Sultanahmet District
Culinary & Nightlife

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Our most recommended Sultanahmet District Culinary & Nightlife

Istanbul: Fener/Balat Walking Tour, Pierre Loti Hill & Ferry

1. Istanbul: Fener/Balat Walking Tour, Pierre Loti Hill & Ferry

Meet your guide at the Fuego Café and Restaurant in Sultanhamet, in the heart of the main tourist area of Istanbul. From here you’ll take the local tram to Eminönü Harbor and begin a 5-hour excursion into Istanbul’s heritage. Travel by public bus to the colorful Fener/Balat district, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and at one time home to Istanbul’s Ottoman Orthodox and Jewish residents. See traces of Ottoman life, including wooden houses, mosques, churches, and synagogues, standing together and demonstrating the multicultural and religious ways of the Ottoman Empire. After walking along the cobblestoned streets of the Fener/Balat World Heritage area, you’ll continue along the historic Byzantine city walls that date to the 4th century A.D. and the time of Constantine the Great. Visit the historic Eyüp mosque complex, a sacred area where pilgrims come to visit the mosques and the tombs of Muslim saints. From here you’ll take a short cable car ride up to the famous Pierre Loti Café, a popular meeting point for locals. Enjoy stunning panoramic views of Istanbul while sipping a drink in one of the cafés where French Poet Pierre Loti was inspired to write Aziyade, part biography and part love story about his escapades in Istanbul in the late 1800s. Walk back down to Eyüp to catch the local ferry for a cruise on the blue waters of the Golden Horn. See Ottoman houses, shipyards, the old and new Galata bridges, Ataturk Bridge, ancient city walls, mosques, churches, and other historic and modern sites. You’ll disembark at Eminönü Harbor, where the tour ends.

Istanbul: Full-Day Guided Tour

2. Istanbul: Full-Day Guided Tour

Istanbul straddles East and West, enticing your senses and expanding your perceptions of the world around you. Todays full day tour will give you a glimpse at some of Istanbul's incredible sites and sounds and leave you with a deeper understanding of this rich land. Begin your day at one of Istanbul's greatest architectural masterpieces - the Hagia Sophia. This 6th century basilica will stun you with its towering minarets and beautiful handcrafted mosaics. It is called, by some, the 8th wonder of the world and you'll soon see why. Soon after your visit to Hagia Sophia, head across the street to the Blue Mosque. One of the most famous monuments in all of Turkey, the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque) is a monument to the Ottoman empire and its builders. It gets its name from the more than 20,000 Iznik blue tiles that adorn its facade and interior and its history will impress you as you receive a tour. Then step back in time a bit to the Hippodrome. Here, imagine what life might have been like as locals traveled to see the chariot races at this famous sports arena. The area dates back to Egyptian times and there are still relics of the past dotted around this incredible area. With so much history, it's time to take a little shopping break. Head to the Grand Bazaar, where you'll have the chance to barter on everything from fine leather goods, to spices and plenty of sweets to satisfy your sweet tooth. There are nearly 4000 stalls here, so you're sure to find something for yourself.  After lunch visit the recently discovered and restored Şerefiye Cistern, which was built by Roman Emperor Theodosius II between 428 and 443 to store water supplied by the Valens Aqueduct (Roman Period Water Reservoir). Your tour ends here.

Istanbul: Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show with Private Table

3. Istanbul: Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Show with Private Table

Enjoy magical views of Istanbul from the Bosphorus on this dinner cruise. Sail on a yacht and view a show which includes traditional Turkish Folk Dancing. Sip on unlimited soft drinks while seeing sights like the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Galata Tower, and the Bosphorus Bridge.  Have the option to choose from a tour with hotel pickup and drop-off from select locations in Istanbul. With this option, enjoy being transported to the boat in an air-conditioned van. Select from tour options with or without unlimited alcoholic drinks. Savor an appetizer plate with options like a seasonal salad or hot starters. Choose a main course like mixed grilled meat, seasonal fish, or a vegetarian menu. Savor fruit and finish your meal with a sweet dessert.  Dine on your tasty food while watching live entertainment like Turkish folk dancing, Latin flamenco dancing, and a DJ. Gaze out the window at the Maiden's Tower, which has stood since the medieval Byzantine period and the imposing Galata Tower.  Capture pictures of the stunning Baroque Revival architecture or Dolmabahçe Palace and Ortaköy Mosque. Admire the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridges which span the Bosphorus strait. Take in the waterside Ottoman architecture of the Beylerbeyi Palace.

Secrets of Istanbul: 5-Hour Walking Tour with Lunch

4. Secrets of Istanbul: 5-Hour Walking Tour with Lunch

Your 5-hour guided walk begins in Sultanhamet, in the heart of the main tourist area of Istanbul. From here you’ll head to the Blue Mosque, where you’ll admire the 6 minarets and stunning tiles that were made in Iznik, the birthplace of the Ottoman Empire. Next your guide will tell you about Hagia Sophia and the Roxana Baths before continuing on to the ancient Hippodrome. Hear about the famous obelisk that was shipped from Egypt to the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius in 6th century A.D. Walk along the ancient roadway past the Ottoman Parliament House and then make your way to the Grand Bazaar. Marvel at the labyrinth of streets lined with textiles and most every other kind of product as well! You can learn the local art of bargaining here. Enjoy a stroll to the nearby Sahaflar Book Market, where books were printed for the first time during the Ottoman era. Learn about Islam and its holy book, the Koran. On the way to the Suleymaniye complex you’ll pass by the spectacular façade of Istanbul University and enter the Cagaloglu district, which is a shopping hub for locals that’s far from the main tourist attractions. Once you reach the Suleymaniye complex you’ll see the Turkish bath, the library, the madrasah, eateries, and the grand Suleymaniye Mosque that dominates the skyline along the Golden Horn. Learn about the history of the Mosque, named after the most famous and powerful of sultans, Suleyman the Magnificent. Your guide knows a great hidden teahouse here where you can drink çay (tea) and try a nargile (water pipe) with its intoxicating aroma and fruity flavors. After the break, you’ll continue on through the hidden streets of Istanbul. See local markets where products are made on site. Visit the hidden Rustem Pasha Mosque and admire its lovely tiles. Then it will be time to taste some baklava, a delicious Turkish dessert. Explore the spice market and see a mountain of Turkish spices, Turkish delight, and local handicrafts. From the Spice Bazaar you’ll take a walk so that you can appreciate the views of the picturesque Galata Bridge. Finally it’s time to relax for a delicious lunch of local specialties. After lunch your guide can tell you how to get back to your hotel and give you some advice on other things to do in your free time.

Istanbul: 6-Hour Highlights Tour

5. Istanbul: 6-Hour Highlights Tour

This is a fully guided tour inside the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya), Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Orient Express train station, Galata Bridge and Spice Bazaar. Along the way, stop to hear the stories of the Roman Hippodrome (including the Egyptian Obelisk and Serpent Column German Fountain), mausoleums of Ottoman sultans and Constantine’s Column. Learn about the famous Orient Express. Take a break for lunch and enjoy traditional Turkish cuisine in a friendly setting at a nontouristy restaurant where your gourmet guide will choose some memorable food for you. Please note the itinerary will change slightly on certain days due to changes in the opening hours. 

Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia & More: Istanbul City Tour

6. Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia & More: Istanbul City Tour

This full-day sightseeing tour of Istanbul provides a perfect introduction to the city that straddles Europe and Asia. When Istanbul was known as Constantinople, it was the capital of the Roman Empire and the wealthiest metropolis in Europe. On this city tour you’ll visit Istanbul’s 4 most important historic sites with a local guide. The Blue Mosque is an iconic monument in both the Turkish and Islamic worlds. The stunning structure was built in the classical Ottoman style, and features 6 towering minarets and 260 windows that provide illumination for its vast inner chamber that is lined with more than 20,000 Iznik tiles. In the 6th century, the Hagia Sophia was built by the Emperor Justinian. After the Ottoman conquest, it was converted to a mosque and later converted into a museum, featuring many beautiful Byzantine mosaics. One of the largest and oldest palaces in the world, Topkapi is the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire. With its treasury and exotic buildings overlooking the Golden Horn, walking Topkapi's grounds offers gorgeous views of the city and the nearby Bosphorus. You’ll have time to shop at the Grand Bazaar – its 58 streets are lined with more than 4,000 shops. It is one of the world's largest covered markets, and is particularly known for its jewelry, leather, pottery, spices, and carpets.

Istanbul: Full-Day Private Old City Tour

7. Istanbul: Full-Day Private Old City Tour

Your guide will greet you at your hotel at 09:00 to begin your 8-hour walking tour in the capital of 3 great empires. Your tour begins at Topkapi Palace, the former imperial residence from which the Great Ottoman Empire was ruled for nearly 400 years. Today a spectacular museum, it is well known for its collection of royal treasures. Your guide will tell you about 4 centuries of glorious victories as well as tragic times. From Topkapi Palace you’ll walk to Hagia Sophia along a cobblestone road lined with old Ottoman-era houses. This 6th century church, a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, features stunning mosaics. You’ll learn about the history of the structure, a main attraction of Istanbul since its construction. After a stop to enjoy lunch you’ll continue by foot to the site of the Hippodrome, the center of sportive and political activities in ancient Constantinople. See the Obelisk from Egypt, the Serpentine Column from Delphi, and the Fountain of Willhelm II. The Blue Mosque, built in the 17th century, and also known as the Sultanahment Mosque, is one of the principal adornments of the Istanbul skyline. Admire the interior covered with blue Iznik tiles. Your final stop will be at the Grand Bazaar. Your guide will tell you about history of the Bazaar and provide some helpful tips on navigating its more than 4,000 shops. The tour ends between 16:00 and 17:00.

Istanbul: Guided City Highlights Day Trip

8. Istanbul: Guided City Highlights Day Trip

After being picked up from your hotel, meet your guide and embark on a full day tour of Istanbul's main landmarks and historical sites. Start with a trip to the Hagia Sophia Museum. Discover how for many centuries, the Hagia Sophia was the largest church in the world, and still boasts the 4th largest dome in the world as one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Next, head over to the Topkapi Palace Museum, a relic of the glory days of the great Ottoman Empire. Discover how the former palace boasted a population of about 4,000 people at its peak and was home to 25 sultans over a period of 400 years. Located on a promontory overlooking the Golden Horn, it sits in tranquil gardens that provide shade from the blazing heat of the summer. Pop into the museum to see the gorgeous Iznik tiles and the ornate stateroom of the harem, among other attractions. Continue the tour with a visit to the Hippodrome, a former circus built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus. Witness the 3 remaining monuments from the original building, including the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, and the Constantine Column. Pause to look at the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, made from 8 marble columns. After this, make a stop at the Blue Mosque, more officially known as the Sultanahmet Mosque. Admire the striking blue tiles which give the mosque its more common name and make it one of Istanbul’s most iconic attractions. Located close to Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque was considered the Supreme Imperial Mosque in Istanbul. Finally, take a stroll through the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With hundreds of small handicraft shops selling everything from handmade carpets to Turkish coffee, the atmosphere is electric, and it's a great place to try out your bargaining skills.

Istanbul Classical Full-Day Tour

9. Istanbul Classical Full-Day Tour

Your guide will pick you up from your hotel and guide you through the city to explore the following places in depth: First you will visit Hagia Sophia.This ancient Basilica was built by Constantine the Great in the 4th century and reconstructed by Justinin in the 6th century. It is one of the architectural marvels of all time. The Blue Mosque is one of the best examples of Ottoman and Turkish art, built between 1609 and 1616 by the Architect Mehmet Aga. The mosque takes its name from the blue Iznik tiles which decorate its walls spelndidly. The ancient Hippodrome, where chariot races took place in the center of Byzantine political life, stands in the open space in front of the Blue Mosque. This area, now called Sultanahmet, was once home to a series of historic monuments. Of the monuments which once stood only three remain, the Obelisk of the Theodosius, the Serpentine Column and the Column on Constantine. Look forward to experiencing the bustling atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar. In this labyrinth of streets and passages there are more than 4000 shops with each trade having its own area, selling mostly gold, silver and Turkish handicrafts. Afterwards you will see Topkapi Palace, the great palace of the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to 19th centuries. It houses an exqusite collection of crystal, silver and Chinese porcelain, and the Holy Mantle containing relics of the Prophet Mohammed. We will have a stop for lunch around midday and the tour will finish with a drop-off at your hotel. Hotel pick-up service is available only from the hotels located in the city centre.

Istanbul: Full-Day Tour with Dolmabahce & Bosphorus Cruise

10. Istanbul: Full-Day Tour with Dolmabahce & Bosphorus Cruise

Get a comprehensive overview of Istanbul on this full-day tour of the city by coach, boat, and cable car. Perfect for those who aim to get a sense of what makes Istanbul unique, this full-day exploration gives a varied tour of the city. It will reveal a mixture of Eastern and European influences that makes the city so unique. First, get picked up from your hotel by bus and driven along the length of the Golden Horn, the historic water that divides Istanbul. Take in the sites of the historic city center and the main port, dating back to the Ottoman and Byzantine empires. Then, travel to the top of Pierre Loti Hill by cable car, and admire panoramic views of the city as you drink coffee at the famous Pierre Loti Café, named after the French novelist who spent much of his time there.  Next, experience the splendor of Istanbul from the water. In the afternoon, enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Bosphorus and take in the grand spectacle of the city’s houses and palaces from the river. Finally, enjoy a tour of Dolmabahce Palace, home to the last of the Ottoman Sultans. Admire one of the most glamorous palaces in the world, once the administrative heart of the Ottoman Empire.

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What people are saying about Sultanahmet District

This was an amazing experience. Mev (apologies if I misspelt the name), our guide, was lovely and knowledgeable and made the tour that bit more exciting. We started the tour at the Pierre Loti hill where we had some nice views of the city and enjoyed a morning coffee. Then we went to see the Dolmabahce Palace which was impressive. After a delicious lunch, we took a cruise on the Bosphorus and saw the city from a different perspective.

Musa exceeded our expectations. He genuinely knows his job and took us to the important tourist spots in Istanbul. He is very knowledgeable about the history of the Ottoman empire. We did not feel rushed. We walked for long hours and we did not hear any complaints from him. You can tell he is very passionate about what he is doing and he is very welcoming. Thank you so much Musa for showing us Istanbul. It made our trip memorable.

Mumat was the tour guide we could wish for. Very good english speaker and know everything about the history of Turkey and The Islam. very professional. If you want to see everything and be focused Mumat is your guide!

The tour was very nice but we suffer from traffic jams and wasted time. we got to the Spices Bazar late. Mev was sooo nice all day long and interested on our life. She was very professional.

Great tour! Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable. Definitely recommend!