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 (Hagia 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. The tour ends around 12:00 near Sultanahmet Square. Notes: Friday Blue Mosque may be closed. (In winter St Sophia is closed on Monday and is replaced by the Yerebatan Saray Underground Cistern)  
PRICE: 35 EURO PER PERSON – LUNCH NOT INCLUDED

BOSPHORUS CRUISE (HALF-DAY MORNING – EVERY DAY)

istanbul tours8:10 – 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

HALF-DAY AFTERNOON GROUP ISTANBUL TOURS

ISTANBUL OTTOMAN RELICS TOUR (HALF DAY AFTERNOON - EVERY DAY EXCEPT ON TUESDAY AND SUNDAY)

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 please ask your guide if interested). We will also have a view of the Haghia Irene Church from outside. We will continue on to the Grand Bazaar, which has over 4000 shops full of treasures that can be great gifts or to take home with you. Notes: Sunday the Grand Bazaar is closed - Tuesday the Topkapi Palace is closed 
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 CRUISE WITH SWIMMING AND LUNCH (HALF-DAY AFTERNOON – 1.04 – 31.12)

13:30 – 13:45 Departure from your hotel. Enjoy this relaxing escape from the city with a cruise of the Bosphorus including a grilled lunch on board and the opportunity to swim in the fishing village of Poyrazkoy. You will be first transferred to Rumeli Hisari, which was constructed by Fatih Sultan Mehmet. It marks the narrowest point of the Bosphorus (View only no visit included) and where the sightseeing boat is docked. Lunch onboard the boat for lunch while cruising the Bosphorus. You'll be served grilled chicken and traditional Turkish meze with soft drinks. Vegetarian options available upon request. As you approach the northern end of the Bosphorus Strait, our tour will continue into the Black Sea. We will stop at a beautiful cove on the Asian side where you'll have the chance to go swimming and enjoy the sunshine. Our final stop is a picturesque fishing village on the European side. You'll have time to stroll around the village enjoy an ice-cream or waffle. In the late afternoon, continue to Kabatas port, disembark and transfer to your hotel.
Note: Bring your own swimming suites and towel. You will be able to swim off the boat.
PRICE: 45 EUROS PER PERSON -CHILD 3-7YRS 30 EUROS – LUNCH INCLUDED

TWO CONTINENTS (HALF-DAY AFTERNOON – EXCEPT MONDAY AND THURSDAY)

12:00 departure. We cross the Bosphorus Bridge from Europe to Asia in 2 minutes, 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: 50 EUROS PER PERSON – LUNCH INCLUDED

ISTANBUL BY NIGHT 

ORIENT HOUSE DELUXE TURKISH NIGHT ON THE BOSPHORUS

Istanbul by night on 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 extravaganza 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

WHIRLING DERVISH “SEMA” IN ISTANBUL

dervishesTurkish Mystic Music and Dance performances are held every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday 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: 85 TL  (APPROXIMATELY 19 EUROS)

 

RHYTHM OF THE DANCE – TURKISH DANCE SHOW IN ISTANBUL

turkish dance showThis impressive show held on every Tuesday and Saturday at 20:30 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 Caucasian folkloric dance and also exotic oriental dances with male and female belly dancers. Enjoy a pageant of 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.  

Price per Person: 110 TL  (APPROXIMATELY 24 EUROS)

 

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 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, in winter St. Sophia  
 TUE  Topkapi Palace
 WED  Chora (Kariye) Museum
 THU  Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces