Chora Church
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Istanbul: Dolmabahçe Palace and Uskudar Guided Tour

1. Istanbul: Dolmabahçe Palace and Uskudar Guided Tour

Set off in your vehicle right from your hotel and drive over the first intercontinental bridge connecting Europe and Asia. The Bosphorus Bridge was built in 1973 and the length between its two legs is 1074 meters. At the time of its construction, it was the fourth-longest suspension bridge of the world. Explore the Ottoman mosques of Uskudar neighbourhood. After a photo stop, you will cruise along the suspension bridge before arriving at Dolmabahçe Palace. Explore the Dolmabahçe Palace, an architectural jewel in the heart of Istanbul. On Mondays, the palace is closed and will be replaced by Chora Museum. Led by a guide with specialist knowledge of the 19th Century Ottoman period, listen to the stories behind this luxurious building. Built by the Ottoman Sultan Abdulmecid between 1843 and 1856, the Palace is a mixture of Turkish and French influences. The exquisite and luxurious tastes of the era are evident everywhere you look. This palace boasts 285 rooms, 6 baths, 68 toilets and a ceiling made from 14 tons of gold. Splendid bohemian chandeliers adorn nearly every room and the famous crystal staircase is another example of the era’s decadence.

From Istanbul: 4-Day Small Group Istanbul & Cappadocia Tour

2. From Istanbul: 4-Day Small Group Istanbul & Cappadocia Tour

Your guide will meet you at your hotel between 08:00 and 08:30. Visit the Istanbul old city area which includes Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar and Topkapi Palace. Have lunch during the tour. The average duration of this tour is 8-hours. At the end of the tour, your guide will leave you back at your hotel. On the second day, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby between 08:00 and 08:30. During this tour, you will visit the Golden Horn, the old city walls of Istanbul, the Spice Market and Dolmabahce Palace or Chora Museum. There will be a lunch stop during the tour. The tour will end at around 17:00. Please do not forget to take your luggage in the morning. After the tour, you will be transferred to airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Once you arrive in Cappadocia, you will have organized transfer from the airport to your hotel.  On your third day, your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel at around 09:00. You will enjoy a tour of southern Cappadocia, also known as the Green Tour, which will include the following sites: Derinkuyu Underground City (the largest underground city in the area with 7 floors 85 meters deep; not recommended for claustrophobic guests) and Ihlara Valley (1.5-hour trekking). Have a lunch stop in the village of Bellisirma. Afterwards, you will visit Piegon Valley (panoramic visit), Selime Monastery and Esentepe (panoramic view). After the tour, you will be dropped back off at your hotel. On the fourth and last day, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby at around 09:00 and take you on a tour of northern Cappadocia, known as the Red Tour, to Rose Valley, Goreme Open Air Museum (important early Christianity center), Monks Valley, Cavusin village (one of the oldest settlements in the area), Avanos village (with stop at a traditional pottery workshop), Uchisar Castle and Dervent Valley. The average tour duration will be 8-hours. After the tour, you will be transferred back to the airport for your return flight to Istanbul.

Istanbul Classics and Highlights: Full Day with Lunch

3. Istanbul Classics and Highlights: Full Day with Lunch

Istanbul is a city filled with exotic sights and sounds, and there is no better way to explore its mystery and intrigue than with a local guide. Visit the best of Istanbul and explore the stories and history that makes this Turkish city so fascinating. Start at the iconic Hagia Sophia museum to see its magnificent minarets and mosaics. Your guide will point out the most fascinating parts of this building before taking you to see the German Fountain; a gift from Kaiser Wilhelm II. Here your guide will explain the historical context of Istanbul, from Ancient Roman times to today's metamorphosis into a bustling metropolis. Next, stop at the Topkapi Musuem to see Ottoman relics and prized Muslim garments. Stroll around the Topkapi Museum's graceful courtyards, then head to Hagia Irene Church to see its stunning architecture from the outside. End your day with a lively visit to the Grand Bazaar for your fill of shopping and people watching. The final places of interest are Caferaga Medrese and Sogukcesme Street.

Istanbul: Off-the-Beaten-Track Museums Tour

4. Istanbul: Off-the-Beaten-Track Museums Tour

Your first stop will be the Suleymaniye Mosque, which was built on the order of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and constructed by the great Ottoman architect Sinan. The construction work began in 1550 and the mosque was finished in 1557. The mosque is modeled in part on the style of a Byzantine basilica, particularly the Hagia Sophia, which was perhaps a conscious move on the part of the sultan to create a continuity and a symbolic connection with the city's past. Driving along the city walls will end at one of the oldest and most important churches in the city, the Church of Chora, which has fascinating wall paintings telling the life of Christ in an historical order. Even though the building itself is small, the meaning was great for Byzantines as being found at the borders of the city and welcoming the visitors. Today the environment is restored and this is a good place to spend time with local artisans and wooden houses. After the church, you will have a tea and coffee break at one of the most splendid spots of Istanbul, with beautiful views over the Golden Horn and Pierre Loti Hill. Following this you will resuming driving along the shores of the Golden Horn through the towns Fener and Balat, which are the old Greek and Jewish living sites. Fener Orthodox Patriarchate is in this area as well.  Following lunch, your next destination will be the Dolmabahce Palace, the last residence of the Ottoman Sultans with 365 rooms and 22 saloons. Famous for the great collection of European antiquity, furniture, and a 4.5 ton chandelier. This will be your last stop, and after this visit you will be driven back to your hotel.

Istanbul Highlights Tour: Half-Day Afternoon

5. Istanbul Highlights Tour: Half-Day Afternoon

Discover the delights of Istanbul in an afternoon walking tour. Visit the Topkapı Museum, the most important museum in Turkey, and home to prized ancient relics like jewelry, porcelain, and artifacts from the Ottoman period. If you want to learn the rich history of Istanbul, this is a vital point of the tour. With the advantage of a knowledgeable guide, you'll learn the information and stories behind the artifacts. Next your guide will take you to the Hagia Irene Church. The exterior of this fabulous Byzantine structure offers you a glimpse into the bygone Ottoman Empire. Finally, see other points of interest including Caferaga Medrese and Sogukcesme Street.

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What people are saying about Chora Church

Overall rating

3.3 / 5

based on 32 reviews

I had the best tour guide Ozzy! As soon as he and his driver came to pick me up the cultural experience began. Prior to arriving at the palace we made a stop at the newly built Mosque over looking the city. Ozzy was an absolute delight and I recommend his knowledge and service to anyone new to Istanbul.

The tour in the museum was very interesting, but too short. Hotel pick-up should be available as a paid option, but not as a rule, and should not be at the expense of viewing time.

Our tour guide was Mr Furkan Sari. We was an excellent guide who explained to us about Turkey’s history pretty well. We really enjoyed our tour with him

The term 3 hours does not mean we stay inside dolmBahce for 3 hours

Its a good tour but 3 hours means pick up - waiting for others stay at dolma bahce palace and return it to the hotel

The guide is very pleasant and knowledgeable on the subject.

Spectacular view of Istanbul and the magnificent Dolmabahçe palace ... too bad you can't visit more rooms