See two continents in one day on an 8-hour tour of Istanbul. Cruise down river to explore the Bosphorus region of the city, and visit the Beylerberi Palace. Savor the aromas of the Spice Bazaar. Visit the Golden Horn and see Rumeli Fortress from the sea.
What to Expect
Enjoy a full-day tour of Istanbul’s landmark monuments on the shores of the Bosphorus Straits, and cruise down river from the Golden Horn to see two continents in one day.
Following a pick-up from your hotel in the city center, discover the old city walls, and learn how they were breached during the Fourth Crusade in 1204, and again by the troops of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453.
Continue by bus to the Golden Horn, which has played an important role in the development of Istanbul through the centuries. Stretching for approximately 8 kilometers, the inlet features 2 streams that drain into it at its far end. Visit the Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar) to breathe in the enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme, and every other conceivable herb and spice.
Then, cruise along the waterway that separates Europe and Asia, and admire the old wooden villas, marble palaces and small fishing villages of the Bosphorus. Pass the magnificent Dolmabahce Palace and the imperial pavilions of Yildiz Palace. See the coastal Ciragan Palace with its marble façade. Learn about the artists that gather at Ortakoy every Sunday, and why the area is a symbol of tolerance thanks to its neighboring church, mosque and synagogue.
Glide past Rumeli Fortress, built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 prior to the conquest of Istanbul. Go to the summer residence of the Ottoman sultans at Beylerbeyi Palace, and see original furniture and magnificent gardens (please note that Beylerbeyi Palace is closed on Mondays and Thursdays and will be replaced with a visit to the Chora Church).
Sail under the Bosphorus Bridge, providing a unique chance to step from one continent (Asia) to another (Europe). Visit the highest point of Istanbul at Camlica Hill, and enjoy panoramic views of the Bosphorus from its landscaped gardens.
There may also be time to shop at Bedesten, where you can purchase traditionally woven silk and handmade carpets. The weaving courses are authorized by the Ministry of National Education. Time permitting, visit a jewelry and handicrafts center, and see a demonstration of leatherwear.
- Admission fees for the Bosphorus Ferry and Beylerbeyi Palace or Chora Church
- All sightseeing mentioned in the itinerary
- Pick-up and drop off at city center hotels
- Land transportation by air-conditioned non-smoking vehicle
What's Not Included
- Tips to the guide and driver (optional but customary)
- Beverage with meals
Know Before You Go
• Please note that this tour is subject to change In the rare event a special event makes it difficult. An alternative day or service may be advised
• Full cancellation terms apply in the event of a no-show
• Hotel pick-ups outside the city center may be available on request, subject to a surcharge
• Beylerbeyi Palace is closed on Monday and Thursday and is replaced with Chora Museum