Istanbul is the only city in the world which embraces two continents, one arm reaching out into Asia, the other into Europe. Considered as a leading metropolis in the world, for culture, arts, history, trade and business, Istanbul first appears on the scene of the history toward the end of the second millennium BC , as a fishing community and town called Lygos. In the 7th century BC, led Byzas, a group of sailors from the land of Megare of the region, came in and renamed the city as Byzantium , after their leader. The former capital of three successive empires- Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman- the city is a fascinating mixture of past and present, old and new, modern and traditional. Christianity became the official religion of the state and the empire got the earlier name of the city, Byzantium. The museum, churches, places, mosques and bazaars and the sight of natural beauty seem inexhaustible. As you recline on the shores of the Bosphorus at sunset contemplating the red evening light reflected in the windows and on the slender minarets on the opposite shore you understand, suddenly and profoundly, why so many centuries ago settlers chose to build on this remarkable site.
-Blue Mosque -Galata Tower
-Cistern Basilica -Dolmabahce Palace
-Beylerbeyi Palace -Rumeli Hisarı
-Kariye Museum -Pierre Loti
Day 1 : Istanbul
Meet at the airport. Transfer to the hotel which is located in old city. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2 : Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Saint Sophie Museum, Topkapi Palace, Cistern Basilica
After we have our breakfast, we will visit Topkapı Palace, is administrative palace of the Ottoman Dynasty, that rule on three continents for centuries. Amaze of the buildings are at the centre of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries. In these opulent surroundings, the sultans and their court lived and governed. Then we pass to St. Sophia now called Ayasofya Museum. It is really on of the finest buildings of all time. Built by Constantine the Great and reconstructed by Justinian in 6th century. Its immense dome rises 55 meters above the ground and its diameter spans 31 meters. we will absorb the building’s majestic serenity and admire the fine Byzantine mosaics. Continue to visiting with Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) is more familiarly known as Blue Mosque because its interior gleams with a magnificent panelling of blue. It has 6 minarets and very nice cupolas. it was built by architect Mehmet between 1609 and 1616. After visiting we stroll around Ancient Hippodrome the scene of chariot races and the centre of Byzantine civil life, stood in the open space in front of the Blue Mosque. We will see tree charming monuments. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3 : Misir Carsisi (Egyptian Bazaar) – Beylerbeyi Palace – Rumeli Hisari
After breakfast, we visit Misir Carsısı (Spice bazaar) next to Yeni mosque in Emınonu, transports you to fantasies of the mystical East. The smell of the whole kinds of spices fill the air. We go on the visiting with Beylerbeyi Palace , on the Asian side of the Istanbul bogazi, this palace was built of white marble by Sultan Abdulaziz in the 19th century. It possesses a beautiful garden with magnolia trees and was used as a summer residence of the Sultans and as a guest house for visiting foreign dignitaries. We take a ferry to pass other side for Rumeli hisari, (the Rumelian fortress), built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 prior to the conquest of Istanbul, was completed in only four months, and is one of the most beautiful works of military architecture anywhere in the world. Its amphitheatre is now used as the setting for some of the events in the Istanbul Music Festival. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4 : Suleymaniye and Eyup sultan Mosque – Cafe Pierre Loti – Kariye Museum
After breakfast visiting Suleymaniye Mosque , the Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent where he and his wife, Hurrem Sultan , are buried. It was built between 1550 and 1557 by the famous architect Sinan. Erected on the crest of a hill, it is conspicuous from its great size, emphasised by four minarets rising one from each corner of the courtyard. Inside the mihrab (praying niche shoving the direction to Mecca) and the mimber (pulmit) are of finely carved white marble, and there are fine stained glass windows. We continue visiting with Eyub sultan mosque, the great mosque of Eyub is situated outside the city walls near the Golden Horn where Eyup, standard –bearer of the Prophet Muhammed, died in an assault on Constantinople in 670 A.D. his tomb is greatly venerated and attracts many pilgrims. After visiting we stop for a cafe that took its name from French Novelist Pierre Loti. We go on to visit Istanbul with Kariye Museum, the 11th century church of ‘’St. Saviour’’ in Chora is after St. Sophia, the most important Byzantine monument in Istanbul. The walls are decorated with superb 14th century frescoes and mosaics on a gold background. The church is a remarkable museum of Byzantine art that influenced the European Renaissance. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5 : Bosphorus Tour through Island
After we have our breakfast we will walk down to Eminonu (15 min) to embark our boat. The Bosphorus is a water pass, that spans 36km between Black sea and the Sea of Marmara and 700m. Wide at the narrowest point. At this location, on the either side of the strait, stands the two medieval castle built by the Ottoman Turks for the conquest of the city Anadolu hisari (14th century) in Asia, and right across, the awesome Rumelihisari constructed in the 15th century. The winding strait that separates Europe and Asia. Its shores offer a delightful mixture of past and present, grand splendour and simple beauty. we will see all the wooden villas ,marble palaces, rustic stone fortresses and elegant compounds neighbour small fishing villages. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6 : Dolmabahce Palace – Galata tour – Grand Bazaar
In the morning visiting Dolmabahce Palace, built in the mid – 19th century by Sultan Abdulmecit, it has an impressive 600 meters frontage on the Istanbul bogazi. The most important part is the vast reception salon, with 56 columns and a huge 750-bulb crystal chandelier weighing
4.5 tons. The architecture of the Harem is in stark contrast to that of the rest of the palace. The bird pavilion, where birds from all over the world were once kept is unique to this palace. Ataturk , the founder of the Turkish Republic, died here on November 1938. Then we make a tour through Galata tower, built by the Genoese in 1348 is 68 meter high.There is a wonderful view of Golden Horn and Istanbul Bogazi from the top. We continue visiting Covered Bazaar ,the world’s largest covered market. This labyrinth of the streets and passages houses are more than 4.000 shops. Covered bazaar is still commercial centre of the old city. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7 : Archaeological Museum – Free Day
In the morning , visiting Archaeological museum, is situated on the perimeter of the first court of Topkapi Palace. The very rich collection of classical antiquities in the archaeological Museum includes the celebrated Alexander Sarcophagus, and the Athena Temple from Assos. The museum
of the Ancient Orient displays antiquities from the Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Hatti and Hittite civilisations. Afternoon is free for shopping and resting. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8 : Home
Transfer to the airport and fly home