In Hagia Sophia, the immense dome crowning this church turned mosque turned museum was an architectural miracle in its time, although it took a lot of trial and error to get to that point: it collapsed twice!
Havataş Shuttle Buses are available from outside the terminal and leave every half an hour for Taksim between 4:00AM and 1:00AM. Taking a taxi is, however, the most convenient way, and shouldn’t be more expensive than the shuttle service between a group of four. Be sure to ignore the hustlers inside the airport and take an official vehicle from the taxi rank at the terminal exit.
The key touristic areas are Fatih and Taksim, and which to stay in depends on the nature of your stay. Fatih is the old town and home to many of Istanbul’s historic landmarks. Taksim, on the other hand, is modern and appeals more to those visiting the city to shop, dine, and party. Traveling between the two is simple, so don’t worry if you fancy hitting the dancefloors after the Hagia Sophia!
Turkish Lira (₺)
The weather is good at all times of the year, but it may be a good idea to avoid the summer if you do not like extreme heat.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A very interesting and unusual experience.
The guide took us underground to see the cistern which is no longer in use but was used as a water reservoir for Istanbul for many centuries. We can only marvel at the ability of people all those centuries ago to bring water to Istanbul from outlying areas and provide the city with a water supply. We saw the Medusa heads and heard the legends about Medusa.
Istanbul: Basilica Cistern Skip-the-Line Guided Tour reviewed by Marilyn
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Good value for your money and a must in Istanbul.
Cards delivered to our hotel as promised. The tour guides were excellent with the Museum Pass and very knowledgeable and friendly. The Istanbul card easy to use on public transport all over the city. I recommend to everybody to get these cards, they make your life a lot easier. 10/10 Thank you!
İstanbul Welcome Card reviewed by Timo
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Tour hit all the highlights I wanted to see.
I did the one day tour. I would highly recommend it if you have a short time in Istanbul. My guide tailored the tour to include something extra that was recommended to me by me cutting short my Grand Bazaar visit. Tip – wear your walking shoes.
Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour reviewed by Debra
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Interesting tour by a knowledgeable guide.
It’s only a brief tour, with not a lot to see. However the guide knew all about the history of the basilica, and it was very interesting. Shame that so much of it is under renovation and no water is in it. But still worthwhile seeing.
Istanbul: Basilica Cistern Skip-the-Line Guided Tour reviewed by Michael
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At the right time, the driver will be waiting for you on-site. They will walk you to the car and take you to the hotel.
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