Sea of Marmara: Our most recommended tours and activities

Istanbul: Princes' Islands Cruise w/Music, Lunch & Transfer

1. Istanbul: Princes' Islands Cruise w/Music, Lunch & Transfer

Cruise across the deep-blue waters of the Marmara Sea on a boat tour departing from Istanbul. Experience two of the nearby Princes's Islands, Büyükada and Kınalıada, with free time to explore each. Enjoy a hotel transfer and a delicious lunch on board. Get picked up from your hotel in Istanbul, then head to the port to board your boat. Set sail into the mesmerizing ocean surrounding the city and navigate to Kınalıada. Take a short walking tour with your guide and learn about the island along the way. Hop back on the boat and eat a lunch to recharge your energy before traveling to your next destination. Make a stop at Büyükada, the largest of the nine islands, and have plenty of free time to discover at your own pace. Relax on the quiet beaches and go for a refreshing swim. Alternatively, rent an electric bike or scooter, as cars aren't allowed on the island. Ride conveniently among the glorious mansions with their characteristic balconies. Finally, get back on the boa for your return trip to Istanbul, then sit back on the ride to your hotel.

From Istanbul: Full-Day Princes Island Tour with Lunch

2. From Istanbul: Full-Day Princes Island Tour with Lunch

Explore Büyükada, the largest of Turkey’s Princes islands, on this 9-hour excursion from Istanbul. Cruise across the Sea of Marmara, watching the sights of Istanbul slip from view. See the pedestrianized island in the best possible way – by bike (not included) or spend time at leisure, perhaps relaxing on one of its beaches, before returning to Istanbul. Travel from your hotel by air-conditioned coach to the port with your guide, and board the boat that will take you to the Princes islands. The largest and most interesting of the islands is Büyükada, which is your destination for the day. From the boat, look back on the sights of Istanbul, seeing iconic landmarks such as Topkapi Palace and the pretty Kiz Kulesi (also known as the Maiden’s Tower), which was featured in the James Bond film, The World is Not Enough. Dock in Büyükada and Heybeli then take a stroll through the streets on your own, soaking up the laid-back atmosphere of island life. Return to the boat and listen as your guide talks about the island’s history during the ride. Learn about its time as a place of exile for banished statesmen and royalty, and of its life as a monastic settlement during Turkey’s Byzantine-Christian period. Pass lovely wooden mansions that are stunning examples of the island’s late Ottoman-era architecture, and look out over the sparkling sea. Seagulls are everywhere in Büyükada, and if you’d like to feed them your guide will give you simits (bread with sesame seeds) so you can toss them a treat. Have lunch on the boat in summer or in a restauarant in the winter, then spend the rest of your day at leisure on the islands. Later, meet your guide at a pre-arranged time for your boat ride back to Istanbul. Gift and leather shop visit (Optional)The last leg of your journey will be by coach, and you’ll be dropped off at your Istanbul hotel.

Istanbul: Round-Trip Ferry Tickets to the Princes' Islands

3. Istanbul: Round-Trip Ferry Tickets to the Princes' Islands

Exchange your voucher at the ticket office in Kabatas and get access to the boat. The boat departs from Kabatas ferry station in the morning and returns in the evening. A Marine Officer will welcome you at the departure pier, help you onto the boat, hand you a Bosphorus cruise plan, and explain to you what you will see during the crossing. Set off for the Princes' Islands, which in Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman times were used as exile sites and as a monastery region. Today only 4 of the total 9 Princes’ Islands are open to public settlement. Arrive at the most famous and beautiful of these islands called Büyükada, or 'Big Island'. Spend the day exploring the island at your own pace. Take a walk through the center and get used to the silence that reigns on the island. See the Merkez Eczanesi, a pharmacy from 1870, and feel you have stepped back in time. Go to Hamlaci Street 4 and see the ruins of the villa where Trotsky lived in exile between 1929 and 1933, writing his autobiography and 3 volumes on the "History of the Russian Revolution". Alternatively, rent a bike and cycle around the island admiring the magnificent old villas lining the streets. Explore the Greek Orthodox St. George Church on top of the island's tallest hill where you can also admire fantastic views of Istanbul, the Marmara Sea, and the neighboring islands.  Stop over and visit the former Greek Orphanage, Europe’s largest and the world's 2nd largest wooden house. Enjoy a delicious lunch in one of the many restaurants around the harbor. Go to one of the public beaches (Halk Plaji) or beach clubs for swimming and sunbathing. If you like hiking, you can also walk around the island on foot. When you have finished exploring, take the return ferry to Istanbul at your leisure. The boat departs Büyukada (Big Island) to return to Kabatas ferry station at 3:30 PM.

From İstanbul: Bursa Uludağ Mountain Tour & Cable Car Ride

4. From İstanbul: Bursa Uludağ Mountain Tour & Cable Car Ride

"Pick Up" On the day of this excursion, a driver and a professional tour guide will pick you up from your hotel in the city centre of Istanbul. "Car Ferry" In order to reach Bursa, the bus will drive you towards a harbour in order to enjoy a car ferry ride while passing the Marmara Sea. During this ferry trip, you can enjoy views over Bosporus and over the imposing bridges that connect Asia and Europe. "Turkish Delight Shop" By the end of your free time, the bus will continue towards the next stop of the excursion. A stop will also be made at a shop selling authentic Turkish delight. This worldwide famous dessert is one of the sweetest memories you will have from Turkey. Thus, do not miss the chance to purchase your favourites from this shop. We would also like to point out that after the Turkish delight workshop, we will take you to a place where local jam is made. "Uludag Mountain" When you arrive in Bursa, you will visit a 600-year old plane tree to snap some photos. Then, you will be driven towards Uludag Mountain. At a local restaurant there, you will enjoy a delicious meal in a quiet setting. After the lunch break, you will have free time to explore the area and enjoy your time in the mountain. "Cable Car Ride" Once the free time is over, you will enter in a cable car and enjoy an exciting and fun ride towards Bursa’s city centre. "Green Mosque" At the centre, a bus will be waiting for you in order to transfer you to the Green Mosque. This monument forms one of the most important ones in the city. It includes multiple important rooms, such as a library and tombs. The interior of this mosque will impress you as it is beautifully decorated with green tiles. "Return" The Green Mosque will be your last stop. The bus will then start driving towards Istanbul by following the same route. According to the schedule, return to your hotel in expected during the night.

Istanbul: Sapphire Observation Deck Entrance

5. Istanbul: Sapphire Observation Deck Entrance

The city's skyline stretches out before you in all its glory, offering an unparalleled 360-degree view of Istanbul's architectural marvels, historic landmarks, and natural wonders. The deck offers both indoor and outdoor viewing platforms, allowing you to soak in the breathtaking views from every angle. Step outside and feel the fresh breeze as you marvel at the turquoise waters of the Bosphorus Strait and the vast expanse of the Marmara Sea. If you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of dolphins frolicking in the waves below. As you take in the spectacular views, make sure to use the telescopes and binoculars provided to get a closer look at the city's landmarks. From the majestic Hagia Sophia to the grand Topkapi Palace, the deck offers a bird's-eye view of Istanbul's most famous attractions. Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime with the SkyRide 4D Simulation at the Sapphire Observation Deck in Istanbul. Take off from the terrace and fly over the city's top landmarks in a simulated helicopter ride. See the sparkling Bosphorus Strait, the iconic Maiden's Tower, the majestic Hagia Sophia, the grand Topkapı Palace, and more, all from the comfort of the observation deck. This is a fun, unique experience you don't want to miss!

Istanbul: Princes' Island Tour with Lunch & Transfers

6. Istanbul: Princes' Island Tour with Lunch & Transfers

Soak in the serene atmosphere of the Princes' Islands on a day trip from Istanbul with hotel pickup and drop-off included. Cruise past Topkapi Palace and Maiden's Tower, then glide across the Marmara Sea to reach the islands of Heybeliada and Buyukada. Start your day with a pickup from your hotel in Istanbul, and transfer to the port. Hop onboard an old-school boat and set sail in the Sea of Marmara. Make yourself comfortable on the decks, and observe Topkapi Palace and Leander’s Tower. After a 1.5-hour boat trip, disembark at Buyukada, the largest of the Princes' Islands. Take a walk around the charming old buildings, mansions, and villas that are home to local residents. Enjoy a place without any cars on the streets. After a stroll along the coast, hit the sandy bays to swim and unwind, or take a walk to the serene pine forest. Rent an electric car to tour the island for around 25 minutes and delve into the island's history. Accompanied by the tour guide, savor lunch on the boat while taking in views of the islands from the sea. After lunch, enjoy the tranquil charm of your second stop in Kınalıada, the second largest of the Princes' Islands. In the afternoon, sail back to Istanbul port, with 30 minutes of free time for shopping. Then, be transferred back to your hotel with unforgettable memories.

Istanbul: Full Day Princes Island Guided Tour with Lunch

7. Istanbul: Full Day Princes Island Guided Tour with Lunch

Begin your adventure on a ferry ride across the majestic Marmara Sea to the breathtakingly beautiful Islands of the Princes. Stop off at the largest of the islands, Buyukada, and explore the ancient island on a guided tour in an electric buggy. You’ll have plenty of time to take in the charming features of the island, full of historic villas nestled among the pine trees. Enjoy a delicious, locally-prepared lunch and hunt for souvenirs in the unique little shops. Relax on a return cruise across the calm Marmara sea. After returning from the island, there will be a break for visiting a local leather shop, before transferring to the hotel. If you do not want to visit the shop, you will be free to leave the group at the port and you may return to your hotel on your own.

Istanbul: Prince's Island Tour with Lunch Electric Car Tour

8. Istanbul: Prince's Island Tour with Lunch Electric Car Tour

Explore Büyükada, the largest of Turkey’s Princes' Islands, on this 8-hour excursion departing from Istanbul. Begin your journey with a cruise across the tranquil Sea of Marmara, watching the iconic sights of Istanbul gradually disappear from view. Once you arrive at Büyükada, discover the island's pedestrianized streets and charming ambiance in the best way possible – by joining an included Electric Car Tour. Alternatively, you can choose to spend your time at leisure, perhaps lounging on one of the island's pristine beaches, before returning to the vibrant city of Istanbul. Your adventure begins as you depart from your hotel in a comfortable, air-conditioned coach, accompanied by your knowledgeable guide. Upon reaching the port, you'll board a boat bound for the Princes' Islands, with Büyükada as your primary destination. As you sail away from Istanbul, take a moment to admire the city's iconic landmarks such as the majestic Topkapi Palace and the picturesque Kiz Kulesi, also known as the Maiden's Tower, famously featured in the James Bond film, "The World is Not Enough." During your boat ride, your guide will share fascinating insights into the history of the island. Learn about its role as a place of exile for banished statesmen and royalty, as well as its history as a monastic settlement during the Byzantine-Christian period in Turkey. As you approach Büyükada, you'll be greeted by the sight of charming wooden mansions that showcase the island's late Ottoman-era architecture. The sparkling sea stretches out before you, and seagulls gracefully soar overhead. If you'd like, your guide can provide you with simits (bread with sesame seeds) to feed the seagulls and enjoy their company. Lunch will be served either on the boat in the summer or at a cozy island restaurant during the winter months. Following your meal, the remainder of your day is yours to enjoy at your own pace on the picturesque islands. Later in the day, you'll reconvene with your guide at a designated time for your boat journey back to Istanbul. Optionally, you can also visit local gift and leather shops to find unique mementos of your unforgettable day. The final leg of your journey will be a comfortable coach ride, ensuring your safe return to your Istanbul hotel, concluding a day filled with captivating experiences and cherished memories.

Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour with Hotel Transfer

9. Istanbul: 1 or 2-Day Private Guided Tour with Hotel Transfer

Explore Istanbul on a guided tour. Choose from a 1-day tour to top attractions like the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace, or a 2-day tour with a cruise on the Bosphorus straight and a visit to the Dolmabahce Palace and Istiklal Street. Pick from a walking tour or a driving tour.  Day 1 – Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar Explore the highlights of Istanbul on this private full-day walking tour that covers the major attractions, from the Hagia Sophia Museum to the iconic Blue Mosque, to the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, to the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. The excursion starts with a pick-up from your Istanbul hotel and a walk through the lively streets of Turkey’s largest city to visit the dramatic former basilica of the Hagia Sophia, a great architectural beauty and an important monument during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. For many centuries, this was the largest church in the world, and it still holds the position for the 4th largest dome. Dedicated to the Hagia Sophia or 'divine wisdom', it is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Move on to the Blue Mosque, officially known as the Sultanahmet Mosque. The mosque’s striking blue tiles give it its more common name and make it one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions. Located close to Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque was considered the Supreme Imperial Mosque in Istanbul. Continue to Topkapi Palace, a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. The former palace boasted a population of about 4,000 people at its peak and was home to 25 sultans over a period of 400 years.  Located on a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn, it sits in tranquil gardens that provide shade from the blazing heat of the summer. Pop into the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. Visit the Hippodrome, the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. See the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column, the 3 remaining monuments from the original building. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. Complete your day with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handicraft shops selling everything from handmade carpets to Turkish coffee, the atmosphere is electric, and it's a great place to try out your bargaining skills. Day 2 – Spice Bazaar, Bosphorus cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Istiklal Street, Taksim The spice bazaar is located in Fatih. It's known as the Egyptian Market because, during the Ottoman period, Egyptian exports were sold there.  The Bosphorus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia that connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. Rumeli and Anadolu Fortresses are located at the narrowest point of the Bosphorus and there are magnificent Ottoman palaces and mosques along the Bosphorus. Keep an eye out for them. Built in the 19th century, Dolmabahce Palace was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and housed some of the last Ottoman Sultans. The palace site was created by filling in the small bay on the Bosphorus. This gave rise to its name, in Turkish, Dolma means 'filled' or 'stuffed,' and bahce means 'garden'. Istiklal Street is brimming with life. There, you'll find a plethora of shops, restaurants, and bars. From there, it is a 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area.

Istanbul: Galata Tower Skip-the-Line Ticket and Audio Guide

10. Istanbul: Galata Tower Skip-the-Line Ticket and Audio Guide

Capture amazing pictures of Istanbul, the Bosphorus Strait, and the Marmara Sea with this skip-the-line ticket to the Galata Tower. Take the elevator up to the top of a tower that is almost 700 years old and learn about its past with the included audio guide. Exchange your voucher for a ticket and waltz past the long lines at the Galata Tower. Wait for the express elevator up the Romanesque-style Galata Tower and get ready to be blown away by the stunning views of Istanbul and the historical peninsula. Admire views of the majestic Hagia Sophia and the grand Topkapi Palace from the deck which offers a bird's-eye view of Istanbul's most famous attractions. Immerse yourself in the ancient Byzantine Empire with audio guide. Let stunning views of the city's skyline take your breath away as it stretches out before you in all its glory, offering an unparalleled 360-degree view of Istanbul's architectural marvels, historic landmarks, and natural wonders. Visit a deck that offers both indoor and outdoor balconies, allowing you to soak in the spectacular views from every angle. Step outside and feel the fresh breeze as you marvel at the turquoise waters of the Bosphorus Strait and the vast expanse of the Marmara Sea.

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What people are saying about Sea of Marmara

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 1,091 reviews

Excellent services. Guide is friendly and helpful. People around the places we visited are very friendly and cordial. I highly recommend to visit Istanbul and use GetYourGuide services!

The trip was good. The pick up was late but the driver was accommodating. The food tasted really good and the portions size was also good.

Amazing experience from start to finish, with door to door pick up. Would definitely to others

Amazing experience. Lunch was very tasty. Guide was very helpful.

Excellent experience I highly recommend, mood fiesta ambiance