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Realize the true impact of the Byzantine Empire on Turkey during this 3-hour guided history of Constantinople tour in Istanbul. Step back in time almost 1700 years and discover how Istanbul’s famous religious architecture and monuments took shape during this age of Christianity. Explore prime examples such as the Holy Virgin at the Church of St Mary of Blachernae, the Walls of Constantinople, and the ruins of Blachernae Palace. The legacy created by the Byzantine empire is uncovered on this tour.


  • 3-hour Byzantine history tour of Istanbul by luxury coach
  • Discover the ancient city of Constantinople and learn about the city’s significant early Christian sites
  • Visit the Ecumencial Orthodox Patriarchate in Fener, home to the ceremonial head of the Greek Orthodox church
  • See a shrine to the Holy Virgin at the Church of St Mary of Blachernae
  • Explore the ruins of ancient Blachernae Palace and see Anemas Dungeons
  • Walk around the Walls of Constantinople, admiring the remains of old city gates and towers

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

If you visit Istanbul, you have to see this.

What You Can Expect

Constantinople Tour of Istanbul: Discovering the Byzantine Empire

Visit Chora Church in Istanbul

Meet your guide for either a hotel pickup or in the Istanbul neighborhood of Yenikapi for your Constantinople history tour. Buckle up in your luxurious coach for a cruise around the Golden Horn. Learn how this natural bay links with the Bosphorus Strait and created a once prominent shipping harbor for Byzantine trade.

Next, admire the Ecumencial Orthodox Patriarchate in the Greek district of Fener. Gain insight about the liturgical leader of the Greek Orthodox Church who is based here. Closeby, see Church of St George (the site’s primary church) and observe the elegantly decorated Byzantine patriarchal seat.

Drive on to the district of Ayvansaray, formerly called Blachernae during Byzantine times, and observe the historical Eastern Orthodox church – Church of St Mary of Blachernae. While this church’s architecture is not a typical beauty, its significance in the Eastern Orthodox Community is important since the shrine of the Holy Virgin is worshipped within. With your guide enter the church and gaze over the holy water spring. 

Onwards to another important Byzantine monastery in the Western district. Stop and visit the beautiful Chora Church and relish its fresco painted walls. Hear from your guide how the details were far beyond the rest of Byzantine artwork. Then, marvel at the vibrant mosaics within that create an entrancing ambiance. 

Loop back to Ayvansaray and uncover the history within the venerable Blachernae Palace. Observe the ruins of this once grand palace and soak in the greatness that once thrived here. Let your imagination soak up frightful feeling as you observe the Byzantine prison exterior known as the Anemas Dungeons. Then, see the outside of the Tekfur Palace (or spend time at Palace of Constantine Porphyrogenitus) – the Blachernae Palace’s last remaining building.

Finally, promenade beside the Walls of Constantinople, and enjoy the ruins of this old city’s gates and towers. After a day becoming a Byzantine history buff, hop back on your coach and head to the center of the Sultanahmet neighborhood where your tour ends.

Customer Reviews

Vickie T Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Very ejoyable

Richard H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Great tour and well organized

Ilias A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2014

The tour was great! The staff was knowledgable and took us to so many places I wouldn't had been able to find on my own. I recommend the tour for art historians and also for many Greeks who want to discover the beauty and history of the Byzantine Empire

Klaus Jurgen W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2013


Carlos M

4 star rating: Recommended May 2015



4 star rating: Recommended August 2014

very well organized and presented history of the Byzantine Empire

Leah Australia

3 star rating: Worth doing May 2015

Interesting tour. It was nice to get out to other neighbourhoods during our stay. The Chora church was beautiful, definitely worth seeing. Our tour was much shorter than the advertised duration however and it would've been nice to have the extra time to explore.

Anne M

3 star rating: Worth doing November 2014

This was good as far as it went but it was a very short tour i.e under 2 hours total [ although the hotel transfer was 90 minutes each way]. It was very interesting to visit the lovely Chorea Monastary and 2 Orthodox churches. However that was it. I had mainly booked the tour to be able to actually walk about on the walls of Constantinople but we had no more than a quick glimpse as we drove past on the bus so that was disappointing. Many of the people on the bus had also been on a tour in the morning and were not that mobile and the weather was not great so possibly the tour was shorter than usual.


2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better April 2013

I was so disappointed to discover that 2 of the 5 places we were supposed to visit were closed for renovations (and will be for the next few months), so we just stopped in front of them in the bus. If they know you can't go to all the places they should either discount the trip or replace them with something else.

CarrieAnn G

1 star rating: I do not recommend this April 2015

This tour was ok - a good supplement to the other main tours if you have more days. I would recommend doing the others first.

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