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Our most recommended Istanbul Art & Craft Workshops

From Istanbul: 2-Day All-Inclusive Trip to Cappadocia

1. From Istanbul: 2-Day All-Inclusive Trip to Cappadocia

Get an insider’s view of Cappadocia’s most iconic spots on an all-inclusive trip from Istanbul. Float above volcanic spires and honeycombed hills on a hot air balloon. Be accompanied by a guide to Goreme Open Air Museum, Avanos, Pasabag, Uchisar, and Kaymakli Underground City, and more. Day 1 Depart from your hotel in an air-conditioned minivan and make your way to Istanbul airport. Catch your domestic flight to Cappadocia. Upon your arrival to Cappadocia, meet your guide and begin your tour of North Cappadocia. Walk in the land of fairy chimneys. Visit Goreme Open Air Museum, Red River, Devrent Valley, and Pasabag. Make your way to Avanos Village for a traditional lunch and pottery demonstration. Get to the top of the Uchisar Castle, the highest point of the region, a perfect vantage point for a panoramic view of the stunning Cappadocian landscape. After sightseeing, be driven to your hotel. Spend the night in Cappadocia. Day 2 You can opt to join a balloon flight in the morning. Your day tour will be organized according to the balloon flight hours. After breakfast at the hotel, embark on a full-day tour of South Cappadocia. Go off the beaten path to visit Cavusin. See its famous rock churches. Head to Goreme Panorama for views of fairy chimneys. Hike in the Red Valley. Visit Old Greek Love Valley, Kaymakli Underground City, and Pigeon Valley. Walk through a picturesque maze of rock formations. Witness an onyx demonstration by local experts. Savor a typical Turkish lunch. Conclude the day tour by 5 PM. Then, be driven to Kayseri Airport for your domestic flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your driver and taken to your hotel.

Istanbul: 4-hour Turkish Shopping Experience

2. Istanbul: 4-hour Turkish Shopping Experience

From the ancient Grand Bazaar with over 3,000 shops selling everything from carpets to jewelry, to ceramics and leather goods; to the Spice Bazaar with its incredible smell from almost every spice imaginable, as well as dried fruits and nuts, sweets and the ubiquitous Turkish Delight; it is mind blowing to the first time visitor. This is not helped by the traders shouting out and tempting you in with various offers, many of which will be quickly forgotten should you venture inside. This is a part of Turkish culture and trade, and very common in other countries where negotiating and barter is the norm. To the Westerner who is not used to this, it can be quite a daunting prospect and visitors sometimes fall prey to the more unscrupulous traders. To prevent this and to ensure a pleasurable and happy shopping experience your guide will bring you to the right places to make your purchases. Many of these can only be found on the backs streets outside the two bazaars, in places you would likely never find or enter by yourself. The whole Turkish culture and tradition of buying from recommended traders is still observed. You will be encouraged to: · sit and drink huge quantities of tea · talk about yourself · ask questions · look at a huge array of merchandise · negotiate, as no trader is happy if you just accept their first price This is part of the whole process, one where making friends is as important as the purchase itself. The one secret to negotiating is not trying to drive the price down to the absolute lowest possible point, as you have no idea what that is. Each trader will assess each customer differently on any given day. Mood will play its part as will how much they like you and get on with you, hence the reason for going through the sociable elements before buying. If you can’t agree on a price you are free to walk away but if you do you will leave with the comfort of knowing your purchase is genuine and not some back street fake. What to Buy Carpets/Kilim The Turkish carpet/kilim has a long history dating back hundreds of years. An original Turkish carpet is handmade using only natural fibres and dyes from plant extract. The process is long and slow and obviously the time taken to make one depends on how big it is. Smaller carpets, with their bright colours are quite often used to hang on walls just as you would with a picture. There are many different characteristics to the Turkish carpet, depending on where the material is from and this also influences the design and price. The carpet shops recommended by your guide will take time to explain everything to you and offer advice on what might be your best choice. Ceramics The production of Turkish ceramics dates back to the 15th Century and developed from the appreciation of Chinese porcelain by the Ottoman Sultans. Being unable to produce porcelain they manufactured fritware, which is a low-fired body comprised mainly of silica and glass. These ceramics are more commonly referred to as Iznik Pottery after the region where they were first produced and the real collector’s items are hand painted. Consequently no two pieces are ever the same. Your guide will only take you to the shops and markets selling authentic pieces. Jewellery With 500 years of Ottoman Rule and their desire for opulent jewelry, a whole industry is devoted to keeping the traditions alive with craftsmen passing their knowledge and skills on from one generation to another. The result is an abundance of unique pieces both for design and the gems which adorn them. On your tour you can have confidence in the designers and craftsmen, who will work with you in finding or creating your own unique family heirloom. Leather Turkey has a thriving leather industry offering bags, jackets, coats and trousers, but you have to be very careful as there are so many fakes on the market. That said you can buy exceptional quality leather goods at prices which are usually way below what you would normally pay in your home country. Your guide will only take you to the leather stores and factory outlets, which have a reputation for honest trading and no fakes.

Cappadocia and Gobekli Tepe: Guided 4-Day Private Trip

3. Cappadocia and Gobekli Tepe: Guided 4-Day Private Trip

Witness Cappadocia, the center of the first Christian monasteries. Be captivated by the 8-story Kaymakli underground city built thousands of years ago. Travel to the center of faith on Göbekli Tepe, and discover the Sanlıurfa Museum, one of the largest and most comprehensive museums in Turkey. Visit the view point of Uchisar Castle, Goreme Open Air Museum, Red River, Imagination Valley, and Pasabag. Enjoy a pottery demonstration, eat a traditional lunch in Avanos, and stay overnight in Cappadocia. Discover the view point of Goreme, Hike in the Red Valley, visit Old Greek Cavusin Village, Love Valley, Kaymaklı Underground City, Pigeon Valley and Onyx Art Center. Venture to Gobekli Tepe and stop at Kahramanmaras on the way for an authentic lunch and the famous Maras ice cream, with overnight stay in Sanliurfa. Explore Abraham's Cave, Holy Lake, Grand Bazaar of Urfa, Sanlıurfa Archeology Museum, Harran and Gobekli Tepe. Fly back to Istanbul and a driven back to your accommodation.

Half-Day Afternoon: Grand Bazaar Walk

4. Half-Day Afternoon: Grand Bazaar Walk

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is a bustling hive of shopkeepers and consumers bargaining on everything from exotic spices and sweets to fine leather goods and jewelry. Let your guide open your eyes to the hidden treasures of the Grand Bazaar. Your guide will also help you to bargain for the best deal available. This is not so much a shopping tour as a cultural experience that is so much more fulfilling than just visiting the Grand Bazaar on your own. During your half-day walk through the Bazaar, you will be treated to shops selling sweets, leather goods, jewelry, glassware, pottery, fabrics, and belly dancing costumes. You'll even see workshops where they melt down gold in the ancient tradition, and recast it into whatever your heart desires! Your guide will take you through the labyrinth and up to one of the most impressive views in all of Istanbul at one of the Grand Bazaar's gorgeous terraces.

Istanbul: 4-Night/5-Day City Tour with Airport Transfers

5. Istanbul: 4-Night/5-Day City Tour with Airport Transfers

Day 1: Get picked up from the airport and transfer to your hotel in Istanbul. Check-in and stay overnight here. Day 2: Begin your full-day of sightseeing at 9 AM when you will meet your guide in the lobby of your hotel. Spend the day exploring all of Istanbul's top attractions and sights including the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, and Grand Bazaar). After the tour, transfer back to your hotel at around 6 PM ready for your second overnight stay.  Day 3:  Meet your guide in the lobby of your hotel at 8:15 AM and enjoy another full day of sightseeing. Visit the Spice Market then take a boat cruise along the Bosphorus River. Stop for lunch at a charming restaurant then explore Beylerbeyi or Dolmabahce Palace, and Camlica Hill. After the tour, transfer back to your hotel at around 6 PM ready for your overnight stay.  Day 4:  Enjoy a free day in Istanbul to explore the city at your own pace. Return to the hotel for your final overnight stay. Day 5: After being picked up from your hotel, transfer to the airport ready and in time for your onward departure.

Private Bosphorus and Spice Bazaar Half-Day Tour

6. Private Bosphorus and Spice Bazaar Half-Day Tour

Begin from your hotel or the Istanbul port and head toward the exotic Spice Bazaar. Discover the same bazaar where Egyptian exporters sold their goods during the Ottoman period. The Spice Bazaar is in an “L”-shaped building consisting of 88 vaulted rooms, almost all of which are now divided into an upper and lower story. Monumental gateways are at the ends of both halls, with chambers above each entry way. Throughout the bazaar you will find goods and spices from all over the world. Afterwards, take a cruise on the Bosphorus, a narrow and navigable strait between Europe and Asia that connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. Keep an eye out for the magnificent Ottoman palaces and beautiful mosques that are visible from the water before returning to your hotel.

From Istanbul: Private Cappadocia 2-Day Tour

7. From Istanbul: Private Cappadocia 2-Day Tour

Day 1: After getting picked up at your hotel by your guide and taking a short flight to Cappadocia, head to your first location, Devrent Valley. Discover churches, Roman graveyards and rock-carved settlements here, before heading to Pasabag Valley. Here, stroll through the famous fairy chimneys and see these amazing structures up close. Pay a visit to Avanos pottery workshops, where you can see the locals hard at work crafting their clay pieces and try your hand at making your own pottery or buy some souvenirs. Afterward, enjoy a traditional Cappadocian lunch at a local restaurant before heading to Göreme, the heart of the region. Once again you can see the hundreds of fairy chimneys that surround this town and learn about their history from your local tour guide. Visit Goreme Open Air Museum, one of the best-known places in Cappadocia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, learn about the purposes and history of the rock carvings that make this area so special. Your last stop of the day is Uchisar Castle, where you can enjoy panoramic views of Cappadocia and take unforgettable pictures. Day 2. After a good night’s rest, head to Red Valley and follow the walking trails to abandoned old cave churches lit up by the scarlet rocks that give the valley its name. Then head to Güllüdere Valley and see for yourself the rocks that change color depending on the weather and amount of sunlight available. You can also explore churches, monasteries, and shelters in this valley before heading to Cavusin Village, an ancient settlement with the best viewpoint from which to admire the fairy chimneys in Pasabag Valley. Take some great pictures here before heading to lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, head to Pigeon Valley. See the pigeon houses and the hoards of pigeons that inhabit this region up close and admire the views of the valley. Finally, head to Kaymaklı Underground City, one of over 100 underground cities in Cappadocia. Be amazed by the way of life of the people who lived in this city as you discover their shelters, churches, and stables. At the end of your tour, get dropped off back at your hotel in Istanbul.

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What people are saying about Istanbul

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 10 reviews

Absolutely amazing, everything was perfectly coordinated no delays or issues. Our tour guide was really good, excellent knowledges and interesting and funny - kept us all engaged throughout the tours and visits. Definitely recommend

Absolutely incredible experience! Everything is so well organised - especially the airport transfers. The tour guides are knowledgeable and engaging. The accommodation was fantastic. This trip was worth every cent (if not more!)

This was a great tour - very well organised, everything ran very smoothly, and all included aspects (hotels, transfers, tours) were well chosen and super comfortable! Would highly recommend!

The tour was very well organized, from the pick-up at the hotel over the 2 days of Cappadocia, balloon ride to the return trip to the hotel in Istanbul, everything went smoothly :-).

Our Spanish tour guide was excellent comunicación ability, experience and well known all the aspects of the history an excellent humor, I will recommend always.