Experience the many faces of Istanbul in one day on this small-group tour. Explore the Dolmabahce Palace, the last residence of the Ottoman Sultans, visit the Asian side for panoramic city views from Camlica Hill, and enjoy a 1.5-hour cruise between the continents on a Bosphorus cruise. Plus, visit other attractions often missed off itineraries, including the Fener Greek Patriarchate and Spice Market. Transport, lunch, and Sultanahmet and Taksim hotel pickup and drop-off included.
After pickup from your Sultanahmet or Taksim hotel, hop inside your air-conditioned vehicle with your guide and set off on your full-day tour.
View Istanbul’s bustling streets on route to the Dolmabahce Palace. Overlooking the Bosphorus Strait, this ornate neoclassical and Ottoman palace was home to the Ottoman sultans from 1856 until 1923, when the Republic of Turkey was founded.
Take a guided tour to discover its history and interiors. Stroll through the lavish halls and chambers, learning how the ceilings are gilded with 15.4 tons (14 metric tonnes) of gold, and hear how Mustafa Atatürk, Turkey’s first president, used the Dolmabahçe before dying here in 1938.
If you wish to visit the Dolmabahce’s harem, please inform your guide and make your visit independently (additional cost) during your palace tour.
Next, drive across the Bosphorus Bridge, built in 1973, and absorb the spectacular city and Bosphorus views from Camlica Hill on the Asian side.
Afterward, enjoy a panoramic tour of the area around the Golden Horn, an inlet of the Bosphorus. See the many churches and synagogues that characterize the district, and visit the Fener Greek Patriarchate Church, the spiritual center of the Greek Orthodox religion.
Admire the church’s ornate interiors, and break for lunch at a cozy Turkish restaurant.
Then, board a sightseeing boat and enjoy a 1.5-hour cruise along the Bosphurus, sailing between Europe and Asia. Cruise under the vast Bosphorus Bridge, and absorb passing landmarks such as the Rumeli Fortress, Ottoman villas, mosques, and more.
Following your cruise and a leather fashion show, head to the Spice Market. Peruse the colorful stalls, breathe in the scents of the spices, herbs, and sweets like Turkish Delight, and enjoy a Turkish coffee (own expense).
Your tour then concludes with a drop-off at the original start point.