City Break Istanbul
A city of many faces, a city of diverse history, Istanbul - formerly Constantinople - is a city of legends. The bridge between Asia and Europe, Istanbul is one of the most popular of world travel destinations, and attracts millions of visitors each year on vacations, and sightseeing tours. Take a trip to Istanbul, and cruise down the Bosphorus, shop at the Grand Bazaar, take a tour of the Hagia Sofia, visit the Topkapi Palace, and check out the Hippodrome, the Rumeli Fortress, the Sultanahmet Mosque, and the Galata Tower. A legendary city, Istanbul is lined with world famous monuments that will make your holidays an unforgettable experience.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN ISTANBUL Arrival in Istanbul, where you will be welcomed by your local guide and transferred to your hotel.
DAY 2: ISTANBUL CITY TOUR After breakfast you will depart for a full day city tour, starting inÂ the Hippodrome,Â the former Roman horse and chariot racing stadium, where you can see the following monuments: the Serpent Column, the Egyptian Obelisk, the Walled Obelisk and the German Fountain. You will proceed toÂ the Sultan Ahmed Mosque,Â popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is one of two mosques in Turkey that have with six minarets. After lunch break you will visitÂ the Süleymaniye Mosque, the second largest mosque in the city, and one of the best-known sights of Istanbul. The mosque was built by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan in the 16th century. From here you will continue by bus alongÂ the Golden Horn,Â a historic inlet of the Bosphorus, a natural harbour that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of years. Before return to the hotel you will visit a leather fashion show. Evening (facultative):Â Take anÂ Istanbul Night Tour,Â a bus drive through the beautifully illuminated streets of Istanbul, take photos during numerous photo breaks at the wonderfully illuminated monuments of the city, then pause in the Taksim Square, the main pedestrian zone of the city, a major shopping, tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops and hotels, a popular destination for both tourists and the native population of Istanbul, where you can experience the vibrant life of the metropolis.
DAY 3: ISTANBUL CITY TOUR Today your discovering of Istanbul continues with a visit toÂ Hagia Sophia, a church from the 6th century, the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years, until the completion of the Seville Cathedral in 1520. Then you will visitÂ the Egyptian Bazaar,Â also known as Spice Bazaar, where you can enjoy a typical atmosphere of an Oriental market, most of the customers are still locals, and the goods sold are authentic. You can find a wide range of spices, sweets and nuts mainly here. Spice-scented, you will take a ride along the Bosphorus to have a lunch in an exclusive restaurant on the shore, after which you board for a romanticÂ Bosphorus CruiseÂ (from 20 people by aÂ private boat, with less participants by a ferry). No Istanbul experience is complete without a cruise on the Bosphorus, it is as crucial as visiting any of the other major sightseeing spots. After arrival at the Golden Horn you will visit a jewellery manufactory. Evening (facultative):Â Enjoy seafood specialities of Istanbul inÂ Kumkapi,Â a district known for its meyhaneâ€™s (traditional restaurants) and fish restaurants. This small neighbourhood is just inland from the fresh fish market still located on the shore of the Marmara Sea. Kumkapi is well-known to the Turks and also of interest to visitors because of the lively atmosphere, excellent food and nightly entertainment provided by street musicians. You will be served famous Turkish hot and cold appetizers first, then enjoy a main course of fish.
DAY 4: ISTANBUL CITY TOUR Your visit of Istanbul would not be complete without a visit of the Topkapi Palace,Â the official and primary residence in the city of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years of their 624-year reign, a major tourist attraction today, containing the most holy relics of the Muslim world such as the prophet Mohammed's cloak and sword. Topkapi Palace is among those monuments belonging to the "Historic Areas of Istanbul", which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace is full of examples of Ottoman architecture and also contains large collections of porcelain, robes, weapons, shields, armour, Ottoman miniatures, as well as a display of Ottoman treasure and jewellery. Once being in a city lying on two continents, you deserve a ride to Asia. After a ride along the city walls and a lunch in a typical restaurant, you will cross the Bosphorus Bridge to have an opportunity to overlook the whole city, but mainly the Bosphorus and the European part. After a ride through the Asian part of Istanbul you will visit a carpet shop, as well as the famousÂ Grand Bazaar,Â one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. Evening (facultative): Enjoy your last evening in Istanbul in one of the most beautiful night clubs by a so-called Turkish Night ShowÂ with belly dancers, folklore dancing (regional dances from the Thrace and Anatolia regions), live music and singing and other performances. Dinner and local wine included.
DAY 5: DEPARTURE Transfer to the airport for departure to your homeland.