This private guided tour is specifically designed for those who like to discover the city on foot. In Istanbul you may travel almost everywhere by public transport fast and easy. We will sometimes use a ferry and sometimes subway or tram to navigate through the city. Don't forget that the best way of exploring a new city is to use public transport or walking. This is how you will feel like a local. Our purpose is to show you our beautiful city just like the way we the locals perceive it. Do not worry for the transporation card as we will already be providing it for you. Just enjoy it !
Day 1: Highlights of Istanbul Walking Tour
For the first time visitors to Istanbul it's always a good idea to see the highlights of the city during the first day of your visit for a good introduction accompanied by the stories of this stunning city blended with history, culture, mythology, geography and cuisine. We have tailored an itinerary covering all the must see places of Istanbul for you.
Our tour guide meets you at your hotel at 9:00 to begin your walking tour in the capital of three great empires. We start with the TOPKAPI PALACE, the former imperial residence from which the Great Ottoman Empire was ruled for nearly 400 years. Today a spectacular museum, it is famous for its collections of treasury of the Ottoman Royal Family. You will chase the memories of the sultans and the Ottoman Empire through 400 years of the most glorious victories, happiest moments, and mournful days.(The Harem is not included on the itinerary)
After the Palace we walk to HAGIA SOPHIA via a cobblestone road filled with old Ottoman houses. This 6th century church, a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, welcomes you with its legends and mosaics. You will have a chance to touch the history of this church, a main attraction of the city since its construction.
After lunch in a local restaurant you will visit HIPODROME: The former center of sportive and political activities of Constantinople. You will be able to see the Obelisk from Egypt, Serpentine Column from Delphi and fountain of Willhelm II. Now it's time to see so famous Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultanahment Mosque. One of the biggest mosques and principal adornments of the Istanbul skyline, the Blue Mosque was built in the 17th century. Once inside the mosque, blue Iznik tiles and stained glasses will surround you. We continue with BASILICA CISTERN (in Tukish also known as Yerebatan Sarayı - "Sunken Palace"), is the largest of tens of ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city.
The final stop will be the GRAND BAZAAR the largest and the biggest covered market in the world. Our tour guide will provide the history of the Bazaar as well as some helpful tips on navigating its more than 4000 shops. We are ending the day after the market between 16:00-17:00.
Day 2: Two Continents Tour
This is the day we are exploring two different sides of Istanbul, Europe and Asia, in one day. Our tour guide will meet you at the hotel at 9:00am. Our first stop will be SULEYMANIYE Mosque. This mosque, constructed by the great Ottoman architect Sinan in 1557, is regarded as the most beautiful of all imperial mosques. In addition to the outside architecture, you will visit the tombs of the Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent and his wife Roxelana. We will continue with Rustem Pasa Mosque another splendid mosque built by architect Sinan in the 16th century. Rustem Pasha is famous for the most beautiful examples of Ottoman Tile art pieces adorning it’s walls on the inside. Next stop will be Spice Market with vendors selling spices, dried fruits, cheeses, sausages, jams, nuts, seeds, lokum (Turkish Delight) and other edibles. After the Market we will take a boat for the Bosphorus Cruise to see beautiful Asian and European coastlines of Istanbul. Bosphorus is a unique natural water strait both sides of which filled in Palaces, Yalis ( old Ottoman Houses), historical mosques and many other buildings and many neighbourhoods with their own unique cultures. We are getting off the ferry after the cruise in the Bosphorus in Uskudar in the Asian side. After a short walk around Uskudar we will take public transport to go to the Kadikoy disctrict. We are having lunch in a nice local restaurant in Kadikoy. There are the local markets we are exploring together. Kadikoy is probably the most vibrant and local district of Istanbul. After that we are taking a ferry on our way back to Europe. The tour will end between 16:00-17:00pm at your hotel.
Day 3: Fener&Balat, Dolmabahce Palace and Taksim Square
Today we are not only visiting a beautiful palace called Dolmabahce on the Bosphorus but also exploring both the downtown and off the beaten areas of Istanbul Fener&Balat neighbourhoods. Our first stop of the day will be the DOLMABAHCE PALACE, which extends for 600 meters along the European coast of the Bosphorus. This palace, constructed between 1843 and 1858 by Sultan I Abdulmecit, contains eclectic elements from the Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical styles, blended with traditional Ottoman architecture to create a new synthesis. Dolmabahce has the largest collection of Bohemian and Baccarat crystal chandeliers in the world, and one of the great staircases has balusters of Baccarat crystal. After the Palace we are taking funicular (subway with only one stop) to go to the TAKSIM SQUARE. We are having a nice walk around ISTIKLAL STREET where locals like to hang out.The architecture of the buildings in that area will remind you of French style, and the street was once called Rue de Pera by it’s French residents. We will see GALATA TOWER from outside and the go to Karakoy neighbourhood for a lunch break in a local restaurant. Afterwards we are taking a cab to the Fener and Balat neighbourhoods where we are visiting the CITY WALLS of Constantinople first stretching for 6.5 kilometers from the Golden Horn to the Sea of Marmara and commisioned by Emperor Theodosius II in the 5th century. We will continue by exploring the two neighborhoods FENER and BALAT where you will enjoy the most authentic houses of Istanbul and many eastern Orthodox churches and also the Petriarchate of the Orthodox Church. We are ending the tour between 16:00-1700.
This tour can be fully customized according to your interests.
Price: Please contact us for the price and the availability.