Capital of Two Empires Shore Excursion Detail
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Activity Level
  • 4.5/5 Stars.
(2 Reviews)
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Port: Istanbul, Turkey
Approx. Duration: 7 hours
Adult Pricing: $119*
Child Pricing: $79*
*Prices vary by sail date.
rollover for activity details:
Cultural/Educational:
  • 4.5/5
Cultural:
  • 5.0/5
Entertaining:
  • 3.5/5
Historical:
  • 5.0/5
The Ottomans and Byzantines ruled this city for centuries and testament to these great empires stand the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. You’ll visit these two impressive landmarks, in addition to the Basilica Cistern and the Grand Bazaar.
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Capital of Two Empires

The Ottomans and Byzantines ruled this city for centuries, and testament to these great empires stand the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, opposite each other in Sultanahmet Square. You’ll visit these two impressive landmarks of Istanbul as well as the Basilica Cistern and the Grand Bazaar. Start with a visit to one of the most recognized landmarks in the world, the Mosque of Sultan Ahmet, better known as the Blue Mosque because of the over 21,000 blue-green Iznik tiles used for its interior decoration.


Continue to the Hippodrome, to see the remains of what was once the scene for political struggles in the capital city of the Byzantine Empire. Visit the Hagia Sophia, a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. It served as a church for hundreds of years during the Byzantine Empire and was converted to a Mosque when the city was conquered by the Ottomans in 1453. Here, you’ll find evidence of both. Continue to the great Byzantine Basilica Cistern, located across from Hagia Sophia. You might think that having so many breathtaking sites to visit above ground leaves no need to go under. But you’ll soon discover why this visit is worth every minute.


Next stop is the Grand Bazaar. You’ll have a short time to experience the exotic atmosphere of the covered part. Then visit the open and modern section, where you’ll enjoy local snacks and a presentation of carpets, leather or jewelry, followed by time for shopping. You’ll also have free time for lunch at your own expense during the tour and you’ll find many choices nearby.


Note: Expect differences in tour durations due to traffic conditions. Participants are required to remove their shoes in order to enter the Blue Mosque. As this tour visits a place of worship, please dress respectfully: no bare shoulders or exposed knees. Should the Blue Mosque be closed to visitors due to religious festivities, you’ll visit another historical mosque. On Sundays, the Grand Bazaar closes and only the shops of the outer bazaar remain open, therefore the visit to the Grand Bazaar may be replaced with the Spice Bazaar. The "Gallery" section of the Hagia Sophia and the "Harem" section of Topkapı Palace are not included, however may be visited during free time. There is approximately 1 1/2 miles of walking over uneven surfaces and some inclines and steps on this tour. This tour will be subject to national and religious festive days due to the closure of the sites and venues during the month of Ramadan, including the Festival Period of Ramadan. Tour is not offered on day one of Norwegian Jade winter sailings.
Activity Level
  • 4.5/5 Stars.
(2 Reviews)
Write a Review
Port: Istanbul, Turkey
Approx. Duration: 7 hours
Adult Pricing: $119*
Child Pricing: $79*
*Prices vary by sail date.
rollover for activity details:
Cultural/Educational:
  • 4.5/5
Cultural:
  • 5.0/5
Entertaining:
  • 3.5/5
Historical:
  • 5.0/5

  1. Tours with this activity level involve walking over relatively level terrain, possibly some cobblestone, gravel, or a few steps. Comfortable shoes are recommended.
  2. Tours with this activity level involve a considerable amount of physical activity such as substantial walking over cobblestone streets, uneven or steep terrain, climbing stairs, or extended periods of standing. Not recommended for guests with physical limitations. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended.
  3. Tours with this activity level involve physical exertion for extended periods of time; can involve uneven or steep terrain or swimming in a light current. Recommended only for physically fit and adventurous travelers.