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Istanbul Explorer

6 days1 city
Turkey1 country
Tour rating: 4.93 / 5, Based on 13 Reviews
Private tour to Turkey

Immerse yourself in the Oriental beauty of Turkey's beautiful city of Istanbul, blending the best European and Asian traditions together and mixing the old and the new. Explore the Blue Mosque, the Istanbul Grand Bazaar, the Topkapi Palace, as well as enjoy a Bosphorus Cruise and a full day trip to ancient Ephesus. Guided sightseeing tours, stays at a top hotel, and private airport transfers included.

6 days1 city
Turkey1 country
Istanbul, Turkey

A gorgeous place and the largest city of the country, mysterious Istanbul is the meeting point of three powerful cultures: Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman. Moreover, two of them were not only the greatest of their time but the greatest in history.

Day by day
Day-by-day program
Arrival in Istanbul

Welcome to Istanbul, the beautiful city in Turkey with an amazingly rich history which unites Europe and Asia. It is a city of mosques, tulips, and bazaars, and now you have a great opportunity to discover your own Istanbul! Upon arrival, you are met by your private driver at the airport, who transfers you to the hotel for check-in.

The rest of the day is at your own leisure to relax after the trip. Istanbul boasts many panoramic restaurants with amazing views of the unique city skyline. We recommend dropping by 360 Restaurant & Bar and take in its breathtaking 360 views of Istanbul.

No meals included.

Discovering the Old Istanbul & Grand Bazaar

In the morning after breakfast, meet your private guide and driver to embark on a half-day tour of Istanbul to discover its most iconic sights. You start the day with a visit to the famous architectural gem, St. Sophia, which has been nominated as the 8th wonder of the world by many historians. Considered one of the world's most beautiful buildings, the Hagia Sofia, which means Church of Holy Wisdom of God, is an important surviving example of Byzantine architecture.

Then you proceed to the Blue Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Istanbul and one of its skyline's highlight. It is also renown for its blue tiles and 6 minarets.

Next on your itinerary is the Hippodrome, the former center of sports and political activities of Constantinople. During the visit, you see the Obelisk from Egypt, the Serpentine Column from Delphi, as well as the Wilhelm II fountain.

As a culmination of the tour, you visit the famous Grand Bazaar to experience its bustle and meet its unique characters. As a special treat, at the Grand Bazaar, you learn to play the ancient game of Backgammon with the locals.

After the tour, you return to your hotel and have the afternoon at leisure.

Breakfast is included.

Exploring the Topkapi Palace & the Sunken Palace

Following breakfast, meet your private guide and driver and embark on a half-day tour to explore the Topkapi Palace and the Underground Cistern. You start the tour today with a visit to the magnificent Topkapi Palace, its Harem, and Treasury.

In 1465, Sultan Mehmet, the Conqueror of Istanbul, ordered the construction of the first palace, his successors added new pavilions, thus spreading the palace to a total area of 70,000 sqm (7 hectares). The Ottoman Sultans lived in and reined the empire from this palace until the 19th century. Today a museum, it houses 12000 pieces of porcelain including a rare Chinese porcelain collection. The treasury section displays one of the richest selections of jewels and precious stones and gold objects. The visit through the palace also leads to the collection of clocks, the relics of the prophet, and the Baghdad kiosk which is a beautiful sample of Ottoman interior.

Then you proceed to the Underground Cistern or the Yerebatan Sarayi (translated as "Sunken Palace"). It was a major water reservoir of Constantinople. The water was transported to the cistern all the way from the Belgrade Forest using large Byzantine aqueducts. The reservoir was constructed during the time of Emperor Constantine's reign back in the 4th century and then greatly enlarged in 537 AD. Its main purpose was being the Great Palace's water storage. During your visit, don't forget to make a wish and throw a coin into the adjacent pool of the cistern that was built over 1500 years ago.

During the tour today, you also get to taste the local Turkish simit (pretzels) and Turkish tea.

After the tour, you return to your hotel and have the afternoon at leisure.

Breakfast is included.

Full Day Trip to Ephesus with Flights

This day is dedicated to exploring Ephesus, a UNESCO site and one of the largest and best-preserved ancient cities in the world. This location is a "must" for those who are interested in archaeology and culture. After breakfast, meet your private driver for a transfer to the airport for short flight to Izmir. Upon arrival, you are transferred to Ephesus, that is located 1 hour away.

Once the most important commercial center of the western Anatolia, it is one of the top highlights of Turkey. The Temple of Artemis which was one of the "Seven Wonders of the World" has once been located here as well. Today you also visit the House of the Virgin Mary, the place where Mary may have spent her last days. Although this site has never been officially recognized by the Catholic Church, it nevertheless became a major place of Christian pilgrimage.

After the tour, you are transferred to Izmir airport for your flight back to Istanbul. Upon arrival in Istanbul, you are transferred to your hotel.

Breakfast is included.

Bosphorus Cruise & Spices of Istanbul

After breakfast, prepare for one more exciting day exploring Turkey. In the morning after breakfast, meet your private guide and driver and embark on a half-day tour to explore the distinctive traits of Istanbul.

First, you visit the Egyptian Spice Market, one of the oldest covered bazaars in Istanbul. Open every day except Sundays, it sells herbs, spices, a variety of natural medicines, and plant and flower seeds. Besides these traditional commodities, one can now find a large range of dried fruits and nuts, cheeses, meat and other foods.

At the market you meet the spice experts who tell you all the secrets and specialties of Turkish spices. Here you also smell the various spices, learn how to distinguish them, and use them with different meals. And as a special treat, you also get to taste the traditional Turkish delight.

As a highlight of the day, you enjoy a Bosphorus Cruise. This unforgettable experience provides a great opportunity to admire the beautiful city from the water as you cruise along the strait, separating Europe from Asia. The cruise takes you along the Bosphorus past the European style palaces of The Ottomans, Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi, as well as beautiful wooden mansions from the 19th century. It can get a bit windy on the Bosphorus, so to warm your hands cruising you enjoy a cup of Turkish tea or salep, a traditional hot creamy drink.

After the tour you return to your hotel and have the afternoon at leisure. On your last evening in Istanbul, we recommend to opt for a traditional Turkish Bath experience at the famous Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam to relax and recharge after your exciting exploration of Turkey.

Breakfast is included.


This is the last day of your amazing tour to Turkey! After breakfast, your driver meets you at the hotel lobby and takes you to the airport for your flight back home. We wish you a safe flight and hope to work on your future vacations!

​​Breakfast is included.

Your choice of hotels

We carefully select hotels to ensure your amazing stay. We will recommend the best available properties for your travel dates.

4-star hotel

Enhance your travel with staying in a remarkable 4-star property. As always, the location near all top landmarks, excellent quality service, and top-notch amenities are an indispensable part of your stay. The gallery demonstrates the examples of 4-star hotels we offer to our guests.

What's included

  • Accommodation at a remarkable centrally located 4-star hotel in Istanbul;
  • Delicious breakfasts at your hotel;
  • Airport transfers and all transportation according to the itinerary;
  • Sightseeing tours with private professional English-speaking guides;
  • Shared Bosphorus cruise;
  • Entrance tickets according to the itinerary;
  • Support line during the trip.

Note: we include 1 vehicle for your arrival and departure transfers. If multiple vehicles are required additional transfer costs will apply.

Not included: international flights, multiple arrival/departure transfers, other meals not mentioned in the program, optional tours and services, all personal expenses.

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Tour Highlights

  • Fully tailor-made program according to your interest;
  • Your own professional local guides and drivers;
  • Convenient transfers between the destinations throughout the program;
  • Full flexibility of hotel options;
  • Comprehensive tours of Istanbul;
  • Trip to to Ephesus;
  • Visiting the Egyptian Spice Market;
  • Enjoyable Bosphorus cruise.

What To Know

  • It's always best to bring some cash in local currency for your trip. You will need Turkish liras for your time in Turkey
  • You will be walking quite a bit during your sightseeing tours, so make sure to bring comfortable shoes