Walking Tour of Highlights in Istanbul – Day 1

Istanbul has such a diverse and rich history. It has been the capital of three great empires; the Roman, Byzantine and the Ottoman. Although it is not the official capital anymore, it is still the cultural capital of the country.

Visitors would need many days to explore Istanbul.

For those visitors who are coming to Istanbul for the first time, I would recommend the first day of sightseeing with visits to the highlights of Istanbul as follows:

  1. Hagia Sophia(Closed on Monday)
  2. Topkapi Palace Museum (Closed on Tuesday)
  3. A Classical period Imperial Mosque (Süleymaniye, Blue Mosque or Yeni Cami)
  4. Grand Bazaar (Closed on Sunday)

Let me remind you that ladies are required to wear scarves and decent clothing during mosque visits.

These places can be changed with alternative sites according to pacing, special requests or interests of visitors.

Closed sites will be replaced by other highlights.


  • See the remnants of the three great empires together on the same tour.
  • Experience the religious, administrative and social aspects of history together.
  • Learn about all these places from Serif Yenen, who is the author of one of the best cultural guidebooks of Turkey: Turkish Odyssey.
  • Serif will give you an orientation and overview on the map.
  • No crowds, no queues! Authorized professional tour guides have priority ticket booths. This is not valid at the Blue Mosque.
  • You can ask all the questions you like.
  • You can bring your children. As a father of three children, I will find a way to approach to them.
  • Serif will recommend you good local restaurants.
  • Only if there is interest, Serif will provide personal shopper services ensuring hassle-free purchasing and fair prices.
  • In the Grand Bazaar, go to the backstreets and some specialty stores which you would not find by yourself easily.

What is Included

  • Guiding services of Serif Yenen.
  • Serif will meet you at the lobby of your hotel.
  • Complimentary copies of some of Serif’s publications.
  • Tea break.