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Istiklal Street

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

1. 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

Istanbul: Galata Guided Walking Tour and Tower Entry

2. Istanbul: Galata Guided Walking Tour and Tower Entry

Meet your guide in front of the exit of the Tünel funicular station and start strolling through the backstreets of the Pera district. See the first luxury hotels of Istanbul which have hosted kings, queens, and world-famous writers and artists. After exploring the backstreets of Pera, follow your guide to a historic fish market and one of the most famous bar streets of Istanbul. While here, have the chance to try some local street food. Reach Istiklal Avenue and see people from all around the world, shops, restaurants, art galleries, and many historic buildings. Walk by some of the oldest consulates and churches from the 18-19th century Ottoman Empire. From Istiklal Avenue, find yourself in the neighborhood of Galata. On your way to the Galata Tower, pass through a cobblestone street full of music shops. The go-to street of every musician in Turkey, see shops specialized in hand-made ethnic instruments and equipment. After a few minutes of walking, find yourself in front of one of the most iconic landmarks of Istanbul, Galata Tower. Listen to its stories and legends and head inside to access the elevator of the tower. Your guide will assist with your entry. From the tower's terrace, witness an impressive view of the city. See Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Bosphorus Strait, the Bosphorus Bridge, Marmara Sea, both the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, Golden Horn, and even the Prince Islands. Your tour will end in Galata Tower, and here you are free to spend as much time as you want to take incredible pictures of Istanbul.

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

3. 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.

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

4. Best of Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Guided Istanbul Tour

Explore Istanbul according to your own interests on a tailor-made sightseeing tour. A licensed guide will meet you in your hotel or port and work with you to create an itinerary that suits you best, leaving you satisfied that you have seen all of Istanbul. Marvel at monuments from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, such as Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern on the first day. On day two, take the public ferry to Bosphorus to see both Istanbul’s European and Asian sides. From here, visit Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal Street and the spice market. Day three takes you on a walk through the streets of Fener-Balat neighboorhood. Enjoy a cable car ride and soak up views of Pierre Loti Hill, then visit Chora Church to see the mosaics and frescoes.

Istanbul: Madame Tussauds Entrance Ticket

5. Istanbul: Madame Tussauds Entrance Ticket

Meet world famous celebrities and cultural heroes cast in wax with an entrance ticket to Madame Tussauds in the historic city center of Istanbul. Explore the famous visitor attraction at your own pace and take memorable selfies with legendary athletes and singers.  See historical and cultural heroes from the history of Turkey, along with current celebrities from the arts, sport and politics. Stroll around the 2,000-square-meter venue set within the Grand Pera project on Istiklal Street at leisure and discover interactive environments across 6 distinct zones. Have fun spotting famous people and end with a special party finale!

Istanbul: Taksim and Galata 2-Hour Walking Tour

6. Istanbul: Taksim and Galata 2-Hour Walking Tour

Wander through the neighborhoods of Taksim and Galata on this 2-hour walking tour. Witness the city's European influences and learn about Istanbul's cultural diversity from a local guide. See popular attractions and photo-worthy spots as you explore the city. Meet your guide at the exit of the second oldest metro in the world at Tunnel Square. From here, step into the footsteps of the Italian, Greek, Jewish, Austrian, Russian, and German cosmopolitan cultures which once resided in these neighborhoods. Stroll along and discover famous sites such as the Galata Tower, the Dervish Lodge, and Tunnel Square. Marvel at the colorful, European-style shopping street and admire neoclassical and art nouveau architecture as you pass by old book shops, art galleries, vibrant street art, the flower passage, the fish market, consulate buildings from past centuries, and stunning churches. Your tour ends at Galata Tower. From there you will be given valuable advice on how to explore Istanbul in the best way possible, as well as gain insider tips about must-visit places off the beaten tourist path. Your friendly guide will also point you in the direction of where you can find the tastiest dinners and the hot spots for nightlife in Istanbul.

Istanbul: Full-Day Highlights Tour

7. Istanbul: Full-Day Highlights Tour

Experience the cultural diversity on this guided walking tour through the Old City, Sultanahmet and Taksim. Get closer to top landmarks, discover local markets and taste Turkish Delights. Explore the highlights of Istanbul and gain insider knowledge from your expert guide. Itinerary: Old City Sultanahmet to Grand Bazaar Explore the highlights of Ottoman and Byzantine heritage including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace Garden. Along the 15 min walk to the Grand Bazaar, explore sights off the traditional tourist path, offering unique historical secrets and one of a kind Instagram spots. Lunch break Grand Bazaar to Spice Market Enjoy a Turkish tea, capture amazing pictures from rooftops, visit a local food market and try spices, herbs and Turkish Delights. Break for refreshments Tunnel Square, via Taksim area to Galata Tower Follow in the footsteps of the Italian, Greek, Jewish, Austrian, Russian and German cosmopolitan cultures which once resided here and discover famous sites such as the Galata Tower, Dervish Lodge and Tunnel Square. Marvel at the most colorful European Istanbul shopping street and admire neo-classical and art nouveau architecture, passing by old book shops, art galleries, vibrant street art, the flower passage, the fish market, consulate buildings from past centuries and stunning churches. After the tour you will get insider tips from your expert guide and can go up the Galata Tower or visit the Dervish Lodge.

Istanbul: Galata – Genoese Walking Tour

8. Istanbul: Galata – Genoese Walking Tour

The 3-hour tour takes place in the afternoon. Start with pickup from your hotel and then begin your tour by walking through the vibrant streets to the imposing Galata Tower. In the Byzantine period, the hillside where Galata now stands was covered with orchards and was named Sykai (The Fig Orchard), or Peran en Sykais (The Fig Field on the Other Side). It still commands impressive views of the Golden Horn. You will hear myths and legends, and learn the history of how Galata became a Genoese colony from the 6th to the 15th century. Today the area is awash with churches and synagogues, colorful stores and ancient walls, and your guide will provide you with fascinating facts as you stroll through the ancient streets and walk the winding Camondo Steps.

Istanbul: Tastes of Istanbul Private Food Tour

9. Istanbul: Tastes of Istanbul Private Food Tour

After being picked up from your hotel, begin your tour with a walk around the Spice market. See where locals have been buying their spices for hundreds of years. Walk from Galata bridge to Karakoy and enjoy a Turkish breakfast which includes Turkish menemen, sucuklu omlet, kaymak, and honey. Catch a metro up to Pera and walk along the famous Istiklal street. Make a tea stop at a local tea house. In the afternoon, catch a ferry from the European side of Istanbul to the Asian side in Kadikoy. Taste Mersin's tantuni or if you are feeling adventurous maybe try a liver wrap. Continue to the fish market and sample stuffed or fried mussels as well as pickles. Visit a shop that only sells pickles. Complete your tour by sampling Turkish coffee and desserts. After indulging, catch the ferry back to the European side of Istanbul where the tour will conclude.

Istanbul: Beyoğlu District Half-Day Walking Tour

10. Istanbul: Beyoğlu District Half-Day Walking Tour

Your tour will begin in Taksim Square, the heart of Istanbul and home to one of the oldest metro lines in the world. Marvel at the grand hotels and historic monuments. You will then continue to Istiklal Street, an elegant and vibrant pedestrian zone, filled with shops, cafes and historic buildings. See the grand European embassies, churches and mosques on this nearly two mile avenue. With your guide, explore some of the small side streets filled with bookstores, galleries and pubs. Sit down at one of the many cafés and enjoy a traditional Turkish coffee. The Beyoğlu District Walking Tour will ensure you learn about Istanbul's European influence while giving you a chance to explore one of the cities most beautiful districts

Frequently asked questions about Istiklal Street

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What people are saying about Istiklal Street

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 730 reviews

We came to Istanbul for the first time. Fortunately, we choose 3-day city tours with an individual guide. We were lucky to find an excellent guide who showed us historical and modern Istanbul. We visited the city slowly, discovering new places. The sightseeing plan was flexible and adjusted to our needs, possibilities and weather conditions. Sightseeing with a guide providing us with knowledge about history, cultural differences and, above all, paying attention to details that we would not notice ourselves. We saw not only well-known and visited places, but also more minor, very beautiful and undiscovered by most tourists. Thanks to our guide, the museums and mosques visited became more interesting. The knowledge that the guide shared with us contained not only details as well as the historical civilization and political context. We wish every tourist the great pleasure and honour of visiting the city with Mr Kadir Kucukeren! Thank you very much! Justyna & Krzysztof

My guide (Musa) was exceptional and was very well versed in the history of Istanbul. He was very knowledgeable, friendly, and kind. I could not have asked for a better day-long tour in Istanbul. He was very open to customizing the tour based on my interests and made me feel very comfortable and at ease navigating Istanbul. Thank you so much, my friend!

A very relaxed, individual and entertaining guided tour through the old town of Istanbul and the Sultan Palace, including Hagia Sophia

Mr. Murad is an excellent guide. We had a pleasant time with him. His knowledge is abundant. Great experience overall

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