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Learn how 500 years of Ottoman rule transformed Istanbul

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8 Days/ 7 Nights
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Min Age : 18+
Tour Details

The only city in the world that is in both Asia and Europe, Istanbul also straddles the ancient and modern worlds.

The best way to experience Istanbul is to allow for unscheduled wandering in between visits to historical sites and museums. Rise early enough to partake of the renowned Turkish breakfast. And ride the ferries, often. They’re not just a way to get from here to there; on a ferry you can rest feet weary from sightseeing, drink tea, or eat a grilled-cheese sandwich and take in the best views of anywhere in the city.

The ghosts of marauding Crusaders and marching janissaries haunt the city’s historic alleyways—but this is no museum: the Bosporus is still a buzzing artery for maritime trade, and the sounds of building construction play a constant counterpoint to the shouts of street hawkers and the call of the muezzin. There are several reasons why visitors return repeatedly: the setting is exceptional, right on the Sea of Marmara and astride the busy Bosporus Strait. And Istanbul’s skyline is a stunning mélange of domes, minarets, medieval towers, and office buildings looming over low-rise residential structures.

Today the cultural and financial center of Turkey, Istanbul has been the capital of three empires—Byzantine, Roman, and Ottoman. Our Istanbul travel guide combines the best of Istanbul old and new.

Departure & Return Location

Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Turkey

Departure Time

3 Hours Before Flight Time

Price Includes

  • Accommodation with breakfast
  • All transportations in destination location
  • Airport transfers
  • Meals as per the itinerary
  • Sightseeing and excursions as per the itinerary

Price Excludes

  • Airfares
  • Any expenses of personal nature / room service fee / tips
  • Visa
  • GST if applicable
  • Cost of excursions, entrance fees, and guides availed by passengers other than those mentioned under tour inclusions

Things to carry

  • Comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for the destination
  • Sunscreen / sunglasses / umbrella
  • Hats / caps/ comfortable shoes
  • Identity documents and other travel documents (visa, if applicable)
  • Medication and first aid along with the prescription

For more details refer to Travel Planning Guide

What to Expect

The conquering armies of ancient times tended to ransack the city rather than endow it with artistic treasures, but all that changed with the Byzantines, who adorned their churches and palaces with mosaics and frescoes. Miraculously, many of these remain. Their successors, the Ottomans, were quick to launch an ambitious building program and the magnificently decorated imperial mosques that resulted are architectural triumphs that together form one of the world’s great skylines. In recent years, local banks and business dynasties have reprised the Ottomans’ grand ambitions and endowed an impressive array of galleries, museums and festivals for all us to enjoy.

Pack your bags and hop in to our tour encompassing a magical meeting place of East and West has more top-drawer attractions than it has minarets.

  • The Bazaars of Istanbul
  • Palaces and Mosques to keep you in awe
  • The Best kept secret in Istanbul
  • Visible essence of Ottoman rule on the Architectural marvels
Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Istanbul

After arriving, you’ll be greeted and transferred to the hotel.

In the evening, visit the Hagia Sophia Museum and Church from the outside and inside. Then, stroll in the park between Aya Sofia and Blue Mosque, scouring the Thutmose III Obelisk and The Hippodrome. Enjoy the beautiful scene and the multitude of people, races and ethnicities.

Come back for an overnight stay at the hotel.

(Overnight in Istanbul)

Day 2Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque

Post breakfast, visit the Topkapi Palace: the Ottoman Sultans’ palace. One can enjoy tea or Turkish coffee in the nice seaside cafeteria inside the palace.

Then, it is time to see the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) with the beautiful 6 minarets and gorgeous tile work.

Come back marvelled for an overnight stay at the hotel.

(Overnight in Istanbul)

Day 3Strolling through Taqsim Square

After breakfast, drive to the famous Taqsim Square then stroll down Istiklal Street for your shopping needs. You will see the famous Galatasaray Red Tram here.

You will come across a nice church (St. Anthony of Padua) on the way then you may stroll down a nice neigbourhood discovering many shops for music instruments and art.

The view from Galata Tower is not to be missed. If you are a photographer you may want to go twice, once in daylight and once at sundown.

After you experience the tower, walk down the Galata Bridge across the Golden Horn to see The New Mosque.

End the day with a nice dinner.

(Overnight in Istanbul)

Day 4Bosphorus Cruise and Suleymaniye Mosque

Early morning, head out to the Bosphorus Cruise. It takes off from the Eminonu Pier next to Galata Bridge and lasts for about 6 hours (cruising time is 90 minutes each way). You will see The Rumeli Fortress from the sea and spend some time at a fishermen village called Anadolu Kavagi where you can have lunch.

In the afternoon, walk up the hill to see the magnificent Suleymaniye Mosque the masterwork of Mimar Sinan the greatest Ottoman architect (it has four minarets and required 5 years to build). You’d find it to be peaceful and elegant.

Come back for an overnight stay at the hotel.

(Overnight in Istanbul)

Day 5Bazars of Istanbul

Start the day by visiting the Arrastra Bazar which is much more upscale than the Grand Bazar; the sellers here are much nicer and less pushy and obnoxious. A visit to the magnificent Basilica Cistern is next.

Walk to the Egyptian Spice Bazar, then to Rustem Pasha Mosque to enjoy its beautiful blue and white Iznik tiles.

(Overnight at Istanbul)

Day 6Scouring past Mosques and Palaces

After breakfast, proceed to Eyup to see the Eyup Sultan Mosque. Then, take the cable up the steep hill to Pierre Loti Tepesi to enjoy the view from high and deep in the Golden Horn.

Spend the second half of the day at the splendid Dolmabshçe Palace marveling at the rich architectural finesse.

An overnight stay at the hotel follows.

(Overnight in Istanbul)

Day 7The Best Kept secret in Istanbul!

Start the day at the Archaeology Museum appreciating the opulent Ottoman culture for 2-3hours.

Next, you’d be driven to the best-kept secret in Istanbul – The Yildiz Park and Chalet. There are two magnificent rooms in the chalet that is arguably more beautiful and impressive than all other palaces in Istanbul.

(Overnight in Istanbul)

Day 8Departure from Istanbul

After breakfast, proceed to the airport for your onward journey.Recollect the rich essence of the Ottoman architecture on your way back.

Map

Photos