Istanbul Old City Tour will make you discover the wonders of Sultanahmet, the historical peninsula of Istanbul where for thousands of years great empires have flourished. Riding our bikes in the ancient Constantinople we will see mosques, palaces, churches, parks and traditional districts (historical areas of Istanbul is a part of World Heritage Site of UNESCO since 1985). Besides seeing the most iconic monuments we will gain an insight of Istanbul’s daily life, discovering some aspects of the city which tourists normally don’t get to see.
During our bike tours, all places in the tour itinerary will only be seen from outside. If you plan to make interior visits to the historical monuments and to get more detailed information, you can prefer Old City Combo Tour by bike (it takes about 8 hours). Furthermore, if you wish to make this tour by walk or by car, we recommend you to book city tours organised by our official travel agency, Tourever Travel.
For further information you can contact via mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The tour starts from our meeting point located in Balat district and draws a circle route in the old city.
- Fener Orthodox Patriarchate & Church of St. George
- Fener Greek Orthodox College
- Rustem Pasha Mosque
- New Mother Mosque
- Spice Bazaar
- Galata Bridge
- Galata Tower
- Sirkeci Train Gar (Terminal)
- Gulhane Park
- Topkapi Palace
- Hagia Sophia Mosque
- Hurrem Sultan Turkish Bath
- Blue Mosque
- Basilica Cistern
- Hippodrome of Constantinople
- Theodosian city walls
- Valens Acquaducts
- Sehzadebasi Mosque
- Suleymaniye Mosque
Monuments will be seen only from outside
The route may be subject to change depending on traffic, weather conditions and other factors.
Duration: 4 hrs. approx.
Distance: 20 km approx.
Difficulty level: Challenging
Included: Guide service, rent a bike, helmets
Not included: Lunch
DESCRIPTION OF ITINERARY
We start our tour in a historical neighborhood, Balat. You will see churches, synagogues and mosques side by side and see impressive sights of religious co-existence dating back centuries ago.
2. Rustem Pasha Mosque
The way to Rustem Pasha Mosque is all downhill. This beautiful mosque, another masterpiece of Sinan, was built for the Grand Vizier Damat Rustem Pasha, husband of a daughter of Suleiman the Magnificent.
Here your sight embraces some outstanding monuments: the Galata Bridge, the New Mosque, the Spice Bazaar and on the opposite shore of the Golden Horn, the district of Beyoglu.
4. Sirkeci Terminal
The point of arrival of the famous Orient Express, the passenger railway line which from 1883 to 1977 linked Paris and Istanbul. Built by a Prussian architect, the terminal building is a striking example of European Orientalism.
5. Gulhane Park
Gulhane Park, an oasis of peace in bustling Istanbul. The park, which extends over the slope of Topkapi Palace, used to be the private garden of the Sultans. Leaving the park on our right we can catch a glimpse of the Sublime Porte, the former gate of the Grand Vizier’s residence.
6. Topkapi Palace
We reach the imposing gate of Topkapi Palace, for nearly 400 years the magnificent residence of the Sultans from which they ruled the empire.
7. Hagia Sophia Mosque
8. Sultanahmet Square
A short ride and we get to Sultanahmet Square. Here we are just in the middle of two authentic wonders: Hagia Sophia Museum and the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque), heritage and symbols of two great civilizations standing aside each other.
We run the full lap of the Hippodrome, just like the Roman horsed-chariot used to. As we do so we can admire the mystic obelisks which stand out in Istanbul’s sky, adding a touch of mystery to it.
10. Grand Bazaar
Next stop is the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest closed markets in the world. Here one can lose himself in the maze of galleries and bargain for handmade carpets and antiques.
11. Suleymaniye Mosque
Some more thrusting on the pedals and we reach the impressive Suleymaniye Mosque, the masterpiece of Mimar Sinan, the greatest architect of Ottoman time. The mosque (1558), the grandest of the city, testifies the splendors reached by the Ottoman Empire under Suleiman’s reign. The view of the city from here is magnificent just like the epithet of the great sultan.
12. Aqueduct of Valens
The silhouette of the massive Aqueduct of Valens awaits us as we climb up the hill.