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Golden Horn

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Our most recommended Golden Horn Good for Groups

Istanbul: Golden Horn and Bosphorus Tour

1. Istanbul: Golden Horn and Bosphorus Tour

After finishing your busy day of sightseeing around Istanbul, you can relax on this 2-hour Golden Horn and Bosphoros cruise. You will meet your guide across from the Hagia Sophia, from where you will go together down to the pier behind the building. From there you will discover the Golden Horn, including the 32-kilometer-long Bosphorus which separates Europe and Asia. You will be able to see Istanbul’s main attractions, including magnificent palaces, ancient castles, and famous hills and parks, as well as spectacular seaside residences from different centuries. All of this sightseeing will of course include your passing under Istanbul's many famous bridges. You will pass by Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Ortaköy Mosque, Bosphorus Bridge, Rumeli Fortress and Beylerbeyi Palace. You will also get to see some historical landmarks from a distance, such as Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Maiden Tower, and Galata Tower. 

Istanbul: Fener and Balat Small-Group Walking Tour

2. Istanbul: Fener and Balat Small-Group Walking Tour

Start your tour with a ferry ride along the Golden Horn from Karakoy to Ayvansaray, where you will see the skyline of Istanbul from this famous waterway onboard a local ferry. You can listen to your guide as they go over the history of Constantinople, the conquest by the Ottomans and the introduction of Jewish culture after 1492. Afterwards, visit the extraordinary church of Mary Blachernae, Ahrida Synagogue and walk the streets and markets of Balat through the splashes of color and the vibrancy of its street life. Experience the crisscross of washing lines on the crumbling buildings, and the labyrinth of cobblestone streets teeming with kids playing football. You will then end your tour in Fener after seeing the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate which houses a column which is believed to have been used for the binding and flogging of Jesus in Jerusalem. The Greek Orthodox Patriarchal Church is an essential part of this tour, as it is the most sacred site for all of the 300 million Orthodox people in the world.

Istanbul: Full-Day Tour with Dolmabahce & Bosphorus Cruise

3. Istanbul: Full-Day Tour with Dolmabahce & Bosphorus Cruise

Get a comprehensive overview of Istanbul on this full-day tour of the city by coach, boat, and cable car. Perfect for those who aim to get a sense of what makes Istanbul unique, this full-day exploration gives a varied tour of the city. It will reveal a mixture of Eastern and European influences that makes the city so unique. First, get picked up from your hotel by bus and driven along the length of the Golden Horn, the historic water that divides Istanbul. Take in the sites of the historic city center and the main port, dating back to the Ottoman and Byzantine empires. Then, travel to the top of Pierre Loti Hill by cable car, and admire panoramic views of the city as you drink coffee at the famous Pierre Loti Café, named after the French novelist who spent much of his time there.  Next, experience the splendor of Istanbul from the water. In the afternoon, enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Bosphorus and take in the grand spectacle of the city’s houses and palaces from the river. Finally, enjoy a tour of Dolmabahce Palace, home to the last of the Ottoman Sultans. Admire one of the most glamorous palaces in the world, once the administrative heart of the Ottoman Empire.

Istanbul: Golden Horn, Pier Loti Hill, and Bosphorus Cruise

4. Istanbul: Golden Horn, Pier Loti Hill, and Bosphorus Cruise

Your tour begins with a pick-up at your hotel and the drive to Pierre Loti Hill, where you’ll take a cable car to the top. Next you’ll see the highlights of Istanbul on a panoramic Golden Horn bus tour. Follow this with a 90-minute Bosphorus cruise, following along the shores and taking in many of Istanbul’s iconic sights. A guide on board will provide full commentary. Admire the views of Dolmabahçe Palace, Leanders Tower, the city’s 2 suspension bridges, Rumeli Hisarı Fortress, and the stunning mansions on the Bosphorus shores. Disembark near Istanbul’s famous Spice Bazaar for the transfer back to your hotel.

From Istanbul: 4-Day Small Group Istanbul & Cappadocia Tour

5. From Istanbul: 4-Day Small Group Istanbul & Cappadocia Tour

Your guide will meet you at your hotel between 08:00 and 08:30. Visit the Istanbul old city area which includes Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar and Topkapi Palace. Have lunch during the tour. The average duration of this tour is 8-hours. At the end of the tour, your guide will leave you back at your hotel. On the second day, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby between 08:00 and 08:30. During this tour, you will visit the Golden Horn, the old city walls of Istanbul, the Spice Market and Dolmabahce Palace or Chora Museum. There will be a lunch stop during the tour. The tour will end at around 17:00. Please do not forget to take your luggage in the morning. After the tour, you will be transferred to airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Once you arrive in Cappadocia, you will have organized transfer from the airport to your hotel.  On your third day, your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel at around 09:00. You will enjoy a tour of southern Cappadocia, also known as the Green Tour, which will include the following sites: Derinkuyu Underground City (the largest underground city in the area with 7 floors 85 meters deep; not recommended for claustrophobic guests) and Ihlara Valley (1.5-hour trekking). Have a lunch stop in the village of Bellisirma. Afterwards, you will visit Piegon Valley (panoramic visit), Selime Monastery and Esentepe (panoramic view). After the tour, you will be dropped back off at your hotel. On the fourth and last day, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby at around 09:00 and take you on a tour of northern Cappadocia, known as the Red Tour, to Rose Valley, Goreme Open Air Museum (important early Christianity center), Monks Valley, Cavusin village (one of the oldest settlements in the area), Avanos village (with stop at a traditional pottery workshop), Uchisar Castle and Dervent Valley. The average tour duration will be 8-hours. After the tour, you will be transferred back to the airport for your return flight to Istanbul.

Istanbul: Full-Day Golden Horn & Bosphorus Tour

6. Istanbul: Full-Day Golden Horn & Bosphorus Tour

Begin this full-day excursion with a stroll around Pierre Loti Hill. Hop-on a cable car and let it take you to another world where the ancient Byzantine walls of Constantinople, Tekfur Palace and the Castle of Seven Towers await. Learn about the history of this centuries-old metropolis and how it functioned as both the capital of the eastern Roman Empire and as the head of the Ottoman Empire.  Then, board the boat and cruise around the Bosphorus Strait which connects the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea and separates Europe and Asia, making Istanbul one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the only one built astride two continents. This romantic cruise along the Bosphorus will allow you to admire the Dolmabahce Palace, the Beylerbeyi Palace, the Ciragan Palace and the Rumeli Fortress, ancient wooden villas, bridges and all the wonderful and unique maritime landscapes.

Istanbul: 6-Hour Byzantine Tour Along the Golden Horn

7. 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.

Sightseeing Bosphorus Cruise in Istanbul

8. Sightseeing Bosphorus Cruise in Istanbul

Your tour begins at your hotel, where your friendly guide will pick you up and transfer you to the boat in an air-conditioned coach. Then take a trip up the Golden Horn, the horn-shaped estuary that divides the European side Istanbul. One of the best natural harbors in the world, this area was once the commercial and shipping center of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Today, you can still see entire streets lined with old wooden houses, churches and synagogues dating back to this time. You will then have a chance to give your sea legs a break at the world famous Spice Market, a gigantic indoor hall selling a a wide variety of goods, including locally manufactured sweets, herbs, and spices. After the Spice Market, you will have the chance to truly discover the unique wonders of the Bosphorus. This wonderful stretch of water, which sweeps down from the Black sea to the sea of Marmara, passes straight through Istanbul and marks the border between Asia and Europe. From your boat, take in magnificent views of the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Sultanahmet Mosque, Dolmabahce Palace, and more. On the Asian side, you will be able to spot the twin towers of the Kuleli Military school. Your last stop will be the City Walls, one of Istanbul’s most impressive sights. These land walls, built during the reign of the emperor Theodosius, still stand to a considerable height despite the battering they have received over the years. 

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What people are saying about Golden Horn

This was a fantastic tour, around the Fener and Balat neighborhoods of Istanbul. The tour started with a ferry ride which was such a great way to see the city! We were then taken through all the different streets and learnt about the city's rich history along the way. Our guide Cetin was absolutely fantastic - super knowledgeable about the area and history, was very easy to get along with. We had a great time with him! He kindly took us on the bus back to into the city centre so we could catch our ferry home. Thank you Cetin for an amazing morning out! Would definitely recommend :)

Relaxing couple of hours with great views. Meet staff at the permanent news/drinks kiosk as described. They have a red flag and yellow sign so you can see and follow them. Refreshments available on board the boat and a loo! Tannoy style commentary was ok but you can download an app if you prefer. If you have a guide book the sights are in there too - pretty obvious. We really enjoyed our trip.

This was a beautiful tour and one of the best parts of my trip to İstanbul. It was about 2 hours long which was the perfect length. I recommend the 7PM tour so you can see the sunset

Overall the tour was very good. Communication was very good. I got the message from tour providers a day before the tour started.

Great attention from the guide. Warm and kind help. Nice places and churches