Private Walking Tour of Sultanahmet, Istanbul > Full Day


Private Full Day Tour of Istanbul Old City

Private Walking Tour of Sultanahmet (Istanbul Old City) by Serhat

Istanbul’s most popular attraction for tourists is definitely Sultanahmet area, the center of the empires. Beyoglu (Galata and Taksim), Bosphorus, Fener-Balat (Old Greek and Jewish Quarters) come second as the things to do.

In this article, we will take a look at the bestselling tours and their contents. There are some important places that may be missed because they are not typically involved in tour packages in Istanbul. I will let you know about those so that you won’t miss them.

Private Walking Tour of Sultanahmet Old City

This is by far the bestselling and common tour. It is easy to see one attraction over another by walking and discover 2600 years old history of Istanbul. Duration of the tour is 6 to 8 hours.

Full Day Istanbul Old City Tour

  • Hagia Sophia
  • Blue Mosque
  • Topkapı Palace
  • Hippodrome
  • Basilica Cistern
  • Grand Bazaar

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia was built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian as a church in 537. After serving as a church for 900 years, this building was converted to mosque when the city was captured by the Ottomans in 1453 and served as a mosque for 500 years.

It was eventually converted into a museum during the Republican times and now is open to all visitors as a unique structure blended with two Abrahamic religions.

Hagia Sophia

Blue Mosque

It is the most visited mosque among all other mosques in Istanbul. It owes its fame to blue and unique Iznik tiles inside. It was built in 1616.

Private Walking Tour of Sultanahmet
Private walking tour of Sultanahmet

Sultanahmet Mosque or Blue Mosque

Topkapı Palace

After Ottomans captured Istanbul, they needed a palace; that is why, they built this palace over Byzantium which was the first settlement in Istanbul, dating back to 638 BC.

Topkapı Palace in which Ottomans Sultans accommodated for 400 years and Harem inside the palace are impressive as well as mystical. Topkapı Palace feels like another city covered with walls due to its huge dimensions.

Topkapı Palace


It was built by Roman emperor Constantine. 3500 years old Egyptian Obelisque, the oldest historical monument in Istanbul, is located at the very center of Hippodrome. Hippodrome was a center of entertainment during Roman and Byzantine times thanks to Chariot Races inside.


Basilica Cistern

It is a 1500 years old water reservoir. It was built to fulfill the water requirement of The Great Palace by Emperor Justinian. It provides a magical atmosphere due to 336 ancient Greek columns gathered from the ruins of Greek colony Byzantium.

Basilica Cistern

Cost of Full Day Walking Tour in Istanbul

Average rate for a full day tour is 180 EURO (total price up to 4 people) Please consider that it’s a private guided tour and there will be just you! You may also check Half Day Tour option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Museum entrance fees are not included in the price. You will need to pay 72 Turkish Lira for Hagia Sophia + 72 Turkish Lira for Topkapi Palace + 20 Turkish Lira for Basilica Cistern. Museums are free for the guides.

Transportation is not needed for this tour. We meet at the Sultanahmet Tram Station which is just next to Blue Mosque and Hippodrome. This is a private walking tour.

Summarizing The History of Istanbul

I use maps and visuals to help you understand the diverse history of Istanbul. I provide detailed information about Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods.

I share my history knowledge in an entertaining way. It’s the distinguishing feature of my tours. You may also check my TripAdvisor reviews to see what people think about my service.

Private Walking Tour of Sultanahmet > Full Day Old City Tour

By Licensed Tour Guide Serhat Engul

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Whats App Available: +90 532 256 93 12

You may also fill up the form on our contact page.

What to Do Next? 2nd Day Itinerary

When you finish exploring the Sultanahmet area, there are a lot of other things to do. Here are the most common things as alternatives.

2nd Full-Day Tour of Istanbul

  • Bosphorus Cruise Tour
  • Spice Bazaar
  • Dolmabahce Palace
  • Suleymaniye Mosque
  • Walls of Constantinople (from inside the taxi)
  • Chora Church

OR this may be slightly different alternative

  • Bosphorus Cruise Tour
  • Spice Bazaar
  • Dolmabahce Palace
  • Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
  • Valens Aqueduct (from inside the taxi)
  • Suleymaniye Mosque

  • Bosphorus Cruise Tour

Bosphorus tour comes on top among things to do in Istanbul. Istanbul Strait has historically been an important channel because it provided key access from Black Sea to open seas. You will understand during your tour why Istanbul served as capital to Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.

It is exciting to see elegant mosques, palaces, castles and mansions alongside the seashore. The most expensive houses in Istanbul are located on seashore of Bosphorus. The most luxurious and popular districts are typically located near Bosphorus.

Bosphorus Cruise Tour

  • Spice Bazaar

Spice Bazaar is typically included in Bosphorus tours because it is close to the harbor. Hundreds of years old Spice Bazaar is one of Istanbul’s oldest and most popular shopping centers together with Grand Bazaars.

Spice Bazaar

  • Dolmabahce Palace

Topkapi Palace at Sultanahmet remained as the main palace for almost 400 years. However, Dolmabahce Palace built in 1856 by Sultan Abdulmecid’s order, served the same function in the last 70 years of the empire.

Dolmabahce Palace was built by the palace’s architects, Balyan Family (with Armenian origins), in the 19th century according to the modern protocol rules and in a European style.

Istanbul Tours by Serhat Engul

Dolmabahce Palace

  • Suleymaniye Mosque

It was built in the name of Suleiman the Magnificent who is regarded as the greatest ruler of the Ottoman Empire. Sultan Suleiman and his wife Hurrem Sultan’s (also known as Roxelana) tombs are in the yard of this mosque.

Suleymaniye Mosque oversees the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. Therefore, the sea view from its outer yard is amazing. Both the mosque’s yard and interior were designed in a simple way, but it is huge in terms of its size.

Istanbul old city tour

Suleymaniye Mosque

  • Chora Church

Byzantine Empire was a very advanced civilization in terms of religious-themed mosaics and iconography. Although some of the icons, mosaics, and frescoes from the Byzantines are displayed at Hagia Sophia, the most well-preserved works are at Kariye Museum (Also known as Chora Church)

The scenes from the Bible decorates the walls and the ceilings of the museum. Virgin Mary’s life is depicted on the inner hall while the birth and life of Jesus Christ is depicted on the outer hall. This mosaic series made in the 14th century is literally unique. Chora Church is one of the best places to visit in Istanbul in term of religious history.

Chora Church

  • Fener Greek Orthodox Church

Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople was the strongest leader of Eastern Christianity when the Byzantine Empire was at its strongest times, so much so that, the Patriarch would crown emperors and he would be deeply respected.

The Patriarchal Church of St. George is a small and beautiful church in the garden of the Istanbul Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. The wood carved and gold foiled altar in the center of the church is spectacular.

Fener Greek Orthodox Church

Recommended on TripAdvisor

private walking tour of Sultanahmet Old City

Recommended on TripAdvisor

Other Recommended Tours

Written by Serhat Engul

Istanbul Full Day Old City (Sultanahmet) Tour


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