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Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

Spice Bazaar, Istanbul: Our most recommended tours and activities

Istanbul: 1-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour with Commentary

1. Istanbul: 1-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour with Commentary

Explore the beautiful city of Istanbul at your own pace with this hop-on-hop-off bus ticket including audio commentary in 8 languages. Your ticket is valid for 1 day and will let you spend more time discovering the highlights that most interest you. Jump aboard your double decker bus and enjoy a tour designed for those who want flexibility during their sightseeing exploration of Istanbul. With additional commentary from your audioguide, you will learn interesting facts about key sights whilst savoring delicious complimentary snacks on board. During the route you can stop at locations like Sultanahmet Square, Eminönü, Karaköy, Galataport, Dolmabahçe Palace, Naval Museum, Beylerbeyi Palace, Taksim Square, Beşiktaş Bazaar, Şişhane, and Egyptian Spice Bazaar.

Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

2. Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

Discover Istanbul's most iconic sights on a van tour. Listen to your guide recount tales of the city's colorful past as you pass by landmarks such as the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, and Hippodrome. Round off the experience with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest covered markets in the world. Start your tour at the Hippodrome of Constantinople, which was the sports and social center of the old city. Discover major artworks including the Obelisk from Egypt, the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the fountain of Willhelm II. Then, continue to the Blue Mosque, whose 6 minarets adorn Istanbul’s skyline. Next up is the Topkapi Palace, which was home to Ottoman emperors between the 15th and 19th centuries. Marvel at the jewel-stuffed treasury, the Ottoman Empire's imperial collections, and priceless displays of Oriental porcelain. If the Topkapi Palace is closed on your trip date, you'll visit the Nakkas Cistern instead. Continue to the Hagia Sophia Mosque, a monument of equal significance to the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Behold the dome and stunning mosaics of this architectural gem as your guide recounts its turbulent history. Then, enter the Grand Bazaar with over 3,000 shops selling everything from carpets to jewelry to ceramics and leather goods. Take a stroll around the Spice Bazaar and soak in the aroma of different spices, dried fruits, nuts, sweets, and lokum (Turkish Delights).

Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour with Hotel Transfer

3. Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour with Hotel Transfer

Explore Istanbul on a guided tour. Choose from a 1-day tour to top attractions like the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace, or a 2-day tour with a cruise on the Bosphorus straight and a visit to the Dolmabahce Palace and Istiklal Street. Pick from a walking tour or a driving tour.  Day 1 – Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar Explore the highlights of Istanbul on this private full-day walking tour that covers the major attractions, from the Hagia Sophia Museum to the iconic Blue Mosque, to the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, to the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. The excursion starts with a pick-up from your Istanbul hotel and a walk through the lively streets of Turkey’s largest city to visit the dramatic former basilica of the Hagia Sophia, a great architectural beauty and an important monument during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. For many centuries, this was the largest church in the world, and it still holds the position for the 4th largest dome. Dedicated to the Hagia Sophia or 'divine wisdom', it is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Move on to the Blue Mosque, officially known as the Sultanahmet Mosque. The mosque’s striking blue tiles give it its more common name and make it one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions. Located close to Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque was considered the Supreme Imperial Mosque in Istanbul. Continue to Topkapi Palace, a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. The former palace boasted a population of about 4,000 people at its peak and was home to 25 sultans over a period of 400 years.  Located on a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn, it sits in tranquil gardens that provide shade from the blazing heat of the summer. Pop into the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. Visit the Hippodrome, the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. See the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column, the 3 remaining monuments from the original building. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. Complete your day with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handicraft shops selling everything from handmade carpets to Turkish coffee, the atmosphere is electric, and it's a great place to try out your bargaining skills. Day 2 – Spice Bazaar, Bosphorus cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Istiklal Street, Taksim The spice bazaar is located in Fatih. It's known as the Egyptian Market because, during the Ottoman period, Egyptian exports were sold there.  The Bosphorus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia that connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. Rumeli and Anadolu Fortresses are located at the narrowest point of the Bosphorus and there are magnificent Ottoman palaces and mosques along the Bosphorus. Keep an eye out for them. Built in the 19th century, Dolmabahce Palace was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and housed some of the last Ottoman Sultans. The palace site was created by filling in the small bay on the Bosphorus. This gave rise to its name, in Turkish, Dolma means 'filled' or 'stuffed,' and bahce means 'garden'. Istiklal Street is brimming with life. There, you'll find a plethora of shops, restaurants, and bars. From there, it is a 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area.

Istanbul: Customizable Private Tour with Guide and Transport

4. Istanbul: Customizable Private Tour with Guide and Transport

Spend the day with a private bilingual tour guide and explore the many delights of Istanbul. With private transportation, choose the places you want to visit, and experience Istanbul at your own pace. The tour runs from 09:00 to 17:00, and during this time your personal and professional guide will provide you with fascinating stories and facts behind some of the most famous landmarks and attractions in the city. Cruise along the Bosphorus, soak up the bustling atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar, or breathe in the heady aromas of the Spice Bazaar. Marvel at the Blue Mosque, and see the brilliant Byzantine Hagia Sophia. This tour is tailor made to your interests and passions and is conducted in the language of your choice. Relax in good company, and get a feel for this unusual city within which the flavors and architecture of the orient meets the sophistication of Europe. Hotel pick-up and drop-off is included.

Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Customizable Guided Tour

5. Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Customizable Guided Tour

Explore Istanbul according to your own interests on a tailor-made sightseeing tour. Meet your guide at your hotel or port and work together to create an itinerary that suits you best, leaving you satisfied that you have seen all of Istanbul. On 1st day, marvel at monuments from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, such as Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia and Byzantine Cistern. On 2nd day, take the public ferry to Bosphorus to see both Istanbul’s European and Asian sides. From here, visit Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal Street, Galata area and the Spice Market. On 3rd day, guide takes you on a walk through the streets of Fener-Balat neighboorhood. Enjoy a cable car ride and soak up views of Pierre Loti Hill, then visit Iron Church, and see the Suleymaniye Mosque. You can create your own itinerary with your tour guide on tour day, to have an idea, here you can see our suggested tour itineraries are below; Day 1 - Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome Square, Byzantine Cistern, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Irene Church, Sogukcesme Street, Grand Bazaar Day 2 - Spice Market, Bosphorus Cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal Street, Cicek Passage, Galata Tower (from outside) Day 3 - Suleymaniye Mosque, Fener and Balat Districts, St. Stephen Church (Iron Church), Pierre Lotti Panoramic Hill, Rahmi Koc Museum (or alternative options)

Istanbul: Full-Day Old City Tour with Lunch

6. Istanbul: Full-Day Old City Tour with Lunch

Start your tour of Istanbul at the Hagia Sophia Museum, often referred to as the 8th Wonder of the World. Wander through the building's interior, which has been converted into a museum, and admire its beautiful art pieces including several Byzantine mosaics. Next, head to the Blue Mosque and see the 20,000 magnificent blue-toned tiles that give the mosque its name.  Later, head to the Hippodrome of Constantinople, the former political center of the city, where you can learn more about the city's ancient history and see artifacts from the Constantinople era. Learn more about Turkish culture at the Caferağa Madrassah. In the Egyptian spice market, soak up the sights and smells of this bustling food market. Continue to Istanbul Hippodrome where chariot races were held and also the centre of Byzantium’s life for 1000 years and of Ottoman life for another 400 years and has been the scene of countless political dramas. Then give a little break for lunch in a local restaurant with typical Turkish cuisen. The Grand Bazaar, one of the most famous bazaar around the world. Discover the bazaar with your guide and make some shopping. It is full with gold, jewellery, leather and spices shops. Topkapi Palace is the largest and oldest palace in the world to survive to our day and also was the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for approximately 400 years. Topkapi Palace was more than just the private residence of the Sultan and his court. It was centre of the supreme executive and judiciary council, the Divan and the training school. The best artist and craftman’s produced some of the finest work in the whole empire.

Bosphorus Tour With Lunch

7. Bosphorus Tour With Lunch

Istanbul is a city that inspires body and soul with its power. From the noise of the Grand Bazaar to the peaceful beauty of the Blue Mosque, no trip to Istanbul is complete without a view of this sprawling metropolis from the Bosphorus. On this cruise and two-continents tour, accompanied by your multilingual tour guide, you will be treated to several stops along this epic waterway, which divides Europe and Asia. After a short stop at the Spice Bazaar, head to Kabatas from where your ferry leaves at 10:30 AM and returns back around 12:00 PM. During this 1.5-hour cruise, you will see sights like Dolmabahce Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, Ciragan Palace and Rumeli Fortress, ancient wooden villas, 2 Bosporus bridges and maritime landscapes. After the Bosphorus cruise, you will be transfer to the restaurant. After a nice lunch, you will now jump continents and set sail for Asia. It’s time to head to Camlica Hill which offers perfect panoramic views of the city from almost 300 meters above sea level. The tour ends with a return to your hotel or cruise ship.

Istanbul: Walking Tour of Grand Bazaar & Spice Market

8. Istanbul: Walking Tour of Grand Bazaar & Spice Market

Discover Istanbul like a local alongside a local expert guide. Visit markets and learn to haggle, and taste regional delicacies like Turkish delight. Learn about the culture and history of the area, and visit a Dervish Lodge. Meet your Istanbul Welcome Card guide, at the Hürrem Sultan Hamam. Immediately dive into the beautiful world of colorful and skilled Turkish handcrafts. Enjoy ample opportunities to capture unbelievable pictures from rooftops, a visit to a local food market to try spices, and herbs and shop for local delicacies. Stop by the Spice Bazaar to taste local dishes including Turkish delight. If you're feeling energized to keep exploring, continue with your guide. The next stops lead to Taksim and the Galata area, on your way, passing by the fishermen of Galata Bridge. The bridge stretches over the Golden Horn and Bosphorus and is an ideal place to capture amazing pictures. In the Galata neighborhood, follow in the footsteps of the Italian, Greek, Jewish, Austrian, Russian, and German cosmopolitan cultures which once resided here and discover famous sites such as the Galata Tower, Dervish Lodge, and Tunnel Square.

Istanbul: Full-Day Tour with Dolmabahce & Bosphorus Cruise

9. Istanbul: Full-Day Tour with Dolmabahce & Bosphorus Cruise

Get a comprehensive overview of Istanbul on this full-day tour of the city by coach, boat, and cable car. Perfect for those who aim to get a sense of what makes Istanbul unique, this full-day exploration gives a varied tour of the city. It will reveal a mixture of Eastern and European influences that makes the city so unique. First, get picked up from your hotel by bus and driven along the length of the Golden Horn, the historic water that divides Istanbul. Take in the sites of the historic city center and the main port, dating back to the Ottoman and Byzantine empires. Then, travel to the top of Pierre Loti Hill by cable car, and admire panoramic views of the city as you drink coffee at the famous Pierre Loti Café, named after the French novelist who spent much of his time there.  Next, experience the splendor of Istanbul from the water. In the afternoon, enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Bosphorus and take in the grand spectacle of the city’s houses and palaces from the river. Finally, enjoy a tour of Dolmabahce Palace, home to the last of the Ottoman Sultans. Admire one of the most glamorous palaces in the world, once the administrative heart of the Ottoman Empire.

Bosphorus Cruise and Dolmabahçe Palace Tour Full Day

10. Bosphorus Cruise and Dolmabahçe Palace Tour Full Day

Embark on a journey of historical discovery with this one-day tour of Bosphorus and Dolmabahce Place. Experience the majesty of one of the grandest palaces on earth, as well as first-hand history and culture of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire. Start your tour with a narrated walk through the Spice Bazaar of Istanbul. Then take a leisurely 90-minute cruise, fully narrated by a professional tour guide. From here you can see the city from the unique point of view of the Bosphorus and get perfect photo opportunities with such landmarks as Leanders Tower and Rumell Hisari Fortress. After a relaxing lunch, you will move on to Dolmabahce Palace. With 285 rooms, 6 baths (hamam), 68 toilets and a ceiling made of 14 tons of gold, this is truly a sight to behold. With strong French influences as well as the richness of the East, this is a must-see on any tour. Expert guides will take you through the most fascinating aspects of the palace, and answer any questions you may have on 19th century Ottoman history. Enjoy a journey of discovery through the stories, myths and great works of art related to this special place. Including religious sites such as Dolmabahce Mosque, this one day tour covers the full range of culture, history, and art of Istanbul in a relaxed, informative environment.

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What people are saying about Spice Bazaar, Istanbul

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,773 reviews

This was a fantastic tour! Istanbul is a wonderful city and Ekrem was an outstanding guide. The tour was well organized, covering all the main sites such as Aya Sofia, Topkapi palace, Dolmabahce palace and more . Ekrem was very knowledgeable and provided us with interesting historical and cultural insights, all in perfect English. He was also kind and patient in answering all of our questions. He was flexible, adjusting the program to avoid the rain, beat crowds and for us to spend more time at the Grand Bazaar (which we loved!). He also suggested great food and was very helpful in guiding us on how to use the tram and find our way around the city. Overall, my husband, adult daughter and I highly recommend this tour - be sure to ask for Ekrem as your guide!

Our guide was very respectful and informative. His knowledge of city and it’s history was much appreciated. He made suggestions on visiting sites that tried to minimize waiting time. This flexibility in scheduling allowed us to learn and see more of the city We highly recommend this tour with our guide Musa

Our guide Ali was amazing with his explanation of the heritage sites and gone above and beyond in helping me to find & retrieve my lost pair of glasses amongst the crowd! Highly recommend this tour and the services provided.

Excellent !! One of the best in the world!! Would recommend to any one visiting Istambul . Warm regards

Super tour with an excellent guide would always do a tour with Meric