Meet your private guide and driver at your central Istanbul hotel, and set out to explore Istanbul’s most prominent Jewish sites. The first stop is Galata, one of Istanbul’s oldest neighborhoods, and the heart of the city’s Jewish district. As you stroll around the historic district, stop to admire the landmark Galata Tower, and visit the Neva Shalom Synagogue or Ashkenaz Synagogue (depending on opening times).
Continue along the Golden Horn to the Balat neighborhood, a lively Jewish quarter during Ottoman times and still proudly proclaiming the Star of David affront some of its buildings. Here, you’ll have chance to take a peek at the Jewish Hospital, and pay a visit to the Ahrida Synagogue, built in the 15th century by the first generation of Seferad Jews.
A short drive brings you to the Hasköy district, where you can learn more about the city’s Jewish heritage at the Zülfaris Jewish Museum and visit the Jewish Cemetery. Nearby, stop at Ortaköy to see the port at which the Seferads arrived five centuries before, and learn how they were offered refuge by Ottoman ruler Sultan Bazyezid.
There’s just time for one more stop, at the Etz Ahayim Synagogue in Ortaköy, before making your way back to the center, where your tour ends with a drop-off at your hotel.