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Istanbul

Day trips

Our most recommended Istanbul Day Trips

Istanbul: Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on a Luxurious Yacht

1. Istanbul: Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on a Luxurious Yacht

Take a sunset cruise on the Bosphorus Strait to see the European as well as Asian half of Istanbul. Jump aboard a luxury yacht from Kabatas and keep your cameras ready as you cross mosques, palaces, and seafront villas. Learn about the city’s centuries-long history through your guide. Start the tour at Kabatas Pier aboard an elegant yacht, drinking traditional Turkish drinks, and nibbling on canapés and fruit from tastefully arranged platters. Glide by palaces and minarets as you sail along the Bosphorus.  When dusk sets in, feel the soothing breeze from the Sea of Marmara on your skin as the sky puts on a colorful show, tinted with shades of orange and rose. Few places in the world are as mesmerizing as Istanbul in the setting sun. Hear the muezzin's call from a towering minaret. Cruise past majestic palaces and villas along the strait’s banks. Breathe in the legacy of ancient Byzantium, Constantinople, and the mighty Ottoman Empire with each breath of fresh salty air. Kick back and ride gentle waves in the comfort of a yacht. Watch the city and its iconic landmarks pass by, which is the perfect way to unwind after a busy day of sightseeing. End the experience at Karakoy Pier.

From Istanbul: Day Trip to Ephesus with Flight and Lunch

2. From Istanbul: Day Trip to Ephesus with Flight and Lunch

See the highlights of Ancient Ephesus including the popular pilgrimage sites such as the Temple of Artemis and the House of the Virgin Mary. Get picked up from your hotel in Istanbul and arrive at the airport for a 1.5-hour flight to Izmir. Meet your local driver and enjoy the ride to Selcuk, where you will join other group participants and begin your tour. Start off with a visit to the House of the Virgin Mary, a popular Catholic pilgrimage site known as the house where Mary spent her final days. Contınue on to explore Ancient Ephesus, one of the best preserved classical cities in the Eastern Mediterranean and once considered the most important trading center in the region. Marvel at the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you walk along the streets of Ephesus and admire beautiful monuments such as the third largest library of the ancient world and the largest Roman theater on the Asian continent. Drive back to Izmir for your return flight to Istanbul where your driver will greet you and take you back to your hotel.

Troy: Full-Day Tour from Istanbul

3. Troy: Full-Day Tour from Istanbul

Take a detailed tour of ancient city of Troy, and discover scenes from Homer's Illiad. Learn of how the city was rediscovered and enjoy a delicious lunch. Travel from Istanbul in an airconditioned bus and cross from Dardanelles to Çanakkale by ferry.  Start the tour at the door of your hotel in Istanbul, where you will be met by your driver before boarding a specially configured bus, that is designed to provide more space and greater leg room for your comfort.  Relax on the drive to Eceabat, once the ancient city of Madytos, located on the shores of the Dardanelles Strait. Stop to enjoy a hearty lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, your guide will accompany you on a 25-minute ferry trip across the Dardanelles to Çanakkale. Board the tour bus for the drive to nearby Troy and begin your tour. Hear about the mythology surrounding Troy. Dive into how the city was discovered, the ancient history, and what has been revealed by extensive archaeological excavations. Hear about how 9 cities have where constructed on top of each other which date back to before 3500 BC, with the city made famous by Homer in his book the Iliad being just one of the layered settlements. See the still impressive defensive walls of the ancient city and learn the story of the Trojan War. Walk past the ruins of everyday houses dating back more than 3000 years. Stroll along same paths as the people of the city did three millennia ago.  Get back on the tour bus for the ride back to Çanakkale. Catch the return ferry to Eceabat. After a brief break, board the bus for the return trip to Istanbul and end your tour back at your hotel. 

Luxury Private Yacht Rental

4. Luxury Private Yacht Rental

See Istanbul from the Bosphorus on an impressive and unforgettable cruising experience. With the yacht to yourself, you’ll soak up the atmosphere of this famous riviera, gliding by some of the best Bosphorus sights along both Asian and European shores from waterfront palaces of Sultans and their Pasha’s villas. Relax and enjoy close up views including the European Side, Dolmabahçe Palace, Çirağan Palace, Rumeli Fortress, the Bosphorus Bridge, Asian Side and more. Enjoy two hours on a Bosphorus Cruise with Panaromic view of the Bosphorus and of Istanbul. • You will be picked up in a non-smoking brand new van from your hotel or accommodation approximately 30 minutes before your trip • You will see the very best spots in history, such as Dolmabahce Palace, the Ortakoy Mosque, the Bosphorus Bridge, the Fatih Bridge, Rumeli Castle, Anatolian Castle, and Beylerbeyi Palace. • You can reserve the trip for anytime you want. If the main yacht is busy, you will be offered another yacht of the same quality •  After the trip you will be dropped to your hotel or in the city center • Enjoy complimentary coffee, tea, or soft drinks

Gallipoli Full-Day Tour from Istanbul

5. Gallipoli Full-Day Tour from Istanbul

Take a trip into the past on a full-day tour of Gallipoli from Istanbul, traveling by air-conditioned minibus to the battlefields and war memorials of the ANZAC campaign of the Battle of Gallipoli during World War I. Depart Istanbul early in the morning, stopping en route for refreshments. Upon arrival on the Gallipoli Peninsula, your tour will focus on the ANZAC sector of the infamous battlefields. Stop at 11 different points of interest to learn more about the fateful events of the Australian and New Zealand troops, including ANZAC Cove where the troops first landed and set up base. Go to Beach Cemetery, where many of the soldiers who died during the Battle of Gallipoli were buried. Pause to reflect at the Lone Pine Memorial, one of 5 memorials on the peninsula that commemorate servicemen of the former British Empire killed in the campaign but who have no known grave. Visit the battlefields of The Nek and Chunuk Bair, where experienced guides will paint a picture that brings the war to life. Then, return to Istanbul by comfortable 25-seat minibus for a hotel drop off and the end of the tour services.

From Istanbul: Gobeklitepe Day Tour

6. From Istanbul: Gobeklitepe Day Tour

Visit the fascinating archeological site of Gobekli Tepe on a full-day private tour from Istanbul. Explore this 11,500-year-old hilltop sanctuary, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Start your day with an early morning pickup at your hotel. Transfer to the airport for a 2-hour-long flight to Sanliurfa, formerly known as Edessa. Edessa is noted as one of the most important holy places in the world. Upon arrival at the airport in Sanliurfa, you will meet your guide that will lead you to Gobekli Tepe. The discovery of Gobekli Tepe and its architecture has changed the entire known history of advanced civilizations. Archeologists believe it is the oldest religious site in the world. Explore its Neolithic collection of stone circles in this prehistoric site of worship. Learn how people built this structure 12,000 years ago using stone-age tools. Take a walk at the site of the excavation and find out recent findings. Give your feet a well-earned break by going to Sanliurfa and taking some time for yourself for lunch at a local restaurant. Savor the delicious flavors of southeast Turkey. You can also spend some time shopping in the local market. After making the most of your free time, transfer to Sanliurfa airport to take a flight back to Istanbul. Be met with a representative upon landing to transfer back to your hotel.

Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

7. Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

Travel back in time on a guided tour from Istanbul to the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis. Spend a full day marveling at ancient, multi-cultural architecture and monuments without worrying about any of the details of traveling and organizing.  Start your day with pickup from your hotel in Istanbul in the early morning and transfer smoothly to the airport to catch your flight to Izmir. Be greeted upon your arrival and travel to Ephesus to meet with your guide. Explore this iconic former-Greek city, built in the 10th century, famed for its temples, monuments, and theaters. Known as the commercial, religious, and social center of antiquity, this is sure to be the highlight to your whole visit to Turkey. Discover the city’s combination of Greek, Roman and Byzantine markers of civilization. Visit the Fountains of Trajan, Polio, the Temples of Hadrian and Domition, and the Library of Celcius. Be awed by the the Great Theater with its capacity for 24,000 spectators, the Temple of Artemis, and the House of the Virgin Mary. Continue to Pamukkale which is known for its natural thermal spring waters.  Find out why this site is known as the cotton castle as you see how the chemical properties of the water have formed pure white colored travertines and stepped water terraces that line the mountain’s slope, resembling piles of cotton. Visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highlight of this site is be the Sacred Pool, which you can enter if you choose. There, shallow thermal waters ripple over a wonderful scattering of ancient Roman ruins that lie beneath. Head to the Necropolis of Hierapolis which contains 1200 gravestones, including that of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos. After your tour, transfer back to Denizli Airport for your evening flight back to Istanbul and be transferred back to your hotel.

From Istanbul: Day Trip to Cappadocia with Flight and Lunch

8. From Istanbul: Day Trip to Cappadocia with Flight and Lunch

Tour the most important landmarks of Cappadocia along with its fascinating rock formations on an all-day guided tour. Get picked up from your hotel in Istanbul and arrive at the airport for a 1.5-hour flight to Kayseri. Meet your local driver and enjoy the ride to Cappadocia, where you will join other group participants and begin your tour. Explore the Goreme Open Air Museum and study the many rock-cut churches from as far back as the 10th century. Next, visit Devrent Valley, famous for its quirky animal-shaped rocks, and feel like you're in another world. Head to Pasabag, also known as Monks Valley, and see the chapel dedicated to St. Simeon along with a hermit's shelter. Admire some of the most striking fairy chimneys with a unique mushroom shape. Stop for a typical Turkish lunch in Avanos. Then learn to make pottery with local experts. Take in the best views of the fairy chimneys from Goreme Panorama before marveling at more magnificent landscapes from Uchisar Rock Castle. Drive back to Kayseri for your return flight to Istanbul where your driver will greet you and take you back to your hotel.

Full-Day Private Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour from Istanbul

9. Full-Day Private Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour from Istanbul

After being picked up between 5:00 AM and 5:30 AM from your hotel in Istanbul, you will be driven to the airport where you will catch a flight to Denizli. Meet your private guide in Denizli and make your first visit to Pamukkale. The beautiful white cascades of Pamukkale are well worth a trip to see the eye candy of a natural site. Walk through Pamukkale and find a chance to relax in the hot waters of the ancient pool. Built just above the hot spring waters of Pamukkale, Hierapolis is a mighty ancient city and a UNESCO world heritage site. Hierapolis was built in the 2nd century B.C. by the King of Pergamon and became a Roman city.  The city was famous for several important sanctuaries and also as an important trade center. Hierapolis was famous for purple dye and cloth making and it is still famous for textile products. Afterward, drive back to Denizli airport to make your flight back to Istanbul. The Istanbul tour guide will meet you at the Istanbul airport and transfer you to your hotel in Istanbul.

Istanbul: Best of the City Private Full-Day Walking Tour

10. Istanbul: Best of the City Private Full-Day Walking Tour

This private experience is the perfect introduction to Istanbul for first-time visitors. Enjoy a guided full-day tour to discover the best of the city. The tour can be fully customized to suit your needs, simply tell your guide what interests you the most.  Visit the historic Hippodrome, the exquisite Blue Mosque and the iconic Hagia Sophia. Experience the lavish lifestyles of the Ottoman Sultans with a tour of Topkapi Palace, or browse the colorful stalls of the Grand Bazaar. The choice is yours. Benefit from pickup and drop-off at your centrally-located hotel. With your private guide you’ll enjoy priority entrance to all the sights, so standing you won’t waste time standing in queues.

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Frequently asked questions about Istanbul Day Trips

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Other Sightseeing Options in Istanbul

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What people are saying about Istanbul

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 683 reviews

This was a fantastic tour! Istanbul is a wonderful city and Ekrem was an outstanding guide. The tour was well organized, covering all the main sites such as Aya Sofia, Topkapi palace, Dolmabahce palace and more . Ekrem was very knowledgeable and provided us with interesting historical and cultural insights, all in perfect English. He was also kind and patient in answering all of our questions. He was flexible, adjusting the program to avoid the rain, beat crowds and for us to spend more time at the Grand Bazaar (which we loved!). He also suggested great food and was very helpful in guiding us on how to use the tram and find our way around the city. Overall, my husband, adult daughter and I highly recommend this tour - be sure to ask for Ekrem as your guide!

A well organised, professional and informative tour. Friendly and courteous staff providing snacks and non-alcoholic drinks throughout the 2+ hrs. Very comfortable yacht and the right sized group numbers so you can easily move around the boat and sit in different spots without feeling stuck in one seat throughout. This cruise offers a very comfortable and pleasant way to see Istanbuls beautiful coastline. Highly recommend.

Great professional experience. The staff was attentive and there was no wasted time. Everything ran smoothly without any hiccups. All snacks and beverages are free but alcoholic drinks cost extra. We were able to go during the evening to catch a beautiful sunset. The tour was informative and covered all the places youd wsnt to see. As a tourist it was an exceptional experience and one that was easy from start to finish.

It was a beautiful night and a great way to get oriented to the city and sights. The boat was beautiful, staff very attentive and the treats were tasty. Informative guide, would highly recommend.

Thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Although we had to wait for a long time before being boarded onto the yacht, so that was a minor setback. Rest it was just perfect.