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Golden Horn

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Istanbul: Fener and Balat Small-Group Walking Tour

1. 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.

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

2. 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: 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.

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). 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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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 :)

The instructor named Julia was great - excellent English and the instruction was interesting and professional ,was great

It was a beautiful tour, we had a very nice guide who explained a lot of things about the neighborhoods. I recommend it

Great tour of two really must-see neighborhoods. Sabih was an excellent tour guide: 5+ stars

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