Istanbul Old City, Historic Bazaars & Local Markets

Duration: 2h
Languages: English
Quality Verified Registered on April 01, 2023

Born & raised in Istanbul, we're a team of professional, licensed tour guides who aim at delivering the hippest tours in Istanbul to our guests! We are in love with this stunning city and love sharing our experience and knowledge with inspired travellers. Join us on this wonderful journey in discovering one of the world's greatest cities!

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  • Free booking and cancellation
    Free payment tour, no set price, booking and cancellation are free

Tour description

Get ready for an unforgettable adventure as we take you on a journey through Istanbul's iconic landmarks and vibrant markets in historic bazaars! In this tour, we will start exploring the rich history of Istanbul by uncovering the most important landmarks, such as Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, and later proceed to the bustling Ottoman bazaars and immerse ourselves in local commerce culture. 

Highlights of this walking tour include:

  • Hippodrome (Ancient Roman chariot racing arena) - inside
  • Arasta Bazaar (colorful Ottoman bazaar with beautiful local crafts and textiles) - inside
  • Blue Mosque (Turkey's most famous mosque, 17th century Ottoman architectural marvel, UNESCO site) - outside
  • Hagia Sophia (world's largest cathedral for 1000 years, an incredible historical landmark with immense importance to Byzantine and Ottoman history, UNESCO site) - outside
  • Grand Bazaar (World's oldest shopping mall and Turkey's busiest marketplace! An incredible maze of 3600+ shops!) - inside if open. Closed on SUNDAYS and national holidays. Alternative route if closed. Info down below.
  • Mahmutpasa Street & Tahtakale (Lively local markets buzzing with authentic Turkish commerce culture, cheap goods and rich variety) - inside if open. Closed on SUNDAYS and national holidays. Alternative route if closed. Info down below.
  • Spice Bazaar (historic bazaar famous for aromatic spices, teas, and Turkish sweets) - inside if open. Outside if closed.
  • Yeni Mosque (One of the most stunning Ottoman mosques from 17th century next to Golden Horn & Bosphorus) - outside

Alternative Route on Sundays:
- Hippodrome
- Arasta Bazaar
- Blue Mosque (outside)
- Hagia Sophia (outside)
- Gülhane Park (inside) royal gardens of the palace
- Hocapaşa (traditional local food street)
- Eminönü
- Spice Bazaar (inside if open)
- Yeni Mosque (outside)

Get ready to immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Istanbul! You'll not only learn about the history of Istanbul, but also get a highlight of how to explore and how to maximize your city experience in Istanbul. We will go through some of the busiest and most historical marketplaces in all of Istanbul, and you'll see where both tourists and locals shop and make the contrast for yourself. We'll even teach you how to haggle like a local! :)

Whether you're a history lover, a culture enthusiast, or just curious to explore, this tour is perfect for all! Learn fascinating stories, discover hidden gems, and enjoy the sights, sounds, and flavors of Istanbul. Don't miss out on this unique and enriching experience - book your tour today and let's go on an unforgettable journey together!

Please note #1:

The tour is designed for solo travellers, couples and small groups. Please consider booking a private tour if your group is bigger than 6 people as this tour will not be suitable for large groups.

Please note #2:

Guiding is a full time profession in Turkey that requires years of studying in university. Our team consists of passionate and professional tour guides that do this for a living and have many years of experience. There is also a group size limit for your comfort. Taking these into consideration, we recommend contributing a minimum 10€ per person. 

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What will we visit on this tour?

  • Meeting point:
    Sultanahmet, Binbirdirek, 34122 Fatih...
    Sultanahmet, Binbirdirek, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye
  • 1
    Free admission
    Egyptian Obelisk

    We will walk around and take pictures and learn history of the Hippodrome and the Egyptian Obelisk.

  • 2
    Outside visit
    Blue Mosque

    We will see Turkey's most famous mosque from outside, and take pictures and talk about it's history.

  • 3
    Free admission
    Arasta Bazaar

    We will enter and walk through a very colorful and beautiful Ottoman bazaar located behind the Blue Mosque.

  • 4
    Outside visit
    Hagia Sophia

    We will see (outside) and learn about the rich and long history of Turkey's most visited historical landmark, UNESCO site, the incredible Hagia Sophia.

  • 5
    Free admission
    Grand Bazaar

    We will enter, and discover this incredible maze, world's first shopping mall, the giant Grand Bazaar, offering thousands of different, colorful handmade souvenirs and other handcrafts. Closed on Sundays we will offer a different route.

  • 6
    Free admission
    Mahmutpasa & Tahtakale

    We will walk through the historical local markets of Mahmutpasa & Tahtakale, explore local shopping options and walk down to the Spice Bazaar. Closed on Sundays we will offer alternative route.

  • 7
    Free admission
    Spice Bazaar

    We will enter Ottomans biggest pharmacy, the stunning Spice Bazaar, aka Egyptian Bazaar. We will walk through and see over a hundred Spice shops.

  • 8
    Outside visit
    Yeni Mosque

    We will finish our walking tour outside Spice Bazaar next to this stunning 17th century Ottoman mosque located next to the Golden Horn.

How much does this tour cost?

Free tours do not have a set price, instead, each person gives the guru at the end of the tour the amount that he or she considers appropriate (these usually range from €10 to $50 depending on satisfaction with the tour).

Tour opinions

33 ratings
By category
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Birte 25 May 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - May 2023
Awesome Tour. Hakan was really polite. Gave lots of useful information without being boring at anytime. We would always join his tours again and we got a great impression of Istanbul on our first day.
Victor 20 May 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - May 2023
Emre is an amazing tour guide, I enjoyed all of his tour and we had a lot of fun. Also it was very accurate with the information and gave us the best tips around the city. Very recommended :)
Tristan 18 May 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - May 2023
The walk brought us through many interesting parts of the old town and the many bazaars. Our guide was very friendly and informative, and provided useful information for shopping in the area.
Flavia 16 May 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in group - May 2023
I recently had an incredible tour through Istanbul's markets, and I can't praise our guide, Emre, enough. His knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm brought the markets to life, making the experience unforgettable. Emre's personalized approach, storytelling, and insider recommendations made the tour engaging and tailored to our interests. With his guidance, we explored iconic markets and discovered hidden gems, all while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. I highly recommend this tour.
Andreea 13 May 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - May 2023
We really enjoyed the walk! Totally recommend, Emre put a lot of effort into delivering the information we needed also additionally to the great tour he provided us.
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Who is this tour for?

Non suitable for people with reduced mobility.
Does not accept large group reservations.
Not suitable for pets.

What should you know?

Minimum of attendees
A minimum of 5 people is required for the tour.
Additional costs:
The tour does not require the payment of entrance fees or additional expenses.
Free cancellation
If you will not be able to attend the tour, please cancel your booking, otherwise the guide will be waiting for you.
Payment methods
Only cash payment is accepted.
When do you want to go?
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