Things to do in
Marmara Region

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Our most recommended things to do in Marmara Region

The Whirling Dervishes Show at the HodjaPasha Culture Center

1. The Whirling Dervishes Show at the HodjaPasha Culture Center

Watch a magnificent 1-hour show of the Mevlevi Sema ceremony at the HodjaPasha Culture Center in central Istanbul and witness the miracle of the whirling dances and dervishes. Dating back 800 years, the show represents in thrilling fashion the idea that everything in the universe, from atoms, to the solar system, to the blood that circulates in the body, revolves. Sema is a spiritual journey that the soul makes to God as it becomes mature and attains unity. After the journey, it returns to its life and to serve humankind again. This thrilling program begins with a classical Turkish music concert, followed by the Sema ceremony, comprised of 7 parts. Watch in wonder as the whirling dervishes and sheikh take their place and praise the Prophet Mohammed. Following the chant, a drum voice is heard and all 7 parts unfold, - the ceremony climaxes when the extraordinary whirling dervishes revolve to represent the birth of humanity. The Sema ends with a Fâtiha for the souls of all prophets, martyrs, and believers, and a prayer for the salvation of the country. Chosen as the best authentic local event in 2010 by the Federation of Tourist Guides in Turkey, this fantastic show takes place in the fantastic HodjaPasha Culture Center, which is a restored 550-year-old Ottoman Turkish bath in Sultanahmet-Sirkeci.

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Istanbul: Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Entertainment

2. Istanbul: Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Entertainment

Climb aboard a pleasure boat for a luxurious cruise along the Bosphorus Strait, while dining from a 3-course menu of Turkish meze and local drinks. Sail past some of Istanbul's greatest monuments, while watching traditional entertainment along the way. Following a pick-up from your hotel, transfer to the yacht for the start of your journey. Get a welcome cocktail on deck as you begin to sail as far as the Black Sea. Cruise between Europe and Asia, passing under the Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmed Bridge. See the summer palaces of the Ottoman sultans, such as Dolmabahçe Palace, Çırağan Palace, and Beylerbeyi Palace. Admire the grand Ottoman fortifications of Rumeli Castle and Anatolian Castle. Soak up some of Istanbul’s legendary nightlife as you pass famous nightclubs, such as Reina and Sortie. Marvel at the waterside mansions and villas that line the European and Asian coasts. As you feast on a meal of typical meze dishes and mains, watch live folk dances from different regions of Turkey. Be seduced by the sensual moves of a belly dancer, and relax to international music by the on-board DJ. Back on dry land, enjoy a free shuttle transfer back to your hotel.

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Istanbul: Turkish Entertainment Bosphorus Dinner Cruise

3. Istanbul: Turkish Entertainment Bosphorus Dinner Cruise

Climb aboard a pleasure boat for a luxury cruise along the Bosphorus Strait. Get a welcome cocktail on arrival and then set sail for the Black Sea passing some of Istanbul's most famous monuments along the way. Cruise between Europe and Asia and pass under the Bosphorus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmed Bridge. See the summer palaces of the Ottoman sultans, including Dolmabahçe Palace and Beylerbeyi Palace. Admire the fortifications of Rumeli Castle and Anatolian Castle, and marvel at the mansions that line both coastlines. Watch live folk dances from the regions of Turkey, be seduced by a belly dancer and relax to international music played by the on-board DJ.

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Istanbul: Bosphorus Cruise with Audio App

4. Istanbul: Bosphorus Cruise with Audio App

Take part in one of the best Bosphorus Cruise in Istanbul and admire the cosmopolitan city from a completely different perspective while enjoying the beautiful views of the Orient and the Occident at the same time. The Bosphorus is 32km long, separates Europe from Asia and connects the Marmara Sea to the Black Sea. Cruise along the Bosphorus between Asia and Europe and discover Istanbul tourist attractions, magnificent palaces, ancient castles, and other historical sites, as well as fine seaside residences and the Bosphorus bridge. Historical places you will see from the distance include Galata Tower, Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia, and Blue Mosque. Furthermore, you will have a glance at the spectacular pieces of authentic civic architecture on the European and Asian coast.

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Istanbul: Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on a Luxurious Yacht

5. Istanbul: Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on a Luxurious Yacht

A sunset on the water is an amazing way to end your cruise experience and an equally amazing way to start your evening. Whether it is to impress that special someone with a picture-perfect moment or just to appreciate a great time with great friends, a sunset cruise is something everyone will remember.  Few places in the world are as mesmerizing as Istanbul in the setting sun. 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, a soothing breeze arrives from the Sea of Marmara and the sky over the city puts on a colorful show, tinted with shades of orange and rose. The muezzin calls from a towering minaret. Majestic palaces and villas standstill along the strait’s banks, as if nothing has changed over a millennium. Breathe in the legacy of ancient Byzantium, Constantinople, and mighty Ottoman Empire with each breath of fresh salty air. Kick back and ride gentle waves on 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. The tour starts at Kabatas Pier and ends at Karakoy Pier.

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Istanbul: Dolmabahçe Palace Admission and Guided Tour

6. Istanbul: Dolmabahçe Palace Admission and Guided Tour

Explore Dolmabahçe Palace - the biggest royal residence of the sultans and the imperial family of the Ottoman Empire. Meet your licensed English-speaking guide outside the monument and enter with your skip-the-line admission ticket. Begin a guided tour of the stunning interiors. Learn about how the palace was built by the orders of Sultan Abdülmecid I and opened in 1856. Admire the greatest collection of Baccarat and Bohemian chandeliers on the planet, including the biggest Bohemian chandelier ever. Marvel at the vast collection gold inside, specifically on the ornate ceilings.  As you continue the tour, learn about the distinct differences between the Dolmabahçe Palace and the Topkapı Palace - for example, the architectural style and the way that the furniture was used. Find out about how the Dolmabahçe Palace was the last headquarter of the empire and was served until 1922.

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Istanbul: Topkapi Palace Guided Tour and Skip The Line

7. Istanbul: Topkapi Palace Guided Tour and Skip The Line

Skip the line and visit the most important museum of Turkey and the Balkan Peninsula. Discover how the Topkapi Palace was built between 1466 - 1478 and served for over 400 years as the residency and administrative headquarter of the Ottoman Sultans. The guide will explain to you the entire story of the Palace during a one hour tour. Marvel at the great architectural beauty of this important monument of the Ottoman Empire.

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Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

8. Best of Istanbul in 1 Day

You will start at the old Hippodrome of Constantinople which was the sports and social center of the old city. Discover major works of art including the Obelisk from Egypt, the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the fountain of Willhelm II, constructed by the Germans. From there, continue to the Blue Mosque, whose six minarets are a key fixture of Istanbul’s skyline. Next, head for the Topkapi Palace, which was home to the Ottoman emperors between the 15th and 19th centuries. Marvel at the jewel-stuffed treasury and priceless displays of Oriental porcelain. Move on to the Hagia Sophia Mosque. Behold the dome and stunning Byzantine mosaics of this architectural gem as your guide recounts its turbulent history. Then visit the Grand Bazaar with over 3,000 shops selling everything from carpets to jewelry to ceramics and leather goods. Also stroll around the Spice Bazaar with its incredible smell from almost every spice imaginable, as well as dried fruits and nuts, sweets and the ubiquitous Turkish Delight.

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Istanbul: Unlimited 4G Internet Pocket WiFi in Turkey

9. Istanbul: Unlimited 4G Internet Pocket WiFi in Turkey

With portable and pocket WiFi, you won’t have to change your sim card throughout your vacation or buy a high-cost data package in advance. You will be able to avoid expensive data roaming charges, or connecting to unsecured public internet points. Most importantly, you won't need to look for free WiFi every time you need an internet connection. This is an unlimited package at truly 4G/LTE speed which is secure and works everywhere in Turkey. There are no speed limitations at any level of data usage, allowing you to watch movies, play games, make online calls, stream your playlists, share your memories, use live navigation, and more.

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Istanbul: Dinner Cruise on the Bosphorus

10. Istanbul: Dinner Cruise on the Bosphorus

After departing from your hotel, you will jump into this unforgettable boat excursion up the Bosphorus, the bridge that separates Europe and Asia. Its shores offer a delightful mixture of past and present, grand splendor and simple beauty. During the journey you'll pass magnificent Dolmabahçe Palace as well as Çırağan Palace, refurbished in 1874 by Sultan Abdulaziz and now restored as a grand hotel. Overshadowing Istanbul’s traditional architecture is one of the world’s largest suspension bridges, the Boğaziçi Bridge, linking Europe and Asia. Tour Program Welcome cocktail on deck D.J. Katibim (traditional Turkish melody musical performance) Asuk Masuk (imitation play of little people from the Taseli district of Silifke, performed by 2 male dancers) Belly dancer Henna ceremony Turna folk team Turkish romany dance Meal Menu Cold Starters: Cold and smoked meat plates Selection of fine cheeses Ottoman-style appetizer plate Special sultan spring rolls Exotic medallions Main Dishes: Grilled filled steak or Meatball with rice and garlic or Tornado chateau with mushroom sauce or Grilled spring chicken breast or Filled sea bass pane or Chef's recommendation From the Garden: Seasonal salad Orient house salad Dessert and fruit: Selected Turkish dessert or Seasonal fresh fruits or Fresh fruit salad Drinks Drinks are available for an additional fee Turkish coffee Alcoholic beverages are included if you choose the corresponding option.This option also includes unlimited local drinks including local wines, beers, spirits, and soft drinks. After the cruise you will be dropped off at your hotel.

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What people are saying about Marmara Region

Overall rating

3.9 / 5

based on 298 reviews

Hotel pick was great. Boat cruise was good with over view of Istanbul on left side. Princess island was nice and quiet with interesting shops. Drive through around the island was a breath of fresh air. People were nice and eager to talk to me

Excellent Tour! Mehmet our guide was very knowledgeable and very patient. We were a small group of 7 and this made the Tour more intimate and enjoyable. I would highly recommend this Tour when in Istanbul! 5 star rating!

Very knowledgeable and patient guide. Highly recommend. Some other guides were charging 50£ plus topkapi entrance fee for the experience and with gyg I got for 20£

loved it, everything was perfect except the leather shop tour in the end, they force you to buy products from them.

Beautiful sites and very knowledgeable tour guide Amet