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Istanbul's magical Blue Mosque area

Steep yourself in the multi-layered history and cultures of Istanbul with this fascinating tour of the city’s Blue Mosque area. Bursting with extraordinary buildings and stunning views at every turn, it lies at the heart of the city and is an essential destination for any visitor. Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans and modern-day Turks have all left their mark on this small part of the planet where Europe meets Asia, and this four-hour tour is the ideal way to tease apart some of the traces they have bequeathed us. Visit the extraordinary Hagia Sofia, one of the city’s must-see attractions. Famous for its massive dome, it was first a cathedral, then a mosque and finally a museum. Widely considered to be the epitome of Byzantine architecture, it was for almost a thousand years the largest cathedral in the world. Wander through lovely Sogukcesme Street, a tranquil, pedestrianised tree-lined thoroughfare with wooden, two and three-storey Ottoman houses dating back to the 19th century. This charming place is further enhanced by the tinkling fountain located towards one end. Other highlights of the tour include the Cafer Agha Medrese, designed by the great architect Mimar Sinan and now a centre for Turkish calligraphy and crafts, the Baths of Haseki Sultan and the House of Justinian. Make history come alive in the company of a knowledgeable guide with this absorbing journey into Istanbul’s past. Steep yourself in the multi-layered history and cultures of Istanbul with this fascinating tour of the city’s Blue Mosque area. Bursting with extraordinary buildings and stunning views at every turn, it lies at the heart of the city and is an essential destination for any visitor. Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans and modern-day Turks have all left their mark on this small part Meeting/pick-up point: Hotel lobby. Start/opening time:8-8.30pm. End/closing time: 12-12_30pm. Duration: 4 hours. Languages:English.