Guided tour

Istanbul: Topkapi, Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern Tour

4.9 / 5

29 reviews

Activity provider: Walks In Europe

Istanbul: Topkapi, Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern Tour

Activity provider: Walks In Europe
Save up to 15%

From US$ 78.09 US$ 66.38 per person

Enjoy a guided tour through the heart of Istanbul's old town, Sultanahmet, to see the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and Basilica Cistern. Gain priority admission, and skip the long lines.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Duration 4 - 5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Skip the ticket line
Live tour guide
German, English
Wheelchair accessible
Private group available


  • Visit the major highlights of historical Istanbul on a small group or private tour
  • See the world famous Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern
  • Learn about the Ottomans as you walk through the Topkapi Palace
  • Have the privilage of a professional and local guide for priority admission and skip-the-lines
  • Enter the Topkapi Palace Harem (if option selected)
Full description
Join a guided tour to discover Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, and the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. Benefit from priority admission at the museum ticket offices to skip the long lines and head in faster. Meet your guide in the Sultanahmet neighborhood at an easy spot and check out Istanbul's greatest monuments on a walking tour. Start with the Basilica Cistern, wander around the “Subterranean Palace” and learn about its history. See the underground pillars and learn about Byzantine architecture. Walk on the wooden walkways over the water until the famous upside-down Medusa heads. Next, visit the Hagia Sophia and witness the most significant site of the Greek Orthodox religion in Istanbul and learn how it was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople. Explore the stunning monument with elements of a mosque and a church standing next to each other. Admire the basilica’s stunning dome and minarets, and countless mosaics, paintings, and Roman columns. Learn how the impressive İznik tiles were added over time in the Mosque, how the stunning Virgin Mary mosaic was made, and why the Ottomans chose to bury their sultans in the courtyard. Continue to Topkapi Palace to explore the splendor of the Ottoman Empire. Discover the complex of buildings, pavilions, and courtyards was a self-contained city, which most inhabitants rarely left. Explore the outer-terraced gardens and admire the view over the Golden Horn. Visit the Harem ( if the option is chosen), ruled by the Queen Mother who wielded domestic and political power. The harem housed hundreds of women and family members as well as hundreds of eunuchs, who performed a wide range of duties. Admire cupboard doors inlaid with mother of pearl and tortoiseshell and stunning Iznik tiles with verses from the Quran. The tour ends with a visit to the holy relics and the imperial kitchens.
  • Skip-the-line ticket to Basilica Cistern
  • Skip the line ticket to Topkapi Palace
  • Visit Hagia Sophia (no ticket needed)
  • Professional licensed local guide
  • Small-group tour or a private walking tour (depending on option chosen)
  • Guided Walking tour
  • Guided visit of the Harem (if option selected)
  • Transportation to the meeting point

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Meet at the House of Medusa Restaurant in Sultanahmet

Open in Google Maps ⟶
Important information

What to bring

  • Headscarf

Not allowed

  • Shorts
  • Short skirts
  • Sleeveless shirts
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.9 /5

based on 29 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

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The tour is perfect to see all 3 sites, not too quickly but not too slowly either. We ended up being just us, and it was great as the guide also asked us what we like and tailored the tour to our interests. He was very knowledgeable and knew when and where to cut in the queue.

September 25, 2022

I had a private tour with excellent guide Çetin, he was very informative and answered all the questions. There were no large queues, but even when there were some, he made the fast track for us. He shared with many interesting historical facts and customized the tour according to my preferences. He also gave me some tips about Istanbul, where to get things that I needed. It was perfect, thank you

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September 6, 2022

We liked this tour a lot....It was really private as we had the guide for us alone. he was very knowledgable and social. he gave us good information about everything even about other sights. He was also not in a hurry and gave us time to discover everything. On his advice we also had a good lunch, he guided us to the best place to eat. we learned a lot about Topkapi and Hagia Sophia.....Yes We were both happy we booked this activity....

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July 31, 2022

Product ID: 176826