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Istanbul Explorer
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Istanbul Explorer
Private tour
2 travelers
6 days
1 city
5nights
Istanbul, Turkey
Being mostly Muslim, mysterious Istanbul attracts tourists with numerous landmarks lying on its European side. The most famous attraction is the Galata Tower that rises dramatically above the same-name neighborhood, founded by Genoese colonists. Plenty of mosques, such as Sultan Ahmet Camii, Hagia Sofia (now known as a museum) and others represent the Islamic heritage of the city. Along with this, no Istanbul tour can be complete without visiting its markets (bazaars) and plunging deep into the fabulous world of colors, flavors, and smells. ...
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  • Day By Day

    Day 1: Arrival
    Welcome to Istanbul, the city which unites Europe and Asia since the ancient times. It is a city of mosques, tulips and bazars, a city with amazingly rich history, and now you have a great opportunity to discover your own Istanbul!

    Upon arrival, your private driver takes you to your centrally-located hotel for check-in. After check-in, the rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the city on your own.

    Istanbul boasts many panoramic restaurants with amazing views of the unique city skyline. We recommend dropping by 360 Restaurant & Bar and take in its breathtaking 360 views of Istanbul.

    Day 2: Discovering the Old Istanbul
    In the morning after breakfast, meet your private guide and driver to embark on a half day tour of Istanbul and discover its most iconic sights. 

    You start the day with a visit to the St. Sophia, one of the finest architectural works in the world. It has been nominated as the 8th wonder of the world by many historians. Considered one of the world’s most beautiful buildings, the Hagia Sofia, which means Church of Holy Wisdom of God, is an important surviving example of Byzantine architecture. 

    Then you proceed to the Blue Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Istanbul and is one of the principal adornments on the skyline of Istanbul. It is also famous for its blue tiles and 6 minarets. 

    Next on your itinerary for today is the Hippodrome, the former centre of sportive and political activities of Constantinople. During the visit you’ll be able to see the Obelisk from Egypt Serpentine Column from Delphi and fountain of Wilhelm II. 

    As a culmination of the tour you visit the famous Grand Bazaar, experience its bustle and meet its unique characters. As a special treat, at the Grand Bazaar you learn to play the ancient game of Backgammon with the locals. 

    After the tour you return to your hotel and have the afternoon at leisure.

    Day 3: Discovering the Topkapi Palace and the "Sunken Palace"
    In the morning after breakfast, meet your private guide and driver and embark on a half day tour to explore the Topkapi Palace and the Underground Cistern.  

    You start the tour today with a visit to the magnificent Topkapi Palace, its Harem and Treasury. In 1465, Sultan Mehmet, The Conqueror of Istanbul, ordered the construction of the first palace; his successors added new pavilions, thus spreading the palace to a total area of 70,000 sqm (7 hectares). The Ottoman Sultans lived in and reined the empire from this palace until the 19th century. Today a museum, it houses 12,000 pieces of porcelain including a rare Chinese porcelain collection.  The treasury section displays one of the richest selections of jewels and precious stones and gold objects. The visit through the palace also leads to the collection of clocks, the relics of the prophet and the Baghdad kiosk, which is a beautiful sample of Ottoman interior.  

    Then you proceed to the Underground Cistern or the Yerebatan Sarayi (meaning Sunken Palace), that was the major water reservoir of Constantinople. The water was transported to the Cistern from the Belgrade Forest by the immense Byzantine aqueducts. It was built during the reign of Emperor Constantine in the 4th Century and then greatly enlarged by Justinian in 537 AD, and used as water storage for the Great Palace during Byzantine times and for the Topkapi Palace under the Ottomans. During your visit don't forget to make a wish and throw a coin into the adjacent pool of the cistern that was built over 1500 years ago.   

    During the tour today you also get to taste the local Turkish simit (pretzels) and Turkish tea.  

    After the tour you return to your hotel and have the afternoon at leisure.

    Day 4: Full Day Trip to Ephesus with Flights
    In the morning after breakfast, meet your private driver for a transfer to the airport for short flight to Izmir. 

    Upon arrival you are transferred to Ephesus, that is located 1 hour away.   

    Ephesus, a UNESCO site and one of the largest and best-preserved ancient cities in the world, is a must for those who are interested in archaeology and culture. Ephesus, once the most important commercial center of the western Anatolia, is one of the top highlights of Turkey. Temple of Artemis, one of the “Seven Wonders of the World" has once been located here as well.  

    Today you also visit the House of the Virgin Mary, the place where Mary may have spent her last days. Indeed, she may have come in the area together with Saint John, who spent several years in the area to spread Christianity. Although this sights has never been officially recognised by the Catholic Church as the home of Mary, a lot of gestures made by the popes authenticated its history in the eyes of the faithful and House of the Virgin Mary became a major place of Christian pilgrimage.  

    After the tour you are transferred to Izmir airport for you flight back to Istanbul.  

    Upon arrival to Istanbul, you are transferred to your hotel.

    Day 5: Bosphorus Cruise and Spices of Istanbul
    In the morning after breakfast, meet your private guide and driver and embark on a half day tour to explore the distinctive traits of Istanbul.

    You visit the Egyptian Spice Market, one of the oldest covered bazaars in Istanbul, that was established by Sultan Turhan, and designed by architect Kazim Aga. Open every day except Sundays, it sells herbs, spices, a variety of natural medicines, and plant and flower seeds. Beside these traditional commodities, one can now find a large range of dried fruits and nuts, cheeses, meats and other foods. 

    At the market you meet the spice experts that tell you all the secrets and specialties of spices. Here you also smell the various spices, learn how to distinguish them and use them with different meals. And as a special treat, you also get to taste the famous Turkish delight.  

    After exploring the market, you enjoy a Bosphorus Cruise, an unforgettable experience providing a great opportunity to admire the beautiful city from water, a strait separating Europe from Asia. The cruise takes you along the Bosphorus, past the European style palaces of The Ottomans, Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi, as well as beautiful wooden mansions from the 19th century. It can get a bit windy on the Bosphorus, so to warm your hands cruising you enjoy a cup of Turkish tea or salep, a traditional hot creamy drink.  

    After the tour you return to your hotel and have the afternoon at leisure.

    On your last evening in Istanbul we recommend to opt for a traditional Turkish Bath experience at the famous Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam to relax and recharge after your exciting exploration of Turkey.

    Day 6: Departure
    This is the last day of your amazing tour of Istanbul! After breakfast your driver meets you at the hotel lobby and takes you to the airport for your flight back home. 

    We wish you a safe flight and hope to work on your future vacations!

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  • Included in your trip
    Dosso Dossi Hotels Old City
    4-star hotel
    Selected
    hotel_placeholder
    6 days / 5 nights
    Why we chose this hotel
    You will be staying in a hand-picked downtown hotel. We carefully insp...
    Included Experiences
    • Premium Half Day Istanbul City Tour
    • Half Day Tour of Topkapi Palace & Underground Cistern
    • Egyptian Spice Market Tour & Bosphorus Cruise
    • Full Day Ephesus Tour with Flights
    Hide Experiences
    Included Transfers
    • Arrival Private Transfer
    • Departure Private Transfer
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What’s included:
  • Accommodation at remarkable downtown hotel in Istanbul;
  • Breakfasts at the hotels;
  • Airport transfers and all transportation according to the itinerary;
  • Breathtaking sightseeing tours according to the itinerary with professional English-speaking guides;
  • Shared Bosphorus cruise;
  • Entrance tickets according to itinerary;
  • Support line during the trip.

Not included: international flights, multiple arrival/departure transfers, other meals not mentioned in the program, optional tours and services, all personal expenses.

Note:
1. Hotels availability is subject to change. In case current hotels are booked out we will provide alternative hotels of an equal value for you.
2. We include 1 vehicle for your arrival and departure transfers. If multiple vehicles are required additional transfer costs will apply.

Stress-free Booking Book your journey without stress and at convenient pace. You can pay a deposit of 20% to book any tour in any major currency; the final balance will be due 90 days before start date. In event if you decide to change or postpone your trip, you can transfer your deposit to any other packages we offer. Cruise bookings and special offers may be subject to different booking terms.

Trip Assurance If you need our assistance during your trip, you can call our support line available from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (CET) on weekdays and weekends.

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