The Magnificent Ottomans

* Private tours are upon request.
** The price above is quoted per person
Old City
The History Buff
6-7 hours

Meeting at your hotel

Private guide in your language

Museum tickets

Fast-track at the museums

Neighbourhood Maps (Online)


Lunch and transportation

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“My husband, two children (12 and 18) and I did the Magnificent Ottomans tour. It was an excellent introduction to the history of Turkey, and gave us a good feel for the city. Our guide, Betul Basak was great. She was very warm, engaging and knowledgeable, able to answer all our questions about Turkish history and about modern Turkey. I was worried about how my son (aged 12) would cope with about 6.5 hours of walking and history but he enjoyed the tour and seemed to learn a lot.” Read more on Tripadvisor

The Magnificent Ottomans

Our Magnificent Ottomans tour is designed to give you a comprehensive and rich perspective to explore the city’s glorious Ottoman past. As one of the longest-lasting empires in world history, ruling over large areas of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa for more than 600 years, the Ottomans had enough reason to revel in the effects of such power. The empire turned Istanbul into an epicenter of culture, with some of the world’s greatest architecture, gastronomy, and decorative arts. 

We will take you on a journey through this glorious past, visiting iconic landmarks and historical monuments such as Topkapi Palace Museum, Süleymaniye Mosque and the Spice Bazaar. You will learn about the profound culture and traditions of the Ottomans. 

Along the way, you’ll also get an insight into their architecture, cuisine, art and literature. Needless to say you will enjoy a traditional Turkish tea or coffee at one of Istanbul's oldest coffee houses. At the end of the tour, you’ll have a greater appreciation for Istanbul and its long-standing relationship with the Ottomans. So if you’re ready to explore one of the most historic cities in the world, join us on our private guided tour and learn about its magnificent Ottoman heritage. 


Süleymaniye Mosque and Complex: This magnificent structure is the most adored and largest masterpiece of the famed Ottoman architect Sinan in Istanbul. It is a signature of the city and since the day of its construction in 1557 it has ruled over the cityscape observed from the Golden Horn and Bosphorus. In this vast mosque complex, there is a medrese, soup kitchen, hospital, caravanserai, library, bazaar, and several tombs. Some of these facilities are still in use today. Notable are the tombs of Sultan Suleiman I and his wife , Haseki Hürrem, (also known as Roxelana). Both are impressive; inlaid with precious metals, stones and stained glass.

Rüstem Pasha Mosque: Built around 1563 by Mimar Sinan, this hidden gem of a mosque is situated right behind the Eminönü square and some describe it as a miniature Blue Mosque, however without the crowds. The ornate world of its interior is characterized by an astounding diversity of beautiful Iznik tiles. 

Stroll through the birthplace of Turkish coffee culture and coffee break at a traditional inn. 

Spice Bazaar: Built in 1664, this is one of the most colorful and aromatic places in the city. Today, this historic bazaar is still home to a wide range of spices, Turkish delights, dried fruits, nuts, and more. You can sit down for lunch at the century of & famous Pandeli Restaurant if you'd like - which is located right above the main entrance of Spice Bazaar.

Topkapi Palace Museum and Harem: This was the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans between the 15th and 19th centuries. Built during the 1460s, soon after the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans, it is an interconnected complex, rather than a single structure filled with Ottoman treasures. The Harem is the most inaccessible part of the palace, given that the more than 400 rooms housed the sultan’s mother, wives, concubines, and the rest of the sultan’s family and their servants.

Haseki Hürrem Turkish Hamam: You will see the hamam from the outside and learn about the famous Turkish hamam culture, the quintessential Turkish beauty experience.

Important Notes:

  • Topkapi Palace Museum and Harem are closed on Tuesdays. Therefore we do not conduct this tour on Tuesdays.
  • If time and your energy permit, a visit to Grand Bazaar can be added to the program.
  • If you wish you can end the day with a full Turkish hamam experience. Please contact us at [email protected] or call us at +90 212 243 05 21 to make a reservation.

Who is this tour for?

  • Anyone interested in history and architecture
  • Anyone who wants to learn about one of the world’s most intriguing empires. By focusing on this spectacular era of Istanbul’s history, we go beyond the sights to introduce you to Istanbul’s multilayered and multicultural past. 

Why book with Istanbul Tour Studio?

  • We’ve worked with academics and historians to design a comprehensive tour that provides the perfect introduction to Istanbul’s Ottoman past.
  • Istanbul Tour Studio is rated "Excellent" on Tripadvisor. Click to read the latest reviews about us.
  • We have a great team: knowledgeable, trustworthy, friendly and always on time.

How much is the private Magnificent Ottomans tour per person?

  • Our private Magnificent Ottomans tour price is $145 USD/person for two people. ($290 USD/total for two adults)
  • Our prices are quoted per person. We require minimum two participants to organise this private tour. Please contact us if you'd like to book a private tour for one person. The prices include English speaking professional guidance and museum entrance fees. We offer dynamic pricing which means as the number of people on your private group increase, our per person prices decrease. 
  • This tour costs $145 USD/person for two people; $120 USD/person for three people; $105 USD/person for four people; $95 USD/person for five people and $90 USD/person for six people. You will automatically get the dynamic pricing at the booking phase once you select the total number of people.
  • We give 50% discount for children between 7-12 years old; meanwhile our tours are free for kids under 7 years old.
  • The prices quoted above are for the walking tour. If you are staying at Beşiktaş, Beyoğlu (Taksim) or Karaköy areas you can use public transportation such as tram, ferry or taxi. It would cost between $15 to 25 USD/total. Alternatively, we also offer private transportation with luxury Mercedes vans with professional drivers for $225 USD/day.
  • Please contact us for custom pricing for groups over six people.

 Contact us for more information

The History Buff
Awe-inspiring Architecture, Ottoman Art & Tiles, Sultans’ & Harem Life, Hamams and Bazaars Glorious Ottoman History
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