Balat
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Bosphorus Boat Cruise & Two Continents Tour with Lunch

1. Bosphorus Boat Cruise & Two Continents Tour with Lunch

From the Golden Horn to the arm of the Boshorous you will experience the beautiful sights of the historical peninsula which separates the old and new parts of Istanbul. You will be a part of history as you take an in-depth look at the residential areas for Byzantine Jews, Italian traders and other non-Muslim minorities. Get a true sense of the history behind the Balat and the Metal Church. Stop at the sights of St. Stephen the Bulgarian, and get a glimpse of what life was really like at the Jewish Hospital. You can take a break from the historic sights by taking a stroll along the Byzantine City Walls. Another charming feature of the tour is the array of colorful shops that you will see at the Spice Bazaar. We'll make a stop at the stalls selling fruits, vegetables and flowers. After enjoying the variety of shops, the tour takes you to the Bosphorus Cruise and through the waterway separating the two continents, Europe and Asia. Marble palaces, ancient wooden villas and the sights of the luxurious residential apartments provide the perfect photo opportunity. From here it is on to Rumell Fortress by boat, where the historical armament can be viewed clearly from the boat. The armament is a unique example of military architecture, and was built by the conqueror to control and protect the Bosphorus. If time permits, the tour will also take you on to visit a leather showroom. Lunch. Tell your friends you’ve been to Asia and Europe in one day by joining us on a guided tour of Istanbul’s most historic sites. Led by an expert guide, you’ll visit the impressive Dolmabahçe Palace, the official home of Ottoman Sultans. Built by two famous Ottoman architects, the palace houses a museum-worthy collection of European furniture, art and antiquities. Then it’s off to the Bosphorus Bridge, which straddles the narrow waterway that separates Europe and Asia. Once you’ve crossed the bridge it’s time to head to Camlica HIll, which offers dramatic, panoramic views of the city from almost 300 meters above sea level. Please note, on Mondays and Thursdays the palace is closed, so the tour will make three different stops: Eyüp Sultan Mosque and Tomb, Pierre Loti Coffee House and Miniatürk park.

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Walk Fener and Balat – Istanbul's Greek Orthodox Region

2. Walk Fener and Balat – Istanbul's Greek Orthodox Region

If you are interested in visiting a functioning Byzantine church or seeing the only church in the world constructed entirely of iron and steel, then do not miss this full-day walking tour through Fener and Balat in Istanbul. The name Fener is derived from a Greek word 'Fanari,' meaning 'lantern' or 'lighthouse' in Turkish, and this district was made up of predominantly Romaic (Greek Orthodox) families up until the beginning of the 20th century. Today, this UNESCO-project filled site is known as the part of Istanbul where the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is situated. On this tour you'll hear the story of Phanariotes who served as dragomans to the Ottoman government and to foreign embassies. Following the included lunch, you will visit Balat, which is located on the southern shores of the Golden Horn. It is one of the Jewish districts where the people re-settled during the time of the Ottoman Empire. We will take you through Balat, where you will find yourself walking down intriguing streets, full of color and life. Synagogues, Armenian churches, Romaic churches, Byzantine remnants, and Ayazmas are all part of the adventure.

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Istanbul: Tour of Garipce Village, Rumeli Fortress and Balat

3. Istanbul: Tour of Garipce Village, Rumeli Fortress and Balat

Enjoy a really local tour of Istanbul with a guide who has an in-depth knowledge of the city. The full-day tour begins at around 08.30 with a pick up at your hotel, followed by breakfast in a small village located on the shores of the Black Sea. Visit a 17th-century castle and enjoy the amazing views. Stop to admire the Rumeli Fortress that looks out over the Bosporus – one of the unique monuments of Istanbul. Continue on with a drive to the Asian side of the city, where you’ll visit the Kucuksu Palace, used as a hunting lodge and summer mansion during the 18th century. Your guide will also take you to see the Balat/Fener area, which was the center of Greek Orthodox life in the time of the Ottoman Empire.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Balat

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What people are saying about Balat

Good value for money

A nice way to spend the day while visiting the city, having a nice cruise and seeing the palace. But in the morning pick up from hotel was 1 hour late....we could have had breakfast instead of waiting...

Changing the visit to the Grand Bazaar for leather garments is a mistake

Good guide but I had to leave Istanbul without knowing the Grand Bazaar, since it was closed and this tour I hired changed it for the other visit mentioned, without any interest.

Perfectly organized - seen a lot

This short trip was perfectly organized. The explanations were mostly bilingual - English and German. Very competent tour guide, who led the group through the program.

fantastic cruise

The negative: the place of lunch and the guide who was not pleasant and took us running.