I HAVE A WEEKEND IN ISTANBUL
This itinerary covers the highlights in the historical peninsula and lets the guests experience the most beautiful part of İstanbul: The Bosphorus.
Explore the most significant sites from the Ottoman and Byzantine eras with an expert of both empires’ history who will bring each storied structure to life
Skip the line at The Underground Cistern and Topkapı Palace, getting ahead of the crowds will help you appreciate the cistern even more.
Travel with a local to keep waiting times at a minimum at Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, also explore the great shops at The Grand Bazaar and Spice Market where locals shop with minimum prices and high-quality products.
Have the once-in-a-lifetime experience, passing between Asia and Europe continents on the water, the Bosphorus, with a private yacht tour
On your first day, you will explore most of the highlights of the historical peninsula which are listed below:
On your second day, you will explore the former residence and administrative quarters of the Ottoman Empire: Topkapı Palace.
Sultanahmet & Eminönü & Bosphorus
VAT / Museum entrance fees / Meals / Personal Expenses / Tips / Alcoholic beverages on the yacht
Private guidance by a professional tour guide / Luxury vehicle with A/C / Professional driver / Parking fees / Private yacht rental for 2 hours / Soft beverages on the yacht
- Hagia Sophia: 6th century church turned into a mosque, then a museum and now a mosque again is one of the most important monuments in the world. Architecturally, it is one of the most important buildings in the world. It has a tremendous history and it is probably the only place on earth where Byzantine mosaic icons are to be seen along with Ottoman calligraphy in the same space. She was the biggest church of her time and one of the must-see sights in Turkey. You will be mesmerized by her 56 meter high dome, beautiful Byzantine mosaics and Islamic calligraphy.
- Blue Mosque: One of the icons of the city, this 17th century mosque became famous with her precious İznik tiles. It is hard to believe that there are 22 thousand pieces of İznik tiles in this mosque that has been active for 400 years.
- Hippodrome: The social center of the city during the Roman and Byzantine eras. This is also where the popular chariot races took place. Three columns remaining from the famous Hippodrome including the most known Obelisk from Egypt, will be seen.
- Underground Cistern: 6th century Byzantine cistern is one of the many cisterns the Byzantines built to protect their city by having water for emergencies. Since the cistern is built with the columns from the Pagan Temples that were destroyed in the 6th century, it is an amazing space with her architecture.
- Grand Bazaar:15th century built, the world’s first covered shopping mall and the biggest covered bazaar is among the must-see sights in Turkey today. The bazaar can be overwhelming with its 2000 stores and 66 streets, thus it is good to have a local guide who knows where to go in terms of the stores where the locals shop from.
- Topkapı Palace: 15th century palace is composed of four courtyards and a comprehensive visit to this beautiful museum takes at least three hours. Thus, you will visit it on your second day. You will visit the Harem Quarter of the palace, the Treasury, the Armory, clock section and the kitchens if you are interested and have the time.
- Private yacht tour on the Bosphorus: This is one of the highlights of the city. During this two hour tour where you will see the most beautiful part of the Bosphorus, you will see 19th century palaces, one of the best preserved medieval fortresses in Europe and beautiful mansions (both modern and historical) mostly from the 19th century. Your guide will tell you about the Bosphorus and what you are looking at during the cruise.
- Arnavutköy: Picturesque and cosy neighborhood along the Bosphorus with beautiful wooden 19th century houses.
- Bebek: Residential and upper market neighborhood with various cafes and restaurants.