Daily Excursions in Istanbul
Half Day City Highlights Tour (AM only)
Pick-up from your hotel in the morning to visit ancient Byzantine Hippodrome where once chariots ran in front of ten thousands of spectators. Some important monuments of the Hippodrome are; Egyptian Obelisk dating back to 16th century B.C., Serpentine Column from 5th century B.C., and the Stone Obelisk from 10th century A.D. Than you visit 17th century Blue Mosque famous for its six minarets and beautiful interior Iznik (Nicea) tiles, It's the most important mosque in Istanbul. Afterwards you'll visit Hagia Sophia Church built in the 6th century by Justinian and houses magnificent gold-leafed mosaics. The Church was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in the 15th century and than into a museum after the Republic. At the end you'll have time at the world famous Grand Bazaar for your shopping.
Full Day City Highlights Tour
Depart from your hotel in the morning to visit ancient Byzantine Hippodrome where once chariots ran and thousands of Byzantines cheered them. Some of the important monuments of the Hippodrome are; Egyptian Obelisk dating back to 16th century B.C., Serpentine Column from 5th century B.C., and the Stone Obelisk erected in 10th century A.D. Than visit the Blue Mosque built in the 17th century and famous for its six minarets and beautiful Iznik tiles as interior decoration. It's the most important mosque in Istanbul. After that, you'll visit Hagia Sophia Church built in the 6th century and houses magnificent gold-leafed mosaics. The Church was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in the 15th century and than into a museum after the Republic. After lunch you'll visit Topkapi Palace, once the residence of the Ottoman Sultans located on a hilltop dominating the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. Today it's a museum where precious displays such as porcelains, crystals, silverware, sultan's costumes, books, portraits, and diamonds can be seen. Finally, you'll have time in world famous Grand Bazaar for your shopping of traditional goods. Transfer back to your hotel at the end of the day.
Full Day Bosphorus & Asia Tour
Depart from your hotel in the morning. Visit the Egyptian Bazaar known as Spice Market to smell and buy hundreds of lively colored spices; you can also explore small street markets around it. Then take a ferry boat to cruise on the Bosphorus Strait, enjoying both European and Asian shores watching Ottoman palaces, fortresses, Ottoman wooden houses, suspension bridges, and fishermen. After this lovely cruise, lunch in a restaurant along the Bosphorus tasting local fish. After lunch, take the Intercontinental Suspension Bridge and set your foot on the Asian Continent with a pleasant panoramic drive viewing residential areas of the city. Visit Beylerbeyi Palace on Asia which was the summer residence of the last Ottoman sultans for many years until the Republic. Today it's a museum housing original furniture, curtains and carpets showing luxurious life of the ancient rulers. Transfer back to your hotel at the end of the day.
Full Day Princess Islands Tour
The group of nine Islands in the sea of Marmara is known as the Princess Islands. The beautiful wooden houses and the wonderful views of the Islands leave an unforgettable impression on visitors. You'll depart from your hotel in the morning with our destination to Buyukada (Grand Island). After a pleasant boat ride, visit all of this island by horse-drawn carriage around old houses. You'll visit some local churches and mosques on foot as well. Lunch at a Fish Restaurant near the pier. Return to Istanbul by boat again and transfer back to your hotel.
Full Day Jewish Heritage Tour
Depart from your hotel after breakfast to taste the Jewish culture of the city. In 1492 the Ottoman Empire opened its borders to Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. Many of them made their home in the neighborhood of Galata where you'll visit the famous tower built in the 14th century by Genovese, offering a great bird-eye view of the old city. Continue to Neve Shalom Synagogue and then visit the Jewish Museum of Turkey, known also as Zulfaris Synagogue, run by Quincentennial Foundation where you'll see the story of 700 years of amity between Turks and Jews. After lunch, drive to Balat neighborhood along the Golden Horn, another old Jewish district housing the Ahrida Synagogue built over 500 years ago and still in use today. After wondering in this old neighborhood where the Star of David appears on some of the buildings, return back to your hotel. Please note that this tour is not available on Saturdays and subject to special permissions.
Full Day Golden Horn & Pera Tour
Pick up from your hotel to visit the Spice Market, known also as Egyptian market. Short walk through local markets to visit Rustem Pasha mosque with its great Iznik (Nicea) tiles. Drive along Balat neighborhood into Eyup district to visit the mosque and Pier Loti cafe, a famous French poet from 19th century. Short drive to Kariye museum, church of Saint Savior in Chora, which has remarkable Byzantine mosaics. After lunch, drive around the Golden Horn to Pera neighborhood. Start walking along Istiklal street in Beyoglu, from the Tunnel towards Taksim Square, seeing Galata tower, the Tunnel, Pera Palace Hotel, great consulate buildings from 19th century, fish market in the flower market (Cicek Pasaji), old churches, nostalgic tram. This pedestrian street is always full of people where you can observe the youth and try some Turkish delights in the traditional cafeteria. Return back to your hotel.
Belly Dancing Dinner Show
Depart from your hotel in the evening for a famous Turkish dinner-show in a well known nightclub. This evening you'll enjoy Turkish folk dances of various regions, belly dancers, music & singers. Half bottle of local wine per person will be included with your dinner. Transfer back to your hotel around midnight.
- Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays; St. Sophia is closed on Mondays; Beylerbeyi is closed on Mondays & Thursdays; Grand Bazaar & Spice Market are closed on Sundays & Turkish holidays. On these specific days, above mentioned museums or sites will be replaced with others
- Order of the visits may be changed for technical reasons or because of closure days of the sites or museums
- For groups 25+ person, there will be a private boat for the Bosphorus cruise, otherwise a regular boat will be used
- All tours include pick-up & drop-off from/to hotels, A/C car/van/bus depending on the size of the group
- All tours exclude beverages during meals (except for Belly Dancing night as described in the itinerary)
- ALL TRAVEL SERVICES ARE BEEN ARRANGED BY A GOVERNMENT LICENSED & RELIABLE TRAVEL AGENCY
Hope to see you soon in Istanbul.