Tourist Attractions in Istanbul
Istanbul is a city full of culture and rich history and there are a multitude of excursions available to experience the city or the surrounding areas. Getyourguide.com is a good place to look for tours and attractions and we have chosen a few available to give a small overview of what’s available.
This 5-hour long experience and adventure begins when the participants are picked up from their Istanbul hotel at some point between 19.00 and 20.00 (7-8 PM) for the transfer to the cruise ship.
Once on board the ship a complimentary welcome drink will be served to enjoy while live music is playing. Relax and get into the spirit of the evening as the ship begins to cruise along the Bosphorus Strait.
As the ships moves through the Strait it follows a route that passes historical sites, including Ottoman palaces, and bridges that are even more stunning than normal due the illumination at night.
For dinner guests may choose either the fish or meat main course off the menu that features 3 courses in total.
During the evening guests will be entertained with a variation of traditional Turkish culture including belly dancing, a henna ceremony, a Romany dance, folk dancing, and a live DJ.
At the end of the evening guests will be transferred back to their hotel, arriving around midnight.
The magnificent 1-hour show of the Mevlevi Sema ceremony at the HodjaPasha Culture Center dates back 800 years. The show represents, in thrilling fashion, the idea that everything in the universe, from atoms to the solar system to the blood in our bodies, revolves.
Sema is a spiritual journey that the soul makes, as it becomes mature, to unite with God, before it returns to its life and to serve humankind again and here it is portrayed through whirling dances and dervishes.
The program begins with a classical Turkish music concert followed by the Sema ceremony.
Watch as the whirling dervishes and sheikh take their place and praise the Prophet Mohammed. After the chant, a drum voice is heard and all 7 parts unfold and as the extraordinary whirling dervishes revolve to represent the birth of humanity the ceremony climaxes.
The ceremony ends with a Fâtiha for the souls of all prophets, martyrs and believers and a prayer for the salvation of the country.
This experience was chosen as the best authentic local event in 2010 by the Federation of Tourist Guides in Turkey. Included in the price is the ticket to the ceremony, a program booklet and complimentary drinks.
Children under the age of 7 are not permitted and the venue, which is a restored 550-year-old Ottoman Turkish bath, isn’t wheelchair accessible. Any kind of disruption or disturbance is not permitted, including taking photographs, talking during the ceremony as well as applause.
Istanbul: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
This experience comes in three variations of tickets: the Classic 24-hour ticket, the Premium 48-hour ticket and the Deluxe 72-hour ticket indicating the duration the ticket is valid for from the ticket’s activation.
All tickets have access to two different routes, the City Tour Route, also known as the Red Route, and the Golden Horn Route, also known as the Blue Route.
Hop-On Hop-Off buses will travel their route, which includes a number of specific stops at popular sites, while their customers decide for themselves if and where they will jump off to do some more up-close exploring and when to jump back on again. It is often recommended to ride the full route uninterrupted the first time, if time allows it, to locate where the different sites are located and from there decide which locations to explore further for the next time.
Audio commentary, available in 8 different languages, complimentary headphones, free WiFi onboard the buses, a free Big Bus Istanbul route map and entrances to Miniaturk and Naval Museum are included in the ticket.
The Red Route stops at:
- Sultanahmet Square
- Galata Bridge
- Naval Museum
- Beylerbeyi Palace
- Akaretler / W Hotel
- Taksim Square
- Egyptian Spice Bazaar
The Blue Route stops at:
- Sultanahmet Square
- Galata Bridge
- Cable Car
- Transport Museum / Rahmi Koç Museum
- Egyptian Spice Bazaar
Covid-19 restrictions may affect routes and stops as well as frequency of departures.
From Istanbul: Full-Day Princes Island Tour with Lunch
This 9-hour long excursion begins with a hotel pick-up, from the European side and the city center only. The journey to the port will be in an air-conditioned coach with your guide present. At the port participants will board the boat that will take the group across the Sea of Marmara to the largest of the Princes islands, Büyükada, your destination for the day.
The view over a fading Istanbul is a remarkable sight as the boat crosses the Sea. Iconic landmarks such as Topkapi Palace and the Kiz Kulesi can be seen from this spectacular view point. Kiz Kulesi is also known as the Maiden’s Tower and it was featured in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough.
After arriving in Büyükada your guide will lead you through the streets in a slow tempo to properly experience and soak up the laid-back island life atmosphere while sharing about the island’s history.
The day also includes time for participants to explore the pedestrianized island on their own or they can spend their visit on the island relaxing on a beach. The best way to explore the island is by bike. Bike rentals are available on the island, but are not included in the price for the experience.
The guide will inform the participants of a pre-arranged meeting time before returning back to the boat and the coach that will take them back to their hotel, if it is on the European side of Istanbul.
A lunch will be served while on the island, included in the price, but drinks at lunch are not included. Any personal expenses and tips are not included in the price. Entrance fees are also included.
The ruins of the legendary ancient city of Troy are a UNESCO World Heritage site located 5-5.5 hours from Istanbul, just by the Aegean Sea.
This tour is designed especially for visitors who want to experience a more detailed tour with an expert guide, who wish to walk in the footsteps of the characters from Homer’s Iliad while learning how the long lost city was rediscovered. The tour is approximately 18 hours long beginning with the pick-up at your Istanbul hotel and ending with the drop-off at the same hotel.
The air conditioned bus is configured to provide more space and greater legroom for the comfort of those traveling in it. The bus will travel to Eceabat, just north of Troy, once the ancient city of Madytos, where you will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch your professional English-speaking tour guide will accompany the group on a 25-minute ferry trip across the Dardanelles Strait to Çanakkale where a tour bus will be boarded for the rest of the journey to Troy.
Since the discovery of Troy by Heinrich Schliemann in the 1870s 9 cities have been discovered built one on top of the other dating back to before 3500 BC. Participants will be walking past the ruins of everyday houses, on paths walked by the people who lived here three millennia ago.
The guide will share the story of the Trojan War as well as many other historical facts and stories about the city and the area.
After the tour the tour bus will take everyone back to the ferry going back to Eceabat and the journey back to Istanbul will start after a short break.
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