Your small-group Istanbul city tour kicks off with with a fashionable pickup by Mercedes minivan from your central hotel located on the European side. Strap into your luxury air-conditioned vehicle and let your local guide inform you of Istanbul’s fascinating history. Hear of the storied Byzantine and Ottoman empires as you cruise through the city en route to the trip’s first stop.
Once at Dolmabahçe Palace, one of the Ottoman Empire’s final architectural projects, follow your guide inside the opulent building. Learn about the classic Ottoman and Neoclassical style apparent throughout and hear of its history as you stroll beneath grand chandeliers and intricate décor.
Next, venture to Beyoğlu, Istanbul’s neighborhood where artsy meets cosmopolitan. Orient yourself at the renowned Istanbul Modern Art Museum, where a restored warehouse contains an impressive collection of contemporary Turkish artwork. Follow your guide through two stories of exhibits as you listen to the historic relevance of such works of art.
From there, stroll the Jewish quarter of Balat, as your guide whisks you past the fascinating Ecumencial Orthodox Patriarchate where the ceremonial head of the Greek Orthodox Church is based, and other points of interest. Before your tour ends, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque is not to be missed. Brace your camera for a beautiful interior and intricate tiles, a fine example of Istanbul’s stunning Islamic architecture. Enjoy one last stop at the famed Spice Bazaar, where your nose will lead you through the smells of Turkish cooking, before your tour ends and you bid farewell to your guide.