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

Duration: 7 hours
Destination: Turkiye, Turkiye, Istanbul
from
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  • 7 hours
  • Istanbul
  • E-Voucher
  • Lowest Price
  • Cancellable

Overview

Visit highlights of Istanbul with your private tour guide in 1, 2 or 3 days with flexible itinerary.

Here you can see the daily tour itineraries below (7 hours per day);

Day 1 - Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome Square, German Fountain, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar.

Day 2 - Bosphorus Cruise by Public Ferry, Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal Street, Cicek Passage, Galata Tower (from outside), Spice Market.

Day 3 - Suleymaniye Mosque, Fener and Balat Districts, St. Stephen Church (Iron Church), Pierre Lotti Panoramic Hill by Cable Car, Rahmi Koc Museum (or alterntive sites).

*As Hagia Sophia is not a museum anymore, tour guides don't have skip-the-line priority there. You may need to wait in the security line, in order to avoid queues we suggest departing at 8:30am or 9:00am.

Itinerary
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Sultanahmet District, Istanbul 34122 Turkiye

Sultanahmet District

Duration: 15 minutes

Stop At: Hippodrome, Binbirdirek, Sultan Ahmet ParkI No:2, Istanbul Turkiye

Hippodrome Square / Atmeydanı
Hippodrome; where the chariot races were held in the Roman Empire times, Egyptian Column from Byzantine Empire time and today German Fountain is the main cornerstone of the square of Ottoman Empire.

Duration: 15 minutes

Stop At: German Fountain, Hippodrome Square, Istanbul 34122 Turkiye

Germa Fountain / Alman Çeşmesi

Duration: 15 minutes

Stop At: Sultanahmet Square, Istanbul Turkiye

Sultanahmet Square

Duration: 15 minutes

Stop At: Hagia Sophia Mosque, Sultan Ahmet, Ayasofya MeydanI No:1, Istanbul 34122 Turkiye

Hagia Sophia Museum / Ayasofya / Santa Sofia
Built in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian, played a very important role in the Christian and Islamic World. After the Ottoman conquest the bells, altar, iconoclastic, and sacrificial vessels were removed, and many of the mosaics were eventually plastered over to convert the church into a mosque then a museum and now it’s a mosque for the second time. The most important stop of an Istanbul tour is operated in Old City Istanbul / Constantinople.

*Please note that as it's not a museum anymore, tour guides don't have skip-the-line priority there. You may need to wait in the security line, in order to avoid queues we suggest departing at 8:30am or 9:00am.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet Mah At Meydani Cad No 7, Istanbul 34122 Turkiye

Blue Mosque / Sultanahmet Camii (TEMPORARILY CLOSED BETWEEN JANUARY 1 - APRIL 1 ON 2023)
Built in the early 1600s for Sultan Ahmet I of the Ottoman Empire, the Blue Mosque is truly a magnificent masterpiece of architecture with amazingly delicate proportions for a building of such massive scale.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Basilica Cistern, Alemdar Mahallesi, Yerebatan Caddesi, No:1/3, Istanbul 34410 Turkiye

Byzantine Cistern; was the water storage of Byzantine Empire providing clean drinking water to the citizens of city, especially during period of siege. Binbirdirek and Serefiye Cisterns are the options that you can visit by talking with your tour guide on tour day.
*Please remember that Basilica Cistern is under restoration until end of 2022 so it's not open to visit.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Topkapi Palace, Cankurtaran Mahallesi Gulhane Park, Near Sultanahmet Square, Istanbul 34122 Turkiye

Topkapi Palace Museum / Topkapı Sarayı
More than just an Imperial Residence of Ottoman Sultans, it was the seat of the Supreme Executive and Judiciary Council for almost 400 years long. Topkapi Palace is a great monument of Oriental architecture which resembles the power of the Ottoman Empire.

Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Grand Bazaar, Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

Grand Bazaar / Kapalı Çarşı
One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world with over 4,000 shops with colorful products of ceramic, leather, rugs, carpets, handicrafts, clothes, silver, and gold.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul 34122 Turkiye

Bosphorus Cruise by Public Ferry or Private Cruise ( if option is chosen)
Take the public ferry for Bosphorus Cruise to see both Istanbul’s European and Asian sides, Galata Tower, Dolmabahce Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, the Rumeli Fortress, old Ottoman villas, Bosphorus bridges, mosques. Your best Istanbul tour memories will definitely include the Bosphorus.

Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Dolmabahce Palace, Visnezade Mahallesi Dolmabahce Cd, Istanbul 34357 Turkiye

Dolmabahce Palace / Dolmabahçe Sarayı
Elegance and beauty with the most luxury decoration, chandeliers, rugs, crystals, ceramic fireplaces. Beautiful palace, right on the Bosphorus with gorgeous furnishings, paintings, porcelains made in particular to Dolmabahce.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Taksim Square, Gumussuyu Mh., Istanbul 34435 Turkiye

Taksim Square / Taksim Meydanı
A great place defining modern Turkey which witnessed important historical moments. Close to Istiklal Street (Istiklal Caddesi) and Galata Tower along with embassies of European countries in Taxim. Cicek Passage has very good food joints, cafes, shops, bars, night clubs around Taksim.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Istiklal Caddesi, Istiklal Street Taksim Beyoglu, Istanbul Turkiye

Istiklal Street is the modern and colorful face of Turkey with churches, modern art galeries, embassies, pubs, cafes and shops selling different kind of products.

Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: Cicek Pasaji, Huseyinaga Mh Beyoglu, Istanbul Turkiye

Cicek Passage / Flower Passage
Originally named as Cite de Pera, a combined structure of traditional and modern construction methods and architectural style by Ottoman Empire is reflected and today we see the small shops and cafes here.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Galata Tower, Buyuk Hendek Cad. 2, Istanbul Turkiye

We will see the tower FROM OUTSIDE, due to the regulations unfortunately tour guides don't have skip the line priority here so it takes long time to wait queue. Your tour guide will make you explanation about tower.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Misir Carsisi (Spice Market), Rustem Pasa Mahallesi, Erzak Ambari Sok. No:92 Eminonu - Fatih, Istanbul 34116 Turkiye

Spice Market / Mısır Çarşısı
Egyptian Bazaar is a colorful indoor bazaar and has lots of shops offering a variety of spices, purses, flavored teas, Turkish delight, nuts, as well as ceramics, and small souvenirs. Spice Bazaar is located in Eminonu Square which is the connection point of Bosphorus and Golden Horn.

Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: Historic Areas of Istanbul, Istanbul Turkiye

Historic Areas of Istanbul

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Suleymaniye Mosque, Prof. SIddIk Sami Onar Cd. No:1 Süleymaniye Mah, Istanbul 34116 Turkiye

Suleymaniye Mosque / Süleymaniye Camii is the largest mosque in Istanbul and is as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. In the garden behind the mosque, the Suleymaniye terrace offers lovely views of the Golden Horn and Bosphorus.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Balat, Istanbul Turkiye

Fener-Balat Neighborhood backstreet walk
Continue exploring Istanbul’s rich religious history with a stop at the Church of St. George. Since the 1600s, the church has been the location of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and is recognized as the spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Religion.
Balat District; lines of drying laundry stretch across steep, winding streets. Century-old Ottoman houses lean against each other in a combination of reds, blues, and greens. And art galleries and design shops dot the area along the water.

Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Fener Rum Patrikhanesi, Dr. SadIk Ahmet Cd. No:44 Yavuz Sultan Selim Mahallesi, Istanbul 34083 Turkiye

Orthodox Patriarch

Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Balat Mahallesi, Murselpasa Cd. No:10, Istanbul 34087 Turkiye

St. Stephen Church; Located on the shore of the Golden Horn, the church is also known as the Iron Church due to the fact that it’s made entirely of prefabricated cast iron in 19th century.

Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: Pierre Loti Tepesi, Idris Kosku Cad. Eyup, Istanbul 34050 Turkiye

Pierre Loti Hill and Cable Car are some of the most popular sights to visit since it offers great views for visitors. Take the cable car to reach the top and enjoy the beautiful scenery while sipping your Turkish coffee or tea.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Rahmi M. Koc Museum, Haskoy Cad. No: 5 Beyoglu, Haskoy, Istanbul 34445 Turkiye

Rahmi Koc Museum is on the northern part of Golden Horn, here we visit industrial and cultural museum built by famous family of Koc who were the leading power of Turkish Republic in industrial field since early period of 20th century.

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Stop At: Halic, Istanbul Turkiye

Golden Horn region which is one of the oldest settlements of the city of Constantinople.

Duration: 30 minutes

Inclusions
  • Private tour
  • Professional local guide
  • Guide meets you at central hotels

Exclusions
  • Transportation (from/back to hotel, between sites (unless option selected)
  • Museum Tickets
  • Lunch
  • Gratitude (suggested)
  • Entry/Admission - Basilica Cistern
  • Entry/Admission - Topkapi Palace
  • Entry/Admission - Bosphorus Strait
  • Entry/Admission - Dolmabahce Palace
  • Entry/Admission - Galata Tower
  • Entry/Admission - Pierre Loti Tepesi
  • Entry/Admission - Rahmi M. Koc Museum
  • Entry/Admission - Halic
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • For last minute bookings, tour starting time can be flexible.
  • Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays can be replaced with Spice Market.
  • Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays can be replaced with alternatives.
  • Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia closed until 2pm on Fridays, will be visited in the afternoon.
  • For multiple day booking, private van service will be advised according to your hotel location and size of your group.
  • Dolmabahce Palace is closed on Mondays. Due to museum regulations, live guide service is not available at Dolmabahce Palace.
  • Galata Tower will be visited from outside unless you would like to pay entrance fee there.
  • When booking the tour with van, if your hotel is located in Sultanahmet you will be steps away from the museums, so the van will not be used as much.
  • Annual Closing Dates of museums and bazaars in Istanbul are; January 1 – New Year April 21, 22, 23 – Ramadan Celebrations June 28, 29, 30, July 1 – Eid al-Fitr Celebrations October 29 – Republic Day
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Most travelers can participate
  • *As Hagia Sophia is not a museum anymore, tour guides don't have skip-the-line priority there. You may need to wait in the security line, in order to avoid queues we suggest departing at 8:30am or 9:00am.
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
*FOR LAST MINUTE BOOKINGS AND LATE DEPARTURES, as museums and some sites will be closed around 17:30 pm, alternative tour sites will be advised by the tour guide during the tour.

*Tour guide meets you at central Istanbul hotels or Galata Port. If the hotel is not centrally located,
the meeting point will be in front of the German Fountain.

If van service is not chosen your guide will pick you up at centrally located hotels on foot.

If private van service is booked, please note that there will be a surcharge if your hotel is located outside of the city center or on the Asian Side.


Ports

  • Istanbul Cruise Port
  • Galataport Istanbul, Kılıçali Paşa Mah. Meclis-i Mebusan Cad. No: 8 İç Kapı No: 102, Kılıçali Paşa, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey

Voucher info

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Duration

7 hours

For a full refund, cancel at least 3 days in advance of the start date of the experience.

User's Reviews

anafO3103YT

26 Jan, 2023

I strongly recommend this tour and the tour operator. Our arrangements were outstanding. Tour guide was knowledgeable and personable. We had two excellent days in Istanbul visiting all major attractions and local areas suggested by our guide. EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT!!!

Road303088

26 Jan, 2023

Our family of five had a wonderful two day private tour with Ceren. She is very professional and modified the tour to meet our needs. Took us to great local spots for lunches and shopping.

Cynthia_S

25 Jan, 2023

Volkan was the best tour guide! He was super accommodating during our trip. He made our trip memorable, I will be sure to recommend this tour to my family and friends. He was super knowledgeable and kind to us!

Notmy R

25 Jan, 2023

My tour with Oznan was friendly and worth it for one day. He is a great guy and I wholeheartedly recommend him and his company. First, they all speak English very well. Second, legitimate tour guides in Istanbul have a pass that allows them to bypass all the lines except the one at the Haga Sophia. Third, it is overwhelming to shop at any Bazaar without help...information overload... but Oznan was fantastic with helping out with that. Frankly, my favorite part was getting to know him and hear his take on all things contemporary Turkey. The only negative is that like other tour guides, and this is unavoidable, they only know so much. There are situations when you, the guest, know that the tour guide's explanation of something is plain wrong...but you just let it go and move on. We're not talking about controversial historical details, which Turkey has plenty of, but more basic details or things you know because it's your area of professional expertise. That said, the rest of this review is more advice for the family traveler staying a few days in Istanbul. 1. This is not a stroller friendly city. Leave it at home or be forced to pick up the thing up and down various stairs, or be stuck in pedestrian traffic jams on narrow sidewalks. 2. Turkey is not cheap, but people imagine it as such. At $400 for two days...the cost of a budget airline ticket, a personal tour is pricey for two days. I definitely recommend a one day, personal tour, versus the mass tours, but one day only. Once you get your bearings in Istanbul, you can easily see additional sights on your own, at your own pace, without needing any help from a guide. 3. A tour guide is very important in the old city to cut ques and to help you navigate the Haga Sophia que. 4. Near the peak of the off season, on a cold, rainy day, the old city venues were full. It was exhausting a few times to swim through a sea of humanity and be jammed into various rooms. Point being, don't visit in the summer if you can help it. If it's this busy in the winter, the summer will be nuts. 5. Finally, being realistic, you're going to suffer on these tours with little ones. The tour guide has his speech, he has his itinerary, and your kids will be bored...plus you're fighting the crowds. As I said, one day is ok, but more is a waste of money, especially with a family. That's just my experience with toddlers, your experience may be different.

monicahI7826PL

24 Jan, 2023

Our tour guide Kamal was amazing! He was so knowledgeable answering all our questions! He was so hospitable

User's Picture Gallery

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Grand Bazaar

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Istiklal Street

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Topkapi Palace

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Dolmabahce Palace

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City View from Neorion Hotel rooftop terrace

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Ayasofya Hagia Sophia

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Ayasofya Hagia Sophia

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Turkish Pottery

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Sultan Ahmed Mosque Blue Mosque, Spice Market

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Grand Bazaar

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Grand Bazaar

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Shop front

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Grand Bazaar

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Hagia Sophia

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Hagia Sophia

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Galata Kulesi

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Dolmabahce

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Bosphorus cruise

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Blue Mosque

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In front of Dolmabache Palace, Istanbul. A must see.

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David and Jill having a pleasant Turkish lunch with Ahmet.

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Kebabs and more kebabs where Rosa brought us

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A small window at Hagia Sophia overlooking the Blue Mosque

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