Guided tour

Istanbul Half-Day Historic Tour of Byzantium

4.2 / 5

13 reviews

Activity provider: Gray Line Turkey
Guided tour

Istanbul Half-Day Historic Tour of Byzantium

Activity provider: Gray Line Turkey

From US$ 53.90 per person

Take a trip back in time, to the days of Istanbul's Byzantine era. Visit the Byzantine city walls, the Kariye Museum, the Church of Panagia of Blachernae, Anemas Dungeons, Tekfur Palace and many other historic sites.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 4 hours
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Skip the ticket line
Live tour guide
English, German, Spanish


  • Gaze across the Bosphorous at the Golden Horn
  • Walk through the Byzantine streets of Istanbul
  • Learn about the Empire that controlled the city for over 1,000 years
  • See the Church of Panagia of Blachernae and St. Savior in Chora
  • Tour the Byzantine city walls
Full description
This 4-hour tour takes you back to the days when Istanbul was capital of the Byzantine Empire, a period of more than 1,000 years, from the 4th to the 15th-Century AD. You will start at the natural naval harbor of the Byzantines, named the Golden Horn due to its hornlike shape and golden reflection under sunshine when viewed from the hill tops. Visit the Patriarchate at Fener, the seat of Orthodox Christianity after Constantine The Great declared Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Continue to the Church of Panagia of Blachernae, the best known and most celebrated shrine of the Holy Virgin, famed for its “Hagiasma” (holy water) and the “Hagion Lousma” (sacred bath). You will stop at St. Savior in Chora, now the Kariye Museum, but originally a Byzantine monastery with fantastic mosaics and frescoes that portray scenes from the bible. Next you will go to Anemas Dungeons, part of the Blachernae Palace and unique in the world for its architectural structure. Used as a prison for high ranking statesmen, it consisted of 14 separate dungeons, each with 2 basements below sea-level. Tour Tekfur Palace, built in the 12th-Century, adjacent to the city walls, and the only surviving pavilion of the Blachernae Palace. Finally you will see the remains of the 5th-Century Byzantine city walls, which surrounded the acropolis of Byzantium and were 13 miles (22 kilometers) long, with 96 towers and 9 main gates.
  • Air-conditioned transportation
  • Museum entrance fees
  • Pick-up service from centrally-located hotels in Istanbul
  • Hotel drop-off

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Important information

What to bring

  • Passport or ID card

Not allowed

  • Pets
  • Smoking

Know before you go

  • A minimum of 6 people are required to operate this tour. Guaranteed departure on Tuesday afternoons.
  • After booking, you need to call the local supplier in order to learn exact time and free shuttle availability.
  • Pick-up is only available for centrally located Istanbul hotels. When verifying your booking, your local supplier will advise you on alternative meeting points for hotels which are not accessible
  • Free shuttle pick-up is offered between 13:00 and 14:00 (depending on the location of your hotel), and takes 45 to 60 minutes.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.2 /5

based on 13 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Service
  • Organization

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January 15, 2023


November 2, 2022

November 2, 2022

Product ID: 18465