Touring a city on an open topped double decker tourist bus is very common in many major destinations in the world. And so for Istanbul. Here on this page, you will find everything you need to know about the hop on hop off double decker Big Bus sightseeing tour of Istanbul including insider recommendations. So it’s time to hop-on to discover more of Istanbul and hop-off to explore the most visited and popular landmarks in Istanbul.
Why choose a Big Bus Istanbul city sightseeing tour?
Istanbul Big Bus tour is a cheap way to discover and explore the popular zones of Istanbul which you just couldn’t walk to and see in one day. The city sightseeing bus drives through the popular sights along the interesting and different districts and neighborhoods of Istanbul and offers informative pre-recorded commentary that is available in 8 languages (English, Turkish, Arabic, Russian, French, German, Italian and Spanish) via new pair of complimentary headphones. The open topped double decker tourist bus really looks cool. The bus tour is also one of the most popular attractions on the top 10 things to do in Istanbul and Istanbul for kids.
How to Use Your Istanbul Big Bus Ticket Effectively
With the double decker Hop on hop off Istanbul City Sightseeing Bus Tour, you can get off at any of the designated stops (which means hop-off) and than explore the area and sights on foot at your leisure, and then you can catch the next bus (buses arrive the stops in every 30 mins/60 mins.) from any stop when you’re ready (which means hop-on) to move on and visit the other sights on the route. The stops are all located close to the most visited and famous landmarks and attractions of Istanbul. The upper deck of the city sightseeing bus offers a great vantage point for the amazing panoramic views of the city and lets you take photos.
What you will see and how you will use your hop-on hop-off ticket is completely up to you. There are two routes for the Big Bus Istanbul tour, one is the Istanbul City Tour (Red Route) with 11 stops (buses arrive every 30 mins) and the other is Golden Horn Tour (Blue Route) with 8 stops (buses arrive every 60 mins). Each ticket gives you access to the two different routes, so it is vert flexible. And also there are two types of tickets to choose from 1-day Classic Ticket to 2-day Premium Ticket which they both include the two routes.
When you take the Big Bus Istanbul Tour, you will receive a voucher book with a great range of discounts and offers for you which you may use at some of the best attractions of Istanbul. you also will receive a free newspaper that is available in English and Arabic.
A fantastic attraction for families with kids in Istanbul
You may choose between flexible Classic and Premium tickets, save money with a family ticket and take the kids to child-friendly sites such as the Dolphinarium or the Miniaturk model village open-air museum, where Turkey’s most important monuments are recreated in miniature.
Where the Hop on Hop off Big Bus Istanbul Tour starts?
You can start the Big Bus Istanbul tour at any of the many stops along the routes. But for your info, lets say that the tour starts from the Sultanahmet Square, just across the Hagia Sophia, in the historical peninsula. The tour bus is really easy to find and it usually sits there waiting to go.
Video Tour on the Big Bus Istanbul
Istanbul Big Bus Bus Tour Routes, you can get off or on at any of these stops:
The Istanbul City Tour (Red Route) includes the below stops, landmarks and attractions and you’ll able to enjoy the voyage between Europe and Asia on the Bosphorus bridge;
- Stop 1 – Sultanahmet Square – start of the tour
- Stop 2 – Galata Bridge – no need to get off here
- Stop 3 – Tophane – no need to get off here
- Stop 4 – Port – no need to get off here
- Stop 5 – Dolmabahce Palace – One of the most popular palaces in Istanbul. Typical palace visit takes about 2 hrs.
- Stop 6 – Naval Museum – you should get off here and spend at least 1 hrs. The museum contains a large collection of maritime and military artifacts such as hundreds years old Ottoman wooden rowboats, caiques, ship models, figureheads, paintings, wood carvings, seals and more. Entrance fee is 8,5 TL. (09:00-17:00 weekdays, 10:00-18:00 weekends, closed on Mondays)
- Stop 7 – Beylerbeyi Palace
- Stop 8 – Akaretler / W Hotel – no need to get off here
- Stop 9 – Taksim Square – you should get off here and spend at least 1-2 hrs. by strolling along the famous Istiklal Street, visit St. Anthony of Padua Church and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and hop on back
- Stop 10 – Sishane
- Stop 1 – Egyptian Spice Bazaar – you should get off here and spend at least 1 hrs. at the bazaar which is the world famous spice bazaar and nearby Eminonu square to live the lively locals life.
- Sultanahmet Square – end of the tour
The Golden Horn Tour (Blue Route) includes the below stops, landmarks and attractions;
- Stop 20 – Sultanahmet Square – start of the tour
- Stop 21 – Galata Bridge – no need to get off here
- Stop 22 – Patriarchate
- Stop 23 – Cable Car – you should get off here and take the cable car to Pierre Loti Hill and enjoy the panoramic views with Turkish coffee and tea, spend at least 1 hrs.
- Stop 24 – Istanbul Dolphinarium
- Stop 25 – Miniaturk
- Stop 26 – Rahmi Koc Transport Museum
- Stop 27 – Egyptian Spice Bazaar – you should get off here and spend at least 1 hrs. at the bazaar which is the world famous spice bazaar and nearby Eminonu square to live the lively locals life.
- Stop 20 – Sultanahmet Square – end of the tour
Map of the Big Bus Istanbul Tour
How much is the Big Bus Istanbul Tour and how long does it take?
- Classic Ticket costs about € 35.10 per person and include includes 1-day Hop-on Hop-off access on 2 different routes.
- Premium Ticket costs about € 39.96 per person and include includes 2-day Hop-on Hop-off access on 2 different routes.
- Classic Family Ticket – 2 Adults and 2 Children (age 5-15) costs about € 83.
- Premium Family Ticket – 2 Adults and 2 Children (age 5-15) costs about € 100.
About the tour duration, a complete circuit on the Red Route (City Tour) takes about 2 hours while the Blue Route (Golden Horn) Tour takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Duration may change due to heavy traffic in some rush hours.
How can I attend to Big Bus Istanbul Tour and where can I buy tickets?
You may attend to Big Bus Istanbul City Sightseeing Tour via GetYourGuide, the world’s largest online platform for booking tours, attractions and activities. Best price guarantee, instant confirmation and easy cancellation, top-notch customer support whenever you need it. Below, you will also see Istanbul Tourist Pass which also includes the Big Bus Istanbul Tour. You may also take the advantage of this. You can read and book your BigBus Istanbul tour from below links. Pick the one that best suits your needs.
Big Bus Istanbul Tour Timetable
Istanbul City: Red Tour Seasonal Frequency
- April – September; First Departure: Sultanahmet Square (Stop-1) at 09:15 , Frequency: 30 minutes , Last Departure: Stop-1 at 16:45
- October – March; First Departure: Stop-1 at 09:00 , Frequency: 30 minutes , Last Departure: Stop-1 at 17:00
Golden Horn: Blue Tour Seasonal Frequency
- April – September; First Departure: Sultanahmet Square (Stop-20) at 10:00 , Frequency: 30 minutes , Last Departure: Stop-20 at 18:00
- October – March; First Departure: Stop-20 at 09:45 , Frequency: 60 minutes , Last Departure: Stop-20 at 16:45