Full Day Tours – Friday, November 15

 

Please note: Visits to some of İstanbul’s most popular sites — including the Süleymaniye Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Dolmabahçe Palace, Basilica Cistern, Topkapı Palace, Spice Bazaar and the Grand Bazaar — are experienced on both half- and full-day tours. Choose carefully to avoid duplicative tours.

All full-day tours will depart following breakfast at the Conrad and will include lunch.

 

Spend a leisurely morning strolling and shopping in the vibrant Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With more than 4,000 shops lining 61 covered streets, explore its bustling stalls and history and discover why the Grand Bazaar attracts more than 91 million visitors annually. Following lunch, enjoy a scenic walk to the mysterious Basilica Cistern. This tour blends İstanbul’s market culture with one of its finest historical landmarks, a captivating glimpse into the heart of the city.

Duration: 7 hours

Level: Level 2 – Moderate

 

Embark on a journey to the historical peninsula and İstanbul’s most important monuments. Visit the awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia, commissioned by the Byzantine emperor Justinian, completed in 537 AD as a Greek Orthodox church, then serving as a mosque starting in 1453. We’ll see the evocative Basilica Cistern, built in the 6th century and the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city. Following lunch, the grandeur of Topkapı Palace awaits, where endless stories of libidinous sultans and scheming courtiers unfold. This tour captures the essence of İstanbul’s imperial past through its rich history and architectural splendors.

Duration: 7 hours

Level: Level 2 – Moderate

 

 

Spend the day in lively Beyoğlu, a hub for eating and drinking in the shadow of the Galata Tower. Starting at Tarihi Galata Simitçisi, learn to make and taste authentic simit, an irresistibly chewy pastry adorned with sesame seeds that stands as a beloved symbol of Turkish culinary craftsmanship. Witness the art of Turkish coffee making. Participate in a hands-on baklava workshop at Güllüoğlu Baklavacısı, a store where the mouth-watering treats have been crafted since 1843. Transfer to the iconic Galata Tower for panoramic views of the city and Bosphorus Strait. Conclude with a visit to Pera Palace, the lush hotel built in 1892 where Agatha Christie’s novel Murder on the Orient Express was written, and where characters from Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene have stayed.

Duration: 8 hours

Level: Level 2 – Moderate

 

 

 

İstanbul is far more than its historic sites and bazaars — the city’s expansive contemporary culinary scene is a prime example of modern İstanbul’s story-worthy assets. We’ll spend the day at a Michelin-recommended restaurant for an exquisite cooking experience led by one of İstanbul’s top chefs. Learn the secrets behind their acclaimed dishes and savor the creations during a luxurious lunch. This tour offers a blend of culinary education and gourmet dining, providing a memorable taste of İstanbul’s finest cuisine.

Duration: 6 hours

Level: Level 1 – Accessible

 

Transfer to the Asian Side to explore Üsküdar, a collection of leafy neighborhoods that includes the elegant Beylerbeyi Palace, a mansion set on the Bosphorus that served as an opulent summer home for sultans. Stroll through the charming streets of Kuzguncuk, a waterfront village of little shops, seaside cafes, and old-fashioned wooden houses and enjoy free time before walking to a local restaurant for lunch. Then, transfer to Kanlıca to taste its famous yogurt. Full of sturdy communities, İstanbul’s Asian side is flush with retirees, along with students and workers who commute to the European side for school or work — at rush-hour the waterfront bustles with ferryboats and commuters.

Duration: 7 hours

Level: Level 2 – Moderate

 

Begin your day with a visit to the majestic Süleymaniye Mosque, an Ottoman architectural masterpiece sitting atop one of İstanbul’s seven hills. Inaugurated in 1557, its stunning interiors and serene courtyards serve as testament to the grandeur of Ottoman architecture. Next, transfer to the 13th-century Tekfur Palace, an intriguing remnant of the Byzantine era. Also known as Palace of the Porphyrogenitus, delve into its fascinating architecture and learn about its storied past as you wander its ancient halls. Enjoy a scenic walk to the Kariye Mosque, formerly known as the Chora Church. Marvel at its exquisite mosaics and frescoes, which are considered some of the finest examples of Byzantine art. Experience the blend of Ottoman and Byzantine heritage that makes İstanbul such an engaging destination.

Duration: 6.5 hours

Level: Level 2 – Moderate

 

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Spend your day in Beşiktaş with a visit to the charming neighborhood of Bebek, known for its picturesque waterfront and lively ambiance. Transfer to Ortaköy, where you can explore its colorful streets and visit the jewel-like Ortaköy Mosque. Enjoy free time to soak in the atmosphere and or browse the local artisan stalls. For lunch, savor a delicious serving of the popular Turkish street food kumpir — a hearty stuffed baked potato dish loaded with a surprising array of tasty toppings (from corn kernels to pickles, don’t knock it till you try it!). Conclude your day with a visit to the magnificent Dolmabahçe Palace. Marvel at the opulence and grandeur of this historic palace, which stretches along İstanbul’s Bosporus shoreline. The palace’s lavish interiors and beautiful gardens offer a glimpse into the splendor of the Ottoman Empire.

Duration: 7 hours

Level: Level 2 – Moderate

 

Explore the vibrant Golden Horn neighborhoods of Fener and Balat with a captivating walking tour. See the historic Greek Orthodox High School, a towering architectural gem that stands as testament to the area’s cultural heritage. Next, visit the Venerable Patriarchal Church of Saint George, spiritual heart of the Greek Orthodox community. Continue to the Ahrida Synagogue, one of the oldest Sephardic synagogues in İstanbul, and stroll charming streets lined with colorful houses and local shops. In the afternoon, transfer to Galataport, a contemporary waterfront destination and centerpiece of one of the largest sustainable projects in Europe. Among its highlights: the world’s first underground cruise terminal. Immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene at İstanbul Modern, Türkiye’s first museum of modern and contemporary art. Spend your free time exploring Galataport’s array of shops, cafes, and Bosphorus views.

Duration: 7 hours

Level: Level 2 – Moderate

 

Situated 12 miles southeast of İstanbul in the Sea of Marmara, the Princes’ Islands is an idyllic day trip, so-named for the out-of-favor princes and other royalty who were exiled here during the during the Byzantine period. Later, the archipelago blossomed as a resort destination for the wealthy, who built Victorian-era cottages and houses. We’ll ferry to the islands and explore on foot the charming streets of serene Büyükada, the largest in the archipelago. Take an electric taxi to Aya Yorgi Church, followed by an uphill walk to visit this historic site. Enjoy free time on the island before meeting at Büyükada Pier for your return boat transfer to Kabataş Pier. A treasured escape for Istanbulites, you’ll find picturesque landscapes with rich history and peaceful moments.

Duration: 10 hours

Level: Level 2 – Moderate

 

 

Dive into the warren of covered streets and well-stocked shops at İstanbul’s Grand Bazaar, pausing for a traditional coffee break at Şark Kahvesi. Continue exploring Yağlıkçılar and Çarşı Streets before walking to the lively Mahmutpaşa Bazaar, a shopping district brimming with inexpensive goods. Following lunch visit Hasırcılar Street and the aromatic Spice Bazaar. Conclude your day with a visit to the historic Yeni Cami, or New Mosque, completed in 1665.

Duration: 8 hours

Level: Level 2 – Moderate

 

Begin your adventure at the bustling Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. Enjoy free time to explore its vibrant stalls, stocked with everything from

jewelry and textiles to spices and souvenirs. Take a leisurely walk to the aromatic Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, where you can indulge in more shopping and sensory delights, with a wide array of spices, teas, dried fruits, nuts, and sweets. Once your appetite is sated, transfer to Galataport, a modern waterfront destination that blends İstanbul’s historic charm with contemporary elegance. Spend free time at the historic Post Office, an architectural gem that offers a glimpse into İstanbul’s vibrant past, now hosting shops and galleries featuring Turkish designers, artists and products. This tour combines the excitement of İstanbul’s historic marketplaces with the modern lures of Galataport.

Duration: 8 hours

Level: Level 2 – Moderate

 

From the 16th century to the end of the Empire, the Haliç Shipyards lining the northern shore of the Golden Horn served as the Ottomans’ naval shipyard. The land is now home to the Rixos Tersane Istanbul, a resort project that combines entertainment shopping, upscale hotels and residences against the backdrop of the 600-year-old dockyard’s beguiling heritage. Following a tour and lunch we’ll transfer to rowboats to experience the serene beauty of an urban estuary. Amid the bustle of İstanbul, embark on a rowing adventure on the Golden Horn, a journey that offers a unique perspective of notable landmarks while gliding along the storied waterway. Each of the four-person rowing boats will have a captain to narrate the sights and history. The tour will allow free time for shopping and exploration.

Duration: 8 hours

Level: Level 2 – Moderate

 

Embark on a delicious journey along the Bosphorus, the vital international shipping corridor lined with Ottoman-era waterfront mansions. Begin with a leisurely walk from the Conrad Hotel to Beşiktaş Pier, soaking in the vibrant atmosphere of this bustling neighborhood. Board a ferry to Kadıköy, enjoying the classic Turkish pairing of the Turkish pastry simit and tea as you glide across the Bosphorus to the Asian Side. Upon arrival in Kadıköy, dive into tastings of Turkish cheese, olives, and pickles. Continue your culinary adventure with a delightful lahmacun, a thin and crispy flatbread topped with savory minced meat and fresh herbs.

Duration: 6 hours

Level: Level 2 – Moderate

 

Immerse yourself in the timeless tradition of the Ottoman Hammam, an essential part of Islamic culture that builds on religious function (to perform ablutions) and public service (from an era when private plumbing was unknown), as well as serving as a social center. Experience ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation in a luxurious setting, where centuries-old rituals meet modern comfort. This pampering session offers a perfect blend of soothing steam, invigorating scrubs, and tranquil ambiance, leaving you refreshed and revitalized. Indulge in this elegant escape and embrace the serenity of İstanbul’s cultural heritage.

Duration: 4 hours

Level: Level 1 – Accessible

 

 

As the primary inlet from the Bosphorus that bisects İstanbul, the waters of the Golden Horn define the boundary between the promontory of Old Istanbul and the northern part of the city. The deep natural harbor has long served as a naval hub, and for centuries a large chain was pulled across the mouth of the Golden Horn to prevent unwanted ships from entering. Lined with suburbs, the harbor is quiet today, as low-lying bridges now prevent most shipping traffic inside the estuary, making it perfect for a scenic sailing adventure. Afterward, savor a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. This tour combines a peaceful sail with the rich flavors of İstanbul’s culinary scene, offering a memorable day on the Golden Horn.

Duration: 3.5 hours

Level: Level 2 – Moderate

 

Embark on a delightful journey from Eminönü with a ferry trip up the Bosphorus to Kanlıca. Connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus forms one of the continental boundaries between Europe and Asia, and is the world’s narrowest strait used for international navigation. Wending up the channel to the Asian side of Istanbul, the charming neighborhood of Kanlıca is known for its tranquil atmosphere and traditional yogurt with its unique flavor and creamy texture. Conclude the tour with lunch at a local restaurant, savoring traditional Turkish dishes. This experience combines the beauty of İstanbul’s waterways with its rich culinary traditions, offering a memorable and immersive adventure.

Duration: 4 hours

Level: Level 1 – Accessible

 

Immerse yourself in the splendor of Ottoman history and flavors. Begin with a visit to the magnificent Süleymaniye Mosque, commissioned by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and considered to be a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture, designed by the architect Mimar Sinan. Then stroll downhill for a leisurely walk to the vibrant and historical Spice Bazaar. Enjoy your free time exploring the fragrant stalls and indulge in traditional Turkish delights and spices, and experience the bustling atmosphere of one of the oldest bazaars in the city. (Note: This tour also operates without lunch as HD-01.)

Duration: 4 hours

Level: Level 1 – Accessible

Important Note: We recommend coming prepared for walking, dressed for the season, and wearing suitable shoes. Due to stairs at many historical sites in İstanbul, some tours may not be suitable for guests in wheelchairs.

Updated: July 12, 2024