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Private tours  from Port of Istanbul

ISTANBUL - No:1
Halfday(4hours) Tour of Istanbul - Highlights
- Meet with your guide in front of the Istanbul port passenger Terminal. Drive along the old city walls and under the ancient Roman aqueduct on the way to St Sophia, the splendid Church of Divine Wisdom built in the 4th century BC. St Sophia's dome was then the largest in the world. After several conquests and pillages, the building was converted into a mosque, but fell into disrepair as the centuries passed. The mosaics were uncovered in the 1900s and the church was dedicated as a Byzantine-Ottoman museum. Your next stop is at the Hipodrome. Nearby is the Blue Mosque, named for its richly adorned interior of magnificent Iznik tiles. Enjoy some time at the Grand Bazaar for some shopping.


ISTANBUL - No:2
Fullday(8hours) Tour of Istanbul- Bosphorus Cruise & Asian Side
- After meeting with your guide, proceed through the commercial area passing Ottoman monuments to the famous Egyptian Spice Bazaar (closed on Sunday) for a short visit. Then take the local ferry to start an unforgetable excursion between two continents, Europe & Asia. The cruise takes you along the latest palaces of Ottomans, The Dolmabahce Palace and Beylerbeyi, as well as 19th and 20th century, beautiful wooden Kiosks. Mansions and modern villas which form the elegant section of the city. Enjoy the scenery. After lunch, a pleasant drive to the Asian part of Istanbul through suspension Bosphorus Bridge. Visit Beylerbeyi Palace. The palace was the famous summer residence of the Ottoman Sultans with its magnificent gardens and breathtaking richness. The Beylerbeyi Palace lying on the beautiful shores of the Bosphorus is fully furnished and it is a perfect example of the late Ottoman architecture. Continue to the highest hill of Istanbul called Camlica where you will enjoy a very impressive panoramic view of Istanbul.


ISTANBUL - No:3
Halfday(4hours) Tour of Istanbul- Bosphorus Cruise - Experience a delightful, relaxing sightseeing on this sightseeing tour. After meeting with your guide, proceed through the commercial area passing Ottoman monuments to the famous Egyptian Spice Bazaar (closed on Sunday) for a short visit. Board the local ferry to start an unforgetable excursion between two continents, Europe & Asia. Take the opportunity to be acquainted with Istanbul`s past Ottoman palaces, wooden 19th century waterfront mansions, modern pleasure palaces and fortresses. Enjoy the spectacular scenery and the perfect opportunity for taking photographs along both shores of this fabled waterway. Cruise will end in Sariyer, a charming fishing village located on the Bosphorus near the Black Sea.


ISTANBUL - No:4
Fullday(8hours) Tour of Istanbul
- Meet with your guide in front of the Istanbul port passenger Terminal at 8.30am. Drive along the old city walls and under the ancient Roman aqueduct on the way to view the best of Istanbul's stunning architecture and attractions. The impressive Hippodrome is your first stop. Then visit the Blue Mosque named for the vivid Iznik tiles which line its interior. Browse the amazing Topkapi Palace-official residence of the Ottoman Sultans-with courts, pavilions, mosques, fountains and a treasury. Finally, you will stop at the jewel in Turkey's Byzantine crown-the Museum of St Sophia. This splendid Church of Divine Wisdom was originally built in the 4th century AD and was lovingly restored in the 1900s, reflecting the true history of the glorious city of Istanbul. Enjoy some time at the Grand Bazaar for some shopping.


ISTANBUL - No:5
Fullday(8hours)-
Cross over Galata Bridge. First visit the Hippodrome where once the Chariots thundered the skies. See Egyptian Obelisk of Theodosius brought from Karnak, the Serpentine Column and the German Fountain of Wilhelm II. Then walk into famous Blue Mosque which is the symbol of Istanbul with its six minarets. See the grandeur of the 16th Century old masterpiece. In the afternoon visit the largest sanctuary of the 6th Century which is known as St.Sophia (Holly Wisdom). See the largest dome which was covering a church, then a mosque and the caleidoscope of colors. Afterwards drive to the outskirts of the Old Town. See the old city walls and the ancient Roman aqueduct. On the way, view the best of Istanbul's stunning architecture and attractions: the shores of the Marmara Sea, the Theodosian land walls where people work in their small gardens and horsecart is still being used for transportation, Tekfur Palace, one of the best examples of Byzantine architecture existing in Turkey and possibly the remains of Blachernae Palace and dungeon.


ISTANBUL - No:6
Fullday(8hours) -
Drive to the Old Town. Cross over Galata Bridge to the heart of the town. Arrive to Topkapý Palace Museum. The Palace was the seat of the Ottoman Empire for almost four centuries. Walk thru the courtyards of the Palace, view the Chimneys of the Royal kitchens, the Harem Tower, the Ceremonial Halls, Throne Room, see the Costumes of the Sultans, the Treasury of the Ottoman Empire, the Library and the Pavillions. After lunch proceed to the Grand Bazaar, where handicraft from all over Turkey is displayed in 3.000 shops and stores . Enjoy shopping within this bustling maze of glittering jewels, the sweet scent of incences, radiant Turkish carpets and the vivid sheen of brass and copper. Afterwards drive to Taksim. Walk on the main road of Istiklal Street. See the 19th century buildings, consulates, shops, restaurants, small snack bars, cinemas, etc...End your tour at Pera Palas Hotel, a late 19th century hotel which was built for the use of Orient Express passengers. Pera Palas had been frequented by well-known and highly-placed figures in the world such as: Agatha Christie, Edward V111 of England, Ataturk, Yehudi Menuhin, Marie Bell, Jacqueline Kennedy, Mata Hari Cicero....


ISTANBUL - No:7
Fullday(8hours)-
Cross over Galata Bridge, to visit the Mosque of Suleyman, the masterpiece of Turkey’s greatest architect, Mimar Sinan. His patron was Sultan Suleyman, for whom the mosque was named. This magnificent landmark crowns one of Istanbul’s many hills and dominates the Golden Horn. The building is breathtaking in size and pleasing in its simplicity. It features some very fine Iznik tiles and exceptional stained-glass windows. Drive through Fener and Balat, neighborhoods midway up the Golden Horn, whole streets full of old wooden houses, churches, and synagogues date from Byzantine and Ottoman times. The Orthodox Patriarchy resides here at Fener. Eyup, a little further up, reflects Ottoman architecture. Continue to the famed Spice Market which is also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, sample spices and witness the local life. After lunch proceed to the Military Museum where you may see armor, weapons, and displays of Turkish military uniforms from the ages, At 3pm enjoy the concert performed by the colorful military `Mehter` band.....


ISTANBUL - No:8
Fullday(8hours)-
discover the riches of Istanbul on the Asian side. Boarding your coach drive over Bosphorus Bridge from European to the Asian side. First visit the Beylerbeyi Palace on the banks of Bosphorus. The Palace was built during the reign of Sultan Abdulaziz and was elaborately decorated. Walk thru the beautifully designed rooms and halls, see the wonderful art of East and West in this Palace. Drive to Üsküdar, see the local market and witness to the Turkish lifestyle. View the Old Town and the European side from Asia. Enjoy llunch in Uskudar. Continue to the highest hill of Istanbul called Camlica where you will enjoy a very impressive panoramic view of Istanbul. Afterwards continue to explore Asian side of Istanbul.See the famous Bagdat Boulevard, Haydarpasa Train Station with Prussia architectural style.


ISTANBUL - No:9
Fullday Tour(8hours)- Horhor & Pera Palas & Turkish Bath Experience -
Arrive at a hidden place within the old city center called the Horhor Flea Market. Actually, Horhor is not really a flea market; it is a collection of antique shops that sell collectibles and furniture of varying age and value and a very good place for making interesting finds. After completing your exploration at Horhor, you will move on to the opposite side of Golden Horn, passing the Sirkeci train station, the last stop of the original Orient Express. Leave your vehicle at Karaköy, the old commercial harbor of the Ottoman Empire, and get on the underground train which connects the shores of Golden Horn to the Pera district on the hill. Opened for service in 1880, this is the second oldest underground train in Europe. You will leave the train in the Pera district which houses a wealth of fascinating buildings including churches, historical buildings, picturesque arcades, old Ottoman Hans, consulate buildings, and fine cafés. It is the best example of Istanbul's rich cultural and ethnic mosaic. After a short walk on Istiklal Street, "Grand Rue de Pera," visit the Pera Palas Hotel. The hotel was opened in 1896 in Istanbul next to the old American Consulate building, built in order to host the passengers of the Orient Express train. The train was designed by the French architect Valloury and was renovated keeping all the valuable and unique furniture in the original form. The original Orient Express started its service 120 years ago in 1883. Agatha Christie authored her famous book "Murder on the Orient Express" in one of the rooms at Pera Palas Hotel. From there, drive to Cemberlitas Hamami to experience the centuries old tradition of the Turkish bath. Although the date of the construction and the name of the Hamam are not known, it is said to have been built in the beginning of the 18th century. It is also said that this construction is one of Sinan's works of art. These double baths where only the changing-rooms have been changed, now consist of two parts, one for women and the other for men in a 2,834 square meter area. The Sultans, important people of the palace, and the high class of the society used this magnificent monument. It is a temple for bathing that has also provided service to important and famous statesmen who have visited or lived in Istanbul. Besides King Edward VIII, Kaiser Wilhelm, Franz Liszt, and Florence Nightingale there are also many of today's well-known personalities including King Fahd, Rockefeller, Tony Curtis, and Richard Harrison who came to Cagaloglu Hamami during their visits to Istanbul. Rudolf Nureyev, the famous ballet dancer, visits this historical monument every time he comes to Istanbul. Here you will sample the traditional bath experience with Ottoman service including scrubbing, bathing, massage. Please note: This is not recommended for children due to the steam and nature of the experience.


ISTANBUL - No:10
Halfday Tour(4hours) Dolmabahce Palace & Military Museum -
Drive to the Dolmabahçe Palace, a blend of many European architectural styles. See the famous silk and wool carpets of Hereke, some of the finest examples of the Turkish art of carpet weaving, cover the floors. Rare handmade object d'art from Europe and the Far East decorate every room in the palace. Brilliant crystal chandeliers, candelabras, and fireplaces add to the lavish décor. After a visit to the palace, you will continue to the Military Museum established in 1826 to house the large collection of armor, weapons, tents, paintings, photographs, and a piece of the chain used by the Byzantines in order to protect the Golden Horn. Pieces date from the era of the Conquest of Istanbul to the era of Sultan Ahmet III. After a brief visit inside the museum, you will watch the Performance of the Ottoman Military Band (the performance lasts approximately 20 minutes). During the battles the Mehter (the name given to Ottoman Military Band) would create a tremendous din with mounted timpani, horns, and bagpipes adding to the blunderbuss and cannon as the Ottomans marched through the Balkans into Central Europe. When retreating from the battles, they left many of their instruments behind, and these eventually found their way into the orchestrations of such illustrious composers as Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and even John Phillip Sousa.


ISTANBUL - No:11
Halfday Tour(4hours) JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR -
Start tour in centuries-old Jewish neighborhood, Galata, with its tower built by the Genoese. From the panorama balcony. See the stunning views of old constantinopla, Bosphorus, Golden Horn.and the Jewish quarters. Enjoy refrehments in this historical atmosphere. Afterwards see Neve Shalom Synagogue & Ashkenaz Synagogue, drive to Balat along the Golden Horn where the Star of David appears on the facades of some buildings. See Ahrida Synagogue, built in the 15th century. See the Jewish Cemetery, where the martyrs of Neve Shalom are buried. Last stop at Ortaköy, first disembark point of Sepharads, welcomed by the Ottoman Sultan, and visit to Etz-Ahayim Synagogue.


ISTANBUL - No:12
Halfday Tour(4hours) WALKING TOUR - WALKING THROUGH BAZAARs & MARKETS - Meet with your guide in front of Istanbul Port Passenger Terminal. After a short walk board the tram for a 10 minutes ride to the old city. Cross the Galata Bridge and leave tram in front of Egyptian Bazaar (Misir Çarsisi, also called the Spice Market). Inside, enjoy lots of shops selling dried fruits, nuts, teas, spices and natural remedies. Outside, in the surrounding streets, it's still a great food market for the locals. Over by the New Mosque (Yeni Cami) are shops selling seeds, gardening supplies, caged birds, etc., and there's always a lively street market. Afterwards proceed to the exquisite Rüstem Pasha Mosque, one of Istanbul's finest architectural gems, which few tourists visit. Continue to Mahmutpasa Markets through the Tahtakale market district which is 99% Turkish, and all the more interesting for those who want to get away from the tourist crowds. Finally reach the famous Grand Bazaar with over 5,000 shops located in a maze of lanes and alleys. It is filled with thousands of curios, including carpets, fabrics, clothing, furniture and gold jewelry. A short walk along one of the main alleys will provide you with a glimpse of this amazing place. Afterwards walk to Çemberlitas. See a tall, obviously very old and dismal-looking porphyry column. It was erected on May 11, 330 by Constantine the Great to celebrate the designation of Constantinople as the new capital of the Roman Empire. Board the tram and return to the ship.


ISTANBUL - No:13
Halfday Tour(4hours) WALKING TOUR OF TAKSIM, PERA & GALATA - Meet with your guide in front of Istanbul Port Passenger Terminal. After a short walk to Kabatas board the funicular for a 2 minutes ride to the Taksim square, the hub of modern Istanbul. From Taksim square walk to Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue), the heart of Beyoglu, the more modern district of Istanbul built during the 19th century. The city's most popular strolling, shopping and snacking street, now reserved for pedestrians, is lined with boutiques, cafes, consulates, restaurants, galleries, cinemas and banks, with residential apartments above. When 19th-century travelers spoke of Constantinople (Istanbul) as the Paris of the East, they were thinking of the Grande Rue de Péra (Istiklal Caddesi) and its half-European, half-Asian culture. Halfway along the avenue toward the southwest is Galatasaray Square, easily recognizable by the grand gates to Galatasaray Lisesi, the first European-style lycée (high school) erected by the Ottoman government. See The Church of St Anthony, established in 1725 to serve transient foreigners and the many families who stayed on in the sultan's dominions. Afterwards walk to the historic Pera Palas Hotel, Built to accommodate the pampered travellers arriving aboard the Orient Express. Next is Galat Mevlevihane (monastry of Whirling Dervishes, founded by a descendant of Rumi in the 1490s. Afterwards walk to Galata district and see the Galata Tower which has dominated Beyoglu's skyline since 1348 and still offers the best panoramic views of the city. From the 1500s onward, Galata was mostly Jewish. As recently as the late 20th century, Galata rang with the songs and street-games of Jewish children speaking Ladino (Judeo-Spanish). Today most of Istanbul's Jews live in more desirable residential quarters, though Galata's synagogues are still in use. Sites in Galata include the Chief Rabbinate, the Neve Shalom and Italian synagogues, the Schneider Synagogue (Terziler Havrasi, now used as an art gallery), the Zulfaris Synagogue Museum, a Jewish elementary school, and the Kamondo staircase. Walk back to port of Istanbul.


ISTANBUL - No:14
Fullday Tour(8hours) WALKING TOUR OF HIGHLIGHTS OF ISTANBUL - Meet with your guide in front of Istanbul Port Passenger Terminal. After a short walk board the tram for a 10 minutes ride to the old city. Cross the Galata Bridge and pass in front of Egyptian Bazaar (spica Market) Leave the tram in Sultanahmet square. Explore Hippodrome which was the heart of Constantinople's political and sporting life, and the scene of games and riots through 500 years of Ottoman history as well. Next is Blue Mosque, with its six minarets and a great cascade of domes, the mosque is a worthy sibling to Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia) just a few minutes' stroll to the north. Called Hagia Sophia in Greek, Sancta Sophia in Latin, Ayasofya in Turkish, it was built on the site of Byzantium's acropolis by Emperor Justinian (527-65 AD) in 537 AD. Ayasofya was the greatest church in Christendom until St Peter's Basilica was built in Rome a thousand years later. Continue to Topkapi Palace and enjoy a delightful lunch at the courtyards. Home of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years, Topkapi ("Palace of the Cannon Gate") was the seraglio, the heart of the vast Ottoman Empire, ruled by the monarch who lived in Topkapi's hundreds of rooms with hundreds of concubines, children, and white and black servants. Depart Palace and finally reach the famous Grand Bazaar with over 5,000 shops located in a maze of lanes and alleys. It is filled with thousands of curios, including carpets, fabrics, clothing, furniture and gold jewelry. A short walk along one of the main alleys will provide you with a glimpse of this amazing place. Afterwards walk to Çemberlitas. See a tall, obviously very old and dismal-looking porphyry column. It was erected on May 11, 330 by Constantine the Great to celebrate the designation of Constantinople as the new capital of the Roman Empire. Board the tram and return to the ship
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