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Istiklal Street

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Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private City Guided Tour

1. Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private City Guided Tour

Discover the best of Istanbul on this 1, 2, or 3-day private tour that covers the major attractions, such as the Hagia Sophia Museum, the iconic Blue Mosque, the bustling maze of the Grand Bazaar, and the obelisk of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. A few of the possible attraction you'll visit on your tour include: 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 boasts the 4th largest dome after St. Paul's in London, St. Peter's in Rome, and the Duomo in Florence. Dedicated to the Hagia Sophia or 'divine wisdom', it is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. The Blue Mosque, more officially known as the "Sultanahmet" Mosque has 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. 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 in to the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. The Hippodrome is the former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. Three monuments from the original building remain, including the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handcraft 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. 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 Bosphorus. There are also 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, and from there, it's an interesting and scenic 2-kilometer walk down to the Tunel Galata Tower area. See this and more depending on which length tour option you select. Possible Itinerary for each day of the tour: Day 1: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Hippodrome Day 2: Spice Market, Bosphorus Cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal, Galata Tower Day 3: Suleymaniye Mosque, Chora Church, Fener/Balat Districts, Pierre Loti Hill

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

2. 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 Guided Walking Tour and Tower Entry

3. Istanbul: Galata Guided Walking Tour and Tower Entry

Meet your guide in front of the exit of the Tünel funicular station and start strolling through the backstreets of the Pera district. See the first luxury hotels of Istanbul which have hosted kings, queens, and world-famous writers and artists. After exploring the backstreets of Pera, follow your guide to a historic fish market and one of the most famous bar streets of Istanbul. While here, have the chance to try some local street food. Reach Istiklal Avenue and see people from all around the world, shops, restaurants, art galleries, and many historic buildings. Walk by some of the oldest consulates and churches from the 18-19th century Ottoman Empire. From Istiklal Avenue, find yourself in the neighborhood of Galata. On your way to the Galata Tower, pass through a cobblestone street full of music shops. The go-to street of every musician in Turkey, see shops specialized in hand-made ethnic instruments and equipment. After a few minutes of walking, find yourself in front of one of the most iconic landmarks of Istanbul, Galata Tower. Listen to its stories and legends and head inside to access the elevator of the tower. Your guide will assist with your entry. From the tower's terrace, witness an impressive view of the city. See Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Bosphorus Strait, the Bosphorus Bridge, Marmara Sea, both the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, Golden Horn, and even the Prince Islands. Your tour will end in Galata Tower, and here you are free to spend as much time as you want to take incredible pictures of Istanbul.

Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Customizable Guided Tour

4. Istanbul: 1, 2 or 3-Day Private Customizable Guided Tour

Explore Istanbul according to your own interests on a tailor-made sightseeing tour. Meet your guide at your hotel or port and work together to create an itinerary that suits you best, leaving you satisfied that you have seen all of Istanbul. On 1st day, marvel at monuments from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, such as Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia and Byzantine Cistern. On 2nd day, take the public ferry to Bosphorus to see both Istanbul’s European and Asian sides. From here, visit Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal Street, Galata area and the Spice Market. On 3rd day, guide takes you on a walk through the streets of Fener-Balat neighboorhood. Enjoy a cable car ride and soak up views of Pierre Loti Hill, then visit Iron Church, and see the Suleymaniye Mosque. You can create your own itinerary with your tour guide on tour day, to have an idea, here you can see our suggested tour itineraries are below; Day 1 - Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome Square, Byzantine Cistern, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Irene Church, Sogukcesme Street, Grand Bazaar Day 2 - Spice Market, Bosphorus Cruise, Dolmabahce Palace, Taksim Square, Istiklal Street, Cicek Passage, Galata Tower (from outside) Day 3 - Suleymaniye Mosque, Fener and Balat Districts, St. Stephen Church (Iron Church), Pierre Lotti Panoramic Hill, Rahmi Koc Museum (or alternative options)

Istanbul: Taksim and Galata 2-Hour Walking Tour

5. Istanbul: Taksim and Galata 2-Hour Walking Tour

Wander through the neighborhoods of Taksim and Galata on this 2-hour walking tour. Witness the city's European influences and learn about Istanbul's cultural diversity from a local guide. See popular attractions and photo-worthy spots as you explore the city. Meet your guide at the exit of the second oldest metro in the world at Tunnel Square. From here, step into the footsteps of the Italian, Greek, Jewish, Austrian, Russian, and German cosmopolitan cultures which once resided in these neighborhoods. Stroll along and discover famous sites such as the Galata Tower, the Dervish Lodge, and Tunnel Square. Marvel at the colorful, European-style shopping street and admire neoclassical and art nouveau architecture as you pass by old book shops, art galleries, vibrant street art, the flower passage, the fish market, consulate buildings from past centuries, and stunning churches. Your tour ends at Galata Tower. From there you will be given valuable advice on how to explore Istanbul in the best way possible, as well as gain insider tips about must-visit places off the beaten tourist path. Your friendly guide will also point you in the direction of where you can find the tastiest dinners and the hot spots for nightlife in Istanbul.

Istanbul: Tastes of Istanbul Private Food Tour

6. 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: Galata – Genoese Walking Tour

7. Istanbul: Galata – Genoese Walking Tour

The 3-hour tour takes place in the afternoon. Start with pickup from your hotel and then begin your tour by walking through the vibrant streets to the imposing Galata Tower. In the Byzantine period, the hillside where Galata now stands was covered with orchards and was named Sykai (The Fig Orchard), or Peran en Sykais (The Fig Field on the Other Side). It still commands impressive views of the Golden Horn. You will hear myths and legends, and learn the history of how Galata became a Genoese colony from the 6th to the 15th century. Today the area is awash with churches and synagogues, colorful stores and ancient walls, and your guide will provide you with fascinating facts as you stroll through the ancient streets and walk the winding Camondo Steps.

Istanbul: Beyoğlu District Half-Day Walking Tour

8. Istanbul: Beyoğlu District Half-Day Walking Tour

Your tour will begin in Taksim Square, the heart of Istanbul and home to one of the oldest metro lines in the world. Marvel at the grand hotels and historic monuments. You will then continue to Istiklal Street, an elegant and vibrant pedestrian zone, filled with shops, cafes and historic buildings. See the grand European embassies, churches and mosques on this nearly two mile avenue. With your guide, explore some of the small side streets filled with bookstores, galleries and pubs. Sit down at one of the many cafés and enjoy a traditional Turkish coffee. The Beyoğlu District Walking Tour will ensure you learn about Istanbul's European influence while giving you a chance to explore one of the cities most beautiful districts

Istanbul Personalized Tour and Private Guide 1-3 Days

9. Istanbul Personalized Tour and Private Guide 1-3 Days

Discover the extraordinary sights of Istanbul according to your own itinerary with a private guide for 1-3 days. Straddling 2 continents on the Bosphorus Straits, Istanbul was the capital of the Roman Empire and later Ottoman Empire. Today it’s the largest city in Turkey, and one of the most populous cities in the world with about 15 million inhabitants. Choose the attractions you want to see according to your own schedule, and avoid getting lost in the crowd. Guides can be booked for 1, 2 or 3 days, with the option to add on private transportation to transfer you from location to location at speed. Must-see monuments include the iconic Blue Mosque, former mosque of the Hagia Sophia, and stunning subterranean Basilica Cistern. Soak up the exciting atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar, and the enticing aromas of the Spice Market. Learn the history of Istanbul at Ottoman palaces, such as Dolmabahce Palace, and the former residence of the sultans at Topkapi Palace. Go to the imperial Suleymaniye Mosque, or admire the 17th-century Yeni Cami (New Mosque). See the Medieval Galata Tower in the Karaköy quarter, or the Byzantine frescoes of the Chora Museum. Explore some of Istanbul’s fabled neighborhoods, such as Taksim, and wander down busy Istiklal Street. Enjoy picturesque views from Pierre Lottie Hill. Discover the remains of the old city walls, or go to the Archaeology Museum to see ancient Islamic art and Roman artifacts. These are just a few of the things you can do on your tour. A guide will be provided in the language of your choice. By request the guide can assist with pre-booking tickets to the most popular attractions.

Istanbul: Two Continents and Backstreets

10. Istanbul: Two Continents and Backstreets

Explore Istanbul’s most famous sites on this walking tour, beginning with the old Ottoman book bazaar and the 16th-century Rustem Pasa Mosque. The Rustem Pasha Mosque was designed by Ottoman imperial architect Mimar Sinan for the grand vizier Rüstem Pasha and is famous for its Iznik tiles. After visiting the mosque, catch a ferry to Kadikoy, a largely residential area on the Asian side of Istanbul. In Kadikoy you will get to see how the local people live and visit the famous fish market. After lunch in Kadikoy, walk down Istiklal Street and see the 3,000 street cafes, pubs and restaurants. The tour will take you to Galata tower, one of the first towers built in the world, where you can see a 360-degree view of Istanbul from the top of the tower. Cross the Galata Bridge at Karakoy, where you can see locals fishing and shopping at the market.

Other Sightseeing Options in Istiklal Street

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What people are saying about Istiklal Street

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 730 reviews

We booked a 1 day private tour of Istanbul and Mehmet Haberoglu was our guide. We could not have asked for a better one. He picked us up at our hotel and took us to the major sights (Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar) and to a wonderful place for lunch (the Pudding Shop (Lale Restaurant)). He was knowledgeable and shared what life is like in Istanbul and Turkey. He also spoke perfect English. By the end of the day, we felt like we had toured Istanbul with a new friend. Hiring a private guide is worth every penny. You learn so much more than you ever could on your own. Mehmet was wonderful and you would be lucky to have him as your guide.

FABULOUS!! Our guide, Enver was amazing! He showed up at our apartment right on time and we spent two magnificent days with him. He was fantastic in that he knew the history of each place as well as Instanbul and Turkey overall. I am a history buff, so it was thrilling for me to hear all the knowledge that Enver shared with us. He was so accomodating, and flexible and he did exactly what we wanted to do. I would definitely suggest two days...... three might have been too many and one not enough. I can't say enough good things about Enver and also doing Instanbul with such a helpful guide. I would definitely suggest him and this tour!!!!!

We booked a 2 day tour and got our Fatih Tuncer! :-) He individually adapted the tour according to our ideas. He is very friendly and has incredible knowledge! He brought us closer to Istanbul with insider tips…. Next time definitely with Fatih!!!

Highly informative and very personal with plenty of scope for your own interests and wishes. Guide was very pleasant and catered to every request. Anytime again and thank you very much!!

My guide was entertaining and easy to get along with. He did an outstanding job explaining the history and cultural aspects of Istanbul.