TOURS IN ISTANBUL

Tour of “Sultan Ahmet Center”, the heart of the “Old City” from where the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires were ruled.

Blue Mosque , which owes its name to the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. Dating from the 17th century, it is the only imperial mosque with six minarets.

Hippodrome the stadium of ancient Byzantium, held 100,000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire. Of these, an Egyptian obelisk and a bronze sculpture of three entwined serpents from Delphi survive.

Haghia Sophia . built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, this church is one of the marvels of world architecture. Its massive dome dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. It is famed for its mosaics, including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses.

Grand Bazaar was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4,000 shops are full of treasures including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons, and leather goods. Wandering through the Grand Bazaar, indulge in some shopping, Ottoman style.

Haghia Sophia is closed on Mondays when it is replaced on the tour by the Basilica Cistern. The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays.OR on Mondays, when Saint Sophia is closed, we visit the Chora Church, famed for its mosaics and frescoes. ( also available on Tuesday afternoons)

Topkapı Palace Built by Sultan Mehmed II, “the Conqueror,” in 1453, the palace served as the home of the sultans and their court until the mid-19th century. From afar, the Topkapi is still a sterling sight a walled array of domes and turrets and minaret-like chimneys and belvederes commanding the city from on high. A compound encompassing 173 acres of gardens, courtyards, workshops, kitchens, armories, baths, fountains, offices, halls and residential areas, the palace embodied the imperial might of the Ottoman Empire and manifested power through the inaccessibility of the sultan and his court.

Rüstem Paşa Mosque This 16th century Ottoman mosque is famed for unrivaled interior and exterior displays of fine Iznik Tiles.

Topkapı Palace is closed on Tuesdays.

Tour of “Sultan Ahmet Center”, the heart of the “Old City” from where the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires were ruled.

Blue Mosque , which owes its name to the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. Dating from the 17th century, it is the only imperial mosque with six minarets. Hippodrome the stadium of ancient Byzantium, held 100,000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire. Of these, an Egyptian obelisk and a bronze sculpture of three entwined serpents from Delphi survive.

Haghia Sophia . built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, this church is one of the marvels of world architecture. Its massive dome dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. It is famed for its mosaics, including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses.

Grand Bazaar was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4,000 shops are full of treasures – including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons, and leather goods. Wandering through the Grand Bazaar, indulge in some shopping, Ottoman style.

Haghia Sophia is closed on Mondays when it is replaced on the tour by the Basilica Cistern. The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays.OR on Mondays, when Saint Sophia is closed, we visit the Chora Church, famed for its mosaics and frescoes. ( also available on Tuesday afternoons)

Topkapı Palace Built by Sultan Mehmed II, “the Conqueror,” in 1453, the palace served as the home of the sultans and their court until the mid-19th century. From afar, the Topkapi is still a sterling sight — a walled array of domes and turrets and minaret-like chimneys and belvederes commanding the city from on high. A compound encompassing 173 acres of gardens, courtyards, workshops, kitchens, armories, baths, fountains, offices, halls and residential areas, the palace embodied the imperial might of the Ottoman Empire and manifested power through the inaccessibility of the sultan and his court.

Rüstem Paşa Mosque This 16th century Ottoman mosque is famed for unrivaled interior and exterior displays of fine Iznik Tiles.

Topkapı Palace is closed on Tuesdays.

Bosphorus Bridge
Crossing the magnificent intercontinental suspension bridge, you are transported from Europe into Asia.

Beylerbeyi Palace
This 19th century palace was a summer residence for the Ottoman sultans. Its beautiful location on the shores of the Bosphoros is matched by its elegant architecture and lavish interior.

Baghdad Street
Fashionable boutiques make Baghdad Street the most desirable shopping street on the Asian side of Istanbul.

Beylerbeyi Palace is closed on Mondays and Thursdays when it is replaced on the tour by the Hidiv Pavilion.

GOLDEN HORN, the arm of the Bosphorus and a natural harbour of the historical peninsula separating the old and the new parts of İstanbul where the first colonies settled during the Byzantine. The residential area for Byzantine Jews, Italian traders and other non-muslim minorities. Drive along the traces of history at Balat viewing Fener Orthodox Patriarchate, Metal Church of St. Stephen the Bulgarian, Ahrida Synagogue, Eyüp Sultan Mosque, named after the flagbearer of Prophet Mohammed, a place to worship and pilgrimage for religious visitors. 21 km long City Walls, the strongest fortification of the middle age. (VISIONED FROM THE BUS)

SPICE BAZAAR (Egyptian Bazaar), mystical smells of different aromas of various spices. Shops selling fruits, vegetables, fish, flowers etc.,

BOSPHORUS CRUISE, through the waterway separating the two continents, Europe and Asia, with a possibility to take photographs of marble palaces, ancient wooden villas of Ottoman architecture besides modern residentials and luxurious apartments.

RUMELİ FORTRESS FROM THE SEA (NO INTERIOR VISIT), historical armament built by the Conqueror to control and protect Bosphorus. A unique example of military architecture.

HALF DAY MORNING TOURS TERMINATE AT SULTANAHMET CENTER IN FRONT OF HAGIA SOPHIA

in the afternoon SPICE BAZAAR maybe substituted with

ZİNDAN HAN, built during the Byzantine Empire and was used as the first Women Prison in the world by the Ottomans. Restored back to the original style, today is the Jewellery Center by Storks exhibiting the unique collections of famed products.

IMPORTANT NOTICE Bosphorus Tours are practiced with regular boat if minimum number of attendants is not provided for the private boat

Dolmabahce Palace, the last residence for Ottoman Sultans with 365 rooms and 22 saloons. Famous with the great collection of European antiquity, furniture and 4.5 tons chandelier.
Bosphorus Bridge, unique chance to step from one continent (Europe) to another (Asia) in 2 minutes.
Shopping possibility at Bedesten
Bosphorus Bridge
The famous suspension bridge connecting two continents
Çamlıca Hill
The highest point in Istanbul with a panoramic view
Beylerbeyi Palace
One of the lavishly decorated 19th century summer palaces of the Ottoman Sultans.

Cruising along the European and Asian shores by prepublic boat, you will be surprised to see the harmony of Ottoman and modern architecture.
As you are cruising along the Bosphorus, you will have the oppurtunity to see the major highlights of the city from the boat.
Dolmabahçe; Magnificient 3rd residence of the Ottoman Sultans.
Beşiktaş; Commercial district of the new city.
Beylerbeyi; Summer Palace of Ottoman Sultans.
Rumeli Fortress; Built by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror.
Ortaköy; Very famous area for handicrafts and night life.
Kızkulesi, an ancient lighthouse with many stories told about.

Upon disembarking from the boat you will be taken to the Sirkeci Train
Station where nostalgic moments will be lived.

Bosphorus Cruise
Spice Bazaar – Rumeli Fortress
Lunch
Dolmabahce Palace
Bosphorus Bridge (from Europe to Asia)
Shopping possibility Bedesten
The tour ends approximately at 17:00
Also visioned during the tour: Imperial Gardens of Royal Yildiz Palace, Ciragan Palace, Kempinski Hotel, Dolmabahce Palace, Bosphorus Bridge connecting Europe & Asia continents, Beylerbeyi Palace from the sea.
Closed: Dolmabahce Palace on Monday and Thursday
Replaced with Imperial Yildiz Park and Yildiz Porcelain Factory
Rumeli Fortress on Wednesday
Spice (Egyptian) Bazaar on Sunday
If you feel the need to escape from the bustle of Istanbul for a day, nothing could be easier. You simply join us aboard a ferry bound for the charming Princes’ Islands. Our destination is Büyükada, the largest of the island chain, but we will pass by four other islands on the way.

All are famous for their mild climates, lush vegetation and ornate Ottoman houses, and on all of them cars are banned. The preferred means of transportation is the charming horse-drawn carriage known as the phaeton, which we will use on our circular tour of Büyükada, passing elegant mansions draped in brilliant purple bougainvillea. You will feel as though you have stepped back into a more leisured and gracious age, almost expecting grand 19th century ladies and gentlemen to come strolling down to the waterfront on an afternoon promenade.

Lunch will be at one of the many excellent traditional fish-restaurants on the waterfront, gazing across the water at the Asian shore of Istanbul, so close though it feels worlds away.

TOURS OUT OF ISTANBUL

Departure by ferryboat via YALOVA, enjoying the lovely countryside view. Drive to BURSA, former Ottoman Capital and lunch of famous “Kebap of Alexander The Great”.
Climb to ULUDAĞ (first stage), the legendary MOUNT OLYMPOS, by TELEFERİK(cable-car), visit to ULUCAMİ (Grand Mosque),
the GREEN MOSQUE and the GREEN MAUSOLEUM (from outside), the old SILK MARKET in the COVERED BAZAAR.
Late evening return to İstanbul and transfer to hotels.
Drive to the 600 years survivor İnkaya Plane Tree and coffee-break on the way to Uludağ, if Teleferik does not operate
CAPPADOCIA (Daily – 2 Days – 3 Days or 4 Days / By Plane – Bus)
Day 1 Early morning flight to Kayseri or night bus to Urgup. Departure for Cappadocia, the “Wonderland”.

Walk through the “Fairy Chimneys” in DEVRENT VALLEY. PAŞABAĞ (Monks’)VALLEY, practice pottery production with the ancient technique in AVANOS. Visit toGÖREME, the “open-air museum” holding the earliest churches and chapels carved in fairy chimneys presenting finest examples of frescoes. PIGEON VALLEY, petrified valley of UÇHİSAR, the highest point in the region. Dinner and overnight.

Day 2 Visit to the HOSPITAL MONASTERY. Walk into the “wonderland” atKIZILÇUKUR (Red Valley) and the village of ÇAVUŞİN with rock-cut dwellings.

UNDERGROUND CITY OF KAYMAKLI, rock-cut city beneath the earth up to 8-9 levels where early Christians used to hide from Roman and Byzantine persecution. Explore the rock formations in ÇATALKAYA. A fantastic overview of the fairy chimneys from ESENTEPE. Dinner and overnight.

Day 3 DERİNKUYU UNDERGROUND CITY walk through amazing IHLARA VALLEY. Lunch at Belisırma. Visit to monasteries at YAPRAKHİSAR and SELİME. Dinner and overnight.

Day 4 Mustafa Paşa which inhabited by Greek Othodox families until the beginning of the 20th century. Walk through the Damsa Lake. Visit to Keşlik, Archangelos Monastery with a church hall. After lunch, visit to Soğanlı where you will be seeing two valleys “Deep Valley” and “Can Valley”. Watching local women baking bread. At the end of the tour, driving to Taşkınpaşa for a wonderful panoramic view. Evening plane from Kayseri or bus from Urgup to Istanbul.
* This tour may start from Ankara, upon request, visiting Anatolian Civilizations (Hittite) Museum, Mausoleum of ATATÜRK and Seldjoukian Ağzıkarahan Caravanserai.

Tour Includes:
Round trip tickets, transfers, half-board accommodation at a 4* or a boutique hotel upon availability (breakfast & dinner), professional guidance, museum entrance fees, lunch during the tours and V.A.Tax (18%); excludes drinks and transfer from the bus station to the hotel in Istanbul in the bus package.

By Plane: 1 hour / way
By Bus: approximately 10 hours / way

Early morning flight to İZMİR or night bus to KUŞADASI and departure for EPHESUS, one of the “Seven Churches of Revelation”. Visit to St. JOHN BASILICA and theTEMPLE of ARTEMİS, one of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World”.

Last abode of VIRGIN MARY at Mount Solmissos and lunch at SELÇUK. Visit to the old Greco-Roman city of EPHESUS, Marble Street, Odeon, Bouleterion, Temple of Hadrian and Serapis, Agora, Library of Celcius, Great Theatre, Double Church, Arcadian Way, Gate of Magnesia.

Flight from İzmir or bus from Kuşadası to İstanbul

Early start to the ancient city of TROY, famous with the legendary TROJAN HORSEfrom the times of Beautiful Helen, the Queen of Sparta and Paris, the Trojan Prince.
Ferry across DARDANELLES and lunch at ÇANAKKALE.

Visit to GALLIPOLI, famous battlefield, Anzac Cove, War Cemeteries (Beach Cemetery, Quinn’s Post, The Nek) and the ANZAC MEMORIALS (Lone Pine – Australian Memorial, Conk Bair – New Zealand Memorial, Hellespont – English Memorial) of the navak battle (18 March 1915) during World War I.

Dinner on the way and late evning return to İstanbul

SPECIAL TOURS

Start after breakfast for a full day tour in centuries-old Jewish neighborhood, Galata, with its tower built by the Genoese. Visit Neve Shalom Synagogue & Ashkenaz Synagogue, drive to Balat along the Golden Horn where the Star of David appears on the facades of some buildings.

Visit to Ahrida Synagogue, built in the 15th century. If required, lunch at Jewish Hospital (Or-Ahayim).
Visit to the special “Exhibition of the Quincentennial Foundation” about the Jews in Türkiye, upon private randezvous, and the Jewish Cemetery, where the martyrs of Neve Shalom are buried. Last stop at Ortaköy, first disembark point of Sepharads, welcommed by the Ottoman Sultan, and visit to Etz-Ahayim Synagogue.

Dedicated to the 2000 th. Birthday of Jesus Christ
The Ecumenical Patriarchate at Fener, by Golden Horn, is the heart of Orthodox Christianity.

After Costantine the Great’s declaration of Christianity as the religion of Roman Empire, the capital was moved from Rome to Byzantium. With the conquest (1453) of Ottoman Empire the seat of Patriarchate remained in Istanbul.

The Church commanding a loyalty about 250 million faithful.
Church of Panagia of Blachernae, the best known and most celebrated shrine of the Holy Virgin located near Golden Horn. Famed with the hagiasma (fountain of holy water), good to cure health problems, and the Hagion Lousma (sacred bath) good to clean the soul, where the emperor also came to purify himself.

(Kariye), originally a Byzantine monastery, dedicated to Jesus Christ the Savior, survived with fantastic mosaics and frescoes, portraying scenes from the Bible, the life and miracles of Jesus.

The monastic complex of Christ Pantocrator (Fethiye) was one of the largest and best organized of the Byzantine period, comprising two churches and a funerary chapel, baths, a hospice for the aged, a hospital and a medical school, a hostel for travellers and a library.

Zoodochos Pege at Balikli, dedicated to the Mother of God at Pege, with an underground cistern, full of gold fish related to a well-known miracle, and the fountain of holy water, believed to cure many diseases, is one of the most celebrated shrines.

St. Sergius & Bacchus, a landmark in Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture. Today it is known as the “Little Hagia Sophia” because its general plan is a precursor of the Hagia Sophia.
Hagia Sophia, for many centuries was the largest church of Christendom, dedicated to Divine Wisdom, an attribute of Christ. Hagia Sophia played an important role as emperors were crowned and many victories were celebrated in this remarkable building.

Hagia Eirene, the old patriarchal church with its impressive size stands next to Hagia Sophia.
Church of the St. Mary Pammacaristos (Zeyrek), built in XI. century by John Comnenus, displaying the aesthetic refinement attained to Paleologan age, originally belonged to a convent of nuns. Housed the Patriarchate for a while after the conquest.

Our Concierge provides intercity tours. For more info, please contact +90 212 368 45 60 or 368 4444 ext. 6205

concierge@intercontinentalistanbul.com