Meet your experienced guide at a centrally located point in Istanbul, then spend the morning exploring some of the city best sites. Take in the record-breaking span of the Bosphorus Bridge, site of 2016 clashes between protesters and authorities. Get sweeping views of the city from the top of Çamlica Hill, and learn about Ottoman sultans’ opulent lives and tastes at Beylerbeyi Palace, a summer retreat at the edge of the Bosphorus. See a slice of Istanbul’s modern life in Bağdat Street, where locals browse high-end boutiques and sip coffee in exclusive cafes, then taste traditional Turkish cuisine in a local restaurant.
Start your Bosphorus cruise at Sariyer or Kabatas pier, and watch the city’s distinctive skyline of domes, minarets and modern architecture drift by. Spot scenic Bosphorus bays, an exclusive enclave of wooden homes, Sultan Mehmed’s Rumeli Fortress and some of the city’s most colorful neighborhoods. Capture photos of Dolmabahçe Palace from the water, learn the story of the ‘maiden’s tower,’ and pass an ancient lighthouse that’s inspired centuries-old legends and myths. Finish your day at Istanbul’s Spice Market, where you can browse fresh produce, spices, flowers and wildlife.