Rumour has it that Napoleon once said that, “If the world was only one country, Istanbul would be its capital”. Welcome to the largest city of Turkey, a metropolis full of scents and flavours… Throughout this city tour, Istanbul shall unveil its rich history, customs and traditions. Time to experience it all!
Waltz in Istanbul with a self-guided audio tour on your phone designed by an accredited expert. Listen to fascinating stories, based on an award-winning storytelling concept, and gain great insights into the most iconic landmarks of Istanbul.. Start your tour from the historic ancient Hippodrome, now a massive square, so that you can explore the most populous city in Europe. This is an unmissable opportunity to experience at your own pace this marvelous historic center with a captivating audio tour on your phone.
* * Ticket/entrance fee to the museums or other sites is not included.
Cover photo: © Tolga Tüfekçi / Panorama Istanbul
A Turkish Delight on a Moonlit Night
As the song by They Might be Giants goes, “Istanbul was Constantinople”... To understand the essence of this city one has to take a journey back in time. The year was 330 AD when Emperor Constantine I decided to transfer the capital of the Roman Empire from the West to the East. He founded New Rome on the site of a city called Byzantium. While the western parts of the Roman Empire gradually fell, the eastern flourished for almost 1000 years. The decline began in the 11th century when Constantinople was conquered by the Crusaders during the 4th crusade. The Latin Empire of Constantinople was short-lived. It lasted until 1261 when the Palaiologan house regained control. Yet, the glorious days were gone and the Empire would from then on be in a state of decline. The final act took place in 1453 when the city was conquered by the Ottomans. The last Byzantine Emperor, Constantine XI, died in battle and Mehmed the Conqueror became the first sultan to reign the Ottoman empire. In 1930, the city, which for centuries had remained the political, financial, and cultural seat of the Ottomans, as well as the gateway of the West to the East, changed its name to Istanbul.
Inclusions and Exclusions
- Self-guided audio tour in English on your smartphone (Android & iOS)
- An activation link to access your audio tour
- Offline content (text, audio narration and maps) to avoid roaming charges
- Entrance fee to the museums and monuments
- Live Guide
- Smartphone or headphones
- Food and drinks
- Charged smartphone
Directions to starting point
The easiest way to get there is on foot or by tram (Line T1) to Sultanahmet station and then walk to the south, through Mehmet Akif Ersoy Park, to reach Sultanahmet Square.
- Sultan Ahmet Mosque
- Arasta Bazaar
- Haseki Hürrem Sultan Hamam
- Hagia Sophia
- Topkapı Palace
- Basilica Cistern
- Column of Constantine (Çemberlitaş)
- Grand Bazaar
Recommended visiting hours
It is recommended to have the tour before sunset.
The entrance ticket for museums, worship places or other attractions is not included
Know before you book
- Please consider that admission fees for the museums, churches, and monuments are not included.
- This is a downloadable self-guided audio tour for your smartphone (accessible through our app)
- No live guide or meeting point provided.
- You will receive an email from the local supplier with important audio instructions. on how to access and download your audio tour. Please check your email spam folder as well
- Book per device to be used, not per participant
- An Android (version 5.0 and later) or iOS smartphone is required. The audio tour is not compatible with Windows Phones, iPhone 5/5C or older, iPod Touch 5th generation or older, iPad 4th generation or older, iPad Mini 1st generation
- You will need storage space on your phone (100-150 MB)
- Please keep in mind that it is a walking city tour and for that reason it is wheelchair accessible.
Know before you go
- Receive an email with important audio instructions. Check your spam folder as well.
- Ensure that your smartphone is fully charged & that you bring your earphones
- Wear comfortable shoes and hat or sunscreen (during spring and summer)
- It is better to have the tour before the sunset and preferably in the morning.
Contributors and Bibliography
Stop 1: © Ank Kumar / Commons Wikimedia
Stop 2: © Norbert Nagel / Commons Wikimedia
Stop 3: © Nikos Zacharioudakis
Stop 4: © Robert Cutts / Flickr
Stop 5: © Haluk Comertel / Commons Wikimedia
Stop 6: © Guilhem Vellut / Flickr
Stop 7: © Moise Nicu / Commons Wikimedia
Stop 8: © Stegop / Commons Wikimedia
Stop 9: © Nikos Zacharioudakis
Download the app
To take this self-guided tour, you will need to download the Clio Muse Tours app on your iOS or Android device. Enjoy your tour!