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Our most recommended Balat Nature & Panorama

Istanbul: Two Sides of The City Half-Day Bike Tour

1. Istanbul: Two Sides of The City Half-Day Bike Tour

Meet your tour guide in the historical neighborhood of Balat, in the European side of the city. Choose your bike for the day then board the public boat to Uskudar. From the boat, admire views of the city skyline and take photos of Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Maiden Tower, Süleymaniye Mosque, Bosphorus Bridge, and more. Arrive in Uskudar, which is on the Asian side of the city, and admire the cultural influences that surround you. Hop on your bike and pedal to Fenerbahce Park, stopping along the way to take in the sights and listen to your guide share information about the area’s history and culture. Once you’ve worked up a sweat from the bike ride, enjoy a refreshing cup of Turkish tea or coffee at a local cafe and admire the view of Princes’ Islands while you relax. Jump back on your bike and pedal to Kadıköy Pier for a boat ride to Karakoy. Next, cross over the Golden Horn Bay via the Metro Bridge then head back towards the tour’s meeting point in Balat. Tours usually finish around 1PM, depending on the group’s cycling tempo. Afterwards, spend the day exploring the vibrant streets of Balat at your own leisure, and enjoy some fresh, local cuisine from one of the many street-side food vendors.

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Istanbul Heritage: 5-Hour Tour on Foot, by Ferry & More

2. Istanbul Heritage: 5-Hour Tour on Foot, by Ferry & More

Meet your guide at the Fuego Café and Restaurant in Sultanhamet, in the heart of the main tourist area of Istanbul. From here you’ll take the local tram to Eminönü Harbor and begin a 5-hour excursion into Istanbul’s heritage. Travel by public bus to the colorful Fener/Balat district, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and at one time home to Istanbul’s Ottoman Orthodox and Jewish residents. See traces of Ottoman life, including wooden houses, mosques, churches, and synagogues, standing together and demonstrating the multicultural and religious ways of the Ottoman Empire. After walking along the cobblestoned streets of the Fener/Balat World Heritage area, you’ll continue along the historic Byzantine city walls that date to the 4th century A.D. and the time of Constantine the Great. Visit the historic Eyüp mosque complex, a sacred area where pilgrims come to visit the mosques and the tombs of Muslim saints. From here you’ll take a short cable car ride up to the famous Pierre Loti Café, a popular meeting point for locals. Enjoy stunning panoramic views of Istanbul while sipping a drink in one of the cafés where French Poet Pierre Loti was inspired to write Aziyade, part biography and part love story about his escapades in Istanbul in the late 1800s. Walk back down to Eyüp to catch the local ferry for a cruise on the blue waters of the Golden Horn. See Ottoman houses, shipyards, the old and new Galata bridges, Ataturk Bridge, ancient city walls, mosques, churches, and other historic and modern sites. You’ll disembark at Eminönü Harbor, where the tour ends.

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Istanbul: Golden Horn Bike Tour

3. Istanbul: Golden Horn Bike Tour

The perfect way to see the major attractions of Istanbul’s historic peninsula is on a bike tour. You’ll take in the sights, both on and off shore, on this 3.5-hour excursion. Historic Istanbul is situated on a peninsula flanked by water on 3 sides: the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, and the Golden Horn. It has been the capital of 3 great empires: the Roman, the Byzantine, and the Ottoman. For more than 1,600 years over 120 emperors and sultans ruled the world from Istanbul. No other city in the world can claim such a distinction! The bike route is a moderate one, running along the world’s greatest natural harbor. Take in some of the city's most historical and cultural attractions, as well as some of the best views of the Golden Horn from Pierre Loti Hill. The final part of the ride takes you to the Sutlice, Balat, and Kasimpasa districts, the naval yard, marinas, and more, until you return to the Eminonu district by ferry.

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Istanbul: 6-Hour Byzantine Tour Along the Golden Horn

4. Istanbul: 6-Hour Byzantine Tour Along the Golden Horn

Want to discover the Istanbul of Byzantine Constantinople? Have you finished the famous sites in Sultanahmet and ready to walk in areas where tourists do not go? Then this Byzantine Istanbul (Constantinople) tour along the Golden Horn will be the perfect choice for you. The vastness of the vision and boldness of the design of Byzantine era Constantinople is expressed through the Hagia Sophia located in Sultanahmet but medieval Constantinople around the Golden Horn offers more information. Poke around forgotten corners just over this hauntingly beautiful inlet – the Golden Horn and walk to see Constantinople before the Ottoman Conquest of 1453. Your Byzantine Istanbul Constantinople tour will start with a ferry ride from Eminonu or Karakoy zigzaging both sides of the Golden Horn to end in Ayvansaray. Ayvansaray is where Constantinople officially ended, so you’ll see and walk along the mighty Byzantine walls of Theodosius from the 5th century. Your first visit will be to an extraordinary Greek Orthodox Church – Mary Blachernae. The only church in the whole world where there’s a service on a Friday morning. Built on a sacred water source, the church is a pilgrimage site for the Greek people in Istanbul. Climb the 7th hill of Istanbul as you make your way to one of the oldest Byzantine palaces from the 13th century (Tekfur Sarayi). The highlight of the trip will be the famous Chora, the Byzantine marvel of mosaics and frescoes. Then, walk your way back through Balat which houses one of Istanbul’s surviving mediaeval synagogues and trendiest houses that are now enjoying their second or even third type of use. In Fener, you will see the Greek Orthodox patriarchate housing a column, which is believed to have been used for the binding and flogging of Jesus in Jerusalem.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Balat

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What people are saying about Balat

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 3 reviews

Once you have seen the main Istanbul attractions, I can't imagine a better complementary experience, and a better way to see more of Istanbul - both the older European side, and the newer vibrant Asian side - than this 5h biking tour. Organization was smooth, the ride was safe and scenic, punctuated by ferryboat rides and stops at points of interest and coffee places. Our guide, Cem, was both very professional/knowledgeable, and very friendly. One can tell he has a talent for working with people, and a passion for his native Istanbul. He made the experience in our small group the highlight of our 5 days in Istanbul. Warmly recommended!

It was very good experience exploring Istanbul on bike I get even more than expected Mr can (the guide ) Is very professional so informative and nice person I really enjoyed the tour Highly recommended

It's really a fabulous activity. You get to really experience the thrum of Istanbul from East to West. A must do for anyone with an elevated sense of adventure and To see things differently!

Amazing trip, amazing people, amazing city. Nothing to add. Must do in Istanbul if you are not pregnant or an old person (P.S.: Don't forget to take enough sunscreen)

Very good guide. Ive learn so much Things. I highly recommand