FULL-DAY ISTANBUL GROUP TOURS

Istanbul full-day sightseeing tours include the best sights of Istanbul in the historical area, a Bosphorus Cruise, visit to the Princes Islands or Bursa and more.

ISTANBUL OLD CITY CLASSICS AND HIGHLIGHTS (FULL DAY – EVERY DAY)

istanbul-domes8:00 – 8:45 Departure from your hotel. We will first visit the Hippodrome, a stadium for chariot races and other events in Byzantine times and also see the Serpent Pillar from Delphi and the Egyptian Obelisk. We continue to the Blue Mosque, which was built in the 17th century and is the only imperial mosque with 6 minarets. We also see the ornate German fountain which was a gift of Kaiser Wilhelm II. We see the magnificent Saint Sophia (Haghia Sofia) which was built by the emperor Justinian in the 6th century A.D and stands over much older remains of a church, which can still be seen. We will see both levels of the former church with intricate mosaics of biblical scenes and the Byzantine emperors and empresses, then on to the Grand Bazaar, which has over 4000 shops full of treasures where you will see a demonstration of Turkish handicrafts. We will enjoy lunch in a local restaurant and then explore the Topkapi Palace including four courtyards. It was the home of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th-19th centuries A.D. We see the Imperial Treasury with the famous Spoonmaker Diamond. Also the Baghdad Kiosk, Audience Hall and Divan. We will also have a view of the Haghia Irene Church from outside. (Harem section is optional and due an extra entry fee). We continue to the Caferaga Medrese which was designed by the architect Sinan and built in the 16th century, now used as a learning center for traditional Turkish arts. We will also take a stroll down Sogukcesme Street with its cobblestones and charming Ottoman Houses. *Note that the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sunday and on Fridays the Caferaga Medrese is visited in the morning and Blue Mosque in the afternoon. This tour is a combination of two half-day tours and is done all or partially as a walking tour. *Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesday/St Sophia is closed on Monday and is replaced by the Chora Museum.
PRICE: 70 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED

BOSPHORUS CRUISE AND DOLMABAHCE PALACE (FULL DAY– EXCEPT ON MONDAY AND THURSDAY) 

8:10 – 8:45 Departure from your hotel. You will first see the “Egyptian” Spice Market, which stands near the mouth of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. The market was built in the 17th century A.D. and is still a thriving place with spices and souvenirs of all types. We will also visit the beautiful Iznik tile-covered Rustempasa Mosque, which was built by the architect Sinan in 1560 for the grand vizier of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. We embark on our Bosphorus Cruise up the strait that divides Europe from Asia and leads to the Black Sea. From the ship you will see beautiful mosques, palaces, new luxury villas, very old Ottoman houses and the Rumeli Fortress. We end our cruise, cross the Bosphorus Bridge then head for the Camlica Hill viewpoint over Istanbul where you can also see the Princes’ Islands and the Marmara Sea. Then we continue to the “Selamlik” chambers of the incredible 19th c. Dolmabahce Palace. Return to your hotel around 17:00.
PRICE: 70 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED

BOSPHORUS AND BLACK SEA CRUISE BY PRIVATE BOAT (FULL DAY – EVERY DAY)

8:30 – 8:45 Departure from your hotel and transfer to Kabatas. Departure by private boat at 09:00 through the Bosphorus, the waterway that divides Europe and Asia. Our first stop around 09:15 will be in the charming waterside town of Ortakoy where we will spend about 30 minutes. Reboard the boat and continue up the Bosphorus for a visit of the magnificent Kucuk Su Kasri (10:00 – 11:15). We will continue to Rumeli Fortress, built in 1452 by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror as a part of his efforts to conquer the city of Constantinople (Istanbul). We arrive around 11:35 and spend about 1 hr exploring the fortress. After this, lunch will be served on the boat including a soft drink. We finally reach the end of the Bosphorus with a visit of Poyrazkoy (15:00 – 16:00). Return to Kabatas at around 17:45 and transfer to your hotel. A swimming break is given during the summer months so bring your swimsuit and towel. Note: Kucuk Su Kasri replaced with Maidens Tower on Monday and Thursday. Rumeli Fortress is closed on Wednesday and replaced with Maidens Tower.
PRICE: 79 EURO PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED

BOSPHORUS CRUISE AND OTTOMAN CLASSICS (FULL DAY– EXCEPT ON TUESDAY)

8:00 – 8:45 Departure from your hotel. You will first see the “Egyptian” Spice Market, which stands near the mouth of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. The market was built in the 17th century A.D. and is still a thriving place with spices and souvenirs of all types. We will also visit the beautiful Iznik tile-covered Rustempasa Mosque, which was built by the architect Sinan in 1560 for the grand vizier of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. We embark on our Bosphorus Cruise up the strait that divides Europe from Asia and leads to the Black Sea. From the ship you will see beautiful mosques, the Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, new luxury villas, very old Ottoman Houses and the Rumeli Fortress. We will cross over the Galata Bridge and have lunch. After lunch we will explore the Topkapi Palace. It was the home of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th-19th century A.D. (Harem section is optional and due an extra entry fee). The tour ends in the Grand Bazaar, which has over 4000 shops full of treasures.  Return to your hotel around 17:30. This tour is a combination of two half-day tours.
PRICE: 70 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED

ISTANBUL IMPERIAL AND BOSPHORUS TOUR (FULL DAY - EVERY DAY)

8:00 – 8:45 Departure from your hotel. Today we will visit the Saint Sophia (Haghia Sofia) which was built by the emperor Justinian in the 6th century A.D and stands over much older remains of a church. See beautiful mosaics of biblical scenes and the Byzantine emperors and empresses. We continue to the Blue Mosque, which was built in the 17th century and is the only imperial mosque with 6 minarets. We continue to the Hippodrome, a stadium and meeting place in Byzantine times, the Serpent Pillar from Delphi and the Egyptian Obelisk, with the Fountain of Wilhelm. We will continue to the “Egyptian” Spice Market, which stands near the mouth of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. The market was built in the 17th century A.D. and is still a thriving place with spices and souvenirs of all types. We embark on our Bosphorus Cruise up the strait that divides Europe from Asia and leads to the Black Sea. From the ship you will see beautiful mosques, the Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, new luxury villas, very old Ottoman Houses and the Rumeli Fortress. Return to your hotel around 17:30. This tour is a combination of two half-day tours.
PRICE: 70 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED

GOLDEN HORN AND BOSPHORUS CRUISE (FULL DAY– EXCEPT ON WEDNESDAY)

8:00 – 08:45 Departure from your hotel. We will take a ride by public ferry boat on the Golden Horn passing churches and historical buildings. We then take a Cable Car up to Pierre Loti Hill where you will get a beautiful view of the Golden Horn from the famous Pierre Loti Café. We continue to the Kariye Museum (Chora Church) with its 14th century mosaics and frescoes with scenes from the Bible. We see Istanbul’s Byzantine City Walls (view) that were for the most part built during the 5th century by Emperor Theodosius and are 8 km long. Topkapi Gate (view only) takes its name from the time of Fatih (Mehmet). At the end of the walls on the Marmara Sea side of the city walls view the Castle of the Seven Towers (view only). It was used as a prison during Byzantine and Ottoman times. After lunch we will see the “Egyptian” Spice Market, which stands near the mouth of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. The market was built in the 17th century A.D. and is still a thriving place with spices and souvenirs of all types. We embark on our Bosphorus Cruise up the strait that divides Europe from Asia and leads to the Black Sea. From the ship you will see beautiful mosques, the Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, new luxury villas, very old Ottoman Houses and the Rumeli Fortress. Return to your hotel around 17:00. This tour is a combination of two half-day tours.
PRICE: 70 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED

GOLDEN HORN AND OTTOMAN RELICS (FULL DAY– EXCEPT ON TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY)

8:00 – 08:45 Departure from your hotel. We will take a ride by boat on the Golden Horn passing churches and historical buildings. We then take a Cable Car up to Pierre Loti Hill where you will get a beautiful view of the Golden Horn and can enjoy a tea or coffee in the famous Pierre Loti Café. We continue to the Kariye Museum (Chora Church) with its 14th century mosaics and frescoes with scenes from the Bible. We see Istanbul’s Byzantine City Walls (view) that were for the most part built during the 5th century by Emperor Theodosius and are 8 km long. Topkapi Gate (view only) takes its name from the time of Fatih (Mehmet). At the end of the walls on the Marmara Sea side of the city walls view the Castle of the Seven Towers (view only). It was used as a prison during Byzantine and Ottoman times. After lunch we explore the Topkapi Palace. It was the home of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th-19th century A.D. We see the Imperial Treasury with the famous Spoonmaker Diamond. Also the Baghdad Kiosk, the Armory with its collection of Ottoman weapons and a fine collection of ceramics. (Harem section is optional and due an extra entry fee). The tour ends in the Grand Bazaar, which has over 4000 shops full of treasures Return to your hotel around 17:30. *Note that on Sunday the Grand Bazaar is closed. This tour is a combination of two half-day tours.
PRICE: 70 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED

ISTANBUL JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR AND BOSPHORUS CRUISE (FULL DAY – EXCEPT ON SATURDAY/ SUNDAY/RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS)

8:00 – 08:45 Departure from your hotel. Istanbul has had a thriving Jewish community for more than 1000 years. Sultan Mehmet II encouraged immigration and over half a million Jews who were persecuted in Spain and Portugal established themselves within the Ottoman Empire. In Istanbul they settled mostly near Galata which is a quarter on the northern bank of the Golden Horn. We walk in Galata and find ourselves in streets full of colorful life. We visit the Zulfaris Museum, with historic and ethnographic sections, celebrating over 500 years of friendship between Turks and Jews, also the Ashkenazi Synagogue, Schneidertemple and the unique Camondo steps. We will view the Georgian Synagogue, Neve Shalom Synagogue, Italian Synagogue, Jewish Apartments and Kamondo Building from outside. You will hear the amazing story of Abraham Kamondo. We will have lunch and then we drive to Pierre Loti and take the cable car up for a view of the Golden Horn area and Eyup. After this we have a panoramic Golden Horn tour by bus. We board our boat for a 90 minute Cruise of the Bosphorus where you will have views of the magnificent Dolmabahce Palace, Tower or Leander (Kizkulesi) and two of the Bosphorus bridges. You will also view the Rumeli Fortress, old Ottoman Mansions and new luxury villas on the shores of the Bosphorus. The tour ends around 17:30. *Important: Prior Notice and photocopy of Passports required. This tour is a combination of two half-day tours.
PRICE: 105 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED

ASIAN SIDE OF ISTANBUL – USKUDAR AND KADIKOY (FULL DAY - TUESDAY ONLY)

8:00 – 08:45 Departure from your hotel. We will be dropped at the Marmaray Train Station and take the Marmaray which is a train that goes through a tunnel under the Marmara Sea. We arrive in Uskudar and do a walking tour of the charming Ottoman district which has historical mosques and interesting neighborhoods. Following the walk which lasts approximately three hours we have lunch at a local restaurant and then continue using the Marmaray train to Kadikoy. Kadikoy was known in ancient times as Chalcedon or ‘City of the Blind’. We visit the historical harbor buildings of Kadikoy and continue down the narrow streets to the famous fish market and fashionable district of Moda. Highlights today include the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, Bird Houses of Yeni Valide Mosque, Tekke of Aziz Mahmud Hudai, Ayazma Mosque, Janissary Grave Stones, Semsi Pasa Mosque, Surp Takavor Church and Ayia Efimia Church. Following the tour we take a 20 minute boat ride by ferry and cross the Bosphorus. Transfer to your hotel. The tour ends around 17:30.
PRICE: 90 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED

ISTANBUL – BYZANTINE MONASTERIES AND CHURCHES TOUR (FULL DAY – EXCEPT ON WEDNESDAY)

8:00 – 08:45 Departure from your hotel. This tour is for those who are keenly interested in Byzantine art and civilization. Istanbul was the capital of the Byzantine Empire from the 4th – 5th centuries. We take you on a special walk covering most of the Byzantine monasteries in Istanbul and we also see ruins of Byzantine churches, stone houses, cisterns, dungeons and more. Highlights include St. Polyeuktos Church ruins, Aspar Cistern, Pammakaristos Church (Fethiye Mosque) and the incomparable Church of St Saviour in Chora with its breathtaking mosaics and frescos. We also view Pantocrator Church, the Chapel of St John the Forerunner and Tekfur Palace from outside. The tour ends around 17:30.
PRICE: 90 EURO PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED

PRINCES’ ISLANDS TOUR (FULL-DAY – EVERY DAY*)

8:00 – 8:45 Departure from your hotel. We will board the ferry for an enjoyable ride to the Princes’ Islands. We will pass four islands with their charming old Ottoman houses and finally reach Buyukada, the largest of the islands. We will take a tour of the island by Phaeton (horse and cart) for approximately 45 minutes and will pass elegant old wooden mansions and beautiful natural scenery. There are also old churches on the islands and vehicles are banned so it seems like experiencing old times in Istanbul. We have lunch in a local restaurant and you may stroll along the promenade and explore the old town of Buyukada. Return to your hotel around 17:30. 
PRICE: 70 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED *Minimum 2 Participants

BURSA TOUR (FULL DAY – EVERY DAY*)

Bursa was the first capital of the Ottoman Empire. The city is located on the northwestern slope of Uludag Mountain and is known as Green Bursa from its beautiful parks and gardens. It is also the fourth largest city in Turkey and is known for its peaches, chestnuts and silk industry. The tour begins with a three hour drive to Bursa. We visit many historical monuments such as Muradiye, the Mausoleums of Osman and Orhan Bey, the Grand Mosque, the Green Mosque, Koza Han and also the Covered Bazaar. We return to Istanbul and arrive at approximately 20:00. 
PRICE: 100 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED *Minimum 6 Participants

Full day group tours include entry fees as mentioned and lunch/ Half-day group tours include entry fees only except for Asia-Dolmabahce tour (lunch also included), pick up/drop at hotel for full day and afternoon tours, unless located out of center. Tours do not include drinks, tips and items of a personal nature and only English language departures are guaranteed. Shopping stops may be included in the tours even if not mentioned. Tours are conducted by Insight travel and/ or partner agencies and are valid only for cash payment. Discounts for children under 8 years old is 30%. Children under 3 yrs old are free. 

ISTANBUL MUSEUMS CLOSED ON THESE DAYS

 SUN  Grand Covered Bazaar
 MON  Saint Sophia, Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum
 TUE  Topkapi Palace
 WED  Chora (Kariye) Museum
 THU  Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces