The only city in the world that was built on two continents, the Istanbul Big Bus Hop-on, Hop-off Tour is the perfect way to see how the deeply rooted Islamic culture blends with western lifestyles.
Whether it is the narrow cobbled streets or the formidable city walls, the numerous domes and minarets which dictates the city skyline or the carpets, Turkish tea and the traditional goods which make it a shopper’s delight; the Big Bus Istanbul tour covers it all. Some of the highlights are the magnificent Blue Mosque, the world famous Hagia Sophia, the tall medieval Galata Tower, the grand Bosphorus Bridge and the pompous Topkapi Palace.
On the open-topped double decker bus, audio-commentary is offered in 8 languages (English, Turkish, Arabic, Russian, French, German, Italian and Spanish). With buses operating on two routes and your ticket valid for 24 hours or 48 hours, the hop-on, hop-off tour ensures you don’t miss a thing.
This Big Bus Istanbul Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour allows you to plan your sightseeing as per your convenience. You may hop on and hop off at any of the designated stops; do some sightseeing shop or eat and then hop back again when the next bus comes along.
The Istanbul Big Bus ticket is valid for 24 hours/ 48 hours (as per option chosen) from when you first board the bus.
There are two routes under this tour – the City Tour Red Route which covers the landmarks situated in the heart of the city, thus, giving an insight into the city’s diverse culture; and Golden Horn Blue Route, which takes you through the important places of interest around the famous Golden Horn, a sea inlet in the shape of a horn.
City Tour – Red route:
The stops are: Sultanahmet Square (between Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque) – Galata Bridge - Tophane (Istanbul Modern Art Museum) - Port (Karaköy) - Dolmabahçe (near Dolmabahçe Mosque & Palace) - Beylerbeyi Palace - Akaretler (W Hotel) - Taksim Square - Hard Rock Café (Bankalar Street) - Egyptian Spice Bazaar (New Mosque).
This route has 9 locations where you can get off the bus. Some of the major attractions along this route are:
Sultanahmet Square: It is home to a staggering wealth of attractions in Istanbul. Visit the city’s most famous monument, Hagia Sophia, which was, once both a church and a mosque. The interior is decorated with awe-inspiring Byzantine mosaics. Don’t miss the Blue Mosque, also called the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, known for its grandeur and is a living proof of the classic Ottoman architecture.
Also in this area you will find the opulent Topkapi Palace, the crown of Ottoman Empire and one of Istanbul’s top attractions.
Galata Tower: Get a panoramic view of the entire city from the top of the Galata Tower. Do not worry about climbing to the top; there are two elevators available for visitors. The tower gives you several photo opportunities and you can grab a meal in the restaurant located at the top.
Bosphorus Bridge: The stretch of road that connects the two continents, the bridge is one of the most prominent landmarks of the city. Crossing the bridge provides spectacular views of the Bosphorus estuary, Europe and Asia. You can also visit the Dolmabahçe Palace, which houses the world's largest Bohemian crystal chandelier in the European coastline and the majestic Beylerbeyi Palace, the summer residence of Ottoman Sultans in the 19th century, at the Asian side.
Taksim Square: Famous for its restaurants, shops and hotels, Taksim Square is a major tourist spot and holds public events such as parades or New Year celebrations.
Golden Horn Blue Route
The stops are: Sultanahmet Square (between Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque) - Galata Bridge - Patriarchate (St. Stephen’s Church) - Cable Car (Pierre Loti Café) – Miniatürk - Rahmi Koç Museum - Egyptian Spice Bazaar (New Mosque)
This route has 6 locations where you can get off the bus. It takes the same route as the Red Route till the Egyptian Spice Bazaar and then moves forward to the Patriarchate. Some of the highlights along this route are:
Egyptian Spice Bazaar: Walk amidst the fragrance of spices and herbs and you can also pick up interesting knick-knacks from the market.
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople: Explore the former Greek neighbourhood and visit the Church of St. George and the beautiful courtyards.
Miniaturk: Istanbul’s first miniature park is a small version of Turkey and has 100 odd miniature structures displaying Turkey’s most important buildings.
While on the bus, you will discover Istanbul’s rich history through the informative personal commentary available in 8 languages - English, Turkish, Arabic, Russian, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
This was a GREAT way for a first time traveler to Europe to see Istanbul!...William M Smith
Great way to see Istanbul. But hit all the major highlights of the European side and we got to see the Asian side as well....Claire Franco
WE arrived on a cruise ship and only had one day to see the sites of Istanbul. The Hop on Hop off bus is the way to go! There was a stop close to the cruise terminal and the...Linda Ann Thomas
Your ticket is valid for 24hrs OR 48hrs
October and March:
City Tour-Red Route: Buses depart from Sultanahmet Square every 30 minutes from 9:00am until 6:00pm.
Golden Horn Tour-Blue Route: Buses depart from Sultanahmet Square every 30 minutes from 9:15am until 5:45pm.
April - September:
City Tour-Red Route: Buses depart from Sultanahmet Square every 20 minutes from 9:00am until 6:30pm.
Golden Horn Tour-Blue Route: Buses depart from Sultanahmet Square every 30 minutes from 9:15am until 6:15pm.
November - February:
City Tour-Red Route: Buses depart from Sultanahmet Square every 30 minutes from 9:00am until 5:00pm
Golden Horn Tour-Blue Route: Buses depart from Sultanahmet Square every 30 minutes from 9:15am until 4:45pm.
You may board the bus at any of the designated stops.
You may get off at any of the designated stops as per your convenience
Dress in loose, comfortable clothes. Wear a hat, sunglasses and carry sunscreen. Don’t forget your camera. Wear comfortable shoes
Your Hop-On, Hop-Off ticket is valid for the date you select at the time of booking
Your Hop-On, Hop-Off ticket is valid for 24 hours/ 48 hours from first use (as per option chosen)
Your booking voucher can be exchanged for your Hop-On Hop-Off ticket at any one of the stops. Simply choose the stop which you wish to start the tour from and present your voucher to the driver who will exchange it for a ticket that will be valid for 24 hours/ 48 hours from that time.
Buses run every day unless there are unforeseen circumstances (closing of Bosphorus Bridge) etc
Children under the age of 5 may travel free of charge as long as they are accompanied by a dedicated adult (1 adult to 1 child)
Voucher information: You must print and surrender a paper version of your booking voucher for this activity (showing your voucher on a smartphone is not accepted). No refund can be given for customers without a printed copy of their voucher.
See the Cancellation policy for this product