Istanbul by Land and Sea: A full day with complimentary lunch exploring the Asian side of the city crossing the Bosphorous and visiting Camlica Hill, Beylerbeyi Palace and Baghdad street followed by a cruise of the Bosphorous, a great way to capture the ‘essence’ of this amazing city, passing by many of its’ famous sites.
Beginning with the Bosphorous Bridge, which connects the European and the Asian sides of Istanbul, this was built in built in 1973 and affords a spectacular view of Istanbul’s modern and ancient sites while travelling over 60 metres above sea level.
The highest point in Istanbul is Camlica Hill and we stop here for a panoramic view over the city provided that Istanbul chooses to show its beauties and blesses the visitors with a clear day. Moving on from here we visit Beylerbeyi Palace, one of the largest, lavishly furnished 19th century summer residences of the Ottoman sultans. The rooms are kept with their original furniture and visitors can imagine being house guests to the Imperial family.
Baghdad Street, once the grouping point for the merchants who were set to travel the ancient Silk Road, this popular street on the Asian side of Istanbul has elegant boutiques and shopping alternatives. This will be a perfect chance to see the urban lifestyle of modern Istanbul. Lunch is served at a local restaurant before the tour continues with a cruise of the Bosphorous.
Along this cruise, you will pass by the Rumeli Fortress, built by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror; Ortakoy, a very famous area for handicrafts and nightlife; Bebek, a popular wealthy residential district under the Ottoman rule, and continues to be so today; Besiktas, a commercial district of the new city; Dolmabahce, the magnificent 19th century palace, which was the home to the Ottoman Sultans in the last century of the Empire; Ciragan Palace, a magnificent marble palace built by Sultan Abdulaziz and designed and constructed by the Balyan family between 1863 and 1867; today it serves as luxury suites for the five star Kempinski hotel; Kizkulesi (Maiden’s Tower), an ancient lighthouse which has inspired many legends; Yali (wooden wealthy houses) constructed by the water’s edge of the Bosphorous and usually built with an architectural concept that takes into account the characteristics of the coastal location, mostly dating from the 19th century; Beylerbeyi Palace, one of the largest, lavishly furnished 19th century summer residences of the Ottoman Sultans.
A short visit to the Spice Market is the surprise of the tour. In this oriental shopping area, where you experience the vibrant pulse of Istanbul at its best, rare spices, herbs, vegetables, fruits, live animals, flowers are sold. (Aphrodisiacs are available too!)
Meeting/pick-up point: Hotel pick-up.
Duration: 8 hours.
Start/opening time: At 07:45am.
Others: Please note that the Spice Market is closed on Sundays and Beylerbeyi Palace is closed on Mondays and Thursdays and this will be replaced by the 18th century Hidiv Pavilion.