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Things to do in Marmara Region

Our most recommended things to do in Marmara Region

Istanbul: Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show with Private Table

1. Istanbul: Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show with Private Table

Enjoy magical views of Istanbul from the Bosphorus on this dinner cruise. Sail on a yacht and watch a show with traditional Turkish folk dancing. Enjoy dinner and drinks while seeing sights like the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Galata Tower, and the Bosphorus Bridge.  Choose from a cruise with hotel pickup and drop-off from Istanbul via an air-conditioned van or meet directly at the port. Enjoy drinks like Turkish coffee, tea, unlimited soft drinks, and unlimited alcoholic drinks (depending on option selected). Pick between a standard meal or a VIP option. Savor an appetizer plate with options like a seasonal salad or hot starters. Choose a main course like mixed grilled meat, seasonal fish, or a vegetarian menu. Finish your meal with a sweet dessert.  Dine on your tasty food while watching live entertainment like Turkish folk dancing, Latin flamenco dancing, and a DJ. Gaze out the window at the imposing Galata Tower and Maiden's Tower, which has stood since the medieval Byzantine period. Enjoy shows such as live music, Dervishes, Turkish dances, Latin dance, flamenco, Sirtaki, and belly dance in the middle of the Bosphorus. Capture pictures of the Baroque Revival architecture of Dolmabahçe Palace and the Ortaköy Mosque. Admire the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridges which span the Bosphorus strait. Take in the waterside Ottoman architecture of the Beylerbeyi Palace. Vip Menu Starters: • 10 types of mixed Turkish appetizers or mixed seafood appetizers • Vegetable pastrami pie • Fish pastry • Shrimp stew • Fish meatballs • Grilled squid Main Dishes: • Mushroom beef stragozate • Beef medallion • Mixed grill plate (meatballs, lamb skewers, steak, chops) • Vegetarian vegetable casserole • Seasonal seafood grill • Italian pasta types • Salad • Mediterranean Turkish salad Desert and Fruit: • Mixed Special Turkish desert or fruity chocolate cake • Unlimited local and non-alcoholic beverages

Istanbul: Bosphorus Music and Dinner Cruise w/ Private Table

2. Istanbul: Bosphorus Music and Dinner Cruise w/ Private Table

Join a sightseeing dinner cruise along the Bosphorus Strait. Enjoy a welcome cocktail and dine with live entertainment. Pass some of Istanbul's most famous monuments, including Dolmabahçe Palace. Cruise between Europe and Asia and pass under the Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmed Bridge. See the summer palaces of the Ottoman sultans, including Dolmabahçe Palace and Beylerbeyi Palace. Admire the fortifications of Rumeli Castle and Anatolian Castle, and marvel at the mansions that line both coastlines. Watch live folk dances from the regions of Turkey, be seduced by a belly dancer, and relax to international music played by the on-board DJ.

Istanbul: Mevlevi Sema and the Whirling Dervishes Show

3. Istanbul: Mevlevi Sema and the Whirling Dervishes Show

Witness the Mevlevi Sema ceremony at the HodjaPasha Culture Center in central Istanbul and see the whirling dances and dervishes. Enjoy complimentary drinks during the show. Step inside a 550-year-old Ottoman Turkish bath in Sultanahmet-Sirkeci and take your place. Learn more about the Mevlevi Sema from the provided booklet. Marvel at this cultural dance that dates back 800 years. The program begins with a classical Turkish music concert. See the dervishes and sheikh take their place and praise the Prophet Mohammed. Following the chant, hear the drum voice as the dervishes perform the seven-part Sema ceremony which represents the birth of humanity. The Sema ends with a Fâtiha for the souls of all prophets, martyrs, and believers, and a prayer for the salvation of the country.

Istanbul: Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on a Luxurious Yacht

4. Istanbul: Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on a Luxurious Yacht

Take a sunset cruise on the Bosphorus Strait to see the European as well as Asian half of Istanbul. Jump aboard a luxury yacht from Kabatas and keep your cameras ready as you cross mosques, palaces, and seafront villas. Learn about the city’s centuries-long history through your guide. Start the tour at Kabatas Pier aboard an elegant yacht, drinking traditional Turkish drinks, and nibbling on canapés and fruit from tastefully arranged platters. Glide by palaces and minarets as you sail along the Bosphorus.  When dusk sets in, feel the soothing breeze from the Sea of Marmara on your skin as the sky puts on a colorful show, tinted with shades of orange and rose. Few places in the world are as mesmerizing as Istanbul in the setting sun. Hear the muezzin's call from a towering minaret. Cruise past majestic palaces and villas along the strait’s banks. Breathe in the legacy of ancient Byzantium, Constantinople, and the mighty Ottoman Empire with each breath of fresh salty air. Kick back and ride gentle waves in the comfort of a yacht. Watch the city and its iconic landmarks pass by, which is the perfect way to unwind after a busy day of sightseeing. End the experience at Karakoy Pier.

Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

5. Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

Discover Istanbul's most iconic sights on a van tour. Listen to your guide recount tales of the city's colorful past as you pass by landmarks such as the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, and Hippodrome. Round off the experience with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest covered markets in the world. Start your tour at the Hippodrome of Constantinople, which was the sports and social center of the old city. Discover major artworks including the Obelisk from Egypt, the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the fountain of Willhelm II. Then, continue to the Blue Mosque, whose 6 minarets adorn Istanbul’s skyline. Next up is the Topkapi Palace, which was home to Ottoman emperors between the 15th and 19th centuries. Marvel at the jewel-stuffed treasury, the Ottoman Empire's imperial collections, and priceless displays of Oriental porcelain. If the Topkapi Palace is closed on your trip date, you'll visit the Nakkas Cistern instead. Continue to the Hagia Sophia Mosque, a monument of equal significance to the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Behold the dome and stunning mosaics of this architectural gem as your guide recounts its turbulent history. Then, enter the Grand Bazaar with over 3,000 shops selling everything from carpets to jewelry to ceramics and leather goods. Take a stroll around the Spice Bazaar and soak in the aroma of different spices, dried fruits, nuts, sweets, and lokum (Turkish Delights).

Gallipoli Full-Day Tour from Istanbul

6. Gallipoli Full-Day Tour from Istanbul

Take a trip into the past on a full-day tour of Gallipoli from Istanbul, traveling by air-conditioned minibus to the battlefields and war memorials of the ANZAC campaign of the Battle of Gallipoli during World War I. Depart Istanbul early in the morning, stopping en route for refreshments ( Breakfast served at own expense ) Upon arrival on the Gallipoli Peninsula, after the lunch your tour will focus on the ANZAC sector of the infamous battlefields. Stop at 11 different points of interest to learn more about the fateful events of the Australian and New Zealand troops, including ANZAC Cove where the troops first landed and set up base. Go to Beach Cemetery, where many of the soldiers who died during the Battle of Gallipoli were buried. Pause to reflect at the Lone Pine Memorial, one of 5 memorials on the peninsula that commemorate servicemen of the former British Empire killed in the campaign but who have no known grave. Visit the battlefields of The Nek and Chunuk Bair, where experienced guides will paint a picture that brings the war to life. Then, return to Istanbul by comfortable minibus for a hotel drop off and the end of the tour services.

Istanbul: Bosphorus Strait Catamaran Cruise with Dinner Show

7. Istanbul: Bosphorus Strait Catamaran Cruise with Dinner Show

Enjoy Turkish food and entertainment on a scenic cruise with the mesmerizing city of Istanbul as the backdrop. Come across sites such as the Dolmabahce Palace, Bosphorus Bridge, and Anatolian Fortress as you watch a vibrant dance show and listen to live DJ music. Get picked up from the European side of Istanbul or arrive at the meeting point by yourself, depending on the option chosen. Begin your experience with the Whirling Dervishes show, a spiritual ritual performed by the followers of famous mystic Rumi. Be captivated by the Zeybek, an Aegean folk dance with heroic vibes. Admire the energetic celebration dance of Latin and Halay from Central Anatolia. Witness Turkish belly dancing and some fast-paced Roman dancing. Move on to the jaw-dropping Kafka dance performed with Caucasian music. End the experience on a high note with a demonstration of the Black Sea's Horon dance before dinner. Taste a delicious meal of fish or grilled meat, accompanied by unlimited soft drinks. After dinner, a live DJ performance will make your night even more magical as you head back to the port.

İstanbul: Topkapi Palace & Harem Tour with Historian Guide

8. İstanbul: Topkapi Palace & Harem Tour with Historian Guide

Learn all about Istanbul’s Ottoman heritage, and visit one of the city’s top landmarks, on this small-group tour of the Topkapi Palace and the Harem chambers. Avoid the queues with fast track entry and explore the sprawling 15th Century palace and its expansive museum with an expert guide. Explore the extensive complex that winds down towards the Bosphorus. The palace itself is a balance of huge courtyards, cavernous council chambers and winding secret passageways, which were built to ensure the Ottoman sultans and their families could enjoy maximum privacy and discretion. A highlight of the tour is the Imperial Harem, comprising over 400 chambers in one of the sultan’s private apartments. The rooms are characterized by colorful mosaic floors and stained glass windows, and provide incredible insight into the private world of the Ottoman court.

From Istanbul: 2-Day All-Inclusive Cappadocia Guided Trip

9. From Istanbul: 2-Day All-Inclusive Cappadocia Guided Trip

Get an insider’s view of Cappadocia’s most iconic spots on an all-inclusive trip from Istanbul. Float above volcanic spires and honeycombed hills on a hot air balloon. Be accompanied by a guide to Goreme Open Air Museum, Avanos, Pasabag, Uchisar, and Kaymakli Underground City, and more. Day 1 Depart from your hotel in an air-conditioned minivan and make your way to Istanbul airport. Catch your domestic flight to Cappadocia. Upon your arrival to Cappadocia, meet your guide and begin your tour of North Cappadocia. Walk in the land of fairy chimneys. Visit Goreme Open Air Museum, Red River, Devrent Valley, and Pasabag. Make your way to Avanos Village for a traditional lunch and pottery demonstration. Get to the top of the Uchisar Castle, the highest point of the region, a perfect vantage point for a panoramic view of the stunning Cappadocian landscape. After sightseeing, be driven to your hotel. Spend the night in Cappadocia. Day 2 You can opt to join a balloon flight in the morning. Your day tour will be organized according to the balloon flight hours. After breakfast at the hotel, embark on a full-day tour of South Cappadocia. Go off the beaten path to visit Cavusin. See its famous rock churches. Head to Goreme Panorama for views of fairy chimneys. Hike in the Red Valley. Visit Old Greek Love Valley, Kaymakli Underground City, and Pigeon Valley. Walk through a picturesque maze of rock formations. Witness an onyx demonstration by local experts. Savor a typical Turkish lunch. Conclude the day tour by 5 PM. Then, be driven to Kayseri Airport for your domestic flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your driver and taken to your hotel.

Istanbul: Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia Small-Group Tour

10. Istanbul: Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia Small-Group Tour

Discover the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Hippodrome on a private or shared guided walking tour in Istanbul. Admire the historic architecture and unique views of the city. Get an insider perspective of these must-see sights. Meet your guide in the Sultanahmet neighborhood at an easy spot and check out Istanbul's greatest monuments on a walking tour. Start with the Blue Mosque, the most visited monument in Istanbul famous for its stunning blue tiles. Marvel at this imperial Ottoman Mosque, commissioned by Sultan Ahmet. Witness the evocative power and splendor of its past as you enjoy a comprehensive guided tour of the Blue Mosque. Afterward, enjoy the courtyard for breathtaking views of modern Istanbulites and take a stroll around the neighborhood. Walk through the Hippodrome, the social and political center of the city, and learn about the significance of the famous obelisks. Visit the Hagia Sophia and witness the most significant site of the Greek Orthodox religion in Istanbul and learn how it was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople. Explore the stunning monument with elements of a mosque and a church standing next to each other. Admire the basilica’s stunning dome and minarets, and countless mosaics, paintings, and Roman columns. Learn how the impressive İznik tiles were added over time in the Mosque, how the stunning Virgin Mary mosaic was made, and why the Ottomans chose to bury their sultans in the courtyard. Explore the Arasta Bazaar nestled right under the shadow of the Blue Mosque to understand 17th Century architecture of public buildings. It is a well-known but modest open-air market in the heart of Sultanahmet. Enjoy a last-minute tea break and hunt for gifts to take home. End your tour in Sultanahmet Square with enough information and hints to help you be independent for the rest of your time in Istanbul.

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What people are saying about Marmara Region

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 21,148 reviews

This experience is one of a kind and highly recommend for all. The people you meet and see while on the tour represent all walks of life. It's true that Istanbul is the meeting place of the world. Many thanks to the host of the trip who brought along blue plastic bags to carry our shoes while inside the Hagia Sophia Mosque and mentioned the mosaic of The Son of Mary that was near exit. You have my deepest thanks and appreciation. Apologies that I forgot your name brother.

What an amazing experience, highly recommend. Many thanks to Usmond who treated me like royalty always ensuring I was ok and even going so far as to bringing me tea while out on the deck in the cold of night while I was thinking of all the memories from the trip.

You get a lot for the money. The dance shows are well done and the food delicious. However, they also expect a small tip for service. You shouldn't be stingy, then you'll have a good evening

Everything was perfect, definitely recommend. Great program Great shows Great music Delicious food Smooth process

The guide (Ali) was very competent and spoke very good English which everyone can understand.