour (between 1-2 hours) of this incredible structure filled with plenty of interesting historical facts. We then took a small break and had some coffee at the café right outside. Our next stop was the Blue Mosque, where we again skipped the line. The guide's detailed knowledge of history was really impressive and we learned a great deal about all of the sites we visited, including the Blue Mosque. We then went to the ancient Hippodrome of Constantinople, followed by the underground Basilica Cistern, where we once again skipped a long line. The Cistern is another incredible and historic structure. Its main attractions where two Medusa column bases, which have an interesting story. Throughout the tour, the guide was friendly, carried a fun conversation, and was always asking us if we needed a break, something to eat, etc. After the Cistern, we went to the Grand Bazaar. There, the guide bought us (with his own money) some delicious Turkish pastries from one of the food vendors within the bazaar. He then took us to an outdoor shisha (hookah) and tea garden, where we ate our pastries, drank our tea, and smoked shisha, all of which was also included in the price of the tour. The tea garden may have only been part of our tour because it was just the three of us, but it still demonstrates the level of attention and care you get with this company. The guide then taught us how to navigate the metro, helped us buy metro passes, and gave us a detailed explanation of how to get on the ferry, how to take it to the Asian side of the city, and where to go for great food and views. All in all, this tour was above and beyond what we expected and gave us a real insider's view of the city, with plenty of perks along the way. I highly recommend this tour

15 May 2021 - 09:59

Tripadvisor User BandaAR

I'm wary of taking tours because they tend to be gimmicky and they try to sell you as much as they can from partners or affiliates. However, they can also be a great source of information when visiting historical sites, so as my first time in Istanbul I decided to find a guide. Emre is a down-to-earth and charismatic guide. He's very knowledgeable and he'll answer any questions you may have not just on history, but culture, religion, and customs. Although it was a group tour, it was just me and one other person for the half-day. Emre tailored our tour to see what we wanted to see, for example spending more time at the Süleymaniye mosque instead of the Grand Bazaar. He also offered advice for visiting other sites, like Topkapi, and recommendations for good street food. While you can't escape being a tourist, I highly recommend Real Istanbul Tours for a more authentic experience in Istanbul. Thanks, Emre!

15 May 2021 - 09:57

Tripadvisor User Snighda

Amazing experience, convenient local transportation was used which allowed us to save on time. Our tour was organized by Emre and our tour guide was Resul who was very flexible and informative. Since it was only two of us it was almost like a private tour since they agreed to change the starting time. Also, Resul was kind enough to drop us back to the nearest metro instead of leaving us in the grand bazaar after the finish of the tour!