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Things to do in Fener

Our most recommended things to do in Fener

Istanbul: Fener and Balat Private Walking Tour

1. Istanbul: Fener and Balat Private Walking Tour

Start your tour with a ferry ride along the Golden Horn and see the skyline of Istanbul from this famous waterway. Learn from your guide as they explain the history of Constantinople, the conquest by the Ottomans, and the introduction of Jewish culture. Visit the extraordinary church of Mary Blachernae, and see the Ahrida Synagogue. Walk through the streets and markets of Balat through the splashes of color and the vibrancy of its street life. Take a break in this vibrant neighborhood and enjoy watching people in their everyday activities. End your tour in Fener after seeing the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, an essential part of this tour, as it is the most sacred site for the Orthodox people.

Istanbul: Off-the-Beaten-Track Istanbul Fener and Balat

2. Istanbul: Off-the-Beaten-Track Istanbul Fener and Balat

This particular tour includes some of the unique places in the city but also which are difficult to visit on your own. The tour will take you to the roots of historic Istanbul with visits to the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian monuments. You will meet with your guide at 09.00 am at your hotel reception. The first stop is Suleymaniye Mosque was built on the order of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and constructed by the great Ottoman architect Sinan. Construction began in 1550, and the mosque was finished in 1557. The mosque is partly modeled on the style of a Byzantine basilica, particularly the Hagia Sophia, which was perhaps a conscious move by the sultan to create a continuity and a symbolic connection with the city's past. After the mosque, we will have a tea-coffee break at Kadinlar Pazari under the shadow of the aqueduct of Valens. An authentic square filled with "buryan kebab" restaurants. Walking along the aqueduct will end at one of the oldest and most influential churches, now a mosque in the city, Zeyrek Mosque or Monastery of the Pantocrator, A unique combination of two former Eastern Orthodox churches and a chapel. The Zeyrek Mosque is the second largest religious edifice after the Hagia Sophia, built by the Byzantines remaining in Istanbul. The next stop will be the Gul Mosque; Gul Mosque started life as the 11th-century Church of St Theodosia and was converted into a mosque by the Ottomans. We will then continue to the beautiful districts of Fener and Balat to discover the Aya Nikola Greek Orthodox Church before visiting the Fener Orthodox Patriarchate. The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the fifteen autocephalous churches that compose the Eastern Orthodox Church. Since 1586 the Ecumenical Patriarchate has had its headquarters in the relatively modest Church of St George in the Fener district of Istanbul. Afterward, enjoy a break from sightseeing to have a drink. We will then wander around the labyrinth cobblestone streets of Balat to see Phanar Greek Orthodox College, this Fener landmark, known locally as Kirmizi Mektep for its castellated red-brick facade, still functions as a Greek school. Then we will visit Saint Mary of the Mongols, an Eastern Orthodox church in Istanbul. It is the only Byzantine church of Constantinople that has never been converted to a mosque, always remaining open to the Greek Orthodox Church. Please note that some visits will be only panoramic from outside because of the restoration works.

Istanbul: Golden Horn & Pierre Loti Hill Cable Car Day Trip

3. Istanbul: Golden Horn & Pierre Loti Hill Cable Car Day Trip

Discover the beauty of the historic Golden Horn estuary in Istanbul on this guided day tour with hotel pickup and drop-off from the Sultanahmet, Faih or Taksim areas. Admire panoramic views of the city with the included cable car ride to Pierre Loti Hill. Hop aboard an air-conditioned car and take in views of the Golden Horn which ahs been a trading harbor since the Byzantine-era. Start with a stop at St. George’s Cathedral, a 16th-century, neo-classical church which was the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.  Take a look inside the lavish interiors of the cathedral before heading to the Phanar Greek Orthodox College to see one of the oldest educational institutions in Turkey.  Head to the districts of Fener and Balat, which are steeped in history and culture. Follow your guide around the cobblestone streets and take in the colorful Ottoman architecture. Stop for lunch in one of the local restaurants in Balat before heading to the Bulgarian St. Stephen Church. View the church's design features of prefabricated cast iron elements that are in the neo-Byzantine style. Appreciate at the intricate details of the church before making your way to Pierre Loti Hill. Board a cable car and take in the stunning 360-degree views of the Golden Horn as you make your ascent. Once you reach the hill itself, capture pictures of the breathtaking views of the city below. Return to your hotel or meeting point at the end of the tour. 

Istanbul Uncovered Small Group Tour

4. Istanbul Uncovered Small Group Tour

Join us on a small group tour of Istanbul that takes you to some of the city's most iconic and interesting sights. We will begin our tour at the Binbirdirek Cistern, an underground chamber that was once used to store water for the city. This fascinating site offers a glimpse into Istanbul's history and is a great place to take some unique photos. Next, we will visit the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. Here, you can browse and shop for souvenirs and traditional Turkish goods, and perhaps haggle with the vendors for the best price. After some time at the Grand Bazaar, we will make our way to the Suleymaniye Mosque, a grand and ornate place of worship that is a key landmark in Istanbul. We will learn about the mosque's history and architecture, and have the opportunity to observe the local Muslim community as they go about their daily prayers. Next, we will head to the Spice Market, where you can sample and purchase a variety of aromatic spices and other ingredients that are used in Turkish cuisine. This colorful and lively market is a great place to immerse yourself in the sights and smells of Istanbul. Finally, we will visit the historic neighborhood of Balat, which is home to charming cafes, boutiques, and colorful houses. This lesser-known area offers a glimpse into the everyday life of Istanbul's residents and a chance to discover some hidden gems.

Istanbul: Private Sultan Boat Trip on the Golden Horn

5. Istanbul: Private Sultan Boat Trip on the Golden Horn

Explore Istanbul’s sights from the waters of the Golden Horn on a private boat trip. Travel on a silent sultan boat and observe ancient sites that represent Istanbul's cultural diversity, including the Eyüp Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Rahmi M. Koç Museum, and more. Following hotel pickup, head to the Port of Sütlüce to hop on an electricity-powdered and environmentally friendly sultan boat. Sultan boats have been used to transport people and goods over the Golden Horn since Byzantium.  Set out on the Golden Horn waterway and see sights such as the Aya Yorgi Church, Hagia Sophia, Galata Tower, Fener Greek High School (Red School), the Bahariye Islands (Golden Horn Islands), and Topkapi Palace in the Sultanahmet District. Other highlights you can see on your trip include the Eyüp Mosque, Feshane, Fener District, Miniatürk, Rahmi M. Koç Museum, Halic Congress Center, Istanbul Shipyard, and Halic Port. After your cruise, head back to the port and get dropped off back at your hotel.

Istanbul: 6-Hour Byzantine Tour Along the Golden Horn

6. 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). 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Fener

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What people are saying about Fener

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 42 reviews

It's the best tour I booked with just five participants and a nice and knowledgeable local guide. Oz, our guide brought us to places where most of the tourists are not going to visit or eat. A great storyteller who loves to share those historical facts/intrigues in every places we visited. If you love to walk and explore hidden spots, you must book this tour.

The tour was excellent. We loved hearing the history, going to the local hangouts, learning useful words in Turkish, and getting tips for the bazaar. Highly recommend this tour if you’re in Istanbul.

The tour was just great. Oz told us a lot of historical things about Istanbul and it was always easy to follow him. He also took us to places you would never go to as a tourist

With a super nice guide we were able to discover streets and corners in Istanbul that we would never have found and thus saw a completely different side of Istanbul. By simply

Great guide, great tour, great conversations... It was a wonderful trip!