Arrival and transfer to hotel.
Hippodrome; once, center of horse races, chariot rallies and Byzantine civic life. Today only remain three monuments: The Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column and the column of Constantine. Blue Mosque; with its harmonious cascade of cupolas and six minarets, is certainly one of the most majestic and elegant mosques of Istanbul. Saint Sophia; built in IV. Century, the basilica of St. Sophia* is unquestionably one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture, with its immense dome and beautifully preserved Byzantine mosaics. Topkapi Palace**; residence of the Sultans during the Ottoman Empire, today is one of the richest museums in the world, with priceless jewels, thrones, tiles, collections of porcelains and sacred relics. Grand Bazaar***; covered Bazaar, known worldwide, is a real shopping paradise with its more than 4000 shops.
Departure from the hotel. A short walk through the Spice Market (Egyptian Market) will take you into the colorful atmosphere of various shops selling every kind of spices. Then take a boat for a cruise along the Bosphorus, the strait which divides the two continents, Asia and Europe. You will enjoy the amazing beauty of old palaces, wooden houses, splendid villas. In the afternoon we will cross the Intercontinental Bosphorus Bridge by bus to reach the Asiatic side. Visit the Beylerbeyi Palace****, summer residence of the Ottoman Sultans and arrive at Camlica Hill or “Lovers’ Hill”, famous for its impressive panoramic view over the Bosphorus and the European side of the city.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and flight to your next destination.
*St. Sophia is closed on Mondays and will be substituted by the Underground Cistern.
**Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays.
***Grand Bazaar is closed on SUNDAYS and on religious holidays.
****Beylerbeyi Palace is closed on Mondays and Thursdays.