Take a full-day tour of the Jewish District of Istanbul where Jews deported from Spain have been living in peace for over 500 years. Visit Galata, Neve Shalom Synagogue or Ashkenaz Synagogue, Balat, Golden Horn, Ahrida Synagogue and the Jewish Hospital.
What to Expect
On this full-day tour of Jewish Istanbul you will discover how Turkish Jews were deported from Spain in 1492, and have been living in Türkiye for more than 500 years in peace and harmony.
Start your tour of Istanbul's Jewish district after breakfast with a tour of Galata, the centuries-old Jewish neighborhood known for its iconic tower built by the Genoese. Visit Neve Shalom Synagogue or Ashkenaz Synagogue (according to availability).
Next you will drive to Balat along the Golden Horn, and see the residential area of the Ottoman Jews, where the “Star of David” still appears on the facades of some buildings. Visit the 15th-Century Ahrida Synagogue, and see the Jewish Hospital of Or-Ahayim from the outside.
You will pause for lunch at a traditional Turkish Restaurant, before continuing to Zülfaris Jewish Museum of the Quincentennial Foundation and the “Oldies House” at Hasköy.
You will also see the Jewish Cemetery, where the martyrs of Neve Shalom are buried. Stop at Ortaköy, the first point of arrival for the Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain by the religious disturbance of the Spanish King and the Queen.
Desperate and abandoned on their ships in the middle of the sea, they were refused by every European country except the Ottoman Sultan Beyazid Khan II, who welcomed them and offered a safe and peaceful life.
End your tour with a visit to Etz Ahayim Synagogue in Ortaköy, before returning to your accommodation for a hotel drop-off.
- Private air-conditioned transportation
- Donations to synagogues
- Private guide in chosen language
- Parking fees
- VAT (18%)
- Free pick-up/drop-off service from/to central city hotels.
Know Before You Go
• This tour in not available on weekends.
• Guests' passport photocopies are necessary at least 4 days in advance, in order to get permission from the synagogues. Passports are also required during the tour.
• After booking, you need to call the local supplier in order to learn exact time and free shuttle availability.
• Pick-up is only available for centrally located Istanbul hotels.When verifying your booking, your local supplier will advise you on alternative meeting points for hotels which are not accessible.
• Free shuttle pick-up is offered between 08:00 and 09:00 (depending on the location of your hotel), and takes 45 to 60 minutes.