TOURS IN ISTANBUL
TOUR 1- ISTANBUL CLASSICS AND HIGHLIGHTS
The palace which was constructed in the 15th century which was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire.
The Topkapı Palace is one of the most visited museum in Turkey with a number of 2,5 million visitors per year.
The palace has an area of 700.000 square meter. You certainly need a few hours to see the Harem, Imperial
Treasury, the courtyards, kitchens and the Holy Relics. The palace have an impressive vieuw by the Bosphorus,
the Marmara Sea and the Golden Horn.
The Caferağa Madrasah;
The building is a hidden place on the historical peninsula. The Caferağa Madrasah was used as an institution
for learning the Islamic philosophy, secular subjects and math. The education was free and the students could
also get food and housing. The Madrasah was constructed in the 16th century by Architect Sinan. Now it is used
by the artisians. This historical building is famous with its Ebru (Turkish water painting) You can also join a workshop
for doing Ebru (not included in the price).
One of the most important important highlights in Istanbul is Hagia Sophia. Hagia Sophia means 'Holy Wisdom'.
The first church was constructed during the reign of Constantine the Great. The latest church is dating back
to 6th century. This church had once the biggest dome in thel. The church was officially opened by Atatürk as a
musuem on 24 October 1934.
Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque);
There are almost four thousand mosques in Istanbul but the Blue Mosque is the most visited one. This mosque is
dating back to 17th century and was constructed by Architect Mehmet Ağa who was a student of the most
known architect in the world, called Architect Sinan. Sultanahmet Mosque which is called as the Blue Mosque is
famous with its blue tiles. There are more than 20 thousand of blue tiles. These tiles were produced in Iznik which
was known as Nıcea in the ancient time.
Hippodrome (Sultan Ahmet square);
This used to be the centre of Constantinople. The Hippodrome was constructed in 203 during the reign of
Septimus Severus. The Hippodrome was the stage for riots, social appareances of the royals and public
entertainments. The square was also a kind of open-air museum. The latest work on the hippodrome was the
German Fountain which is dating back to 19th century.
The Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı);
The Grand Bazaar was built by the order of Mehmet the Conqueror. This is the largest and oldest bazaar in all
over the world. This bazaar is famous with its carpets leather shop's, copperware, water pipes, old coins,
gold and mother of pearl mirrors.
TOUR 2- LESS KNOWN PLACES IN ISTANBUL
The Greek Orthodox Church- Ecumenical Patriarchate;
Worldwide headquarter of the Greek Orthodox churches is located in Fener, near the Golden Horn. The
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is called by the Greeks as 'first among equals' of all Orthodox spritual
leaders. This small church which is also called as St. George Church is worth to see for its tombs of three female
saints, the patriarchal throne from the 5th century and the relics of St. John Chrysostomos.
Maiden's Tower (Kız Kulesi);
There are many myths about the Maiden's Tower. But the most known myth is that a Byzantine emperor imprisoned
his daughter in this tower. One day a witch got apples for the girl and gave her a poisonous apple, she died after
eating it. That is why the tower is called the Maiden's Tower.
Mihrimah Sultan Mosque;
This small mosque was constructed between 1562-1565 for princess Mihrimah (meaning: sun and moon) Sultan
the daughter of Süleyman the Magificent. İt is constructed by Architect Sinan and have a small complex of
different buildings such as a madrasah (religous school) and an elemantary school, bazaar, tomb and a fountain.
This feminen mosque is located inside the city walls.
Pierre Loti Cafe;
The Pierre Loti Cafe takes its name from the French author who wrote his works here in the 19th century. The cafe
has a magnificent vieuw on the Golden Horn
Little Hagia sophia-Church of the Saint's Sergius and Bacchus;
This is a small-scale version of the famous Hagia Sophia church. Both of the churches are dating back to 6th
century. It is one of the oldest surviving monuments from the Byzantine period. A very interesting monument
which is transformed in to a mosque after the city was conquered by the Turks in the 15th century.
The World Monuments Fund added it to its watch list of the 100 most Endangered Sites. After the restoration
of several years it has been openede again for the public. We highly recommend to visit this mosque. A must see!
The city of Constantinople was surrounded by the city walls which is still excisting. These walls are called as sea
walls, land walls and Golden Horn walls. The first city walls were constructed by the order of Constantine
The Great in the 4th century. But most parts of the city walls are dating back to the 5th century.
TOUR 3- OLD AND NEW ISTANBUL
Armenian Church of Three Altars (Üç Horan Ermeni Kilisesi);
This church is located in Beyoğlu and known with its three seperate altars. The church is called by the Armenians
as Surp Yerrortutyun which means 'Holy Trinity'. The first church was constructed in the 16th century but the
second church was officially opened by Patriarch Isdepanos on 18 June 1838. This beatiful church is hidden
away behind a huge and heavy door.
The Süleymaniye Mosque;
One of the master work of the famous Ottoman architect Sinan. The Süleymaniye Mosque was constructed by the
order of Süleyman the Magnificent between 1550-1557. During the first three years 3000 workers are said to have
dug the earth on this area. The mosque was constructed on the third hill of Istanbul. Architect Sinan explains
the Süleymaniye Mosque as his 'stage of learning'. The complex of different buildings surrounding the mosque
seems as a seperate city.
The Bosphorus is a straight which seperates Asia and Europe. It's an international waterline under control of Turkey,
as mentioned in the Montraux Treaty (1936). During the boat tour you will see the historical and natural beauties
from two continents. Most of the summer palaces of the sultans were built at the coast line in this area. But at
the beginning there were only fishing villages near the Bosphorus. It was in 1973 after the opening of the
Bosphorus Bridge that two continents was connected to each other.
The Chora Church;
The church was called Chora which means 'outside of the city'. The first church on this site was constructed in
the 4th century but the present building is dating from the 11th century. The restoration of the church was mede
by the American Byzantine Institute and it took more than 30 years. The monastry which was dedicated to Jezus
Christ is famous with its marvellous mosaics. The stories depicted in the mosaics were taken from the Bible.
But some of the objects such as the birth and the childhood of Virgin Mary were taken from Apocalyptic
Bibles. There are more than 50 mosaic panelsand fresco's inside the church. They are just amazing.
It was in the 18th century that Beyoğlu became an area where the European embassies and merchants were
located. Beyoğlu is famous with İstiklal Street. On this street you will see the most beautifull buildings which is
dating back to 19th century. They attracts attention with their stone reliefs and human motifs. We will also see
the third oldest subway and the nostalgic tram which still operates.
The Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar)
This colourful and crowded bazaar is dating back to 18th century. Many types of spices and healing herbs can be
found in the Spice Bazaar. You can also find Turkish Delight, many types of nuts, oriental perfumes, dried meat,
cheese and honey. Surroundings of the bazaar is also very interesting. There is a Flower and Pet Market.
TOUR 4- ASIAN CONTINENT
Haydarpaşa railway station;
We will first pass with a ferry to the Asian continent and visit the historical railway station of the Asian ccntinent.
This is like a musuem. The Haydarpaşa railway station was constructed by the German architects Otto Ritter
and Helmuth Cuno between 1906-1908 as an extention of Baghdat railway. The building was also used as an
armory during World War I. The train station suffered a fire in 2010 and it was badly damaged. After the fire
it was restorated again.
The Küçüksu Kasrı Pavilion
This summer palace was constructed by an Armenian architect Nikogos Balyan for Sultan Abdülmecid between
1856 and 1857. The interior decoration was made by Sechan, stage designer at Vienna State Opera. And it has
a big collection of chrystal chandeliers from Bohemia, Italian marble and hand made carpets woven in Hereke.
The Küçüksu Kasrı Pavilion is located on the Asian continent by the Bosphorus. In the past the area of the palace
was popular picnic place for the members of the Ottoman Empire.
The Çamlıca Hill
This is the highest point of the Bosphorus and Istanbul It is 263m. high from the sea level. Çamlıca Hill was
used as apicnic area. During the Ottoman Empire a hunting villa was constructed here.
Kadıköy is the centre of the Asian Continent. In the Ancient times the district was called as Khalkedon which means
'the country of the blind'. The district was once a Roman state. One of the eucumanical councils was held here
in 451. After visiting the Haydarpaşa Railway Station we will walk to the Kadıköy local market. This market
has a dynamic business life and you will mostly see the locals.
TOUR 5- JEWISH HERITAGE IN ISTANBUL
Dear visitor, the majority of the Jews community in Turkey lives in Istanbul. You might be surprised at what
you will discover in Istanbul about the Jewish heritage. Because Turkey has played an important role in the
Jewish community. Especially, the great influx of the Jews in Turkey took place during the Spanish inquisition in
1492. For centuries Turkey has served as a safe passage for the Jews also fleeing of Nazizsm during
World War II. And, our tour will be in the Beyoğlu district. The highlights of this tour are; the
Neve Shalom Synagogue which is the largest synagogue in all of Istanbul. The Jewish Museum. This museum
is focusing on 700 years of harmonious co-existence between Jews and Turks. The most interesting fact
about this museum are the letters of Albert Einstein, which was sended to the Turkish goverment for asking
Turkish citizenship for the Jewish intellectuals during the World War II. You will also see many other places like
banks and apartments from the 19th century which was build by the Jews.
IMPORTANT: Please keep in mind that you can visit the synagogues in Turkey only by prior reservation.
Even our Jewish guests should fill in a visitor's info sheet and make copies of the visitor's passports.
All these documents have to be sended minimum four work days prior to the planned visit. You can
send these documents to the synagogues or we can help you to arrange the visits. If you exactly want to have
a Jewish guide, this is only available in Hebrew, English, Spanish, Italian and French.
TOUR 6- WHIRLING DERVISHES TOUR
The Whirling Dervishes took their name from Jelaleddin Rumi, the 13th century Sufi master and the mystical poet.
His poets are world famous and is almost translated in every language. The Whirling Dervishes are known with
their famous practice of whirling as a form of dhikr (rememberence of God). You can have the opportunity to
see a performance of sufi's in one of the most known Whirling Dervish hall. Keep in mind that the sema performance
is a religious ceremony. The performance is popular among the tourists and is often sold out so do the reservation
in advance. Here is one of the most known poet of Jelaleddin Rumi;
When a baby is taken from the wet nurse,
it easily forgets her
and starts eating solid food.
Seeds feed awhile on ground,
then lift up into the sun.
So you should taste the filtered light
and work your way toward wisdom
with no personal covering.
That's how you came here, like a star
without a name. Move across the night sky
with those anonymous lights.
TOUR 7- ISTANBUL BY NIGHT- SIGHTSEEING
Istanbul by Night tour is a 'must to do' in Istanbul. The guests will be picked up from the hotel at 19:30. We will
first pass the Bosphorus bridge and arrive in Çamlıca Hill and enjoy the magnificent vieuw on the
Bosphorus. Afterwards we will drive near the Bosphorus on both sides and will see the most important sights
and landmarks. During our tour we will stop by some places for photo shoots. The tour will end by the
historical peninsula. This tour includes transportation and guidance in your local language.
TOUR 8- ISTANBUL FOOD WALK
For a food lover is Istanbul a paradise. And eating on the Asian side is the most unique and exciting things.
In the morning we will depart to the Asian continent. We can pass the Bosphorus bridge with a van or pass with a
ferry. Our tour is in Kadıköy. This is the place where you mostly see the locals. The tour will start with a typical
Turkish breakfast. After the breakfast we will walk through the colourfull open market place and explore the
most popular Turkish foods like the grilled black sea fish, pickles, fried mussels, baklava, Turkish Delight, Turkish
coffee. We will also visit an art gallery and an Armenian church. The tour will end with a lunch by the most
famous restaurant Çiya. The restaurant features regional Anatolian cuisines. Finally we will go back to the
TOUR 9- ISTANBUL WALKING TOUR
We recomment you to do our walking tour by the first day of your visit in Istanbul. During the Walking Tour we
will visit the Rüstem Paşa Mosque, the oldest post office of Istanbul, the 19th century Sirkeci Train Station. This
used to be the last stop of the famous Orient Express train. The Orient Express, inspired also the novelist
Agatha Christie to write her novel ''Murder on the Orient Express''. Afterwards you will visit the Arasta Bazaar from
the 17th century. You will hear from your guide the fascinating stories and have fun. This tour is the only way to
truly experience this wonderful city. You will see a lot but never feel rushed.
TOUR 10- SHOPPING TOUR IN ISTANBUL
Do you want to shop till you drop ? So, this is a tour who wants to shop in a traditional and a trendy way.
This tour includes transportation and a guidence in your local language. Early in the morning you will be picked
up from your hotel and you will start your day with Nişantaşı which is the most trendy place in Istanbul. This is also
the place where you can see Armani, Gucci and Louis Vuitton stores. Our second stop will be by Kanyon Shopping
Mall. Kanyon coveres an area of 37,500 square meter and has 160 stores. We will also walk along the crowded
Istiklal Street and we will explore the hidden streets and trendy boutiques. And finally we will visit the world
famous Grand Bazaar from the 15th century. This bazaar is known with its 4 thousand of shops.