Constantinople Small-Group Tour of Istanbul with Lunch

Duration: 8 hours
Destination: Turkey, Turkey, Istanbul
from
6356

Check Availability

  • 8 hours
  • Istanbul
  • E-Voucher
  • Lowest Price
  • Cancellable

Overview

Rewind to Istanbul’s days as Constantinople on an 8-hour tour of the city’s Byzantine churches and monasteries. With a guide, explore the Christian sanctuaries built during the Byzantine Empire. See the glittering mosaics and frescoes of Chora Church — now Kariye Museum — and view the church-turned-mosque sites of Pantocrator and Pammakaristos. Explore palatial ruins and more as your guide brings them to life with historical commentary. Lunch at a restaurant is included and numbers are limited to 8 for a personal experience.

Begin your small-group tour with a pickup from your centrally located Istanbul hotel. Aboard your air-conditioned minivan, learn about Istanbul when it was Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.

Stop at the Sarachane district on the city’s European side to stroll around the ruins of the 6th-century St Polyeuktos church, once one of Constantinople’s most significant Christian places of worship. Admire its carved remnants, and then make your way to the 12th-century Church of the Pantocrator, another important Constantinople landmark. View this former monastery church, now a mosque, and its age-old cistern, as you hear about its history.

Continue to Pammakaristos Church, now converted into the Fethiye Mosque. The 12th-century place of worship is home to a glorious collection of Byzantine mosaics in its funerary chapel. Visit the ruined Monastery Chapel of St John the Forerunner, Istanbul’s oldest remaining church, and then enjoy a 2-course lunch at a local restaurant. Dishes often change, but typically the meal consists of soup or salad to start, followed by a meat dish with eggplant.

Chora Church, or the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora, is next, so head inside to see some more of Istanbul’s exquisite mosaics and frescoes. Admire intricately created pieces that depict the life of Christ and represent the pinnacle of Byzantine art at that time.

Stroll around Tekfur Palace (Palace of the Porphyrogenitus), an Imperial residence that was used until an Ottoman conquest in the 15th century. See the façade, arches and courtyards as your guide recounts how the palace once boasted vast gardens, dungeons and houses. Finally, finish your tour with a hotel drop-off.

Inclusions
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Professional guide
  • Transport by air-conditioned minivan
  • Lunch
  • Entry/Admission - Chora Museum

Exclusions
  • Gratuities
  • Drinks with lunch (available to purchase)
  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 8 travelers
Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
Complimentary pick up and drop off from centrally located Istanbul hotels


Departure Time

9:00 AM

Voucher info

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

Duration

8 hours

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

User's Reviews

kingson touring aussie

07 Feb, 2020

Wow! Wow! And wow!
This is one of the best experience to have in Istanbul.
It takes an excellent guide, and be prepared with your extended distance walking shoes.
Lutfallah, the guide, skillfully navigated the city.
Superb!

Cynthia K

03 Jul, 2019

We enjoyed this tour very much. Our guide Ilker was incredibly knowledgeable. His enthusiasm and warmth made this tour particularly memorable. We enjoyed a wonderful meal with Ilker at a restaurant in the Fatih district. He could not have chosen a better itinerary or restaurant.

Mattias R

14 Jun, 2018

Marvelous! Absolutely marveIous! I was in luck since I was the only one having booked the tour that day. So a small-group tour turned into a private tour for me. And this tour was the highlight of my trip. After having experienced the big tourist attractions I wanted to find the hidden historical gems... and this tour did not disappoint! My tour guide was extremely friendly and he was also extremely knowledgable, and imparted the knowledge in really fun ways! I highly recommend this tour if you have visited all the big attractions Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque etc and want something a little different.

Oh, and the lunch included? Absolutely fantastic! Normally an included lunch is fairly standard, more filling than anything, but this lunch was at a restaurant with home cooked anatolian food.

One fair bit of warning for this tour though, there is much walking involved so if you are not prepared for that this tour might not be for you.

Gerchih C

19 May, 2018

My tour guide Serhat is very knowledgeable and friendly.

gigiwieringa

03 Jan, 2018

Great tour guide. We were able to see and experience the remaining gems of the old Byzantine Monasteries. Not much remains intact, but if you enjoy history and wandering through the old streets to piece together the clues, it is a fun time.

User's Picture Gallery

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Church of the Pantocrator

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Fatih Mosque. Site of Church of the Holy Apostles.

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Chora Museam

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Saint Mary of the Mongols

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