St. George's Cathedral, Istanbul

St. George's Cathedral, Istanbul: Our most recommended tours and activities

Istanbul: Golden Horn & Pierre Loti Hill Cable Car Day Trip

1. Istanbul: Golden Horn & Pierre Loti Hill Cable Car Day Trip

Discover the beauty of the historic Golden Horn estuary in Istanbul on this guided day tour with hotel pickup and drop-off from the Sultanahmet, Faih or Taksim areas. Admire panoramic views of the city with the included cable car ride to Pierre Loti Hill. Hop aboard an air-conditioned car and take in views of the Golden Horn which ahs been a trading harbor since the Byzantine-era. Start with a stop at St. George’s Cathedral, a 16th-century, neo-classical church which was the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.  Take a look inside the lavish interiors of the cathedral before heading to the Phanar Greek Orthodox College to see one of the oldest educational institutions in Turkey.  Head to the districts of Fener and Balat, which are steeped in history and culture. Follow your guide around the cobblestone streets and take in the colorful Ottoman architecture. Stop for lunch in one of the local restaurants in Balat before heading to the Bulgarian St. Stephen Church. View the church's design features of prefabricated cast iron elements that are in the neo-Byzantine style. Appreciate at the intricate details of the church before making your way to Pierre Loti Hill. Board a cable car and take in the stunning 360-degree views of the Golden Horn as you make your ascent. Once you reach the hill itself, capture pictures of the breathtaking views of the city below. Return to your hotel or meeting point at the end of the tour. 

Istanbul: 6-Hour Byzantine Tour Along the Golden Horn

2. Istanbul: 6-Hour Byzantine Tour Along the Golden Horn

Want to discover the Istanbul of Byzantine Constantinople? Have you finished the famous sites in Sultanahmet and ready to walk in areas where tourists do not go? Then this Byzantine Istanbul (Constantinople) tour along the Golden Horn will be the perfect choice for you. The vastness of the vision and boldness of the design of Byzantine era Constantinople is expressed through the Hagia Sophia located in Sultanahmet but medieval Constantinople around the Golden Horn offers more information. Poke around forgotten corners just over this hauntingly beautiful inlet – the Golden Horn and walk to see Constantinople before the Ottoman Conquest of 1453. Your Byzantine Istanbul Constantinople tour will start with a ferry ride from Eminonu or Karakoy zigzaging both sides of the Golden Horn to end in Ayvansaray. Ayvansaray is where Constantinople officially ended, so you’ll see and walk along the mighty Byzantine walls of Theodosius from the 5th century. Your first visit will be to an extraordinary Greek Orthodox Church – Mary Blachernae. The only church in the whole world where there’s a service on a Friday morning. Built on a sacred water source, the church is a pilgrimage site for the Greek people in Istanbul. Climb the 7th hill of Istanbul as you make your way to one of the oldest Byzantine palaces from the 13th century (Tekfur Sarayi). Then, walk your way back through Balat which houses one of Istanbul’s surviving mediaeval synagogues and trendiest houses that are now enjoying their second or even third type of use. In Fener, you will see the Greek Orthodox patriarchate housing a column, which is believed to have been used for the binding and flogging of Jesus in Jerusalem.

Istanbul: Greek Orthodox District 3-Hour Walking Tour

3. Istanbul: Greek Orthodox District 3-Hour Walking Tour

Learn about the history and culture of the Greek Orthodox part of Istanbul on a walking tour with an expert local guide. Explore the charming streets lined with old homes and glorious Byzantine churches. This Sunday morning, 3-hour walking tour investigates an area of Istanbul currently protected as part of a UNESCO conservation project. Derived from the Greek word 'Fanari,' meaning 'lantern' or 'lighthouse' in Turkish, Fener was a district of prominent and predominantly Romaic (Greek Orthodox) families up to the beginning of the 20th century. It is the part of Istanbul where the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is situated. On the tour, you are invited to explore the world of the Phanariotes, who dominated the administration of the Patriarchate. Listen to the story of Phanariotes who served as dragomans to the Ottoman government and to foreign embassies. Visit a Byzantine Church and see the world’s only church made of iron and steel. As you wander the jumble of streets, you will see apartments and palaces, and get a taste of the fascinating history of one of Istanbul’s most intriguing neighborhoods.

Walk Fener and Balat – Istanbul's Greek Orthodox Region

4. Walk Fener and Balat – Istanbul's Greek Orthodox Region

If you are interested in visiting a functioning Byzantine church or seeing the only church in the world constructed entirely of iron and steel, then do not miss this full-day walking tour through Fener and Balat in Istanbul. The name Fener is derived from a Greek word 'Fanari,' meaning 'lantern' or 'lighthouse' in Turkish, and this district was made up of predominantly Romaic (Greek Orthodox) families up until the beginning of the 20th century. Today, this UNESCO-project filled site is known as the part of Istanbul where the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is situated. On this tour you'll hear the story of Phanariotes who served as dragomans to the Ottoman government and to foreign embassies. Following the included lunch, you will visit Balat, which is located on the southern shores of the Golden Horn. It is one of the Jewish districts where the people re-settled during the time of the Ottoman Empire. We will take you through Balat, where you will find yourself walking down intriguing streets, full of color and life. Synagogues, Armenian churches, Romaic churches, Byzantine remnants, and Ayazmas are all part of the adventure.

Other Sightseeing Options in St. George's Cathedral, Istanbul

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What people are saying about St. George's Cathedral, Istanbul

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 2 reviews

Our guide Mr. Adnan was helpful with historic stories that local people could deliver. This is an exceptional route that we can enjoy Byzantine relics. I had such an unexpected yet wonderful experience. I hope I can actually visit Blachernae Palace when the restoration is complete.

Muy amable y con conocimiento. Excelente guía Edur una chica muy recomendable