Istanbul Revealed - 3 days tour
Get the true taste of the city with a complete Istanbul tour. There a lot to do; discover the city with all the highlights, join a mouth-watering foodie tour, spoil yourself at a hamam and then spend a day to explore the other side of Istanbul; chic neighbourhoods of Fener & Balat with the influence of Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities as well as the hip local district of Kadikoy in the Asian side in this colorful Istanbul tour.
The magical city of Istanbul links the east and the west, and has been the centre of several empires over the centuries, the most powerful of which were the Eastern Roman and Ottoman.
Your day begins with the one of most spectacular spots of the city, standing still for 1500 years, the grand Hagia Sophia. Hagia Sophia is the former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral, later an Ottoman imperial mosque and it is one of the rarest structures that showcases a blend of architectural styles of both a church and a mosque. Constructed in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian of the Byzantine Empire, it is still among the world’s greatest architectural achievements. It is known as a long-enduring symbol of the cosmopolitan city and its role in the history of the city touches upon matters related to international politics, religion, art and architecture.The building reflects the religious changes that have played out in the region over the centuries, with the minarets and inscriptions of Islam as well as the lavish mosaics of Christianity.
Afterwards, we will just walk for a few minutes to the Basilica Cistern, one of Istanbul’s splendid historical buildings. It is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city. This big underground water reservoir was also constructed in 6th century and used to meet the water needs of the great Byzantium palace that covered a wide area where the emperor resided. It was constructed using 336 columns, the symmetry and sheer grandeur of conception are quite breathtaking.
Next stop will be the worldwide famous Blue Mosque which is built between 1609-1616. This impressive mosque has six minarets and considered as one of the world’s most beautiful mosques. You will understand why it is called “blue” as you step inside. The impressive interior is covered in beautiful blue Iznik tiles.
After the delicious lunch, we will visit the Topkapı Palace which is one of Turkey’s most enchanting historical landmarks. It served as the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans since 15th century. The construction of the palace began in 1459, ordered by Mehmed the Conqueror, six years after the conquest of Constantinople. It rambles over an enormous area, populated by armouries, apartments, bathhouses, kitchens, libraries and a historical church; Hagia Eirene.
Since Turkey became a republic, it has been a museum, where visitors are lured by ornate tiled walls and collections of jewels, relics and textiles, as well as courtyard gardens studded with trees and fountains.
We will end the day with a lovely dinner in one of Istanbul’s famous rooftop restaurants. It’s a great time to meet the worldwide famous Turkish cuisine after a tiring day.
Today we will experience the true vibe of Istanbul by joining a local food, history and hidden places tour which is organized by our sister company Taste of Istanbul Food Tours. The foodie walk spreads across the historical city center and through Istanbul’s vibrant neighboring districts. We will lead you to the best traditional Turkish restaurants, cafes and shops throughout the city that we have carefully selected for being run by locals whose passion is to serve authentic and delicious Turkish food, accompanied with the typical warm-hearted Turkish hospitality. Meanwhile you will have the chance to explore the captivating sights, have the opportunity to taste mouth-watering delicacies of the Turkish cuisine and hear the stories that lie behind the classic dishes.
The walk will start in bustling Taksim square and after promenading down the colorful Istiklal Street, we will keep exploring the local tastes walking through Galata Tower, Spice Market, Grand Bazaar and some sightseeing points which are considered as hidden gems of the city.
After the walk is over and we are literally full, we will head to a captivating hamam; the Turkish bath. A visit to Turkey will definitely be incomplete without this unique traditional experience.
Another joyful day will finish with another brilliant dinner; this time we will be a guest to a restaurant just next to Bosphorus.
After both visiting the highlights of the city and focusing on the unique experiences, it’s time to see the other side of Istanbul.
We will start the day in Fener & Balat; just next to the Golden Horn. These districts are surely among the ones that have the richest history in Istanbul. They are also on the list of the UNESCO heritage sites, and yet it is still a region rarely visited by tourists.
The kids playing in the streets, colorful old houses and the linen hanging from the windows give this area a unique charm and traces of Jewish, Armenian and Orthodox communities still stand. These districts are also home to several places of worship; several sinagogs, mosques, churches and even the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate which is a spiritual authority for 250 million Orthodox Christians.
After strolling the streets of both districts and visiting the important sights, we will have nice lunch with a great Bosphorus view and take a public ferry to Kadikoy which is the biggest district in Asian side. Kadikoy is known as the local face of Istanbul with bustling streets, enormous murals, hip cafes and trendy youngsters roaming around. We will spend the afternoon by joining the crowds to explore the local culture.
The day will be finalized by tasting the traditional Turkish dishes at a world-famous restaurant which was also on air in Netflix’s famous Chef’s Table.
Standard style accommodation in Turkey is your where you will find basic style guesthouses and/or hostels that have a variety of private rooms and some dorm rooms. The rooms will be clean but basic with no extras found within. Most standard style accommodation options would be 1-2 star equivalent.
Type of accommodations at this range: Guesthouse, Boutique guesthouse, Hostels, 1* and 2* Hotels.
This tour can be customized in detail according to your preference. You can request a different itinerary, adjust the number of nights, select different hotels and experiences, include or exclude the meals.
Please contact us in order to submit an inquiry for this tour.