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 – EXCEPT ON TUESDAY)

istanbul tours8:10 – 8:45 Departure from your hotel. Today we will visit the Saint Sophia (Hagia 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, then the Hippodrome, a stadium and meeting place in Byzantine times, the Serpent Pillar from Delphi and the Egyptian Obelisk, with the Fountain of Wilhelm. Visit the Caferaga Medresesi 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 then 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. (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 may be done completely as a walking tour. Notes: Sunday the Grand Bazaar is closed - Tuesday the Topkapi Palace is closed – Friday Blue Mosque may be closed. (In winter St Sophia is closed on Monday and is replaced by the Yerebatan Saray Underground Cistern)
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. We conclude the tour with a visit to the “Selamlik” chambers of the incredible 19th c. Dolmabahce Palace which was the first European style palace in Turkey. It was built by Ottoman Sultans between 1843 and 1846 and has 365 rooms and 22 salons. Ataturk lived the final years of his life here. We will pass by the picturesque and cosmopolitan neighborhood of Ortakoy on the shore of the Bosphorus. Return to your hotel around 17:00. 
PRICE: 70 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED

BOSPHORUS AND BLACK SEA CRUISE WITH SWIMMING OPTION (FULL DAY – APRIL TO DECEMBER)

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 stop in a beautiful cove where you can swim and enjoy the sun (summertime). Our final stop is Anadolu Kavagi (15:00 – 16:00) which is a picturesque village on the European side of Istanbul. You can stroll around the village. 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 replaced with Maidens Tower on Wednesday.
PRICE: 79 EUROS PER PERSON -CHILD 3-7 YRS 55 EUROS – 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 view 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 between 1597 and 1664 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. 
PRICE: 70 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED

PRINCES’ ISLANDS TOUR (FULL-DAY – IN SEASON)

8:00 – 8:45 Departure from your hotel to the pier where we board the ferry and cruise the Marmara Sea for an enjoyable ride to the Princes’ Islands. There are nine islands in this chain and no motor vehicles are permitted. There are many beautiful 19th century mansions with overhanging balconies. During the Byzantine period princes and other royalty were exiled on the islands and later on members of the Ottoman Sultan’s family too – thus were named the islands.  We will arrive at Heybeliada (Heybeli Island) and will take a tour of the island by Phaeton (horse and cart) and will pass elegant old wooden mansions and beautiful natural scenery. We will board another ferry to go to Buyuk Ada (Big Island) which is the largest of the Princes’ Islands. Here we have lunch at a seaside restaurant and you may stroll along the promenade and explore the old town of Buyukada. Return to your hotel around 17:30. 
PRICE: 65 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED

BURSA TOUR (FULL DAY – IN SEASON)

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 for its beautiful parks and gardens. It is also the fourth largest city in Turkey and is known for its peaches, chestnuts and silk industry. 8:00 - 8:30 pick up from your hotel. We will pass over the Bosphorus Bridge to the Asian side of Istanbul and you will have an impressive view. Then we board a ferry to Yalova. The Green Mosque and Green Mausoleum will be the first stop in Bursa, both built by 5th Ottoman Sultan Mehmet Çelebi in the 15th century. Then we will climb up Uludağ Mountain by cable car get a view of Bursa while passing over the forest. We reach the top of the mountain which is 2.486 m above sea level. We will have lunch on the mountain with barbeque. Next, you will see the gorgeous old tree which is more than 600 years old. While coming back to Istanbul, we will stop one of the most famous Turkish delight factories in Bursa. Return to your hotel around 22:00
PRICE: 45 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED

*Full day group tours include entry fees as mentioned and lunch/ Half-day group tours include entry fees only except for two continents tour (lunch also included), pick up/drop at the hotel for the full day and afternoon tours, unless located out of the 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, in winter St. Sophia  
 TUE  Topkapi Palace
 WED  Chora (Kariye) Museum
 THU  Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces