Galata Bridge
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Istanbul: Fener/Balat Walking Tour, Pierre Loti Hill & Ferry

1. Istanbul: Fener/Balat Walking Tour, Pierre Loti Hill & Ferry

Meet your guide at the Fuego Café and Restaurant in Sultanhamet, in the heart of the main tourist area of Istanbul. From here you’ll take the local tram to Eminönü Harbor and begin a 5-hour excursion into Istanbul’s heritage. Travel by public bus to the colorful Fener/Balat district, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and at one time home to Istanbul’s Ottoman Orthodox and Jewish residents. See traces of Ottoman life, including wooden houses, mosques, churches, and synagogues, standing together and demonstrating the multicultural and religious ways of the Ottoman Empire. After walking along the cobblestoned streets of the Fener/Balat World Heritage area, you’ll continue along the historic Byzantine city walls that date to the 4th century A.D. and the time of Constantine the Great. Visit the historic Eyüp mosque complex, a sacred area where pilgrims come to visit the mosques and the tombs of Muslim saints. From here you’ll take a short cable car ride up to the famous Pierre Loti Café, a popular meeting point for locals. Enjoy stunning panoramic views of Istanbul while sipping a drink in one of the cafés where French Poet Pierre Loti was inspired to write Aziyade, part biography and part love story about his escapades in Istanbul in the late 1800s. Walk back down to Eyüp to catch the local ferry for a cruise on the blue waters of the Golden Horn. See Ottoman houses, shipyards, the old and new Galata bridges, Ataturk Bridge, ancient city walls, mosques, churches, and other historic and modern sites. You’ll disembark at Eminönü Harbor, where the tour ends.

Secrets of Istanbul: 5-Hour Walking Tour with Lunch

2. Secrets of Istanbul: 5-Hour Walking Tour with Lunch

Your 5-hour guided walk begins in Sultanhamet, in the heart of the main tourist area of Istanbul. From here you’ll head to the Blue Mosque, where you’ll admire the 6 minarets and stunning tiles that were made in Iznik, the birthplace of the Ottoman Empire. Next your guide will tell you about Hagia Sophia and the Roxana Baths before continuing on to the ancient Hippodrome. Hear about the famous obelisk that was shipped from Egypt to the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius in 6th century A.D. Walk along the ancient roadway past the Ottoman Parliament House and then make your way to the Grand Bazaar. Marvel at the labyrinth of streets lined with textiles and most every other kind of product as well! You can learn the local art of bargaining here. Enjoy a stroll to the nearby Sahaflar Book Market, where books were printed for the first time during the Ottoman era. Learn about Islam and its holy book, the Koran. On the way to the Suleymaniye complex you’ll pass by the spectacular façade of Istanbul University and enter the Cagaloglu district, which is a shopping hub for locals that’s far from the main tourist attractions. Once you reach the Suleymaniye complex you’ll see the Turkish bath, the library, the madrasah, eateries, and the grand Suleymaniye Mosque that dominates the skyline along the Golden Horn. Learn about the history of the Mosque, named after the most famous and powerful of sultans, Suleyman the Magnificent. Your guide knows a great hidden teahouse here where you can drink çay (tea) and try a nargile (water pipe) with its intoxicating aroma and fruity flavors. After the break, you’ll continue on through the hidden streets of Istanbul. See local markets where products are made on site. Visit the hidden Rustem Pasha Mosque and admire its lovely tiles. Then it will be time to taste some baklava, a delicious Turkish dessert. Explore the spice market and see a mountain of Turkish spices, Turkish delight, and local handicrafts. From the Spice Bazaar you’ll take a walk so that you can appreciate the views of the picturesque Galata Bridge. Finally it’s time to relax for a delicious lunch of local specialties. After lunch your guide can tell you how to get back to your hotel and give you some advice on other things to do in your free time.

Istanbul: Tastes of Istanbul Private Food Tour

3. Istanbul: Tastes of Istanbul Private Food Tour

After being picked up from your hotel, begin your tour with a walk around the Spice market. See where locals have been buying their spices for hundreds of years. Walk from Galata bridge to Karakoy and enjoy a Turkish breakfast which includes Turkish menemen, sucuklu omlet, kaymak, and honey. Catch a metro up to Pera and walk along the famous Istiklal street. Make a tea stop at a local tea house. In the afternoon, catch a ferry from the European side of Istanbul to the Asian side in Kadikoy. Taste Mersin's tantuni or if you are feeling adventurous maybe try a liver wrap. Continue to the fish market and sample stuffed or fried mussels as well as pickles. Visit a shop that only sells pickles. Complete your tour by sampling Turkish coffee and desserts. After indulging, catch the ferry back to the European side of Istanbul where the tour will conclude.

Istanbul: 6-Hour Highlights Tour

4. Istanbul: 6-Hour Highlights Tour

This is a fully guided tour inside the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya), Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Orient Express train station, Galata Bridge and Spice Bazaar. Along the way, stop to hear the stories of the Roman Hippodrome (including the Egyptian Obelisk and Serpent Column German Fountain), mausoleums of Ottoman sultans and Constantine’s Column. Learn about the famous Orient Express. Take a break for lunch and enjoy traditional Turkish cuisine in a friendly setting at a nontouristy restaurant where your gourmet guide will choose some memorable food for you. Please note the itinerary will change slightly on certain days due to changes in the opening hours. 

Istanbul: Personalized Photo-Shoot With a Professional

5. Istanbul: Personalized Photo-Shoot With a Professional

Enjoy a unique experience and be the star of a professional photo shoot in Istanbul. Appreciate the rich history of the city and have a Turkish coffee at a vintage cafe. Follow a planned route including many famous and local sights around Istanbul. Enjoy your time and take home some unforgettable memories in beautiful photos. Discuss with your photographer where to meet, the route of your shoot, and add or remove any location you want. You will receive all photos taken during the shoot from 250 - 350 photos within 48 hours. Also, receive 10 - 15 professionally edited photos within 4-7 working days.

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What people are saying about Galata Bridge

So this tour was amazing!! It turned out that I was the only one on the tour but Salih was so nice it felt like walking around with a friend. Even though it was 5 hours the time flew by and wasn't even tiring. It was helpful that there were enough stops throughout that it felt like a leisurely wander through the old city. The stops on the tour were many of the famous places including the Grand Bazaar and the spice market, but I was able to learn some history I might not have discovered on my own, thanks to Salih. The book market was lovely, the walk to the stunning Suleymaniye mosque was beautiful, and the inclusion of a visit to the jewel-like Rustem Pasha mosque was worth it alone. The stop for tea and nargile was the highlight of the tour for me, particularly since I would not have tried that on my own, though I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were snacks and a yummy lunch. Everything about this tour was wonderful and I would recommend it to anybody! Thank you, Salih!

the guide was very dedicated and knew a lot about the history. the only minus point is the booking. if you want to book the tour via the computer, you must enter his or her passport number for each person separately. Often you don't have one.

Very interesting excursion, we visited places that we would't discover by ourselves. Highly recommended to everybody, who want to see something more than Hagia Sophia na Istanbul old city.

Salih is a fantastic guide! He is very knowledgable and personable. We absolutely loved the tour, and definitely will use him again. Highly recommended!

Worth the tour if you want to understand the history behind all the majestic places in Istanbul.