ISTANBUL CIRCLE offers MINDFUL ISTANBUL TOUR mostly for the first time visitor preferably who has short time in Istanbul. I crafted this tour upon trusting my two decades old experience of guiding and accumulated information about late Ottoman period monuments. The first and second hill of Constantinople have the major sites that everyone shall see once in a lifetime.

After starting from station our direction will be Sublime Gate, where was the primeminister office of Ottoman Turks, is located across Alay Pavilion where sultans used to greet the army before an expedition. Thru Gulhane, First Courtyard of Topkapi Palace, iconic Soğukçeşme street, five hundred years old Sinan the Great’s work Cafer Aga Medrese are notable places in our route where you will listen st(hd)ories about. Optional Basilica Cistern visit may take up to half an hour. 1500 years old Basilica Cistern is the biggest underground water reservoir ever built also used as cinema platform for worldwide famous movies. Next is the social center of Eastern Romans, Hipodrome with obelisks and columns witnessed the massacre of 30.000 people in 532. Then its architectural elements is recycled for the grotesque Blue Mosque. This complex comes alive with its dramatic story belong Sultan Ahmet I. The final visit of this half day tour is Hagia Sophia, the first cathedral of Christendom. We will interprete tje monument with the aspects of history, religion and architecture. Hagia Sophia’s visiting time depends on prayer time schedule. Waiting in que is possible. Decent dress code for everyone and scarf for the women are recommended. Later walk thru Constantin Column square in Çemberlitaş tour may end here to have some time in the bazaar or strech downhill to Spice Market zone, where used to be the main port of the city. Tour ends in Orient Express Train Station as started in morning.

Please note that you can combine this tour with Short Bosphorus Cruise or Grand Bazaar Circle with/out the rooftop of Grand Bazaar.

Meeting and drop in Orient Express Train Station.