Istanbul
Shore Excursions

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Our most recommended Istanbul Shore Excursions

Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

1. Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

You will start at the old Hippodrome of Constantinople which was the sports and social center of the old city. Discover major works of art including the Obelisk from Egypt, the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the fountain of Willhelm II, constructed by the Germans. From there, continue to the Blue Mosque, whose six minarets are a key fixture of Istanbul’s skyline. Next, head for the Topkapi Palace, which was home to the Ottoman emperors between the 15th and 19th centuries. Marvel at the jewel-stuffed treasury and priceless displays of Oriental porcelain. Move on to the Hagia Sophia Mosque. Behold the dome and stunning Byzantine mosaics of this architectural gem as your guide recounts its turbulent history. Then visit the Grand Bazaar with over 3,000 shops selling everything from carpets to jewelry to ceramics and leather goods. Also stroll around the Spice Bazaar with its incredible smell from almost every spice imaginable, as well as dried fruits and nuts, sweets and the ubiquitous Turkish Delight.

Private 7-Hour Istanbul Tour with Red Carpet Treatment

2. Private 7-Hour Istanbul Tour with Red Carpet Treatment

Your private guide and driver will meet you at your hotel or cruise ship, and you’ll head out for a full-day VIP tour of Istanbul. Visit the Hippodrome, the center of sporting and political activities of ancient Constantinople. See the Obelisk from Egypt, the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the German Fountain of Willhelm II. Continue to the Blue Mosque, dating from the 17th century. This is one of the largest mosques in Istanbul and one of the principal features of the city skyline. It’s best known for its blue Iznik tiles and 6 minarets. Afterwards, you’ll visit Topkapi Palace, the former imperial residence that was the seat of the Great Ottoman Empire. Explore the spectacular museum and its vast collections of Chinese and Japanese porcelain and the treasury of the royal family. Continue to the Hagia Sophia, the magnificent Byzantine Church considered one of the finest and largest architectural works in the world. The last stop on the tour is the Grand Bazaar. In addition to its historical importance, this is a shopping venue that will tempt even the non-shoppers among you with its rich collection of precious handmade carpets, jewelry, leather, and souvenirs. At the end of the tour, you’ll be transferred back to your hotel or cruise ship.

Private Istanbul Tour with Car and Guide

3. Private Istanbul Tour with Car and Guide

Explore Istanbul/Turkey with a professional licensed tour guide. You will travel in a private car or a mini van and can choose where you want to go and what you want to see. Your guide will take you on a customized tour throughout Istanbul or other cities in Turkey. You build the itinerary and your licensed and experienced tour guide keeps your sightseeing smooth and informative. They will give you information about the sites that you visit and the areas in which you travel, leaving you with fantastic and vivid memories of your time in Istanbul and Turkey. This tour guarantees that you will be taken care of from the moment you enter Turkey. You will travel in full luxury without the need to navigate language differences or worry about where and how to find transportation.

Istanbul: Bosphorus Sightseeing Dinner Cruise and Show

4. Istanbul: Bosphorus Sightseeing Dinner Cruise and Show

Enjoy a round-trip dinner cruise on the Bosphorus, with hotel transfers included. Sail up to the Black Sea, soaking in the stunning skyline of Istanbul. Have a welcome cocktail, followed by a Turkish dinner and folk shows. Be picked up at your accommodation and travel by air-conditioned bus to Kabatas port. Begin the dinner cruise and admire views of the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. See highlights, including the Blue Mosque and the Bosphorus Bridge. Sail up to the Black Sea from the European side and return from the Asian side. See many of Istanbul’s top landmarks from the ship, as you enjoy a sumptuous dinner and exciting live entertainment. Dinner Menu Welcome cocktail Hors d’oeuvres (10 kinds of Turkish appetizers) Mediterranean fresh seasonal salad Grilled fish or chicken steak or grilled meatballs Dessert or fruit Turkish coffee Unlimited non-alcoholic drinks Alcoholic drinks (if option selected) Show Program Katibim show (Turkish folk song) Aşuk Maşuk show (comedy with 2 male dancers) Belly dancing show Traditional henna ceremony Turkish Romani (gypsy) dancing show Turkish folk dancing show

Istanbul: Full-Day Small Group City Highlights Tour

5. Istanbul: Full-Day Small Group City Highlights Tour

Get to know some of the best sights of Instanbul with a local guide on this trip to Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Square, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar. Enjoy included pickup and drop-off and skip-the-line entry privileges. Start your day with pickup from your hotel, then hop in an air-conditioned vehicle and set off on your journey to see Istanbul’s greatest landmarks. First, head to Hagia Sophia, meaning divine wisdom. The Hagia Sophia was used as a church for 916 years and as a mosque for 481 years. In 1934, by the order of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, it was converted into a museum and has since been open to visitors. Next, visit Topkapi Palace and enter inside. As well as being the imperial residence of the Sultan, this palace was also the seat of government for the ottoman empire. In 1924 it was converted into a museum. Today, it's famous for its harem, royal treasury, and holy relics sections. Continue to Hippodrome of Constantinople (Sultanahmet Square), built by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus in 203 A.D. During the Roman period, this square was the civil center for the people of the city where once 100,000 spectators could be held. Located in the heart of Sultanahmet surrounded by the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace, today Hippodrome is home to the Egyptian Obelisk (Dikilitaş), the Serpentine Column (Burma Sütun), the Constantine Column, and the German Fountain. Next up on the itinerary is the Blue Mosque. This mosque was built by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I in the year 1616 and is located opposite the Hagia Sophia. Today, the Blue Mosque is one of the most famous landmarks of the old city with its famous six minarets, dome, and blue tiles decorating the interior walls. Visit the Grand Bazaar. Featuring 18 entrances and more than 4000 shops, the Grand Bazaar is one of the greatest bazaars in the world. Stroll through the unique shops and experience the atmosphere of everyday local life. At the end of the tour, sit back and relax as you're driven back to your pickup location.

Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private City Guided Tour

6. Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private City Guided Tour

Discover the best of Istanbul on this 1, 2, or 3-day private tour that covers the major attractions, such as the Hagia Sophia Museum, the iconic Blue Mosque, the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, and the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. A few of the possible attraction you'll visit on your tour include: 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 boasts the 4th largest dome after St. Paul's in London, St. Peter's in Rome, and the Duomo in Florence. Dedicated to the Hagia Sophia or 'divine wisdom', it is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. The Blue Mosque, more officially known as the "Sultanahmet" Mosque has 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. 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 in to the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. The Hippodrome is the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. Three monuments from the original building remain, including the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handcraft 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. 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 Bosphorus. There are also 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, and from there, it's an interesting and scenic 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area. See this and more depending on which length tour option you select. Possible Itinerary for each day of the tour: Day 1: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Hippodrome Day 2: Spice Market, Bosphorus Cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal, Galata Tower Day 3: Suleymaniye Mosque, Chora Church, Fener/Balat Districts, Pierre Loti Hill

Bosphorus Tour With Lunch

7. Bosphorus Tour With Lunch

Istanbul is a city that inspires body and soul with its power. From the noise of the Grand Bazaar to the peaceful beauty of the Blue Mosque, no trip to Istanbul is complete without a view of this sprawling metropolis from the Bosphorus. On this cruise and two-continents tour, accompanied by your multilingual tour guide, you will be treated to several stops along this epic waterway, which divides Europe and Asia. After a short stop at the Spice Bazaar, head to Kabatas from where your ferry leaves at 10:30 AM and returns back around 12:00 PM. During this 1.5-hour cruise, you will see sights like Dolmabahce Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, Ciragan Palace and Rumeli Fortress, ancient wooden villas, 2 Bosporus bridges and maritime landscapes. After the Bosphorus cruise, you will be transfer to the restaurant. After a nice lunch, you will now jump continents and set sail for Asia. It’s time to head to Camlica Hill which offers perfect panoramic views of the city from almost 300 meters above sea level. The tour ends with a return to your hotel or cruise ship.

Istanbul: Bosphorus Cruise, Bus Tour, and Cable Car Ride

8. Istanbul: Bosphorus Cruise, Bus Tour, and Cable Car Ride

Explore Istanbul by land, sea, and air on this unique tour. Enjoy sights like the Eyup Sultan Mosque by bus, admire the city from the Bosphorus Strait on a scenic cruise, and take in the views from Pierre Loti Hill with a cable car ride.  Enjoy the convenience of being picked up from centrally-located hotels in Istanbul. Relax in an airconditioned bus on your way to the departure point for your cruise on the Bosphorus Strait. Hop aboard a comfortable ship and admire the city from the water. Take in unobstructed views of the Golden horn, the Topkapı palace, the Dolma Bahçe palace, the Hagia Sophia Mosque, the Maiden’s Tower, Galata Tower, the Blue mosque, and the Ortakoy mosque. Gaze out at the two bridges that connect Europe and Asia. Get back on the spacious bus and drive to the 19th century Eyup Sultan Mosque where Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (a friend to the Islamic prophet Muhammad) is thought to have been laid to rest. Pass by historical wooden houses, churches, synagogues, mosques and the remains of the Roman Wall. Drive up the Pierre Loti Hill to capture pictures of views of the city and the Golden horn. Enjoy the views on the way down with a thrilling cable car ride. Return to your hotel at the end of your tour.

Historic Istanbul Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

9. Historic Istanbul Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

Discover the historic sites of Istanbul on a half-day sightseeing tour with round-trip transfers from centrally located hotels. A local guide will accompany you all the way, starting at the Hagia Sophia. Learn about the ancient Basilica that was started by Constantine the Great in the 4th century, and completed by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century. For 1,000 years it was the world’s largest cathedral. Today, it has been converted to a museum. Admire the impressive dome and minarets, as well as the beautiful mosaics, sculptures and columns inside. Your next stop will be the legendary Sultan Ahmed Mosque, better known around the world as the Blue Mosque. Get up close to this symbol of Istanbul and see the vibrant blue tiles that adorn its interior walls. Stroll around its beautiful courtyard, and see the 6 graceful minarets. Continue to the Hippodrome, site of chariot races during the Byzantine Empire. Admire the 3 remaining monuments; the Obelisk of Theodosius, the Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine. End with a walk around the labyrinthine Grand Bazaar to haggle for bargains among some 4,000 jewelry, pottery, spices, carpet, and leather stores.

Highlights of Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour

10. Highlights of Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour

Day 1 – Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hipporome, 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 8-hour 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 boasts the 4th largest dome after St. Paul's in London, St. Peter's in Rome and the Duomo in Florence. 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, more 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 in to the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. You will also visit the Hippodrome, the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. Three monuments from the original building remain, including the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. You will also pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. Your day won’t be complete, however, without a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handcraft 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 Bosphorus. There are also 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.

Frequently asked questions about Istanbul Shore Excursions

What are other things to do than Shore Excursions that are worth visiting in Istanbul?

The other unmissable things to do in Istanbul are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Istanbul

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What people are saying about Istanbul

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 784 reviews

This was an amazing experience. Mev (apologies if I misspelt the name), our guide, was lovely and knowledgeable and made the tour that bit more exciting. We started the tour at the Pierre Loti hill where we had some nice views of the city and enjoyed a morning coffee. Then we went to see the Dolmabahce Palace which was impressive. After a delicious lunch, we took a cruise on the Bosphorus and saw the city from a different perspective.

Wonderful guide, informative, English was perfect and knew his way around the busy old town area.

Amaziiiing! Ensar is the nicest guide ever and always with a smile on his face!

Ali is the best tour guide. Excursion was very intreresting. We learned a lot.

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