HALF-DAY GROUP TOURS and ISTANBUL BY NIGHT

Istanbul half-day sightseeing tours feature either Byzantine or Ottoman classic sights in Istanbul, a Bosphorus Cruise or excursion to the Golden Horn area. You can also enjoy Istanbul by night with a performance of the Whirling Dervishes or a Turkish Night with dinner and entertainment.

HALF-DAY MORNING GROUP ISTANBUL TOURS

ISTANBUL CLASSICS (HALF DAY MORNING - EVERY DAY)

8:00 – 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 (Note that on Friday morning the Blue Mosque is closed for prayer and will be replaced by the Caferaga Medrese which was designed by the architect Sinan and built in the 16th century). We also see the ornate German fountain which was a gift of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Finally 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. The tour ends around 12:00 near Sultanahmet Square. *Note that the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sunday.
PRICE: 35 EURO PER PERSON – LUNCH NOT INCLUDED

BOSPHORUS CRUISE (HALF-DAY MORNING – EVERY DAY)

sarayburnu8:10 – 8:45 Departure from your hotel. 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 and also the Rustempasa Mosque with its beautiful Iznik tiles. The mosque was built in 1560 by the imperial architect Sinan for the son in law of the grand vizier of 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. Morning tour ends around 13:30 in Sultanahmet Square.  
PRICE: 35 EURO PER PERSON – LUNCH NOT INCLUDED

GOLDEN HORN TOUR (HALF DAY MORNING – EXCEPT ON 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. Tour ends around 12:00 in Sultanahmet Square.
PRICE: 35 EURO PER PERSON – LUNCH NOT INCLUDED

ISTIKLAL STREET TOUR – WALK IN BEYOGLU (HALF DAY MORNING – EVERY DAY)

8:00 – 08:45 Departure from your hotel. This tour takes you through one of the most lively and colorful neighborhoods of Istanbul. We walk starting from Taksim Square down the famous Istiklal Street which has historical buildings, embassies, churches, restaurants and shops. You will also see the historical trolley. Highlights include views of the Cercle D’Orient Building, British Consulate, French Consulate, Galata Mevlevihanesi and Galatasaray High School. Visits are made to St Anthony Church and Halep Pasaji. The tour ends around 12:00 in Beyoglu.
PRICE: 70 EURO PER PERSON – LUNCH NOT INCLUDED

ISTANBUL JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR (HALF DAY MORNING – 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. The tour ends around 12:00 near the Galata area.  *Important: Prior Notice and photocopy of Passports required.
PRICE: 70 EURO PER PERSON – LUNCH NOT INCLUDED

HALF-DAY AFTERNOON GROUP ISTANBUL TOURS

ISTANBUL HIGHLIGHTS TOUR (HALF DAY AFTERNOON - EVERY DAY)

13:00 – 13:45 Departure from your hotel. Today we will explore the Topkapi Palace including four courtyards. 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, Audience Hall and Divan. (Harem section is optional and due an extra entry fee). We will also have a view of the Haghia Irene Church from outside. 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 (On Fridays replaced by the Blue Mosque). We will also take a stroll down Sogukcesme Street with its cobblestones and charming Ottoman Houses. *Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesday and is replaced by the Chora Museum.
PRICE: 35 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH NOT INCLUDED

BOSPHORUS CRUISE (HALF DAY AFTERNOON – EVERY DAY)

13:10 – 13:45 Departure from your hotel. 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 17:30.
PRICE: 35 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH NOT INCLUDED 

BOSPHORUS BRIDGE - CAMLICA HILL AND DOLMABAHCE PALACE (OR CHORA) TOUR (HALF DAY AFTERNOON – EVERY DAY)

12:00 Departure. We will cross the Bosphorus Bridge which connects Europe and Asia and 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 (The Dolmabahce Palace is closed on Monday and Thursday and is replaced by the Chora Museum on those days) Return to your hotel around 17:00.
PRICE: 35 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH NOT INCLUDED

ASIA AND DOLMABAHCE PALACE (HALF-DAY AFTERNOON – EXCEPT ON MONDAY AND THURSDAY)

12:00 Departure. We will cross the Bosphorus Bridge which connects Europe and Asia and then head for the Camlica Hill viewpoint over Istanbul where you can also see the Princes’ Islands and the Marmara Sea. We will also view the charming seaside suburb of Ortakoy from the bus. Then we continue to the “Selamlik” chambers of the incredible 19th c. Dolmabahce Palace. Return to your hotel around 17:00.
PRICE: 50 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED

GALATA TOUR (HALF-DAY AFTERNOON – EVERY DAY)

12:00 Departure. Today we will visit the area of Galata in Istanbul. During the Byzantine period, the hillside - where Galata is today - was covered with orchards and called Sykai (The Fig Orchard), or Peran en Sykais (The Fig Field on the Other Side), referring to the "other side" of the Golden Horn. It was in the Byzantine era that the area began to be called Galata and a fortress was built by Emperor Theodosius II. Galata was a Genoese colony from the 6th to 15th centuries. We walk around the famous Galata Tower and view churches, synagogues, hospitals, bank buildings, ancient walls and schools. You will see the famous Camondo Steps and view the Galata Tower from outside.
PRICE: 70 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH NOT INCLUDED

 

ISTANBUL BY NIGHT 

ORIENT HOUSE DELUXE TURKISH NIGHT ON THE BOSPHORUS

Orient-BosphorusOrient House now offers both an excellent Turkish Night show and a cruise on the Bosphorus at the same time. In an oriental atmosphere, enjoy the "Kanun", a Turkish musical instrument; discover the delights of a "Fasil" orchestra; and then a program dansozextravaganza to experience the flavor of and customs of Turkish folklore, music including a Janissary Band, the Whirling Dervishes, an international singer and belly dancers. The service and the quality of the meals in the Orient House are of high standard.

 

  • Price per person: 55 EUROS for Dinner and Show and unlimited non-alcoholic drinks (menu fixe)
  • Price per person: 65 EUROS for Dinner and Show and unlimited local drinks* (menu fixe)
  • Children aged 0-3 Free, children aged 4-7 30% discount
  • Transfer included from centrally located hotels
  • *Local drinks include a selection of local wines, beers, spirits and soft drinks. Imported drinks are available for an extra charge

DINING OUT IN A TURKISH WAY – IN ISTANBUL (EVERY NIGHT*)
HIGHLIGHTS: OCAKBASI, MEYHANE, TAKSIM SQUARE AND ISTIKLAL STREET

This is a real traditional night in Istanbul with no professional folkloric and belly dancers. We will take you where the locals go to dine out in a Turkish way. You will have a chance to meet local people having fun with their friends. We start the evening with a visit to a traditional 'Simit Bakery'. Simit is a bread roll, which is covered with grape molasses and sesame seeds. We take our simits and visit one of the local kıraathane'- which literally means “reading rooms” but in reality is a coffee shop with mustachioed men playing cards or backgammon! After having Turkish tea we visit another traditional place: The Ocakbaşı; which is a self-service barbecue restaurant where you can sit by the fire and grill your own kebabs, along with glass of Turkish Raki if you like. We continue our gourmet journey by seeing and sniffing the tempting aroma of some Turkish restaurants. Finally, we end up in a Meyhane – a classic Turkish tavern where you taste 'Meze', drink 'Rakı' and listen to live Turkish music performed by Gipsy musicians. Well if you think that’s it for the night, not yet! We will offer you a traditional ‘İşkembe Çorbası’, which is a 'Tripe Soup'- the same way Turks complete their evening after being sated with ‘Turkish Rakı’… and of course no Turkish Night is complete without tasting the ‘Türk Kahvesi’-Turkish Coffee. You will be escorted by a professional guide who will explain to you more in depth about the delicious cuisine of Turkey.
PRICE PER PERSON: 75 EUROS – FOOD, LIMITED LOCAL DRINKS, LOCAL MUSIC INCLUDED *Minimum 2 Participants

WHIRLING DERVISH “SEMA” IN ISTANBUL

dervishes

Turkish Mystic Music and Dance performances are held from 01.05.2016 - 31.12.2016 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 19.00 in the Hocapasa Cultural Center.  This mystical Whirling Dervish Show, performed by the Galata Mevlevis, is held in the 550 year old historical Hocapasa Bath House (Hamam). It lasts for one hour and includes refreshments before the show.

Price: 70 TL  (APPROXIMATELY 22 EUROS)

 

RHYTHM OF THE DANCE – TURKISH DANCE SHOW IN ISTANBUL

turkish-dance-showThis impressive show held from 01.05.2016 – 31.12.2016 on every Saturday at 21:00 takes place in the historical Hocapasa Hamam, which is 550 years old! See Turkish Dances and costumes from different regions of Turkey (Anatolia) including Balkan and Caucassian folkloric dance and also exotic oriental dances  with male and female belly dancers. Enjoy a pageant for amazing costumes and high energy dance.  Rhythm of the Dance lasts for one hour and ten minutes (1.5 hrs including intermission) and includes refreshments.  

*There are also winter performances, contact us for the dates.

Price per Person: 80 TL  (APPROXIMATELY 25 EUROS)

 

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  Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum
 TUE  Topkapi Palace
 WED  Chora (Kariye) Museum
 THU  Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces