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Golden Horn

Rail Tours

Our most recommended Golden Horn Rail Tours

Istanbul: Fener/Balat Walking Tour, Pierre Loti Hill & Ferry

1. Istanbul: Fener/Balat Walking Tour, Pierre Loti Hill & Ferry

Meet your guide at the "Balık Pazarı " the entry gate of the Spice Market in the heart of Istanbul. From here you’ll take the local bus to Fener to discover 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. See the exterior of 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 Karaköy Harbor, where the tour ends.

Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour with Hotel Transfer

2. Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour with Hotel Transfer

Explore Istanbul on a guided tour. Choose from a 1-day tour to top attractions like the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace, or a 2-day tour with a cruise on the Bosphorus straight and a visit to the Dolmabahce Palace and Istiklal Street. Pick from a walking tour or a driving tour.  Day 1 – Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar Explore the highlights of Istanbul on this private full-day walking tour that covers the major attractions, from the Hagia Sophia Museum to the iconic Blue Mosque, to the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, to the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. The excursion starts with a pick-up from your Istanbul hotel and a walk through the lively streets of Turkey’s largest city to visit the dramatic former basilica of the Hagia Sophia, a great architectural beauty and an important monument during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. For many centuries, this was the largest church in the world, and it still holds the position for the 4th largest dome. Dedicated to the Hagia Sophia or 'divine wisdom', it is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Move on to the Blue Mosque, officially known as the Sultanahmet Mosque. The mosque’s striking blue tiles give it its more common name and make it one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions. Located close to Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque was considered the Supreme Imperial Mosque in Istanbul. Continue to Topkapi Palace, a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. The former palace boasted a population of about 4,000 people at its peak and was home to 25 sultans over a period of 400 years.  Located on a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn, it sits in tranquil gardens that provide shade from the blazing heat of the summer. Pop into the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. Visit the Hippodrome, the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. See the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column, the 3 remaining monuments from the original building. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. Complete your day with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handicraft shops selling everything from handmade carpets to Turkish coffee, the atmosphere is electric, and it's a great place to try out your bargaining skills. Day 2 – Spice Bazaar, Bosphorus cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Istiklal Street, Taksim The spice bazaar is located in Fatih. It's known as the Egyptian Market because, during the Ottoman period, Egyptian exports were sold there.  The Bosphorus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia that connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. Rumeli and Anadolu Fortresses are located at the narrowest point of the Bosphorus and there are magnificent Ottoman palaces and mosques along the Bosphorus. Keep an eye out for them. Built in the 19th century, Dolmabahce Palace was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and housed some of the last Ottoman Sultans. The palace site was created by filling in the small bay on the Bosphorus. This gave rise to its name, in Turkish, Dolma means 'filled' or 'stuffed,' and bahce means 'garden'. Istiklal Street is brimming with life. There, you'll find a plethora of shops, restaurants, and bars. From there, it is a 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area.

Istanbul: Evening Discovery Tour for Cruise Ship Visitors

3. Istanbul: Evening Discovery Tour for Cruise Ship Visitors

Meet your local expert guide at the port and spend an evening in Istanbul. Leave your cruise ship and extend your time in Istanbul to discover the European quarter around Beyoglu and Galata. Join a private or small group for a walking tour beginning with a walk up the hill to the Galata Tower area to the famous pedestrian Istiklal Street. Learn about the area's rich history and culture originating from the Sephardic Jews of 1492. See how the Ottoman Sultans made Galata a residential area after the conquest of Constantinople in the 15th century. Learn how Istanbul was during the heyday of the Ottomans and the lifestyle of the non-Muslim population. Discover with your local expert guide as they explain the finest examples of the link between Muslim architecture in Istanbul and Europe. Walk on pedestrian avenues and see Istanbulites enjoy their evening and learn about the curious, old embassy buildings. See the local a fish and flower market, the liveliest and most colorful spot on the street. Explore the magnificent Pera Palace Hotel — where Agatha Christie is said to have written "Murder on the Orient Express" — built by the Orient Express company. Take photos of various churches, synagogues, descending steps to haunting courtyards, alleys, and of course, the most venerable restaurants. End the tour as you choose to spend free time in the Galata district or follow your guide back to your ship.

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What people are saying about Golden Horn

Our guide was Coskun and he did an amazing job showing us around the city with the depth of knowledge he has of the city and its history. He was very patient with my mom who has knee issues and made sure she didn't get lost if she fell behind. Thank you so much for this experience!

I took this tour with another lady, guided by Onder, and partially by Selih. Onder was probably the best guide I had while in Istanbul and he really made me enjoy this part of the city

Our guide Alexander was great and knowledgeable. It was a half day full of fun experience with nice new acquaintances from all over the globe. Eva, Manila Philippines

Very interesting tour with an excellent guide Önder. The guide has a wealth of information not only for the tour. Top information Top tour.

Off the beaten path for those who are interested. Got to see a lot more about Istanbul which I didn’t see before. Highly recommend this.