Guided Group Walking Tours & Sightseeing
Combine with your Crystal Cruise, Royal Caribbean Cruise, Norwegian Cruise Line or any other Mediterranean cruises! This is the perfect add-on to your Mediterranean cruise.
Daily Walking Tour of Istanbul – Year Round: $122 USD Per Person
Small Group Tour: 10-15 English Speaking Guests.
An excellent value-for-your-money full-day small-group guided walking tours of Istanbul’s major historical sights. It may just be the most efficient way to see all the main sights in a single day (including even the Grand Bazaar). The full-day tour is actually two half-day tours, the morning tour: Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Hippodrome, break for lunch on your own, then the afternoon tour: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar.
Our local rep. will pick you up from your hotel or cruise ship pier at 08:00 sharp, please be ready as the coach will not wait.
You will start the day with a visit to Topkapi Palace and then on to the Million stone underground “Basilica” or “Sunken Palace” Cistern (Yerebatan Saray Sarniçi), and the Hippodrome.
Around noon we break for lunch, of course the guide will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about restaurants. For lunch, the tour stops at Sultanahmet’s famous Lâle Restaurant known as the Pudding Shop. The Lâle is a good choice as it is right at the eastern end of the Hippodrome, with a good selection of ready foods (you can choose just by pointing at what looks good), free wi-fi, and soft drinks. You can choose to eat here for lunch, or you can go somewhere else, or you can bring your own picnic and have it while sitting on a bench in the Hippodrome, it is your choice.
Then we start again around 1 pm for the afternoon tour which begins with a visit to Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia), followed by visits to the Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque,Ottoman imperial tombs on Divan Yolu, Burnt Column (Çemberlitas) and the Çemberlitas hamam (Turkish bath), and the Grand Bazaar (Kapali Çarsi).
The tour ends around 16:30 (4:30 pm) in the Grand Bazaar, allowing you time to wander and/or shop on your own. Return to hotel(s) on your own. To allow you as much time as you want at the Bazaar, the guide will be on hand to show you where to pick a taxi or the public bus to go back to your hotel or next destination.
Compare that list of sights to any other walking tour, and you’ll see the difference and the value. With us you see more in this walking tour of Istanbul: more sights and more time to see them.
For example, many tours don’t allow time for you to explore the Harem at Topkapi Palace; and some especially those that take you to the Grand Bazaar schedule tour stops at particular shops. The entire tour group goes into the shop, sits for an hour or so, inspects the goods, and the tour operator is paid a commission on purchases made by tour participants. Nothing wrong with this, except that prices may be higher and you’re sitting in a shop rather than seeing the sights! Why pay a tour company a fee for shopping? You can go shopping on your own. You don’t need to pay a tour company to park you in a shop for an hour.
The good news is that on our tour there is no forced shopping stop. Your guide will make suggestions if you ask, and can introduce you to good shops if you like, but you won’t be parked in a shop for an hour when you should be out seeing the sights.
This Walking Tour operates every day, though you must keep in mind that Hagia Sophia is closed on Monday, Grand Bazaar is closed on Sunday and Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesday.
Half Day Tour – Daily – Year Round: $85 USD Per Person
Small Group Tour: 10-15 English Speaking Guests
This tour is perhaps the easiest, half-day (4-hour) program to take you on a 1-1/2-hour TurYol Bosphorus public ferry cruise and to introduce you to the Golden Horn district of Eminönü and its historic mosques and markets.
The tour van picks you up from your hotel after lunch: 1:30 PM, and takes you to Eminönü on the Golden Horn, where you visit the Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar, Hasircilar Caddesi market street, the huge Yeni Valide Mosque, and the exquisite Rüstem Pasha Mosque, and take a TurYol boat on a Bosphorus cruise, the tour van will bring you back to the hotel around 6 PM.
Istanbul is located along the shores of Bosphorus which has some of the most splendid views in the world. Apart from the natural beauty of the strait separating Europe and Asia, both sides house the Imperial palaces, kiosks, pavilions, gardens and today’s million dollars mansions, you will cruise on the Bosphorus by public ferry boat and your guide will always be with you and the group at all times, the tour also includes a visit to Rustem Pasha Mosque where the last samples of Ottoman Imperial tiles are exhibited. Then, you will visit the Egyptian Bazaar (Spice Market) the last stop of Silk Road where today, the various types of spices, Turkish delights, Turkish coffee, herbal teas and souvenirs continue to be available. Return to the hotel about 18:00.
Eminönü is a former district of Istanbul in Turkey, now a neighbourhood of Fatih district. This is the heart of the walled city of Constantine, the focus of a history of incredible richness. Eminönü covers the point on which the Byzantine capital was built. The Galata Bridge crosses the Golden Horn into Eminönü and the mouth of the Bosphorus opens into the Marmara Sea. And up on the hill stands Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) and Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya). Thus Eminönü is the main tourist destination in Istanbul. It was a part of the Fatih district until 1928, which covered the whole peninsular area of old Istanbul within the medieval city walls – that area which was formerly the Byzantine capital Constantinople.
The Excursion includes professional tour guidance, transportation and cruise by public ferry.
Meet at your hotel: 08:30 AM – Daily except on Wednesday
Out-of-the-way Istanbul sights, for as little as: $95 USD Per Person
Small Group Tour: 10-15 English Speaking Guests.
Pick you up at your hotel, after breakfast 08:30 AM, drive along the 4th-century Byzantine City Walls, stop for a visit to Yedikule (Fortress of the Seven Towers), then continue to the Kariye Museum (Church of the Holy Savior in Chora), where you see the splendid Byzantine mosaics.
Then drive you to the Pierre Loti café on a hilltop overlooking the city and the Golden Horn, for a glass of tea or cup of Turkish coffee.
From the café you can walk downhill through a historic Ottoman cemetery, or you can take the cable car down to the shore of the Golden Horn and visit the Eyüp Sultan Mosque, one of Istanbul’s most beloved and historic. (It was here that the sultans of the Ottoman Empire were invested with the Sword of Osman, the equivalent to a European imperial coronation.)
From Eyüp, you drive along the shores of the Golden Horn to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Fener for a visit before continuing along the Golden Horn to the Egyptian Spice Bazaar, where you can browse the shops, or board a TurYol Bosphorus public ferry for a 1-1/2-hour Bosphorus cruise. Or you can skip the Spice Bazaar, stay in the vehicle and be dropped in Sultanahmet, as you wish.
Total tour time is 3-1/2 to 4 hours. The tour operates every day except Wednesday (when the Kariye Museum/Chora Church is closed.)
A licensed guide accompanies you to explain what you are seeing and make sure all goes smoothly, You pay for any personal expenses such as drinks, snacks, lunch, etc.
This tour gets you to these sights (Yedikule, City Walls, Kariye Museum, Pierre Loti café, etc.) that are the ones most difficult to reach, and least visited by organized tours.
The Chora Church, City Walls & Golden Horn tour departs daily except Wednesday, just after breakfast, and takes about four hours.
- Guided sightseeing
- Private air conditioned vehicle for pick up in the morning, as well as return to the hotel (when listed in the tour).
- All entrance fees.
- Cable car, ferry cruise tickets, where applicable.
Rate doesn’t include:
- Any International air fare.
- Any meals
- Any fees for the Turkish Hamam / Bath: Massage
- Visa Fee
- Trip/travel insurance
Where would we have lunch ?
Lunch will be served in local charming restaurant
Fried Eggplant with Tomato Sauce
Barbecued Meat Balls
Please advise us in advance for any vegetarian meal request
Sometimes guests ask us for suggestions for restaurants in the Sultanahmet area in Istanbul. The problem is that we don’t really recommend many restaurants in Sultanahmet. We find them either overpriced or mediocre in quality—the usual culprits in a tourist area. However there are a few places that you may wish to consider:
BLUE HOUSE HOTEL – TERRACE RESTARAUNT
In our experience the rooftop Terrace Restaurant at the Blue House (Mavi Ev) Hotel has good food and the view of the Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque is spectacular. It’s right across the street and illuminated at night.
The hotel’s other restaurants have the same quality cuisine, but not the VIEW, and therefore may seem a bit overpriced (because of the location).
PASAZADE OTTOMAN CUISINE
We like Pasazade (PAH-shah-zah-deh) Ottoman Cuisine, down the hill toward Eminönü. They have a young chef with interesting takes on some little-known traditional Turkish country dishes.
ORIENT EXPRESS HOTEL – IMBAT RESTAURANT
You may want to ask for their superb seafood and service at the Imbat Restaurant — the rooftop terrace restaurant in the Orient Express Hotel.