Pearls of Istanbul

  • view from the top of Pierre Loti Hill
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Pearls of Istanbul

Istanbul is unique among the great cities of the world.  It straddles two continents, Europe and Asia.  Its history encompasses three major civilizations of the ancient world:  Roman, Greek, and Byzantine.  Not to mention its history as the center of the Ottoman Empire.  And, all that history is visible on almost every street corner with modern buildings perched atop ancient ruins and remnants of ancient walls lining today’s bustling streets.  It is truly a feast for the eyes and mind.

This Istanbul Day Tour is a special private tour of a few places in Istanbul that are difficult to visit on your own.  You will visit monuments from Istanbul’s Byzantine and Ottoman history, including the Suleymaniye Mosque (Ottoman) and Chora Church (Byzantine).  Suleymaniye Mosque, which dominates Istanbul’s skyline, was built for Suleyman the Magnificent between 1550-7 by the great Sinan.  It included a hospital, soup kitchen, schools, a caravanserai, and hamam.  Chora Church contains some of the finest Byzantine mosaics and frescoes, depicting the life of Christ.  In addition, you will go up Pierre Loti Hill for its view of the Golden Horn and where you will stop for a tea break, and drive through the old Greek (Fener) and Jewish (Balat) neighborhoods.  You will also visit Dolmabache Palace (Ottoman) with its crystal staircase and chandelier, supposedly the heaviest in the world.  Ataturk died in Dolmabahce Palace and the clocks all have been stopped at the hour of his death, 9:05 AM, on November 10, 1938.

Pearls of Istanbul

Route:  Chora, Pierre Loti, Cruise on Golden Horn & Bosphorus, Old City Walls, Spice Bazaar
Tour Type: Private Tour
Duration: Full Day

INCLUDED

  • All transportation by A/C No Smoking vehicles
  • English speaking professional tour guide
  • Entrance fees for sites and museums
  • Cruise
  • Lunch

EXCLUDED

  • Personal expenses
  • Optional programs
  • Tips – driver and guide
  • Any other meals or services not specified in ‘Prices Included’

You may kindly check our Turkish Night Show tour should you wish to end the night with a traditional dinner and a must-see show in Istanbul.

NOTE: *The Church of Chora is currently undergoing renovation. Only a small section is open to visitors.
Tour departs with a minimum of 2 participants. Please contact us if you have less than 2 participants.

This is a special private tour of some unique places in Istanbul which are difficult to visit on your own. The tour will take you to the roots of historic Istanbul with visits to some monuments of Byzantine and Ottoman history.

The first stop is the Suleymaniye Mosque, built by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and constructed by the great Ottoman architect Sinan between 1550 and 1557. The Suleymaniye is modeled in part on the style of a Byzantine basilica, particularly the Hagia Sophia, perhaps a conscious move by the Sultan to create continuity and a symbolic connection with the city’s past. We will then drive along the city walls to one of the oldest and most important churches in the city – The Church of Chora* – with its incredible Byzantine mosaics depicting the life of Christ in chronological order. We will also visit with local artisans in the area.

Following the Church of Chora, we will have a tea-coffee break at one of the most splendid spots in Istanbul, the Pierre Loti Cafe, with its incredible view of the Golden Horn and Pierre Loti Hill. After tea, we will drive along the shores of the Golden Horn through Fener and Balat, old Greek and Jewish residential areas.

After lunch, we will visit Dolmabahce Palace, the last residence for Ottoman Sultans with 365 rooms and 22 saloons and a famous collection of European antiques, furniture and 4.5 ton crystal chandeliers.

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Price:145.00

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